You may have heard a terrible story or two about bunny owners who’ve woken up one morning to find that their beloved pets have been killed and eaten. Maybe you’re wondering what eats rabbits, and how you can prevent your bundle of fluff from suffering the same fate.
So what kills rabbits at night?
Predators are what kill and eat bunnies at night. Rabbit predators include wild animals (like hawks and foxes) and domestic pets (like cats and dogs). Facts about rabbits show that your bun can’t defend itself against predators. So you need to do all you can to keep your fluffy bestie safe.
Today, you’ll learn how to protect your bunny from nighttime predators.
A List of Potential Predators That Kill Rabbits at Night
Bunnies are the go-to meal for many predators, and animals on the hunt don’t discriminate between domestic or wild rabbits.
These are some predators you need to watch out for…
A fox is one of the deadliest and most skilled predators your bun can encounter. They hunt at night and can sometimes work in groups.
Dogs, Wolves, and Coyotes
These animals are part of the canine family and are natural predators. If the opportunity presents itself, they’ll only be too quick to eat your rabbit.
Cats, Bobcats, and Cougars
Felines thrive on stalking and pouncing on their prey. Your pet cat may even kill your fluffy bestie just for fun!
Birds of Prey
Hawks, owls, eagles, kestrels, and falcons are always on the lookout for rabbits, especially if your bunny lives on a farm or in a rural area.
If your Ms. Fluffles doesn’t have a secure enclosure, it’ll only be a matter of seconds for these birds to swoop down and grab her.
Raccoons, weasels, stoats, badgers, and ferrets all pose a threat to rabbits. Their diet consists of other small mammals, including your pet bunny.
Although a bear is known for its love of honey, it eats rabbits too. Rabbits become the main source of food for bears in the winter when other options are scarce.
Gopher snakes, boa constrictors, and rattlesnakes are capable of striking your bunny at an incredible speed. Your bun will never know what hit it.
This predator is not a fussy eater. And when there’s a shortage of food, wolverines will start looking for rabbits by digging in burrows.
Humans have been hunting rabbits for centuries, not just for their meat but for their fur coats too.
However, hunters may also cull rabbits that are seen as pests and that cause damage to farmlands.
How to Protect Your Rabbit From Predators at Night
The only way for your rabbit to be 100 percent safe from hungry predators at night, is for your bunny to live in your home. But unfortunately, that’s not always possible.
Let’s explore your options for keeping your pet bunny safe from predators:
Keep Your Rabbit Indoors
If you want complete peace of mind, this is the best way to go: keep your rabbit inside your home.
It’s easy to make parts of your home bunny-friendly, and you can teach your baby rabbits to use a litter box.
Create a Secure Outdoor Bunny Hutch
You need to make sure your bunny’s cage is a fortress. Nothing should be able to get in or out.
Follow these guidelines for a predator-proof hutch:
- Use good quality wood (like pine) all around the enclosure. This way predators can’t dig their way in or gain access from above.
- Wire mesh will be best for the clear side of the hutch. Don’t use chicken wire as it won’t be effective.
- Make sure you have strong bolts for the gate. Anything else will be too easy for predators (like raccoons) to unlock.
A good idea would also be to create some hiding places in the enclosure. This way your bun has somewhere to hide when it’s feeling a bit uneasy.
Whatever you do, avoid buying your rabbit’s hutch from a pet store. It won’t do a good job of protecting your bunny.
Make Your Yard Uninviting for Predators
Now that you’ve given your bun the safest hutch possible, you need to make sure predators can’t get close to little fluffies.
Even though it’s uncommon, your rabbit can die of shock if it spots a predator or gets a sudden fright.
So here’s what you can do to keep predators far away:
Keep Your Yard Clean and Tidy
Make sure your grass is cut so predators can’t creep up on your bunny. Don’t leave any food or water out in the open.
Use Motion Detection Lights, Sprinklers, Noisemakers, and Chemicals
Nocturnal animals (animals that are active at night) will turn away from your bunny if they see light.
Startling noises, getting sprayed by water, and unpleasant smells will also keep predators at bay.
Supervise Your Rabbit When It’s Outside
If Mr. Fluffles is exploring your garden, make sure you keep a close eye on him. Predators are likely to stay away if they see humans nearby.
What Kills Rabbits at Night But Doesn’t Eat Them?
Scavengers (like possums and raccoons) can kill rabbits, but may not go as far as eating them. Scavengers only eat animals that have already been killed by other predators, so an attack on your bunny could just mean that scavengers feel threatened.
Small predators may also kill your rabbit but not eat it because it’s too big. On the other hand, domestic cats could just want to kill your bun for sport.
What Can Kill Rabbits Fast?
Rabbits will be killed instantly by predators that possess speed and agility, like wolves and foxes.
Cougars, for example, have sharp teeth and claws that aid in killing rabbits fast. A dog bite on your fluffy bestie’s neck will also lead to a swift death.
Humans are just as deadly. Hunters use all types of weapons (like shotguns and rifles) to kill rabbits in a matter of seconds.
My Last Bunny Thoughts
If your bun can’t live indoors with you, give your furry friend the best chance of survival by building a hutch as solid as Fort Knox.
Now that you know what eats rabbits, don’t let your bunny fall prey to them! Take the necessary steps to ensure your rabbit has peaceful nights for the rest of its life.