With cats being the second most commonly kept pet in the western world and rabbits seeing a rapid increase in there popularity too, we have seen a number of people who are keeping both a pet cat and a pet rabbit in the same home.
When correctly introduced, ideally from a young age, you can usually keep a pet rabbit and cat in the same home without issue but we would never recommend you leave the to together unsupervised.
One problem that we have seen people asking about who keeps a cat and rabbit in the same home is why their bunny humps their cat so much.
This can be a really frustrating issue for bunny parents to deal with, especially if their cat seems to be bothered by it and starts to act aggressively.
Many people don’t realize that rabbits don’t only hump to reproduce but also to communicate and humping can mean a range of different things.
This is usually why a rabbit will hump a cat, it’s trying to communicate, often show dominance rather than actually breed with your cat.
Is It Normal For My Pet Bunny To Hump My Pet Cat?
Although it is not “natural” for a bunny to hump a cat due to wild cats hunting rabbits, domesticated cats and rabbits that live together often can have this problem. It is due to the rabbit’s instinct to live in a group and to show dominance, often via humping.
The good news is that in most cases bunny humping a cat is not a sign of sexual attraction and once your bunny feels as though it has established its dominance, the humping can stop.
In other cases, if your cat keeps walking off or defending itself, the rabbit can become more and more persistent with its humping to try and get the cat to submit.
In addition to this, if a rabbit is left to hump a cat unchecked for an extended period of time then a habit loop can form.
This may cause the rabbit to try and hump your cat out of habit rather than anything else and may result in problems with the cat getting aggressive due to frustration.
Why Does My Pet Bunny Hump My Cat?
The two most common reasons that your bunny will hump your cat are due to the rabbit trying to display dominance over the cat and due to the rabbit having built up the habit to hump your cat.
If your bunny is trying to display dominance, it will often try and hump anything that it sees as being beneath it in the hierarchy. This includes not just cats but also other rabbits, humans, and even pet toys. The rabbit may also start to mark its territory by urinating on the cat or any other object.
As we said before, if your bunny has gotten into the habit of humping your cat then it can often become a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) where the bunny feels the need to hump the cat out of habit.
This is usually due to the rabbit not being able to release enough energy in other ways or the rabbit not having enough mental stimulation with this being a common problem with pet rabbits in general.
Should You Let Rabbits Hump Your Pet Cat When Bonding?
When you are first introducing a bunny to a cat, it is best to keep them in separate rooms and let them get used to each other’s smells. Once they have gotten used to each other, you can then start to let them see each other for short periods of time while supervised.
You should never allow your bunny to hump your cat unchecked as this can lead to the rabbit developing a habit or the cat getting angry and aggressive. If your bunny does start to hump your cat, you should distract the bunny with a toy or some food and then praise it when it stops.
It is also important to make sure that your bunny has enough room to run around and explore as this can help to reduce the amount of bunny humping that goes on.
Some rabbits that are more submissive may never try to hump your cat or they may only try the behavior when they become more comfortable with the cat rather than on the first introduction or initial bonding phase.
Will My Pet Cat Attack My Pet Rabbit If The Rabbit Keeps Humping It?
Most domestic cats are not as predatory as their wild counterparts but they can often still attack other animals. Although this is generally birds or other small animals such as mice, a cat may attack your pet rabbit, especially if it is angry at the rabbit or feels threatened by it.
A cat that is constantly being humped by a rabbit can often become agitated and may start to lash out at the rabbit in order to get it to stop. In some cases, this may lead to the bunny getting seriously injured or even killed so it is important to be vigilant when bunny humping is occurring.
Most cats will give obvious warnings to the rabbit be it by audible sounds or due to a warning swipe with the paw. On the other hand, some cats may not be as vocal with their warnings and may go straight for an all-out attack so it is important to keep an eye on both animals when they are together.
How Can I Stop My Bunny From Humping My Pet Cat?
If your bunny has started to hump your cat then there are a few things that you can do in order to stop the behavior.
The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that your bunny is getting enough exercise. This means letting it out of its cage for at least a few hours each day so it can run around and burn off energy.
Trying to discourage the humping behavior by scolding the bunny or separating them whenever it happens is also generally not effective and can often make the problem worse. Instead, you should try and distract the bunny with a toy or some food and then praise it when it stops humping.
It is also important to provide your bunny with plenty of mental stimulation through things like toys, puzzles, or even just interaction with you. This can help to curb the bunny’s humping behavior as it will have other things to focus on and won’t feel the need to hump as much.
You can also try to just limit the interaction between your cat and your rabbit as your bunny should still be living in its hutch for the majority of the time even if it does get on well with your pet cat.