For the longest time, I had wondered whether my rabbits were safe from predator raccoons or other animals in the wildlife. Today, I decided to write a detailed guide for all new rabbit owners to help them overcome their fears and protect their little pet animals in the best ways possible. As a rabbit owner, one of the most important decisions that you will have to take is whether to let your rabbit go outside or not. While some rabbits are to be especially kept indoors and some outdoors, pet keepers will still have to take extensive measures to carefully protect the little animal.
Why Rabbits Are Popular To Predatory Animals
The unfortunate news for us rabbit owners is that our beloved pets happen to be one of the most popular predatory animals out there. Even if its not a raccoon, other animals like a bobcat, cougar or a leopard would hunt for a rabbit every time they eye an open opportunity. Additionally, danger for your pet rabbit can come from many other places as well. This includes the air, in the form of predatory eagles or other avian predators. On the ground, serpents of both the poisonous and non-poisonous kind tend to hunt for rabbits that they see unprotected. Most rabbits are in danger when they are let outside a safe home, especially rabbit babies that have a very low rate of survival.
Rabbits, on the other hand, are herbivores. They prefer feasting on a wide variety of leaves present in a garden or field as well as certain types of vegetation.
Do Raccoons Really Eat Rabbits?
As much as I would like to deny this, it is the sad reality. Raccoons tend to prey on rabbits that are easily within their reach. Put in the simplest words, if a raccoon can catch your rabbit, it will most likely consume it. The main reason behind this is that raccoons are extremely vicious animals that happen to be omnivorous. However, most raccoons can’t run very fast or chase other animals, especially not rabbits who are amongst the speediest animals.
In comparison, a raccoon’s fasted recorded speed is only around 15 miles per hour whereas even the slowest of the rabbit family can run up to a speed of 27 miles per hour. The fastest running rabbit is known to be the Jacket Rabbit, who can run at a brilliant speed of 45 miles per hour.
Due to these varying running speeds, it is quite difficult for a raccoon to hunt a rabbit. The only way that raccoons tend to get a hold of a rabbit is by secretly invading it’s hiding place or attacking it without being seen. Since raccoon’s feast on meat and rabbits are purely meat, a raccoon would gladly hunt for a rabbit, no matter how impossible the task may seem.
How Raccoons Normally Find Their Prey
Raccoons are considered to be amongst the most intelligent of animals who hunt for their prey in extremely strategical manners. They study the movements of a potential prey for a substantial amount of time before actually attacking them. Since raccoons are popular omnivores, they can easily consume items such as backyard grapes or leftovers of bird or pet food. Raccoons will continuously move from house to house, searching for different kinds of food in the gardens or parks that they see.
If they can’t find any proper food to eat, they start attacking smaller animals such as rabbits or cats. Their hunting skills are surely remarkable, and they can find a prey whenever they wish to. Due to their intelligence, they can easily overcome drawbacks such as a slow running speed and obtain smaller, less intelligent animals like rabbits.
Raccoons tend to have predating personalities, even when other animals are willing to share their food with them. However, if a raccoon comes across an aggressive animal, there is a clash of personality and a fight may occur. Since bigger and stronger animals like dogs are very hard for raccoons to attack or prey on, they tend to find smaller prey such as rabbits or kittens that are let outside into the backyards of homes or public parks. Since raccoons could be extremely dangerous and life-threatening for your pet, it is best to feed and keep them indoors and protected.
Raccoons & Rabbits in the Wildlife: A Brief Comparison
While you may think that rabbits live in a similar manner in the wildlife as to how they do in our homes, that’s extremely untrue. In
In the wildlife, raccoons and rabbits normally fight each other before one of them yields. If a raccoon happens to stumble upon a baby rabbit, it may immediately attach especially if the mother rabbit is not nearby. Mother rabbits may stay away from their babies almost all day, but they make sure that they remain within sight of their nest. If the mother spots a predator raccoon nearby, she will most definitely fight to protect her offspring. The raccoon will then be kicked and bitten multiple times by the mother rabbit. If the rabbit attacks the raccoon with her powerful hind legs in the right manner, she may possibly kill it.
While this information may give you the impression that your pet rabbit could fight to protect itself, that is untrue. Once a rabbit is taken out of its natural habitat and kept as a pet, they never learn proper self-defense and therefore will be easily susceptible to raccoon attacks if allowed outside.
How to Keep Your Pet Rabbits Safe
Pet rabbits are becoming more and more popular with each passing day. Since the little animal is surely adorable and easy to care for, people love keeping them as pets and playing with them all day long. However, pet owners must remember that rabbits are extremely sensitive animals who are easily exposed to many health problems that other animals may easily overcome.
To keep your pet rabbits safe, you must always take the appropriate precautions and care for them in the correct manner. It is highly recommended that no rabbits should be kept outdoors, as it is very dangerous for them to remain unprotected in the wild where multiple animals could prey on them. However, many people still keep outdoor rabbits who can be safely protected with a properly constructed rabbit hutch.
Additionally, even when you keep your rabbits indoors, you must make extra efforts to bunny-proof your home and protect your little pet from any potential hazard such as exposed electrical wires, indoor plants or even the cords of blinds or drapes.
While rabbits are an attractive pet to keep, you must also be willing to care for them appropriately. The best way to ensure the good health of your pet is by keeping a regular check on the behavior and habits of your rabbit and schedule appointments with a professional vet to ensure their wellbeing for many years to come.
Outdoor Rabbits: Could a Raccoon Break into a Rabbit Hutch?
Since rabbits are now increasingly popular as show animals or household pets, they are much more delicate and less capable of protecting themselves against attacks or highly stressful situations. While outdoor rabbits are becoming more of a trend in the modern world, the threats that this imposes to your pet rabbit must always be kept in mind. For a sensitive animal like the rabbit, having to cope with the extreme stress of surviving in an outdoor environment can take multiple years off of their lifespan. Research studies have proven that while an indoor rabbit can live up to 15 years, outdoor rabbits would only survive for three to five years.
If you know someone who’s outdoor rabbit has lived longer than five years, consider them purely lucky. No matter how safe they claim their backyard is, no outdoor rabbit is truly safe unless the owners live inside a biodome.
As we already know that raccoons are constantly on the search for prey especially in the backyards of homes, your outdoor pet rabbit is always in danger. Even if the rabbit hutch is very well constructed to keep raccoons out, they can still easily break in. Raccoons have small paws that they easily fit through the grids of the cage and prey on small animals like the rabbit. Additionally, rabbits aren’t very good in stressful situations. If your pet rabbit senses danger in the form of a mere presence or sound of a nearby predator, the helpless animal could immediately suffer from a heart attack. This is a huge reason why your pet rabbit must always be kept indoors and could only be allowed outdoors under careful and consistent supervision.