How to Introduce a Bunny to your Doggy and Kitty Family

You have your family and your family pets of dogs and cats and you have fallen in love with this cute bunny and have brought it home.....Now what?...

How do you get your dog and your cat to fall in love with your new Family member and become best buds?
I mean this is a rabbit isn't it a prey animal?
Aren't they natural prey to dogs and cats?

All this is true but it is possible for dogs, cats and rabbits to live together in harmony and become best buds but it takes time and patience to get them to that place.And this is how my mummy got her dog and two cats to live peacefully with her bunny.So lets start with the introductions......
Wellington, the springer spaniel laying down photo by Speedy the Cheeky housebunny

Meet Wellington but he was called Boots for short he was a Springer Spaniel that had grown up with cats from a puppy....



Black cat named Smokey looking at the camera behind a bush-Speedy the house bunny
Now Meet Smokey,Now believe it or not as a 6 week old kitten till he was a year old he was a charcoal grey colour he then became black with the hint of dark chocolate and he was a bossy cat who would rough house with Boots and he was a true hunter that came from a farm.The other cat was called Suki and she was a tabby point Siamese, sadly Mummy has no photos of her. Suki was rescued from the home of a German Shepherd breeder who's dogs bullied her but with Boots she had a great bond him. So we have set the scene...mummies happy furfamily at this time she still lived at home with her mum and step dad.

Now on a visit to a local pet shop who mummy knew the owners very well she fell in love with this Bunny.....
Caramel colored Holland Lop rabbit looking up- http://www.speedyhousebunny.com/
She was allowed to hold him which the owners didn't normally do but as mummy was a friend it was okay,and over a few weeks mum would visit the shop and would always end up giving him a cuddle.....what she didn't know was her mum and step dad had secretly planned for this bun to come home to mummy for Christmas.The shop owner hadn't planned on selling this bunny because he had been poorly and had been nursed back to health at their home and they weren't sure that he would be okay in another home.But they knew he would become a house bunny and would get the best care with mummy.So meet Caramel the Holland lop!So the cast is Complete, what happens next?

Well for the first few days Caramel was allowed to settle in his new home in mummy's bedroom he had the run of the room when she was there and had a special custom built pen for when she was at work and to sleep in at night.he would get lots of cuddles and play time with mum in those first few days but then it was time to introduce Caramel to Boots and to Smokey and Suki.

Actually Boots was really easy though you wouldn't expect it, given the fact that Boots is a gun dog but he seemed to think that Caramel was just another baby kitten...mummy said she didn't think it dawned on Boots that Caramel was a rabbit even though he would love to chase wild rabbits out on their walks.Boots Just followed Caramel like a dad looking after his pups.Mummy would supervise the interactions but Boots just followed him around and if he had a little accident with poops, Boots would just clean up after Caramel and then clean his bum for good measure.With Suki well she just ignored Caramel as long as she got plenty of cuddles too she was ok with Caramel.The hardest part was Smokey....Boy was he ever jealous!He did not like Caramel one little bit and mum had to watch him like a hawk.Eventually mum taught Smokey to tolerate Caramel that is until puberty hit!

When Puberty hit Caramel all he kept doing was following whenever they were on the ground the cats around trying to hump them.Suki still didn't take much notice and just jumped up out of reach but with Smokey it was different he would hiss and whap Caramel with his paws mum would tell Smokey no and then he would jump up out of the way like he had just been scolded....for a time there was an uneasy truce so when mum had to nip upstairs she thought they would be okay for a minute but she was wrong she came dashing back down when she heard a big commotion.Mummy came running in on Caramel and Smokey in a full fight....both had their teeth and claws out in full force both sinking in the claw and teeth into each other and both Growling....yes Bunnies do Growl!Mum was shouting at them and then Smokey let go and ran off with his tail puffed up out into the garden with Caramel chasing after him.Mum scooped each on up to check them over to make sure neither was hurt.That was a miracle neither had sustained any injuries all they had managed to do was pull some fur out of each other.That was the moment that mum decided to get Caramel neutered,he was done with in a few days and after about a month the hormones settled down and caramel stopped chasing after the cats to hump.Caramel was 12 months old by this time.

But it took time for Smokey to trust Caramel after that, the only time Caramel could get close was when Smokey was asleep in front of the fire.So he would flop down next to Smokey who would wake and look at him but would go back to sleep.And that's how it would be asleep together in front of the fire but in the end both Smokey and Caramel would chase other cats out of the garden together.And when it was cold and the fire was on there in front of the fire was Boots, the 2 cats and Caramel all stretched out in one big cuddle puddle.

Lessons mum learned:
1: Make sure your other pets are well trained
2: Always supervise the other pets around the Bunny until you know you can trust them.
3: Keep interactions short to start with and gradually increase the time spent together
4: Get your bunny Neutered or Spayed as soon as they reach puberty which is around 16 weeks old it will stop any bad behavior and reduce the risk of fights between your cats and your Bunny or aggressive behavior towards your dog.
Rabbits by nature can be quite dominant and territorial and with un-neutered or un-spayed rabbits these tendencies are much stronger.

Has your pet ever made friends with a rabbit or any other type of small animal?

This is Speedy Reporting for Carma Poodale.com

2 comments:

  1. Interesting. It sounded impossible until now.
    Snorts,
    Lily & Edward

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are always Challenges with multi Species groups but with time and patience any thing is Possible,xx Speedy

      Delete

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