- Pets and Animals
How To Introduce Your Rabbit To Other Pets
Introducing a rabbit to your other pets is one of the challenges you'll face as a rabbit owner. How a rabbit reacts to other pets very much depends on the temperament of your rabbit as well as the species and temperament of other pets. I can give you some general guidelines for managing pet relationships, however they are just guidelines and err on the side of caution. You must remember that rabbits are prey animals (ie, food) for many common household pets (cats and dogs included) and that there is always some risk in allowing these species to associate with one another.
All pets should be introduced slowly and on neutral territory. If you have a cat that is a good hunter or a dog with a high prey drive (like a terrier or a greyhound,) I would avoid 'introductions' all together.
When introducing pets to other pets, you need to think about two things, territory and places to hide. If you introduce a new pet to an existing pet in the existing pet's personal space, you can expect things to go wrong. Rabbits especially are highly territorial, so if you are introducing a new pet to a rabbit, you need to take care to ensure that you don't do it somewhere the rabbit considers to be 'their' home. Rabbits can and will take on larger predators to protect their territory.
It used to be recommended that you keep guinea pigs and rabbits together, but nowadays that is pretty much frowned upon, and for good reason. Both my rabbits were aggressive towards guinea pigs, and though you can introduce them if you must, it is probably unnecessary. Guinea pigs tend to love rabbits, which makes it all the worse for them when they get kicked in the face.
A cat can easily kill a rabbit. This does not necessarily mean that it will. There are plenty of stories of rabbits and cats getting on together. Wicket, the rabbit in my profile picture had both our cats running scared most of the time. Use your own personal judgment here and don't leave cats and rabbits out unsupervised around one another.
Some dogs are big softies who wouldn't hurt a fly. Others are honed predators who love to kill. You know what kind of dog you have. It is not a good idea to leave rabbits and dogs alone together, because dogs can easily stress a rabbit to death even if they are only trying to 'play'.