What Eats Rabbits?

Like any prey animal, rabbits have a wide range of predators. But what eats rabbits? Well, in this article, we’re going to discuss the animals and birds that eat rabbits.

What Animal Eats Rabbit?

Foxes, hawks, raccoons, eagles, and snakes are among animals that eat rabbits. Generally, rabbits are considered easy prey since they don’t have many defense mechanisms.

Below is a detailed look at some of the animals and birds that eat rabbits.

1. Rats

Do rats eat rabbits? The answer is yes.  As it turns out, rabbits have a unique scent that is known to attract rodents. However, rats can only attack smaller and vulnerable rabbits as well as their offspring.

Generally, their attacks involve scratching and biting the rabbits. Therefore, bigger rabbits are relatively safe from attacks.

2. Cats

Cats are avid hunters. However, they only hunt and kill rabbits. This means that cats don’t eat rabbits but only hunt them for fun.

Eating rabbits is considered to be unhealthy for cats and can result in contracting Tularemia. Also known as rabbit fever, tularemia is a bacteria disease that cats can contract by eating rabbits.

3. Raccoons

Raccoons are omnivores, so they will eat just about anything they can find. Therefore, they do eat rabbits but only those within their reach.

You see, bunnies tend to hide exceptionally well and are very fast compared to raccoons. As such, raccoons find it very hard to catch rabbits. For this reason, bunnies may not be the best meal for raccoons.

4. Birds

There is a wide range of birds that eat rabbits, including owls, eagles, hawks, and crows. Baby and small bunnies may become prey to nearly any owl, hawk, or crows.

However, some types of eagles are known to go after rabbits from time to time. Large hawks, on the other hand, tend to quickly take down their prey such as the rabbits.

5. Foxes

Foxes are expert hunters and may prey on small animals, including rabbits, insects, fish, frogs, and rodents.

While foxes have a diverse diet, they tend to mainly eat mammals such as rabbits and other small animals in winter. They hunt by stalking their prey thanks to their excellent hearing ability.

6. Snakes

All snakes are carnivores. This means that they will eat any meat, including rabbits. Bigger snakes like pythons, anacondas, and boas can easily swallow adult rabbits.

Additionally, rattlesnakes and other venomous snakes pose a serious hazard to rabbits. This is because they can inject large amounts of venom.

What Other Animals Eats Rabbits?

Besides the above animals, rabbits also have other predators such as wolves, dingo, lynx, coyote, ocelot, and ferrets.

Other rabbit predators that you need to be wary of include wolverine, weasel, bear, stoat, badger, and humans.

Rabbits lack good defense skills. As a result, this usually leaves them vulnerable to attacks. It’s no wonder their list of predators is very long.

But wait, there’s more! Below is a few more things that you need to know about the different types of rabbits available and their predators.

Rabbits and their Predators?

There is a wide range of both domestic and wild rabbits, each with different shapes, sizes, personalities, and even color. Some of the common ones include: 

Jackrabbits

What eats jackrabbits? Well, desert birds, red-tailed hawks, barn owls, eagles, and great horned owls are some of the major predators.

Other animals that will prey on jackrabbits include foxes, coyotes, weasels, bobcats, rattlesnakes, gopher snakes, and mod mountain lions.

Pygmy Rabbits

This breed of rabbits serves as prey for different animals and birds. However, weasels are the principal predators of pygmy rabbits.

Other animals that may kill and eat pygmy rabbits are badgers, crows, coyotes, ravens, great horned owls, raptors, bobcats, and red foxes.

Cottontail Rabbits

Like most rabbit breeds, the Cottontail has to contend with many predators. However, the most frequent predators are various birds of prey such as hawks, eagles, and owls.

Cottontail rabbits also comprise the diets of various predator species, including weasels, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, cats, snakes, opossums, and dogs.

Dessert Rabbits

Dessert rabbits are preyed upon by a wide range of predators such as bald eagles, great horned owls, ferruginous hawks, and badges.

Also, coyotes, golden eagles, bobcats, foxes, large bull snakes, and humans may prey on these rabbits. More so, rattlesnakes tend to prey on young dessert rabbits.

European Rabbits

The European rabbit is yet another breed that is prey to many predatory species like lynxes, foxes, and wolves.

Additionally, wolverines, dogs, and dingoes kill both adult and young European rabbits by stalking them.

Marsh Rabbits

The main predators of marsh rabbits are marsh hawks and great horned owls. This is because they are most active at night, dusk, and dawn.

However, other raptors like bald eagles may prey upon them. Young marsh rabbits, on the other hand, are often eaten by water moccasins and rattlesnakes.

White Rabbits

White rabbits can be a large and staple part of different animal’s diets. Some of the common predators are humans, foxes, and wolves.

Animals like the dingo, ocelot, badger, ferret, bear, lynx, snakes, and coyote may also prey on white rabbits.

Different types of rabbits have different or similar predators. The good news is that mother nature has compensated rabbits by allowing them to breed rapidly.

What Eats Baby Rabbits?

Ferrets and stoats pose a threat to baby rabbits, especially in the wild. Also, baby rabbits can be very tempting for cats and dogs during their first year of life.

Additionally, small owls such as screech owls can prey on baby rabbits. Crows may also actively hunt baby rabbits sometimes.

What Animal Only Eats Rabbits?

Rabbits are considered to be one of the basic food sources for the great horned owl. Also, bunnies are one of the main food sources for foxes. However, foxes tend to change their diet depending on the environment they are in.

What’s more? Rabbits are one of the main sources of food for ferrets in the wild, but they also hunt other small creatures like birds and rats. The bald and golden eagle are also often associated with eating rabbits.

Both wild and domesticated rabbits have a wide range of predators. So, we hope that this in-depth article has helped you understand what eats rabbits.

Conclusion

Rabbits lack much of a defense mechanism. They usually standstill when confronted by their predators. For this reason, wild animals as well as other pets in the household can prey on rabbits. So, if you’re considering keeping bunnies as pets, you should keep them in a secure place to avoid any predators.