Many cat owners have pet rabbits, and both make great companions. Rabbits and cats can get along, and it’s not unusual to find them playing together, grooming each other, or climbing the furniture and cat tree. But is it safe for your rabbit to use the same toys and trees as your feline friend?
Rabbits are not natural climbers like cats but climb or pull themselves to higher levels when playing or trying to escape. Many domesticated rabbits enjoy jumping onto furniture and climbing stairs to explore the higher parts of their environment. However, rabbits are more likely to injure themselves when they fall from a great height, so if your rabbit enjoys playing on the cat tree, get one suitable for kittens.
It’s natural for rabbits to climb, but some may be more adventurous than others. If yours enjoys playing on your cat’s tree, don’t worry. There are some things you can do to keep them safe, which we will discuss in this article.
But first, let’s look at both animals’ climbing behaviors and differences.
Climbing Instincts for Cats and Rabbits
In the wild, both animals climb, but cats are more proficient. Wild cats can climb trees to hunt and seek shelter. Cats enjoy climbing because it’s their way of exploring the environment, keeping themselves safe, and getting closer to prey.
Rabbits are mainly ground-dwellers that use burrows for shelter and safety. However, in the wild, they will use their hind legs and claws to climb fences or heights of 2 to 4 feet to escape predators. That said, rabbits are not natural climbers like cats.
Here’s a video that shows a bunny climbing a tree, in case you’ve never seen it in action.
Domesticated cats use scratching posts and cat trees to play and relax. Climbing is their way of exercising, exploring, and having fun.
Pet bunnies may not be as skilled climbers as cats, but they still enjoy the occasional jump onto the sofa or chair. They are also likely to explore high places and climb stairs if given the opportunity.
That said, bunnies can’t jump long distances from one cat tree platform to the next. Also, unlike cats, they can’t climb walls, chairs, tables, or other furniture. Instead, they use their powerful back legs and claws to balance themselves as they hop onto an object.
If the object is too high, they will use their front claws to pull themselves up. This is similar to how a human would climb a ladder.
Are Cat Trees Safe For Rabbits?
Cat trees are designed for cats and may not be suitable for rabbits. Many cat trees have sharp edges or small platforms, which can be hazardous for your bunny if they jump off their perch.
Some rabbit owners have found their pets chewing furniture, eating carpet, cardboard, etc. Cat trees consist of staples, cardboard, sharp boards, glue, and other materials that can be toxic to your pet if ingested.
If your bunny has a bad habit of chewing the cat tree or other furniture, it’s essential to take steps to stop the bad behavior. One of the best ways to get it to stop chewing the wooden cat tree is to use a bitter spray or other deterrents.
Never allow baby bunnies to climb, chew, or play on cat trees. Bunnies have very fragile skeletons, especially babies. Their bodies are not designed to survive falls from a great height.
If your rabbit loves to explore and climb, you can buy a smaller tree so your rabbit can use it. Unfortunately, there are no rabbit trees on the market, so you’ll want to purchase one designed for kittens.
These trees are usually made of softwood or plastic and have wide platforms with plenty of space between them so they won’t get injured if they fall.
Some brands come with ladders and tunnels that bunnies love.
Can A Rabbit Use A Cat Scratcher?
Unlike cats, rabbits don’t have the instinct to sharpen their claws. That said, it’s vital to trim your pet’s nails. Without proper care, their nails can become sharp, curled, or ingrown and cause your rabbit discomfort.
In the wild, rabbits dig in the dirt, which helps to wear down their nails.
The easiest way to keep your rabbit’s nails trimmed is to place a hard texture like a piece of plywood in his kennel. This will bring out their instincts to dig in the wood and help maintain their front nails.
Most rabbits won’t use a cat scratcher in the same manner as a feline.
However, some will use it to nibble, which means they won’t be gnawing on your furniture or carpet. Most cat scratchers are made from corrugated cardboard, which is not harmful to animals.
That said, wooden cat scratchers wrapped in rope or carpet can be dangerous if ingested.
Are Cat Trees Good For Rabbits?
Many pet owners say that their rabbits love playing on the cat tree. Cat trees can be an excellent way for your pet to exercise its legs and engage in playful behaviors like jumping and hopping.
That said, it is essential to supervise your rabbit when using a cat tree and make sure that there are no sharp edges or materials they can chew on.
The right cat tree can provide hours of fun for your pet.
Best Cat Trees For Cats and Rabbits
If your rabbit is playful and rambunctious, you’re likely looking for a way to let them play on the cat tree. Below are some tips to look for when shopping for a cat tree, scratcher, condo, or tunnel for your bunny.
Make Your Own: Unfortunately, cat condos, trees, and scratchers are designed for cats. One of the best options is to make your own play area for your curious rabbit. You can create a play area or cat tree using cardboard, untreated wooden blocks, cloth, or other materials.
Make sure that whatever material you use to create your cat tree is safe for rabbits and will not cause choking hazards if chewed.
Invest In A Kitten Cat Tree: Cat trees come in different sizes, opt for one designed for kittens.
Kitten cat trees are designed with wider platforms and shorter heights, making them a safe option for rabbits.
Use Condos or Cat Tunnels: Cat tunnels and condos provide a way for your bunny to hide and explore while also giving them a comfy place to sleep. Cat tunnels are especially helpful for bunnies who are scared of open spaces.
Use Ramps: If your bunny enjoys climbing the tree, consider installing some ramps to make it easier for them. A ramp will help them climb onto platforms without the worry of them falling from a great height.
With the proper precautions, a cat tree can be an enjoyable and safe way for your rabbit to explore and play.
All domesticated pets need exercise and enrichment to stay healthy and happy. Cat trees are an excellent way for cats and rabbits to exercise and explore their environment.
If your pet bunny enjoys climbing, invest in a cat tree that offers comprehensive platforms and plenty of space between them and is no more than 4 feet high.
As mentioned above, bunnies don’t like heights, but it won’t stop them from climbing onto the cat tree if they have access to it. So never let your pet bunny play on the cat tree unsupervised.
Finally, provide your pet with plenty of toys to keep them occupied and a hard texture like plywood to help trim their nails. With the proper precautions in place, cats and rabbits can enjoy hours of fun playing together