The only time a rabbit may kill a mouse is if the mouse is threatening the rabbit’s life or if the rabbit is protecting its territory. Even then, the rabbit likely won’t kill the mice. Most rabbits will choose flight over fight.
Mice and rabbits are not the best of friends. But if you’re a rabbit owner, you may be wondering if your pet is capable of killing a mouse. After all, rabbits are typically prey, not predators.
In the following sections, we will explore whether or not rabbits are likely to kill mice and what you can do to keep your rabbit safe.
What You'll Learn
- 1 Rabbits Will Attack (& Possibly Kill) Mice For Two Reasons
- 2 How Do Rabbits Fight Off Mice?
- 3 Female Rabbits Are More Likely to Kill Mice
- 4 Rabbits Do NOT Kill Mice For Food
- 5 Rabbits Won’t Keep Mice Away
- 6 How to Protect Your Rabbit From Mice
- 7 Rabbits Don’t Have Prey Drive Instinct
Rabbits Will Attack (& Possibly Kill) Mice For Two Reasons
A rabbit will not go out of its way to kill a mouse. Rabbits are not predators and don’t have a prey-drive instinct.
However, there are two possible reasons a rabbit may attack and kill a mouse, and both have to do with protection.
- Protecting Her Babies
- Protecting Territory
Let’s go over each of these in more detail.
Rabbit is Protecting Her Babies
A mother rabbit will do anything to protect her babies, including attacking and killing a mouse.
This is because baby rabbits are incredibly vulnerable. They are small, don’t have fur, and their eyes are not yet open.
A mother rabbit’s number one priority is to keep her babies safe. So, if a mouse comes too close and poses a threat, the mother rabbit may attack.
But what if the babies aren’t in the picture. Would a rabbit attack a mouse to protect herself? It’s not likely. Rabbits lean more toward “flight” instead of fight. So if a rabbit has the option to run away, that’s the route they are most likely to take. However, if the rabbit does not have the option to run, then it will fight.
Rabbit is Protecting Territory
The second reason a rabbit may attack and kill a mouse is to protect its territory.
Rabbits are territorial animals (especially females). This means they have an area they consider their own and will protect it from intruders.
Mice are considered intruders because they steal food and can carry diseases. So, if a rabbit sees a mouse on its territory, it may attack.
But again, rabbits typically don’t go out of their way to kill mice. If the rabbit has the option to run away, it may take that route first.
How Do Rabbits Fight Off Mice?
Rabbits are such soft and gentle creatures. It’s hard to picture them fighting. But if a rabbit does find itself in a situation where it needs to fight off a mouse, it will use its powerful hind legs to kick.
Rabbits have powerful hind legs, which they use for running and jumping. These legs can also pack a powerful punch.
So, if a rabbit feels threatened, it will use its hind legs to kick the mouse away.
Female Rabbits Are More Likely to Kill Mice
Now that we know under what circumstances a rabbit may kill a mouse, let’s explore which gender is more likely to do so.
Female rabbits tend to be more territorial than male rabbits. This means they are more likely to attack a mouse that enters their territory.
Female rabbits also have a strong maternal instinct. They will do anything to protect their babies, even if it means attacking and killing a mouse.
On the other hand, male rabbits are not as territorial and don’t have much of a paternal instinct. This means they are less likely to attack a mouse, even if their territory is invaded or their offspring is in danger.
Rabbits Do NOT Kill Mice For Food
It’s important to note that rabbits will not kill mice for food.
Rabbits are herbivores, which means they only eat plants. They do not have the instinct to kill and eat other animals.
So, if you see a rabbit attacking a mouse, it’s not because the rabbit is hungry and wants to eat the mouse. There is another reason behind the attack.
Rabbits Won’t Keep Mice Away
If you have a mouse problem and are wondering if getting a rabbit will help keep the mice away, we have some bad news.
It’s not likely that rabbits will keep mice away. In fact, they may do the opposite.
Mice are attracted to areas where there is food. If you have a rabbit, that means there is food around. So, a rabbit’s presence may attract mice to your home.
How to Protect Your Rabbit From Mice
If you are hoping to protect your rabbit from mice, you can do a few things.
Keep The Cage Clean
First, it’s important to keep your rabbit’s cage clean. This will help discourage mice from coming into the cage in search of food.
Use Mouse Repellent
Second, you can use mouse repellent. There are a variety of mouse repellents available on the market. You can choose one that is safe for rabbits and use it around your rabbit’s cage.
Rabbits Don’t Have Prey Drive Instinct
Rabbits typically don’t kill mice unless they are threatened or protecting their territory. However, if a rabbit does find itself in a situation where it needs to fight off a mouse, it will use its powerful hind legs to kick. Female rabbits tend to be more territorial than male rabbits and are, therefore, more likely to attack a mouse. Remember, rabbits do not kill mice for food, only for protection.