25 Rabbit Predators (Animals that eat rabbits)

At my new homestead, I keep my buns outside so they can also make friends with the chickens when they want to.

I was horrified one day when I saw a medium-sized snake just gunning for one of the baby rabbits.

I managed to scare the snake away, but my heart still beats extra fast just thinking about that day.

Clearly, a snake is a rabbit predator. But I wondered what other animals eat rabbits.

Rabbits are prey animals, and there are quite a number of predators that hunt, kill, eat or scavenge rabbits.

Rabbit predators include humans, snakes, foxes, badgers, raccoons, coyotes, rats, wolves, ocelots, leopards and other wild cats, wolverines, dingoes, ferrets, weasels, stoats, grizzly bears, lynxes or bobcats, possums, lizards, birds of prey like owls, crows, hawks, and falcons, domestic cats, and dogs.

25 Animals That Prey on Rabbits

For each rabbit predator, I’ve included when the animal is most active.

In the wild, if the animal is most active during dusk and dawn, then there’s a high probability that the predator will run across a wild rabbit that’s also crepuscular.

I’ve also included where the predator is mostly found so you’ll know if the animal is a threat.

Here are the most common predators that prey on rabbits:

1. Snakes

Time most active: Depends on the snake, but usually when it’s coolest like dusk or dawn

Area commonly found: Central Texas has the most snakes; all other states in the USA except for Alaska and Hawaii

Predatory instincts: Hunt, kill, and eat rabbits

Snake

Snakes are carnivores, so it’s no surprise that these rabbit predators eat bunnies, whether they are wild rabbits or ones in your backyard that aren’t properly protected.

Medium-sized snakes like a viper, mamba, and cobra will feed on kits, while large snakes like boas, anacondas, rattlesnakes, and pythons prey on adult rabbits.

Snakes can constrict a rabbit or swallow a bunny in one go.

2. Foxes

Time most active: Dusk and dawn

Area commonly found: Red and gray fox – all over the USA except in Florida

Predatory instincts: Cunning hunter with small animals being a favorite

Fox

Even though foxes are omnivores, eating a variety of animal protein and berries and fruit, small animals like rabbits are a firm favorite.

Foxes are expert hunters; they are great at cunning and being opportunistic. They like to quietly stalk a rabbit until they see an opportunity to pounce.

If your rabbit hutch isn’t fox-proof, your bunnies won’t be safe because this predator is great at finding their way inside the hutch and feasting on rabbit meat.

Also read: How to Make Your Rabbit Hutch Safe from Foxes?

3. Badgers

Time most active: At night

Area commonly found: The “Badger State” of Wisconsin, but also Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas

Predatory instincts: Hunts small animals

Badger

Badgers mostly eat worms, small insects like slugs and snails, nuts and seeds, and wild fruits, but small animals aren’t off the table.

Badgers eat rabbits, mice, toads, hedgehogs, rats, squirrels, frogs, and mice.

While a badger will actively hunt a rabbit, they also like to take advantage of a rabbit carcass and carrion.

4. Raccoons

Time most active: Nighttime during spring, summer, and fall

Area commonly found: All throughout the US, except Alaska, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and parts of the Rocky Mountains

Predatory instincts: Mostly scavenge, but will hunt, kill, and eat a rabbit

Raccoons

Raccoons are omnivores, and their favorite foods include eggs, crayfish, rodents, insects, frogs, plants, nuts, berries, and fruit.

But they are opportunistic eaters too, so they’ll eat what’s in their environment and what “crosses” their path. Thus, the rabbit isn’t off the menu.

A raccoon is also a scavenger animal, so it’s more likely to scavenge a dead rabbit.

However, if a bunny is near and the right opportunity presents itself (and the raccoon is hungry), it’ll hunt and kill the prey animal.

5. Coyotes

Time most active: Dawn and dusk

Area commonly found: All over the US, except for Hawaii

Predatory instincts: Scavenge, or hunt, kill, and eat

Coyotes

Coyotes are omnivores, so their dietary choices mostly consist of snakes, cactus fruit, flowers, mesquite beans, rodents, lizards, birds, and rabbits.

In fact, coyotes that live in urban environments will also prey on domestic cats and dogs.

These rabbit predators are opportunistic, so they’ll both actively hunt, kill, and eat a rabbit and also scavenge depending on the situation.

6. Rats

Time most active: Dusk and dawn

Area commonly found: All throughout the USA, with the most rat-infested cities being Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, and San Francisco

Predatory instincts: Mostly scavenge

Rats

Rats are attracted to rabbits (because of the food they eat), and rats also eat rabbit poop because it provides them with additional nutrients.

A rat isn’t likely to actively prey on a mature rabbit, unless the bun is more vulnerable than the rat. These rabbit predators prefer to go for kits.

Also, rats can sometimes get aggressive with rabbits and may end up biting them. This can cause health issues and can also cause some diseases to your rabbit.

7. Wolves

Time most active: Dusk and dawn

Area commonly found: Mostly in Alaska, but also Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming

Predatory instincts: Hunt, kill, and eat rabbits

Wolves

Rabbits aren’t the main feature of a wolf’s diet as these carnivore animals mostly eat ungulates (large-hooved mammals) like moose, deer, bison, and elk.

However, they occasionally hunt smaller animals like rabbits, especially if there is a food shortage and there’s a rabbit to eat.

Young wolves can also practice their hunting skills on agile rabbits.

8. Ocelots

Time most active: Dusk

Area commonly found: Southern Texas and Arizona

Predatory instincts: Hunts in groups and alone

Ocelots

Ocelots are part of the cat family, and they love hunting rabbits.

These carnivores aren’t fussy eaters, so they eat a variety of animals from deer, fish, and birds to rodents, rabbits, and iguanas.

Ocelots hunt alone or in groups, and wild rabbits are easy targets for them.

9. Leopards

Time most active: At night

Area commonly found: Sub-Saharan Africa, northeast Africa, India, China, and Central Asia

Predatory instincts: Hunt, kill, and eat rabbits

Leopards

Leopards are carnivores.

Leopards are opportunistic hunters and will prey on a variety of animals, including rabbits. They are known to stalk their prey before making a quick kill.

They tend to prefer larger prey, such as antelope and wild pigs, but if the opportunity arises they will not hesitate to take down a smaller animal like a rabbit.

As such, their diet comprises monkeys, rodents, rabbits, baboons, snakes, big birds, reptiles, and the flesh of fish.

10. Wolverines

Time most active: Mostly nighttime, but daytime sometimes too

Area commonly found: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

Predatory instincts: Scavengers and fierce hunters

Wolverines

Wolverines are part of the weasel family, and they are ferocious predators.

They prey on small mammals like rodents and rabbits, and these small animals are quite easy for the wolverine to catch.

These rabbit predators also don’t mind digging for their food, so they can dig to get to a rabbit’s underground burrow and then kill the bun.

11. Dingoes

Time most active: Dusk and dawn

Area commonly found: Australia

Predatory instincts: Opportunistic hunter

Dingoes

Dingoes are carnivores, and they love to prey on kangaroos, feral pigs, birds, lizards, wallabies, wombats, and small mammals like rabbits.

A dingo is also an opportunistic predator, so it’ll even feed on fruits on plants when it’s hungry.

12. Ferrets

Time most active: Dusk and dawn

Area commonly found: Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and Arizona

Predatory instincts: Hunters, predate on smaller animals

Ferrets

Rabbits are part of a ferret’s natural diet, and the predator will eat the bones and meat of the bun.

Ferrets are often used to hunt rabbits, as they are very good at it. Ferrets are relatively fast animals and have a strong sense of smell.

This combination makes them ideal for finding and catching rabbits. In addition, ferrets are small enough to enter rabbit burrows, which gives them an advantage over other predators.

Ferrets are equipped with long, thin bodies and sharp teeth, which makes them ideally suited for hunting rabbits and other small prey.

Ferrets are carnivores, and in the wild, they also eat rodents, prairie dogs, possums, and hedgehogs.

13. Stoats

Time most active: Day and night

Area commonly found: Canada, Alaska, and northern parts of the US

Predatory instincts: Hunters, predate on smaller animals

Stoats

Stoats are carnivores that prefer to hunt in groups, using diversion tactics to trick a rabbit before pouncing.

These predators also feast on other small animals, like rodents.

They also eat water voles, birds, earthworms, eggs, and fruit when rabbit meat isn’t plentiful in their area.

14. Weasels

Time most active: Daytime and nighttime

Area commonly found: Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and New Mexico in the United States

Predatory instincts: Great team hunters and effective scavengers

Weasels

Weasels aren’t much bigger than rabbits, so weasels rely on family members to help them take down prey.

While rabbits are almost the same size and weight when compared to weasels, a group of weasels can easily take down a crepuscular rabbit that is looking for grazing.

15. Grizzly Bears

Time most active: Dawn, dusk, and nighttime

Area commonly found: Alaska, Wyoming, Washington, Montana, and also in Idaho

Predatory instincts: Powerful hunters with the speed to catch small prey

Grizzly Bears

Rabbits are ideal meals for bears of any kind. The large claws and powerful paws of a grizzly easily kill a furry rabbit.

They are opportunistic feeders and will eat just about anything they can find – including small mammals like rabbits.

Grizzlies will typically go after the young and old rabbits first, as they are the easiest targets.

Grizzlies will typically stalk their prey quietly before pouncing on it and finishing it off with a powerful bite. Their sharp claws also help them to catch and kill their prey quickly and efficiently.

16. Crows

Time most active: Daytime

Area commonly found: All across North America

Predatory instincts: Scavengers that prey on injured, sick, or already dead animals

Crows

You may most commonly see crows on the highway, feasting on roadkill. Crows are scavengers, and they prefer to eat things that are already dead or decaying.

Crows probably wouldn’t be very good at catching rabbits. They’re agile birds, but they’re not as fast as many other predators, like foxes or coyotes

However, crows will take the opportunity to grab a rabbit kit that wanders from the burrow or snag a juvenile rabbit to feast on.

17. Hawks

Time most active: Crepuscular hunters

Area commonly found: North and South America, Canada, Mexico, and Alaska

Predatory instincts: Hunters that prey on small mammals like rabbits to catch, kill, and eat

Hawks

While there are many hawk species in the US, these avian killers are equally adept at catching, killing, and eating a juicy rabbit.

Since hawks are active during dusk and dawn, you should protect your rabbit hutch day and night.

18. Owls

Time most active: Nocturnal

Area commonly found: Across most continental US

Predatory instincts: Hunters that prey on, catch, and kill small mammals

Owls

Owls are born hunters. On silent wings, owls dive onto their prey, slamming their large and powerful talons into a rabbit’s body, and snapping the spine.

When the rabbit is dead, the owl will feast on it from a perch in a tree or take it back to the nest to feed owl hatchlings.

19. Falcons

Time most active: Daytime

Area commonly found: Northern US

Predatory instincts: Aerial hunters that catch and eat small mammals

Falcons

While falcons may be too small in size to carry off a giant-sized rabbit, they would have no problem catching, killing, and carrying off a miniature or dwarf rabbit.

At speeds of 200 miles per hour, the falcon can easily swoop in and devour a slower-paced rabbit.

20. Possums

Time most active: Nocturnal

Area commonly found: North America, Canada, Mexico

Predatory instincts: Scavengers that may catch, kill, and eat rabbits

Possums

A possum is an opportunistic scavenger. Rather than hunting a rabbit, they would happily invade the burrow and steal away kits as a nice snack.

With sharp claws and teeth, eating a rabbit is no challenge to the possum.

Possums are not fast runners, but they are good climbers and can stealthily sneak up on their prey. So if you see a possum in your yard, there’s a chance it may be hunting your rabbits!

21. Lynxes or Bobcats

Time most active: Night time; crepuscular hunter

Area commonly found: Northern US and southern Canada

Predatory instincts: Feline hunter that catches and kills prey

Bobcats

Like other members of the cat family, the lynx is a ferocious hunter that stalks, catches, and kills smaller mammals as prey.

Rabbits are the main part of the lynx’s diet.

With an overlap in the time of day that rabbits are active, the Lynx can easily prey on rabbits when they are out grazing.

With a land speed of 50 miles per hour, a lynx or bobcat can easily run down the slower 45-50 miles per hour of a rabbit or hare.

22. Lizards

Time most active: Daytime

Area commonly found: South America, Mexico, and Florida

Predatory instincts: Hunters that predate smaller mammals

Lizards

An average garden gecko won’t hunt a rabbit, but larger lizards like iguanas, monitor lizards, and komodo dragons (if one escaped a zoo) would easily catch, kill, and swallow a rabbit whole.

Komodo dragons hunt by stalking rabbits, entering burrows, and swallowing the kits or even adult rabbits.

23. Dogs

Time most active: Daytime

Area commonly found: Across the world, urban areas

Predatory instincts: Hunt, kill, and eat

Dogs

Dogs are descended from wolves, so they have a strong hunting instinct and pack mentality. Feral dogs may hunt together to catch, kill, and eat wild rabbits.

A domestic dog may hunt a rabbit for fun, and while a dog may not mean to kill the rabbit, they could accidentally do so.

I know to keep my rabbits away from my dogs to avoid traumatic experiences.

24. Domestic Cats

Time most active: Night-time

Area commonly found: Across the world, urban areas

Predatory instincts: Hunting, playing, and eating

Domestic Cats

While cats may be too small to hunt, kill, and eat a large breed rabbit, they can comfortably predate smaller or dwarf rabbits.

A domestic cat may also hunt a rabbit simply to play with them, if they don’t know the rabbit is actually a food source.

Also read: How to Introduce a Cat to a Rabbit?

25. Humans

Time most active: Any time of the day

Area commonly found: Urban and rural areas

Predatory instinct: Eat rabbits; fur for clothing

Humans

Humans may not always hunt rabbits, but we breed them for commercial slaughter.

Since we eat rabbit meat, we are considered rabbit predators, and based on how many rabbits we slaughter, we might be the main rabbit predator.

The Rabbit Advocacy Network states that rabbit meat products slaughter at least 1.2 billion rabbits, equating to 200 million tons of rabbit meat.

Final Thoughts About Animals That Prey on Rabbits

It seems that snakes aren’t my only concern whereas my pet bunnies are concerned.

There are actually quite a number of rabbit predators I need to worry about if I want to keep my fluffy-eared besties safe.

What rabbit predators do you need to watch out for? And have you taken steps to protect your rabbits?

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