Rabbits are one of the most delicate pets you can have. Knowing this fact, you want to keep them away from stressful conditions as much as you can. One way to keep your rabbit stress-free is to preclude contact with predators or potential predators.
But to do this, you must know which animals prey on or attack rabbits first. This might have you asking questions like, “Do possums attack rabbits?”
Possums do attack rabbits. However, instances of such attacks are rare because possums are timid scavengers.
In other words, possums avoid interactions with other animals, and they would rather not eat live animals. Nonetheless, under some conditions, possums may go after bunnies.
Now that you know bunnies are not totally safe from possums, under what conditions do possums attack rabbits? Well, explore the rest of this article as we answer this and much more.
Table of Contents
Why a Possum Attacks
Possums rarely attack rabbits. Because they are timid, possums would not go out looking for a fight with another animal. In fact, they would prefer not to interact with any animal. This is why they primarily choose to feed on insects and dead animals.
Still, if somehow a possum feels threatened by a rabbit, it may attack the rabbit. But then, knowing how shy and easily frightened rabbits are, they are unlikely to pose a threat to a possum. Of course, this does not mean rabbits cannot threaten possums.
Apart from feeling threatened, a possum may attack a rabbit if hungry enough. In other words, if a possum has no other source of food, it may consider going after a rabbit.
Do Possums Kill Rabbits?
When possums attack rabbits, they may kill rabbits. But since instances of possums going after rabbits are rare, cases of possums putting rabbits down are rare.
When possums do kill rabbits, they may not eat the dead rabbit. Remember we said they are scavengers? Possums would rather eat animals killed by another animal. But then, if a possum is very hungry and has no alternative source of food, it may feed on the rabbit it killed.
Possums may kill rabbits by attacking them physically. Their sharp claws and tightly-packed, sharp teeth allow them to wreak havoc on the fragile bunnies, killing them.
Besides harming a rabbit with its sharp teeth and claws, a possum can compromise a rabbit’s health. Possums carry all sorts of diseases, including toxoplasmosis, leptospirosis, coccidiosis, Chagas disease, and tularemia. Tularemia is particularly problematic for bunnies as it is usually fatal for them.
Unfortunately, if a possum should bite or scratch a rabbit, there is a chance the rabbit may get any of these diseases. Knowing how fragile rabbits are, coming down with any of those diseases may lead to death.
Do Possums Eat Dead Rabbits?
As the scavengers they are, possums do eat dead rabbits. Of course, as previously said, they typically do not go out looking to kill rabbits. But if they come across the carcass of a dead rabbit, they will not turn down the chance to feast.
Finding dead rabbits—particularly wild rabbits—is not so hard for possums.
Besides that, rabbits are a target for many predators, including owls, hawks, foxes, ground squirrels, and wild dogs. So, wild rabbits do not last too long before predators prey on them.
After the predator has eaten what it wants off the rabbit and left the corpse behind, possums come in for the leftovers.
Sometimes, possums take some of these leftovers back to their nest, so they can eat safely. But this can be a problem if their nests are around your property.
By bringing in animal carcasses, possums increase the chances of attracting predators to their nests. If predators start coming around those nests, your rabbits would be at risk since the nests are close to your property.
Do Possums and Rabbits Get Along?
Naturally, possums and rabbits are not antagonists. So, rabbits will ordinarily not be afraid of possums, and they should get along. But then, if a possum can access your rabbit to the point of them getting along, predators can too. So, seeing your bunny get along with a possum should bother you.
On another thought, the chances of possums and rabbits encountering each other are improbable. Possums are nocturnal, and rabbits are crepuscular. So, either of them is asleep when the other is active.
Nonetheless, if you find your rabbit frolicking with a possum, put an end to the association. Besides indicating insecurity from predators, having possums around your rabbit increases the rabbit’s chances of getting some of the diseases we mentioned earlier.
Having possums frolic with your rabbit also gives the possums a chance to ransack your trash can and possibly damage your property. Then again, if the possum does not get any other food sources, it may turn to your rabbit.
All in all, even if possums and rabbits can somehow get along, never allow it. The downsides of such association far outweigh the upsides.
Which Animals Attack Rabbits?
Rabbits are herbivores, so they are pretty much at the bottom of the food chain. Therefore, there aren’t many animals that do not prey on them. Even some domesticated animals prey on rabbits. So, if your neighbors do not handle their own pets properly, your rabbit is at risk.
Whether wild or domesticated, rabbits are prey to many North American predators. So, your rabbit is only as safe as you make it.
That being said, the following are some of the animals that commonly attack rabbits:
- Cats – domestic or wild
- Large Snakes
Which Animals Attack Possums?
While possums are omnivores, they are not far from the bottom of the food chain like rabbits. But unlike rabbits, they have only a few natural predators.
The following are some of the animals that attack possums:
- Large Owls
Which Animals Do Rabbits Get Along With?
Rabbits can actually get along with some regular household pets. However, the onus falls on you to create a healthy environment and the best circumstances.
Rabbits can get along with the following pets:
- Dogs with low prey drive
- Guinea Pigs
- Birds that are not noisy
If you are trying to get rabbits to get along with the animals listed above, introduce them gradually. A gradual introduction is vital as it allows both animals to acquaint themselves. During this period, the rabbit gets to understand that the other animal is not a threat and vice-versa.
Albeit rarely, possums do attack rabbits. Such an attack may occur when the possum perceives the rabbit as a threat. Possums may also attack rabbits when hungry with no alternative food source available.