Do Ferrets and Rabbits Get Along?

The short answer is NO. Ferrets and rabbits can’t get along because ferrets prey on rabbits. You never want a carnivore and herbivore animal of the same sizes in the same room. If you have both animals as pets, make sure there’s no way they can get to one another.

Ferret on tree stump
Source: DepositPhotos

In this article, we’ll talk about how Ferrets and rabbits see each other and what you can do to keep them apart.

Do Ferrets and Rabbits Get Along? Can They Live Together?

As previously mentioned, the answer is a stern NO. Ferrets love hunting and they’re extremely good at it. And rabbits are a ferrets’ natural prey. More than that, throughout history, trained Ferrets have been used to hunt and kill rabbits.

Ferrets may seem a bit fluffy but you will be shocked how fast they can get through the smallest crevices. This means that a rabbit cage won’t be enough to keep the rabbit safe as the ferret will easily make it past the bars. More than that, it will be the perfect place for the ferret to attack as he can get in but the prey can’t get out.

Even if you somehow manage to get a ferret and a rabbit in the same room and have the ferret under control, the rabbit will get aggressive. The rabbit will quickly make thumping noises with his foot in an attempt to scare the ferret off. If the rabbit is larger than the ferret, he might even manage to kill it.

Bunnies are often portrayed as innocent, scared, and gentle creatures. But they’re highly territorial as even females will fight with each other for dominance. This means the rabbit will get just as violent as the ferret and there’s no winning situation. More often than not, the rabbit will end up dead or hurt before you can make it to them.

You can successfully keep a ferret and a rabbit in the same house, but never in the same room, even if both are caged. Most people keep them on different floors of the house to minimize the chance of them meeting. Definitely don’t feed rabbit food to ferrets if you have both in the house.

Ferrets are very fast and they love having fun chasing the prey. Be careful with both of them

A Bit of History – Ferreting Explained

Rabbits are known for being hunted throughout history and people get more and more creative over the years. Some people do it for sports while others try to get rid of the rabbits that ruin their farms. Generally, people use an animal that can find the rabbit’s burrow then shoot it while it tries to run away, one of these animals is the ferret.

Often called Ferreting, ferrets are widely used all over the world for catching rabbits as they’re very fast and natural rabbit hunters. Typically, jills (female ferrets) are a lot more used in these hunts than the hobs (male ferrets).

Hobs usually lay up when you need them the most and they will ignore your commands. This means killing and eating the rabbit in the burrow then falling asleep right after. Females are not as strong as the hobs so they will usually chase the rabbit until you shoot it.

With modern technology, rabbiting became easier as the ferrets used to hunt wear a locator collar. Then the hunter uses a device that provides a faster clicking noise the close it is to the collar on the ferret. So if the ferret tries to lay up, the hunter uses the device to find it and get both the ferret and the rabbit out of the burrow.

There’s also the possibility of training the ferret to chase the rabbit into a net. Some hunters use long nets but usually, pure nets are the most used for ferreting. Now, hunters prefer to rely either on retriever dogs or firearms to take the rabbits out.

When it comes to trapping a rabbit there are various methods available. Most of them are for pest control while sport-hunters use long netting.

Can Ferrets Be Raised To Not Attack Rabbits?

There are people that try to teach the ferret and rabbit to live in the same room peacefully. As natural hunters, even the smell of the rabbit turns on all the hunting instincts inside a ferret. On the other hand, the simple smell of a ferret can make the rabbit run or get extremely stressed out.

You can attempt to make your ferret and rabbit friends but it’s not an easy job nor is it recommended. It’s like you, becoming friends with a steak, it might work until you get very hungry. You should avoid having both your ferret and your rabbit in the same room.

Regardless of how well-trained your ferret is, the risk is too high to leave your rabbit with it in the same room. Ferrets are incredibly fast and you don’t even stand a chance of getting to them before the bunny is hurt. And if you think it’s safe because the rabbit is bigger, the tables might turn and the rabbit might kill your ferret.

After a bad meeting with a ferret, the rabbit will get extremely stressed and anxious. He might hide most of the time and refuse to eat properly. On the other hand, the ferret will try everything it can to get to the rabbit.

Ferrets are trainable animals and you can teach them to do various tricks. But trying to make it go against its own nature is not advised at all. The rabbit will always stay in fear and the ferret will try to get to it if they find out about each other.

If you keep the rabbit in a different room make sure to ferret-proof the area so your hungry ferret won’t make its way inside.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Will my ferret kill my bunny?

Yes, there’s a very big chance that the ferret will kill your bunny. This is because the rabbit is a natural prey for the ferret.

Are ferrets or rabbits better pets?

If you’re looking for a pet that’s very easy to maintain and feed, go for a rabbit. They’re also very loving once they get used to you and will communicate with you using various foot thumps. But if you can afford a more expensive and fancy pet, you can opt for a ferret. They’re a lot smarter and love interacting with people all the time. They’re often compared to cats.

How do ferrets catch rabbits?

Ferrets are incredible hunters and have an amazing speed. This helps them find rabbit burrows and hunt them down.