If you own a pet rabbit, then naturally you may wonder how they would react if they came into contact with a mouse. Would they eat them for example? Is this in their nature? With intrigue, I decided to conduct some research into the topic. Here is what I have been able to find.
So, do rabbits eat mice? Rabbits do not, nor will attempt to eat mice. Rabbits are vegetarians, so it would be unthinkable for them to eat mice or any other animal. As a rabbit pet owner, it is therefore important you provide them with a healthy natural diet. For wild rabbits, thankfully there is always some form of vegetation available (whatever the season), so they are in no danger of starving to death.
Will Rabbits Eat Mice?
Rabbits will not eat mice, even if given the opportunity. Rabbits are herbivores meaning they will only eat leaves and plants, exclusively.
Now you are probably wondering whether there is a difference between wild and pet rabbits.
The answer is no.
A rabbits natural diet consists of whatever is available and in season, at their given location.
In the winter they will generally eat leafy greens, seeds, woody shoots, etc, in warmer weather, they enjoy a menu of clover, grass, and flowers.
Domestic rabbits need their diet to match the diet of wild rabbits.
They need a lot of hay but thrive on a diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits in moderation and a premium and specially formulated pellet feed.
This variety will provides them with all the nutrition they need to be healthy.
A rabbit requires a diet high in fiber and low in overall calories and calcium to thrive and for optimal wellness and wellbeing. Oxbow is an ideal feed which is highly reviewed on Amazon.
It is organic, rich in antioxidants and contains essential Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Do Rabbits Attract Mice?
Rabbits can and do attract mice and rats. This is mainly due to the smell of uneaten food, rabbit pellets, and of course, their droppings.
Mice and rats are adept at accessing the narrowest spaces to get what they need – mainly warmth and food, they have a keen sense of smell and can pick up the scent of food from miles away.
To prevent a rodent infestation, you must thoroughly clean and tidy your rabbit’s hutch daily.
Discard all uneaten food left by your pet, remove their droppings, stained shavings, and old bedding. Make sure that all rubbish is disposed of in a sealed bag and thrown into the bin with the lid tightly sealed.
Store away rabbit food carefully in a secure, rodent-proof container – this should help to eliminate any nasty odors and keep mice and rats from being attracted.
You won’t be able to eliminate the smell of rabbits, but if you are diligent about cleanliness, you will make your rabbit’s hutch seem less attractive to mice and rats.
It would be wise to take extra precautions and spend a little money on rodent deterrents.
Some rabbit owners have expressed success with ultrasonic anti-rat devices and bait stations. You can get them for indoors and outdoors too depending on where you house your rabbits.
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Both methods are effective at preventing mice and rat infestation, but you will need to place them out of your rabbits reach.
Sadly, it’s widely known that rats can kill rabbits kitts as they are tiny and vulnerable, so ensure that the wires in your rabbit’s hutch are not wide enough for rodents to go through. Rodent-proof hutches are available to purchase in large pet stores and online.
Can Rabbits Get Diseases From Mice?
Mice are the carriers of lots of diseases, and rabbits, like all mammals, are susceptible to getting a disease from mice.
The main reason why they are so dangerous is due to the number of diseases that they carry, the bacteria they spread range from severe to potentially fatal.
It is threatening to the safety of your rabbits and you if mice are left loose around your home and it’s surroundings.
Some of the diseases mice are responsible for spreading include:
- Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV) – This is a viral infection that is spread by exposure to fresh mouse droppings, urine, saliva, or nesting materials and leads to inflammation of the meninges which surrounds the brain and the spinal cord.
- Hantavirus – This can be transmitted to humans and other animals if exposed to mouse droppings and urine. When mouse urine and droppings dry, they become the dust that can be breathed in and can lead to respiratory failure.
- Salmonella – Mice track dirt and bacteria on surfaces as well as food sources, wherever they look for food. One of the bacteria they leave behind is salmonella, also known as, food poisoning. Vomiting, diarrhea, and fever are par for the course with this illness.
Mice are covered in ticks, fleas and parasites and they carry their fair share of diseases in and of themselves. Some of the diseases spread by parasites include:
- Lyme Disease – This disease is spread by ticks. This disease is very serious and it leaves lasting effects that cause long-term ill health.
- Plague – The bubonic plague was believed to have been transmitted by mice and rats, when in fact it was transmitted by fleas.
It’s worth noting that mice don’t generally bite, unless handled, so that is not how they spread diseases. They spread diseases by the their urine (they are incontinent) droppings, saliva, and fur.
Any area they touch will quickly become contaminated as they are covered in bacteria, you do not want them in your home or wherever you keep your pets including your pet rabbits.
So as you can see, you need to take proactive measures to keep mice and rats away from your rabbits.
Key Points To Remember
- Rabbits are herbivores, they eat vegetables, fruits, crops, flowers and grass, etc.
- Pellets are an ideal source of nutrition for domestic rabbits, but they like hay, pieces of fruit, and vegetables as treats.
- Do rabbits eat mice? the answer is no, rabbits are vegetarians so they would not eat mice or other animals.
- The smell of rabbits attracts mice and rats, this is mainly due to lack of a proper cleaning routine. Uneaten foods, rabbit urine and droppings are a welcoming scent to rodents.
- You can prevent a mouse infestation by daily cleaning your rabbit’s hutch, remove uneaten food, dirty bedding, and droppings and discard them in a sealed rubbish bag and put them in the bin with the lid tightly sealing the bin. Store away rabbit food in a rodent-proof container. This is to eliminate unwanted odors.
- Make sure that the wires of the rabbit’s hutch are not wide enough for a rodent to go through, rodent-proof hutches are available online like as on Amazon
- Consider purchasing rodent deterrents as an extra precaution, ultrasonic anti-rat devices and bait stations are effective in keeping rodents at bay. Make sure deterrents are not within your pet’s easy reach.
- Mice are covered in bacteria and can transmit infectious diseases to rabbits and all mammals.
Rabbits do not typically keep mice away, and can in fact promote their presence. Regular cleaning and disposal of food is essential to prevent mice from being enticed to an area where rabbits are kept.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.