Skip to Content

Which Animals Eat Rabbits?

This is a bald eagle carrying a dead rabbit.

Wild and domesticated rabbits are found globally. These cute and cuddly lagomorphs have become entrenched in peoples’ minds as pets; however, their ecology goes much further than that. Rabbits often find themselves on the menu for many different species, but which animals, specifically, eat rabbits?

Rabbits are a common prey item for many bird, reptile, and mammal species. These include eagles and hawks, snakes and larger-sized lizards, large cat species, most dogs and their relatives, bears, and humans. The pet trade and zoos also use rabbits of various sizes to feed captive animals.

Rabbits have commonly eaten meat for many species, but how widespread are they as a food source? Are there any surprising species out there that eat rabbits? And why specifically are rabbits so popular as a menu item?

Table of Contents

Rabbits As Prey Items Explained

This is a red brown rabbit on a grass lawn.

Leporidae is the family that rabbits and hares are classified under. Although originating in Africa and Europe, they have become widespread across most continents.

There is technically only one genus for all of the hares found in this family, the Lepus, while there are ten genera and 25 species of rabbits. There are around 54 different species in total.

Rabbits are considered prey animals, and their evolution to reach this point is a bit of a perpetuating spiral.

Rabbits lack effective defense mechanisms (aside from running away), which means larger predators could catch them with relative ease.

This necessitated the prolific breeding and large litters that rabbits (and hares) are so well known for.

Rabbits (and hares) range from 0.66 pounds to around 11 pounds.

Rabbits are a source of protein, and when threatened, either run or lie still and try to hide. This, coupled with their distribution and the range of habitats they occupy, places them on many predators prey lists.

Animals That Prey On Wild Or Feral Rabbits

Wherever rabbits are found, whether through the original extent or as an introduced species, rabbits form part of most food webs.

Below are some examples of animals that eat rabbits, from both a North American perspective and a global one.

Mammals That Eat Wild Rabbits

Mammals are what most warm-blooded, fur-covered animals are classified as. This class of creature is broad in distribution and includes herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores.

Mammals have adapted to survive in almost all environments and eat a large variety of food sources, including rabbits (for many carnivores and omnivores)  

Below are some of the families and species of animals that eat rabbits.

Felidae Which Eat Rabbits

This is a close look at a rusty spotted cat stalking its prey.

This vast family of animals is renowned for their hunting prowess, and almost all are strictly carnivores.

The species within this family range from the Siberian tiger, at an average of 386 pounds, to the Rusty-spotted cat at an average of three pounds!

Below are some examples of cat species that have rabbits as part of their diet.

Animals From North America

Mountain Lions (Felis concolor)

This is a mountain lion standing on snowy rocks.

Mountain lions are some of the largest cat species found in North America. Males grow to anywhere between 155 and 220 pounds, while females tend to be smaller between 65 and 90 pounds.

These cats are located across the USA and are most often found in wide open, rocky areas, deserts, forests, and wetlands, away from human settlements. They are considered threatened.

A large species like this will consume various prey items, including rabbits, although their primary food source is deer.

These are nocturnal hunters, ambushing their prey.

Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis)

This is an ocelot on a tree branch stalking its prey.

The Ocelot is a medium-sized cat that reaches weights of between 24 and 35 pounds.

Their distribution in the USA is limited to South Texas and Arizona, where they inhabit areas with dense plant cover.  They are considered to be of least concern.

The diet of Ocelots includes many small to medium-sized mammals, of which rabbits are grouped. They are also nocturnal hunters.

Bobcats (Lynx rufus)

This is a bobcat stalking its prey on a snowy landscape.

The Bobcat is also a medium-sized cat, weighing up to 33 pounds.

They are located across most of the USA and are found in woodlands, swamplands, and semi-desert areas. They are considered as “least concern.”

Bobcats eat a range of prey items, which include eastern cottontail rabbits. They are generally crepuscular hunters.

From a global perspective

Leopards (Panthera pardus)

This is a Persian Leopard stalking its prey at a jungle.

Leopards are large cats, with males weighing up to 198 pounds.

They are found across most of Africa, the Middle-east and parts of Asia. Leopards utilize a range of habitats which include savannas, desserts, rainforests, and mountains.

Leopards are considered near threatened.

Leopards eat a diversity of prey species, the majority being large mammals. They do, however, also eat smaller mammals, including rabbits. They are nocturnal hunters.

Lions (Panthera leo)

This is a solitary male lion looking for prey.

Dubbed the “kings of the jungle,” male lions reach staggering weights of 419 pounds, while the smaller females reach 287 pounds.

Lions are located primarily across sub-Saharan Africa, with a small population in India. Lions are found in savannas, grasslands, and semi-desert habitats. Lions are considered vulnerable.

Lions eat a massive range of prey items. They mainly target large ungulates but will eat smaller mammals, like rabbits. They are diurnal hunters.

Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

This is a cheetah on the grassland looking for prey.

Cheetahs are some of the smallest “big cats,” weighing between 46 and 159 pounds.

Cheetahs are found across Africa and parts of Iran. They are found in savannas, grasslands, and desserts. Cheetahs are considered vulnerable.

They eat a variety of food sources, which are primarily ungulates. Cheetah will, however, eat rabbits when available. They are diurnal hunters and chase down their prey at speeds of up to 70 mph.

Tigers (Panthera tigris)

This is a close look at a resting Bengal Tiger but still alert.

Tigers are the biggest “big cats,” with male Siberian tigers weighing 419 pounds.

Their distribution is mainly limited to parts of Asia and the Indonesian Islands. Tigers inhabit primarily forested areas but also tundra, savannas, and grasslands. They are considered endangered.

Tigers eat mostly larger ungulates but will eat smaller mammals, like rabbits. Tigers are generally nocturnal hunters, ambushing their prey.

Jaguars (Panthera onca)

This is a close look at a jaguar while hunting by the river.

Jaguars are large cats, weighing between 123 and 212 pounds.

Located chiefly in Central and South America, jaguars inhabit forests, swamps, scrublands, and grasslands. They are considered near threatened.

Jaguars are renowned for eating a range of prey items, including reptiles, bighorn sheep, and birds. Jaguar will also eat rabbits. They hunt by ambushing prey from out of a tree and are nocturnal.

Domestic Cats (Felis catus)

This is a ginger cat jumping on the grass lawn.

Yes! A domestic cat can and will eat a rabbit if the opportunity presents itself.

They generally won’t target adult-sized rabbits of the larger breeds (but not impossible!), but smaller rabbits and juveniles/babies are fair game.

Not too surprising when your house cat and tigers share 95.6% of the same genetics!

Canidae Which Eat Rabbits

The dog family is also diverse, ranging from wolves and coyotes to small lap dogs.

They are adapted to a wide variety of environments, from desserts and rainforests to urban areas. As a result, they also have a varied prey selection.

Many are generalists and will work together in packs to hunt down larger or more challenging prey when feeding.

Animals From North America

Coyotes (Canis latrans)

This is a close look at a wild coyote walking on a grassland.

Coyotes are medium-sized canids, which reach sizes of between 25 and 35 pounds.

Coyotes are exclusive to and widespread across the North American continent. Coyotes occupy a variety of habitats, including prairies, desserts, and urban areas. They are considered of least concern.

The bulk of a coyote’s diet consists of small rodents, fruit, deer, and rabbits. Coyotes stalk small prey and pounce on them. They co-operate to hunt prey of substantial size.

They are crepuscular.

Wolves (Canis lupus)

This is a pack of wolves on a snowy rock.

Wolves are the largest of the wild canids. The grey wolf can reach weights of around 175 pounds.

Wolves are distributed across North America, Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa. They occupy many habitats, which include tundra, forests, grasslands, and deserts.

Wolves are considered as least concern.

Wolves, like coyotes, eat a range of food items, but the bulk of their diet comes from larger ungulates. They do, however, eat smaller mammals, which includes rabbits. Wolves usually hunt in packs. They are diurnal.

Animals From A Global Perspective

Jackals (Canis aureus, C. adustus, C. mesomelas)

This is a jackal on a hunt at the grassland.

Jackals are medium-sized canids that reach weights of between 17 and 25 pounds.

Jackals are found across Africa in various habitats, ranging from semi- desserts and savannas to grasslands. They are considered “least concern.”

Jackals have an omnivorous diet. Prey items include small antelope, reptiles, birds, and small mammals, like rabbits.

Jackal will often hunt in packs to take down larger prey. They are crepuscular.

African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus)

This is a pack of African wild dogs on the hunt.

These medium to large canids weigh between 35 and 50 pounds.

African Wild dogs are primarily found in Southern Africa. They inhabit savannas and open plain areas. They are considered to be endangered.

African Wild dogs are known for eating larger ungulate species. They are, however, opportunistic and will eat smaller mammals, such as rabbits, as well.

They work together as a pack to bring down prey items. They are diurnal.

Dingoes (Canis lupus)

This is a dingo walking by the beach.

Dingoes are medium-sized canids weighing between 22 and 33 pounds.

Dingoes are mainly found across Australia and some areas of Southeast Asia. They are found in forests, plains, and mountainous areas. They are considered to be vulnerable.

Dingoes are mostly carnivores; however, they do eat fruits and nuts occasionally. Their primary prey includes rodents, rabbits, birds, and lizards. Dingoes hunt in packs and are nocturnal.

Domestic Dogs (Canis familiaris)

This is a domesticated hunting dog with a rabbit caught in its hunt.

As with their cousins, the wolf, domestic dogs are not exclusive carnivores and eat a variety of food types.

Domestic dogs will work together in a pack (especially in cases where they have become feral) to hunt rabbits and other smaller prey items. 

Some breeds of dogs were specifically bred to hunt rabbits. Examples include Jack Russell Terriers, Beagles, and Basset hounds.

Bears That Eat Rabbits

A large brown bear brings a caught rabbit to the cubs.

There are eight species of bear found globally, with a range in weight from 60 to 1500 pounds (the polar bear).

Bears are some of the mega predators found on land. They are found across North and South America, Europe, and Asia. The range of habitats that bears occupy includes the Arctic Tundra, Forests (coniferous and deciduous), prairies, mountains, and desserts.

Bears generally have an omnivorous diet, with a significant component of fruits, nuts, and berries

Although rabbits will not generally form a large part of any bear’s diet, they will still catch and eat a rabbit if the opportunity provides itself.

Other Mammals That Eat Rabbits

Aside from the previously mentioned groups, some other mammals that may eat rabbits include:

Raccoons (Procyon lotor)

This is a solitary raccoon eating on a grassy land.

Raccoons are opportunistic omnivores. They eat various food items and will catch and eat rabbits (adult may be difficult, but juvenile and baby rabbits are on the menu).

Rabbits that eat rabbits

A couple of rabbits fighting on a gravelly ground.

This is not quite the same as the above, but some rabbits commit infanticide. This is a very infrequent occurrence.

Researchers, however, have found evidence of certain hares cannibalizing other hares’ dead carcasses.

Birds That Eat Wild Rabbits

One of the significant predators of rabbits is birds. Perfectly adapted for ambush hunting and able to reach incredible speeds, birds can mitigate a rabbit’s primary defense mechanism, flight.

Birds have incredible eyesight (and hearing when it comes to owls), allowing them to detect rabbits from far off.

Some examples of birds that eat rabbits include:


This is a large screaming eagle on a tree branch.

Some of the physically largest predatory birds, eagles, can weigh up to 20 pounds (Steller’s Sea Eagle). Eagles eat a variety of prey items.

North American Eagles

This is a large golden eagle about to land on branch,
Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos)

These are the largest eagle species in the USA, up to a weight of 15 pounds.

They are found in mountainous areas and eat a range of small mammals and birds.

Eagles From A Global Perspective

Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)

This is a dark martial eagle on top of a tree.

These 14-pound African birds are known to eat mammals, including monkeys, hyraxes, and lambs. If there is a rabbit available, they will eat it.

Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja)

This is a harpy eagle sitting on a tree branch.

These 20 pound Central to South American raptors also eat a range of mammals, birds, and reptiles.


Hawks are more diminutive than eagles but are no less accomplished as predators. They are found over a variety of habitats and continents, where they have a range of prey items.  

North American Hawks

Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis)

This is a close look at a red-tailed hawk flying.

These 24.3 to 51.5 oz (females are larger than males) raptors are found mostly over open fields. Rabbits and other small mammals form the bulk of their diet.

Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)

This is a close look at a northern harrier hawk flying.

These 10.6 to 26.5 oz theropods are often found over prairies, marshlands, and fields, where they prey on small mammals.

Hawks From A Global Perspective

Jackal Buzzard (Buteo rufofuscus)

This is a close look at a jackal buzzard hawk flying.

These South African birds weigh between 27.84 and 48.32 oz (females are larger). They are found in mountainous areas where their diet includes small mammals.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

This is a close look at a Eurasian Sparrowhawk flying.

These hawks are found in Northern Europe and Asia and range from 3.9 to 12.1 oz (females are larger). Their habitats include forests and less dense woodlands, where they prey on other birds and small mammals.


Owls are well adapted to night hunting, with their keen sense of hearing. Owls are also found over most of the globe, where they mainly eat small mammals. Most owls eat full-grown or juvenile rabbits.

Barn Owls (Tyto alba)

This is a look at a barn owl as it swoops down from flight while hunting.

Aside from polar regions and desserts, these owls are found everywhere and eat mice, shrews, and rabbits. Barn owls are mainly found in grasslands, woodlands, and agricultural areas. They weigh between one and one-and-a-half pounds.

3. Reptiles That Eat Wild Rabbits

Reptiles employ a very different approach to hunting and catching rabbits. While many mammals and birds chase down their prey, many reptiles rely on camouflage and ambush techniques.

Some reptiles hunt through a type of heat vision, while others use their olfactory sense to track down food items.

Reptiles have a vast range of foodstuffs. Some of those who have rabbits on the menu include:


A reticulated python with a small rabbit in its cage.

Snakes are carnivores. They are specialized in eating a range of prey items and come in a multitude of sizes. Many smaller snakes will eat baby rabbits; however, only the larger species will eat adult rabbits.

Snakes can effortlessly slither into a burrow and catch a rabbit unaware.

Examples include:

  • Pythons
    • Boa Constrictors
    • Eastern Brown Snakes
    • Bull Snakes


This is a green iguana on a tree branch.

Lizards, much like snakes, come in various sizes and shapes. Lizards are adept at “smelling” out prey items with the use of their Jacobson’s organ.

Most large lizards have powerful jaws, strong, sharp claws, and the ability to dig into rabbit burrows.

Examples include:

  • Iguanas
  • Komodo Dragons
  • Monitor Lizards
  • Crocodilians

Crocodilians, much like other reptiles, will not think twice about catching and eating a rabbit. The biggest issue is, these reptiles are primarily found in and around water. The likelihood of coming across a rabbit is not very high.

Alligators, crocodiles, and caimans will all eat rabbits when available.

Rabbits As Food Items For Captive Animals And Pets

A close look at gray rabbits in a cage.

Aside from wild rabbits being hunted by wild and domestic animals, rabbits are also bred as food for captive animals and pets.

Whether it’s a snake, lion, or hawk in a zoo exhibit, rabbits make for easy, cheap, and nutritious meals. Rabbits of different sizes and ages are fed in different levels of being processed.

Large constrictors receive whole rabbits, while birds of prey are often fed pieces.

As for pet nutrition, there are raw dog food companies that use whole rabbits minced up as a dietary option for domestic dogs and cats.

Rabbits As Eaten By Humans

This is a plate of baked rabbit leg with carrots and mushrooms.

Humans are a unique species, so they get their own heading. Spread across the globe and vastly ranging in weight, humans are considered (biologically) omnivores.

 Humans, globally, have long since hunted and eaten rabbits as an alternative to other meats.

Rabbits are high in protein, taste great, and are relatively cheaper than beef and pork.

Rabbits have also, in more recent decades, specifically been farmed as livestock for meat. Many homesteaders have taken up this venture as a sustainable way to supplement the dietary requirements of their families.


Rabbits are a major prey species for many animals. They lack a range of defensive mechanisms. Although they do not always form part of most animals’ “regular” meals, many carnivores and omnivores will not let the opportunity pass by if a rabbit is a menu option. Humans have even moved from hunting rabbits to farming them as livestock.


Live Science: Rabbits

How Stuff Works: Wild Cats in the U.S.

National Wildlife Federation: Mountain Lions

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library: Ocelot Distribution and Habitat

One Kind Planet: Bobcat

One Kind Planet: Leopard

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library: Lion Distribution and Habitat

Sea World: Cheetah Habitat

The Christian Science Monitor: House cats and tigers share 95.6 percent of DNA, study reveals

Biological Diversity: Mammals

National Geographic Website

Live Science: Jackal Facts

ZME Science: Meat-Eating Hares

All About Birds: Red-Tailed Hawk

  • NO MORE HAIR EVERYWHERE: The ultimate pet hair roller for effective dog and cat hair removal. Far superior to traditional lint rollers for pet hair or sticky rollers, the ChomChom ensures deep cleaning.
  • CONVENIENT: Take the ‘fur’ out of ‘furniture’ once and for all! Ideal for cleaning couches, pillows, rugs, and more. Whether it's furniture, your car, or a carpet, this pet lint roller is an essential tool for all pet owners.
  • VERSATILE: Not just a dog lint roller, it's adept at cat hair removal too. The lint roller for pet hair extra sticky capability ensures every strand is picked up, leaving your spaces hair-free.
  • EASY TO USE: Just roll back and forth along any surface to trap fur and lint into the built-in receptacle. When you’re all done, just press down on the release button to open the pet fur remover and empty it out completely. Purr-fectly simple!
  • SUSTAINABLE - This reusable lint roller requires no adhesives or sticky tape, and can be used again and again.
  • It’s Not Water: Pooph is totally fragrance free because it eliminates odor instead of covering it up! Pooph contains no harsh chemicals—it’s a proprietary mineral-based formula so clean and pure you could actually mistake it for pure natural spring water until you actually use it and see for yourself how miraculously it works!
  • Risk-Free Guarantee: Try POOPH for 30 days and if you aren’t happy, simply return it for a 100% no-hassle refund. Just send us a message via your Amazon order page and we’ll take care of the rest!
  • Instant & Safe: Instantly and safely freshens and dismantles puppy, dog, cat, pet, and litter urine and feces odors on a molecular basis – so they never return! Safe for people, pets, plants, and the planet!
  • Eliminates: Safely eliminates (doesn’t just cover up) urine, feces, vomit, and other pet odors that may invite your pets to defecate in the same spot over and over
  • No stains & Fragrance Free: Contains a clear, odorless, and non-staining formula that freshens and eliminates odors and will not stain carpets, clothing, toys, and more - use in every room in your house
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: A combination of premium texture and granule size made with 100% bentonite clay for maximum clumping creates litter particles that are just the right size.
  • LOW DUST: Ideal for cats and owners who suffer from allergies with a 99.9% dust-free and hypoallergenic litter formulation.
  • HARD CLUMPING: Hard clumping medium grain clay helps prevent moisture from reaching the bottom of the tray and forms hard clumps that won't break down, making it easier to scoop.
  • SUPERIOR ODOR CONTROL: Formulated for single or multi-cat households with natural ingredients to keep your home smelling clean and fresh between litter box cleanings.
  • LOW TRACKING: A unique formulation of medium grain clay helps keep litter in the box where it belongs.
  • FOUNDED IN 1987: Dr. Elsey’s is a veterinarian-owned cat product brand dedicated to creating products that solve the complex needs of pet owners. Founded in 1987 with the first all-natural clumping cat litter, Dr. Elsey’s line of products has since grown to include a variety of premium litters that address the health and behavioral needs of cats in every stage of life.
  • Outdoor 4 is our fourth generation wire-free smart security camera that helps you protect your home inside and out right from your smartphone.
  • See and speak from the Blink app — Experience 1080p HD live view, infrared night vision, and crisp two-way audio.
  • Two-year battery life — Set up yourself in minutes and get up to two years of power with the included AA lithium batteries.
  • Enhanced motion detection — Be alerted to motion faster from your smartphone with dual-zone, enhanced motion detection.
  • Person detection — Get alerts when a person is detected with embedded computer vision (CV) as part of an optional Blink Subscription Plan (sold separately).
  • Save and share clips — Choose to store events in the cloud with a free 30-day trial of the Blink Subscription Plan or locally with the Sync Module 2 (included) plus a USB drive (sold separately).
  • Works with Alexa — Connect to an Alexa-enabled device to engage live view, arm and disarm your system, and more using your voice.
  • Includes three Outdoor 4 cameras, one Sync Module 2, six AA lithium metal batteries, three mounting kits, one USB cable, and one power adapter.
  • See, hear and speak to people from your phone, tablet or select Echo device with Stick Up Cam Battery, a battery-powered camera that can be mounted indoor or out.
  • With Live View, you can check in on your home any time through the Ring app.
  • With a Ring Protect Plan (subscription sold separately), record all your videos, review what you missed for up to 180 days, and share videos and photos.
  • Place on a flat surface or mount to a wall with the versatile mounting bracket. Add-on the Mount for Stick Up Cam (sold separately) for ceiling mount.
  • Watch over your entire home by connecting one or multiple Stick Up Cams to the Ring app.
  • Easily setup Stick Up Cam Battery by inserting the battery pack and connecting to Wi-Fi.
  • For added peace of mind, pair with Alexa to help you keep an eye on your home.
  • Open four-arm frame design protects the blade and does not trap dirt in the case
  • Lightweight case for easy handling and transport
  • Dual-material grip elevated above the reel prevents contact between reel and knuckles
  • Versatile folding end hook for use in multiple applications
  • Rewind reel tucks away for protection during storage
  • Gift Cards never expire and carry no fees.
  • Multiple gift card designs and denominations to choose from.
  • Redeemable towards millions of items store-wide at or certain affiliated websites.
  • Available for immediate delivery. Gift cards sent by email can be scheduled up to a year in advance.
  • No returns and no refunds on Gift Cards.
  • Gift Cards can only be used to purchase eligible goods and services on and certain related sites as provided in the Gift Card Terms and Conditions. To purchase a gift card for use on an Amazon website in another country, please visit:,,,,,,,,, or
  • Super High Bounce: Better than standard tennis balls, the Ultra Ball is made of durable rubber yielding an ultra bouncy, exciting fetch experience on land or on water thanks to lightweight, bouyant design. Compatible with size Medium Chuckit Launchers
  • Tough and Durable: This rugged dog fetch toy has a textured surface and a thick rubber core that can stand up to rough play yet is soft on dog's mouths. Not intended as a pure chew toy, always supervise your dog when playing with this toy
  • Sizing matters: Size medium measures 2.5" in diameter and is best suited for dogs weighing 20-60lbs. Dog balls should be small enough for your dog to carry, but large enough that the ball can't completely fit in their mouth. When in doubt, buy a size up
  • Make Fetch Happen: Chuckit Performance toys are designed with you and your dog in mind; Try our full range of indoor and outdoor interactive dog toys including tumblers, flyers, fetch toys, other balls for dogs and more
  • ChuckIt Fetch Pet Toys: Chuckit makes indoor and outdoor dog toys that enrich the human-animal bond and helps dogs and puppies stay engaged. Try our full line of ball launchers, puppy toys, flying discs, tennis balls for dogs, dog chew toys, and more

The Black Friday Deals