Can Cats Mate With Rabbits?

Learn why cats and rabbits, two different species from two different orders, cannot produce offspring.

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM | Updated: September 29, 2014, 12 p.m. EDT

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Cat Reclining
Cats and rabbits cannot mate. Period.
Q: Is it possible to mate a cat with a rabbit? I have a black and white cat that is 6 months old. His back feet are large and he can stand on them for the longest time. He moves his mouth in the same way a rabbit does when he is eating.

A: Rabbits and cats cannot mate and produce viable offspring, even if they tried, for a number of reasons. Only members of the same species can mate with one another and produce offspring. Cats and rabbits are more than just different species. They are members of entirely different orders. Cats are carnivores. Rabbits are lagomorphs. They are simply too far removed from each other, evolutionarily, to be able to mate successfully.

Additionally, cats and rabbits have very different mating habits. Female cats are induced to ovulate by the barbs at the end of the male cats penis. Male rabbits have smooth penises. Without the barbs, the male rabbit could not stimulate the female cat to ovulate, so there would be no egg for the rabbits sperm to fertilize.
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Reader Comments

Katie (biology professor)    Bowling Green, OH

12/5/2014 6:47:01 PM

Actually, they cannot produce viable offspring does not mean that they are unable to mate. It means that their children are born sterile. For instance, a horse can mate with a donkey to produce a mule. A horse and donkey are not the same species and the mule is born sterile. Another example is a lion and tiger, they are not the same species either, but they can produce a liger. A cat and rabbit can mate but it is most often done artificially (by humans), and their offspring will be born sterile.

Sue    Negaunee, MI

11/6/2014 4:14:11 PM

Haha Craig! Are you really that dumb?

Craig    Ishpeming, MI

11/4/2014 4:28:02 AM

You better head to a farm, cabbits are quite alive and plentifull. They have no tail and the back legs are normally like those of a rabbit.

Patsy Huffman    San Jacinto, CA

7/25/2014 1:30:41 PM

ISAW ON THE NEWS THAT A LADY HAD A RABBIT AND A CAT THAT HAD PRODUCED OFFSPRING AND SHE CALLED THEM KABBITS AND I SAW THEM, THEY HAD THE BODY OF THE CAT AND THE TAIL OF THE RABBIT, THIS WAS OVER FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. SO THIS STUMPING ME I wish she would have notified somebody of this occurring.

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