A Fickle Friendship

I wish at this point in the bunny-cat bonding I could share the news that Cohen, Almond & Walnut have become an inseparable trio but if I did, I’d be lying!  Walnut avoids Cohen and if I could read rabbit thoughts I’m almost positive she’s muttering, “get this fat cat out of my house.” Meanwhile Almond & Cohen have an unusual bond that I’m not sure I like.  For the most part Almond follows Cohen around, she has also developed a fascination for his tail.  This is not a problem with me, the problem is that Cohen enjoys grooming Almond…and also enjoys nipping at her if she gets too close, or smells him wrong, or steps on his pinky toe, if you catch my drift he’s pretty much unpredictable.  We’ll scold Cohen and separate the two of them…and do you know what happens? They play with each other through the fencing and Cohen will lie nearby.  Is this a friendship? If so they have the most fickle friendship on the planet. It’s stressful and I’m pretty sure Adam and I will have white hair when this bonding period ends- if it ever does.

Playing or chasing?

The second week of interaction is over and I am not going to lie...it was stressful!  Cohen went from being scared of the bunnies and wishing they did not exist to completely interested in everything they do.  Luckily the fence still kept the bunnies and cat separated but every day he would lay next to their play area watching them.  At first it seemed cute, then it reminded me of the way lions pace in their zoo exhibits watching small children...SCARY!  But I watched Almond and Walnut's reactions to Cohen and they seemed to enjoy his presence, some days they would lay near him and others they would just smell each other through the fencing.  Adam decided he felt comfortable enough to let them out into a shared area again, and he noted that anytime one of the girls didn't respect Cohen's space he would quickly retreat back into the bedroom that the bunnies were not allowed in.  I also caught him "booping" the bunnies on their head if they surprised him while he was resting...but it must not have scared them because they kept coming back for more.  Slowly but surely the girls started to leave Cohen alone and with that he started coming out more to hang out in the living room with them (and us!).
The most recent development was probably the scariest, the bunnies were "binking" around the living room and Cohen started chasing Almond!  Adam got up to end the chasing (mostly out of fear that the predator-prey stereotype had come out). But it ended just as quickly as it had happened- Almond stopped running, turned around to face Cohen, and the two just smelled each other.  It happened again that afternoon with Walnut, and by the end of the high speed chase the two were laying next to each other looking out the patio door.  Could this be the start of a new friendship?? They are back to being separated by a fence, as we don't want to overwhelm the animals...or ourselves.

Does anyone know how we can tell if the three are playing or if they are running away out of fear?

Scaredy Cat Cohen

Hi guys!  The first few days of interaction between Cohen, Almond & Walnut has gone smoothly, we keep an eye on all interactions and it is mostly with a fence separating the bunnies and the cat.  To be honest, Cohen has shown no interest in the two girls…he could care less about their existence and chooses to ignore their presence.  The two girls however are on completely different agendas.  Walnut, the calm bunny, has attempted to smell Cohen a few times but has instead found more interest in Cohen’s toys and litter box.  Almond, the rambunctious of the two, is anything and everything Cohen. She has been following him around and smelling him non-stop.
The first meeting that the three had without a fence seemed to go well until Almond decided to get into Cohen’s personal space.  We could tell she wanted him to groom her and that she has taken a liking to him…but Cohen does not like his stomach being touched and Almond crossed that line.  As a result he ran away and now steers clear of the two.  At the week one mark we now have a cat that watches all bunny activity from the safety of the bathroom or coffee table.  Mind you- Cohen is 20 lbs and both bunnies together weigh about 8lbs. To limit the stress of all animals (AND HUMANS) we only let them interact for a few hours and then they are back to being separated by a fence.  I hope that things get better in time, but for now I can’t complain about how smoothly things have gone.