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AIBU / irrational? Or is DH right?

(33 Posts)
SandunesAndRainclouds Sun 24-Sep-17 16:47:59

Our lovely pet rabbit was killed overnight. We are assuming fox but can't work out how it got in or out of the run.

We also have 2 cats - they have a cat flap which is always open and they are free to come and go as they please. I want to keep them in at night now, just to be on the safe side. DH thinks it's unnecessary and they will be fine.

We back onto fields which are being built on as a large housing estate so I wouldn't be surprised if fox dens are being disturbed and other wildlife are not living there as prey so they obviously look for food elsewhere.

AIBU / irrational to keep them in? Or am I over reacting?!

jaseyraex Sun 24-Sep-17 16:59:19

Turning outdoor cats in to indoor cats doesn't work very well. It can really stress the cats out as they are now used to be able to go out, then they're suddenly cooped up all day and/or night. They can turn aggressive, start weeing all over the house, have stress related problems like fur falling out etc. I wouldn't keep them in. The risk is always there with letting pets outdoors, it's not suddenly increased because your poor rabbit has been killed. Let them stay out, cats are more likely to escape foxes if they're attacked too.

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Sun 24-Sep-17 17:00:35

We have a few foxes near us and have been seen sitting on our Green with 2 cats!! We have 2 cats and been safe for years!!

SandunesAndRainclouds Sun 24-Sep-17 17:03:27

Ok you're saying the same as DH. I wouldn't want to stress them (hadn't thought of that) so I won't change their routine.

Still a bit shocked from finding bunny as he'd been left (and confused by how the hell it happened) so going into pet protection overdrive!

bridgetreilly Sun 24-Sep-17 17:04:36

Cats are much less vulnerable than rabbits. Let them out.

MrsEileithyia Sun 24-Sep-17 17:06:11

My cat has a fox friend and they chum around in the garden. Unless your cat is particularly small I wouldn’t worry. They can give as good as they get with those little sharp claws.

SandunesAndRainclouds Sun 24-Sep-17 17:08:26

The cats are on the small side of average. Still young and fast so yes, should be able to scarper if necessary.

Birdsgottafly Sun 24-Sep-17 17:23:34

If the cats are agile, they should be fine, foxes have a distinctive smell, even to us,so they don't generally manage to hunt cats.

Keep them in overnight if they are elderly etc.

NoKidsTwoCats Sun 24-Sep-17 17:28:48

I wouldn't worry too much about foxes - research has indicated that the risk they pose to cats is very low.

However it is generally advisable to keep cats indoors at night due to other risks posed - they're more likely to be involved in an rta at night and with lunatics such as the UK cat killer and cruel gits who like shooting cats with air rifles around, it doesn't hurt to exercise a little caution at night. Just make sure they have access to cat litter, toys etc indoors to keep them occupied.

tigerlil6571 Sun 24-Sep-17 17:30:54

I would keep them in at night when foxes will be out. Lock the cat flap and you might have to put a heavy box in front of it on the inside to stop your cats forcing themselves out.

There are foxes in all areas so wherever I lived, I would always keep my cats in at night.

LizB62A Sun 24-Sep-17 17:31:21

Please google the M25 cat killer and see if the injuries your poor rabbit had might match what is there. The bloke has struck all over the country: cats. foxes and I think a couple of rabbits too
Sorry about your rabbit flowers

tigerlil6571 Sun 24-Sep-17 17:32:11

And has been mentioned, make sure you leave food, water, litter tray, scratching post and toys etc out at night to keep your cats busy and minimise the temptation of breaking out

SandunesAndRainclouds Sun 24-Sep-17 17:35:54

Could someone give me a brief, kind version of the M25 killer please? I'm not sure I could face there potential of Google...

SandunesAndRainclouds Sun 24-Sep-17 17:36:03

*the potential

stopbeingadramallama Sun 24-Sep-17 17:46:18

He's killed over 200 cats/foxes in the last 3 years☹️

SandunesAndRainclouds Sun 24-Sep-17 17:51:50

DH dealt with the remains and he's certain it was another animal that did it.

Our garden is quite secure and the run wouldn't be seen from anywhere outside the fences so very unlikely to be a malicious act.

Vile vile vile and so cruel to intentionally kill a family pet.

RonSwansonsMoustache Sun 24-Sep-17 17:57:03

It's generally a good idea to keep cats in at night anyway - they're far more likely to get into fights or accidents overnight, especially RTA's. I've seen lots of cats dart across the road and the only thing that saved them was that it was light enough for cars to see them and stop in plenty of time.

TheRattleBag Sun 24-Sep-17 18:19:27

A friend's cat was killed by a fox a couple of months ago.

If there's any chance at all that they won't pester you all night, I'd keep them in.

Mittens1969 Sun 24-Sep-17 19:02:03

Some cats kill rabbits, I had a cat that used to do that. It doesn't sound like your cats would as they're probably too small, but there are feral cats around that might or other pet cats? Or yes, possibly a fox.

Either way, I'm really sorry about your pet rabbit, that's very sad. flowers

TypicallyEnglishMustard Sun 24-Sep-17 19:06:49

Keeping cats in at night doesn't make them indoor cats, just means they aren't outside at nighttime.

This is the system we have with our cat; out loads in the day, she gets called in when it starts to get dark in the evenings. This was recommended to us when we adopted her from Cats Protection, 1. Because of foxes, 2. Because nighttime is prime time for cat fights, and there are LOADS of cats where we are.

MIL's two cats were killed by foxes sad

mummymeister Sun 24-Sep-17 19:14:02

I would want to be certain that it was killed by a fox as generally for single kills a fox will drag the dead prey away and bury it. very unlikely it would leave a single kill where it was. are you sure its not a stoat. we had one that killed 2 ducks and 2 rabbits before we trapped and shot it.

stoats kill by biting the back of the neck to paralyse. they can get in very small spaces as well. was your bunny in an outside cage/run that was broken into?

ParsnipLeekAndLemonSoup Sun 24-Sep-17 19:15:21

Cats should always be kept in at night IMO.

RandomMess Sun 24-Sep-17 19:17:47

Most cats killed overnight whether it be RTA or foxes, that's why advice is to keep them in overnight.

Ours get a treat of half a pouch of wet food when we go to bed and they are shut in a room with litter tray. They adapted to this and get stroppy from 9pm waiting to be put to bed!

Bluetrews25 Sun 24-Sep-17 19:30:22

I have known foxes tear a leg off a new lamb, and rip chickens to shreds, but not eat any of the devastation they have created. They like pet bunnies, too.
Sorry about your rabbit.

ParsnipLeekAndLemonSoup Sun 24-Sep-17 19:31:56

For future ref it's generally advisable to keep rabbits indoors overnight too. Foxes are crafty fuckers and can pretty much manage to get in any sort of hutch no matter how fox-proof flowers

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