Many small animals that are kept as pets have a short expected lifespan. So its not surprising that many people expect rabbits to fall into the same bucket. But rabbits can actually live a long time. My oldest rabbit lived to be 13 years old! And multiple others in my rabbit family have lived to be 9-10 years. If you learn to take good care of your rabbit, they could be your companion for a long time.
So if you want to help your pet live a long, happy and healthy life, read on! From dogs and foxes to raccoons and hawks, rabbits have a lot to be afraid of outside.
Sometimes these predators will manage to break into an outdoor hutch to get at a pet rabbit. But even if they dont, the little rabbit will have to deal with the scary sights and smells. And, like with humans, excessive stress can cause health problems and premature death in rabbits.
All of this put together, an outdoor rabbits life expectancy falls to 3-5 years. There is an 80% chance a female rabbit will develop uterine or ovarian cancer by the age of 4 if they have not been spayed. Even male rabbits have a much higher chance of developing prostate cancer if they have not been neutered.
To greatly increase the chances of having a healthy and long-lived pet rabbit, you should get them spayed or neutered as soon as they reach maturity. This is the time of day when rabbits are most active , and theyre more likely to take full advantage of their play hours. Make sure you include your rabbit as part of the family, like you would for a pet cat or dog.
Wild rabbits are a major prey animal for hawks, snakes, and coyotes. Wild rabbits in neighborhoods are sometimes poisoned by fertilizers and pesticides that people use on their lawns and gardens (sometimes purposefully, sometimes accidental). I definitely dont recommend trying to raise a wild rabbit as a pet, but this does go to show how much life conditions can alter the lifespan of a species.
Some breeds are healthier and tend to live longer than others, but its also important to remember that each rabbit is an individual. In general, very large and very small rabbits have a shorter life expectancy than those in the middle. Common rabbit diseases and medical problems include but are not limited to:
GI stasis Overgrown teeth Snuffles Myxomatosis Uterine tumors Ear mites Urinary tract infections Ear infections Sore hocks Liver torsion Fleas Arthritis
How long do rabbits live as a pet?
Some breeds of rabbits, particularly the longer haired rabbits, may require daily grooming. It is important that you understand all the requirements for caring for a rabbit before you buy one. Rabbits generally live for 5 to 8 years depending on their environment and breed, but they can live for as long as 12 years.
Can rabbits live 20 years?
To keep your rabbit healthy and happy throughout their life, you need to understand your rabbit’s needs. Most domestic rabbits can easily live to be 8 years old, and many can live for up to 12 years.
Can a rabbit live for 15 years?
Wild European rabbits live for 1 to 2 years. But pet rabbits live longer as they aren’t at risk from predators or disease. Well-cared-for, medium-sized rabbits can live for 10 years.
Do rabbits live for 10 years?
Reality: Well cared-for indoor rabbits can live 7-10 years, and some live into their teens. This is approximately the same life span as some breeds of dogs, and requires the same long-term commitment.
Whether youre considering getting a pet rabbit or you already have one, understanding the rabbit lifespan will help you give your bunny the best life. With proper health care, your rabbit will be around for a long time.
They should also be allowed to explore in a safe room for a period of time during the day so they can stretch their legs and play. Rabbits teeth grow throughout their lives, so they need constant access to clean timothy hay or dried grass.
Remove feces and soiled bedding every day, and completely clean out their pen at least once a week. Getting treatment early is key to helping your pet recover quickly and safely from an illness.
Rabbits are pleasant house pets that are a delight to care for when you know how to keep them happy and healthy. Like other beloved animals, a pet rabbits life expectancy depends on their breed, diet, and other living conditions. What is a pet rabbits lifespan? Lets dig a little deeper and answer some important questions, such as how long your adorable pet rabbit lives and how we can extend their years.
Television might have convinced us that rabbits just need pet store pellets to stay healthy, but this is simply not the truth. If this is the case, keep your pet rabbit safely tucked away in another room or a higher elevation where they can eat, observe, and nibble in peace.
William Daigneault/Unsplash The bottom line is this: Your pet rabbits life expectancy can reach the double digits easily with the right food, housing situation, and living conditions.
Rabbits, just like other domesticated animals, have an average lifespan which can help an owner keep their bunny in optimum health in every stage of life.
Additionally, keeping your rabbit’s annual vaccinations up to date will help prevent illness and disease.
Indoor vs. outdoor
On average, pet rabbits live to be 8-12 years old, but a rabbit is much more likely to reach their full life expectancy if they are loved and well cared for. Factors that affect the lifespan of a rabbit include:
Neutered vs. un-altered
Spayed and neutered rabbits live longer than their un-altered counterparts. Female rabbits in particular should always be spayed. There is an 80% chance a female rabbit will develop uterine or ovarian cancer by the age of 4 if they have not been spayed. Even male rabbits have a much higher chance of developing prostate cancer if they have not been neutered.Getting a rabbit fixed also helps with some behavioral problems they have. They are less likely to be aggressive and will stop spraying around the house to claim their territory. To greatly increase the chances of having a healthy and long-lived pet rabbit, you should get them spayed or neutered as soon as they reach maturity.
How long do wild rabbits live
The other factors that play a large role in a pet rabbit’s lifespan have to do with understanding rabbit care, and making sure your rabbit has a healthy, balanced life.
Diseases and predators
Wild rabbits are a major prey animal for hawks, snakes, and coyotes. But dogs, cats and raccoons are also predators in neighborhood settings. They are also more likely to come into contact with parasites that transmit diseases.Wild rabbits in neighborhoods are sometimes poisoned by fertilizers and pesticides that people use on their lawns and gardens (sometimes purposefully, sometimes accidental). And in forested areas, rabbits are also hunted for meat by humans.
In most areas, rabbits will have enough food and resources to go around during the spring and summer months, but the scarcity of resources in the winter usually reduces the rabbit population significantly.The extreme temperatures can also be difficult for rabbits to survive. Especially in climates where it gets very cold in the winter or very hot in the summer. Domestic rabbits are lucky enough to have indoor temperatures that never go to the extreme.
Wild rabbits are able to live much longer in captivity. In fact, the oldest rabbit ever was a wild Australian rabbit that was raised as a pet. Other wild rabbits that were raised in captivity have lived to 5-10 years old. I definitely don’t recommend trying to raise a wild rabbit as a pet, but this does go to show how much life conditions can alter the lifespan of a species.
Life expectancy of different breeds
Like with dogs, the breed of rabbit also influences their life expectancy. Mixed breeds, in particular, tend to be more long-lived than pure bred rabbits.Some breeds are healthier and tend to live longer than others, but it’s also important to remember that each rabbit is an individual. There is never a guarantee that your rabbit will live to a certain age, but they can also surpass all expectations.
Large, medium, and small rabbits
Large rabbits are bunnies that weigh in at around 8 pounds and greater. They tend to be gentler and have more puppy dog personalities. Medium rabbits weigh between 5 and 8 pounds, while small rabbits are less than 5 pounds. And, in my experience, tiny rabbits tend to have the spunkiest personalities.In general, very large and very small rabbits have a shorter life expectancy than those in the middle. But size is not a direct correlation to life expectancy. The quality of care you give your rabbit is the best indicator of a long lifespan.
How old can rabbits get?
The average domestic rabbit lifespan is around 10 years, but there are some rabbits who defy this statistic and live much longer. Personally, I have had a rabbit who lived to 13, and I’ve heard stories of rabbit owners who had their pets reach a ripe age of 15.
The oldest rabbit who ever lived
The oldest rabbit on record was a rabbit named Flopsy who lived in Australia. This was a wild rabbit who was raised as a pet in captivity. Flopsy died in 1983 at a whopping 18 years and 10 months!
The oldest rabbit still living
As of 2019 the oldest rabbit still living is an agouti rabbit named Mick. This old guy lives in Illinois and he just turned 16 years old earlier this year. This sweet rabbit has survived some severe health problems and many bunny companions, but he’s still a happy bunny. Maybe he’ll give Flopsy some competition for the oldest rabbit ever.
How to Keep Your Rabbit Healthy
To keep your rabbit healthy and happy throughout their life, you need to understand your rabbit’s needs. Most domestic rabbits can easily live to be 8 years old, and many can live for up to 12 years. Unlike wild rabbits, who face constant stress and predators, domestic rabbits have regular access to food and safe places to hide.Rabbits need relatively large cages, as well as several hours outside their cage each day in order to get enough exercise. Large rabbits need at least 5 square feet of cage space, according to the American Rabbit Breeders Association. They should also be allowed to explore in a safe room for a period of time during the day so they can stretch their legs and play. Too little exercise can lead to obesity and heart problems that can shorten your pet’s life.They also need a specific diet. Rabbits’ teeth grow throughout their lives, so they need constant access to clean timothy hay or dried grass. You should also supplement their diet with fresh, leafy greens and high-fiber pellets.Fresh grass and carrots can actually harm your rabbit. They’re too rich in sugars and can impair their digestion. A poor diet can not only stress your pet, but it can also cause illness.
Life expectancy by breed
Here’s a fun fact: The oldest rabbit that ever lived was 18 years old! By contrast, wild rabbits only live between one to two years. On the other hand, pet rabbits have a life expectancy of eight to 12 years. Like dogs, larger breeds tend to have a shorter lifespan while smaller rabbits often live at least 10 years.While there are more than 300 domestic rabbit breeds, some petite pet rabbit breeds include the Mini Lop, Mini Rex, Holland lop, English Angora, and Netherland dwarf. Other rabbits with long life expectancies include the American rabbit, Lionhead rabbit, and Harlequin rabbit. Of course, size alone doesn’t determine your pet rabbit’s life expectancy. A larger breed can live longer than a dwarf if you provide nutritious food, space to roam, regular social interactions, and mental stimulation.Here are the important factors you need to know if you want to extend your pet rabbit’s life.