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Rabbit Lifespan: How Long Do Pet Rabbits Live?

If your rabbit is acting abnormally and you have concerns please take them to a vet immediately.

Many people are surprised to learn that rabbits can live for up to 10 years. This fact alone makes it important for pet owners to consider the long-term commitment they are making when deciding whether or not to bring a rabbit into their home.

While rabbits can be delightful companions, it’s important to remember that they require a lot of care and attention in order to live healthy and happy lives.

By understanding the average lifespan of a rabbit, pet owners can be better prepared for the commitment they are making when bringing a bunny into their family.

Rabbit breed lifespans

Are you curious how long your rabbit breed will live? While there is no definitive answer, the average age range of a domestic rabbit is between 8 and 12 years for indoor rabbits and 1 and 5 years for outdoor rabbits.

Compare this with wild rabbits which will usually live up to 4 years due to their excessive list of predators and you can see the impact of keeping your rabbit indoors.

Understanding that your rabbit’s lifespan can vary not just because of their environment but also activity levels, diet, and natural causes is an important part of being a rabbit owner and we’ll cover that in this article.

Smaller rabbits have a higher average lifespan than larger rabbits. For example, Dwarf Rabbits have a lifespan of between 7-9 years, whereas, Continental giants have an average lifespan of 4-5 years. This can typically be extended further by keeping your rabbit indoors.

Rabbit BreedAverage Lifespan Range (Living Indoors)
Wild Rabbit6 – 7 years
Dwarf Rabbit8 – 9 years
Giant Rabbit4 – 6 years
Rex Rabbit5 – 11 years
Polish Rabbit8 – 10 years
Lop Eared Rabbit5 – 10 years
Lionhead Rabbit7 – 9 years
Holland Lop7 – 10 years
Mini Lop7-14 years
Dutch Rabbit5 – 8 years
Californian5 – 10 years
Flemish Giant8 – 10 years

How to have a longer-living pet rabbit

There are a few main factors when it comes to increasing your pet rabbit’s time with you, these are Neutering/Spaying, Dietary Needs, Exercise, Interaction & Environment.

Each area of your rabbit’s life needs to be equally balanced, doing so will lead to a much healthier lifestyle.

Neutering/Spaying

Unfortunately, female rabbits have a 70% chance of developing uterine, womb, or mammary cancer when they aren’t spayed from a young age. Male rabbits may also develop testicular cancer which can occur later in adult life.

Female rabbits will have their ovaries removed as standard which removes their ability of breeding but can be done by any professional exotic veterinarian. Whereas male rabbits will have their testicles removed.

Dietary needs

If your rabbit stays on a healthy diet and avoids any levels of obesity their life expectancy will typically increase.

One of the oldest domestic rabbits which was 17 years and 2 weeks old was said to have had no treats, fruits, and vegetables and only lived on high-quality grass hay, and pellets.

However, nutrition is one of the most important factors in your rabbit’s health, as such, we recommend a balance of treats, fruits, and pellets. It could be argued that this was simply luck of the draw as many rabbits thrive on fresh greens and fruit.

Your vet may supply you with medicinal vitamins or specific diet plans to help with this.

Rabbit Diet graph

We highly suggest not feeding your rabbit only pellets, this can be extremely unhealthy and can lead to a short life span and weight issues.

Exercise

Much like ourselves, rabbits require lots of space to exercise in. We recommend having a full free roam rabbit that has the ability to run around as and when they need it. However, if you have limited space they should have at minimum 4 hours of exercise a day.

Rabbits are most active between dawn and dusk, so their 4 hours of exercise a day should be between those two periods of time. You can introduce tunnels, ramps, and toys into their play area to help stimulate them.

Interaction & Environment

Rabbits should be kept in a well-ventilated and dry area living arrangement, we recommend keeping pet rabbits indoors as this can increase their lifespan by a few years.

As rabbits are naturally curious, creating the perfect enclosure can be a fun and expressive task when you involve your rabbit. We recommend meeting the following criteria:

  • Add a secure space with high enough walls to keep them secure
  • Keep enough room to allow them to hop, run, binky, jump and stretch out
  • Keep the area dry and well ventilated
  • Add hiding places such as cardboard boxes and tunnels
  • Add toys to encourage enrichment & activity
  • If you have wooden floors, use a rug or foam flooring to keep them from slipping around
  • Use a cat toilet tray instead of a basic corner rabbit toilet found in many supermarkets
  • Ensure other pets cannot get into their safe space; Dogs, cats, etc

It is very important to keep a calm household for your rabbit, they’re very prone to be scared as they are prey animals. This means they can die due to extreme amounts of stress and by going into shock.

This is why we do not suggest keeping a cat or dog with your rabbit, this doesn’t mean your rabbit cannot be around dogs and cats as there are plenty of situations where this is viable. But you will need to be very careful based on their relationship, breeds, and temperament.

Additionally, you will need to be very careful with young children as they may cause your rabbit to attack in self-defense, or to hurt themselves when handled incorrectly.

What is the oldest age for a rabbit on record?

Hazel was the oldest rabbit back in 2009 and held the record in the Guinness Book of World Records after several vets declared that their age was 14 as of March 13, 2008.

However, a new champion has come forward, Mick, the agouti rabbit who comes from Berwyn, Illinois, USA was awarded the oldest rabbit by the Guinness World Records after his 16th birthday on 9th February 2019.

In terms of the past, the oldest prior was a Wild-born Flopsy from Australia who was born in 1964 and live for a whopping 18 years!


Thank you for reading this post!
Link is an incredibly spoilt rabbit who lives completely free roam. When he's not jumping on his owners heads at 5am or digging at carpet he can often be seen loafed or eating copious amounts of hay.