Once you learn how to keep them happy and healthy, rabbits make lovely home pets that are a pleasure to care for. The lifespan of a pet rabbit is influenced by their breed, food, and other living circumstances, much like that of other cherished animals. How long do rabbits live as pets? Let’s take a closer look and address some crucial queries, including how long your cute pet rabbit will live and how we may make their years longer.
Table of Contents
Domesticated Rabbits: A Brief History
The wild cottontail rabbits you see in your yard are not the same as your domesticated pet bunnies. Pet rabbits are known as Oryctolagus cuniculus, whereas wild rabbits are known as Lepus sylvaticus. It implies that domestic rabbits and wild rabbits are technically separate species despite being distant cousins and members of the same family.
Rabbits have been used for food and fur throughout history. They have also been cared for as pets since the 19th century. Rabbits became increasingly widespread in American homes in the late 20th century. Their popularity has only increased since then. As more people discovered the attractive qualities of pet rabbits, the care they received improved. Resulting in a longer lifetime for house rabbits.
How Long Do Rabbits Live As Pets
A fascinating fact: the oldest known rabbit lived to be eighteen! Wild rabbits, on the other hand, only survive one to two years. On the other hand, a pet rabbit’s lifespan is often eight to twelve years. Smaller rabbits frequently live at least ten years, although more giant breeds, like dogs, tend to have shorter lifespans.
There are around 300 domestic rabbit species. However, some miniature pet rabbit breeds include the Mini Lop, Mini Rex, Holland Lop, English Angora, and Netherland Dwarf. American rabbits, Lionhead rabbits, and Harlequin rabbits also have extended life spans. Of course, size alone does not affect the life duration of your pet rabbit. If you offer healthy food, enough area to wander, regular social connections, and mental stimulation, a bigger breed can outlive a dwarf.
Bucks are male rabbits, does are female rabbits, and kits are rabbit pups. There are at least 60 distinct rabbit breeds, with a lifetime ranging from seven to ten years. The oldest documented rabbit lived for 18 years and 10 months. Due to predators, habitat degradation, and being hit by automobiles, rabbits in the wild can survive anywhere from one to nine years.
The average rabbit life cycle includes the following stages:
- Gestation lasts 30-33 days on average.
- The average litter size is one to six kits.
- Kits open their eyes for about ten days and are fully weaned between four and eight weeks.
- Puberty begins between the ages of 3 and 5 months.
- Around 7-8 months of age, they are completely developed.
- Bucks reach complete maturity at the age of 8-9 months.
- Smaller dwarf breeds can attain sexual maturity between 4-4.5 months.
- Senior rabbits range in age from 5-8 years, depending on the breed.
Spayed or neutered rabbits often live between 8 and 12 years. Unspayed female rabbits are more likely to develop uterine cancer and have a shorter lifetime. Genes also influence how long rabbits live as pets. Lionhead types, for example, can live seven to nine years on average, but Flemish Giant breeds can survive five to eight years owing to health difficulties but can live longer. When purchasing a rabbit of a particular breed, pet parents should investigate prevalent health concerns and consult their veterinarian.
What Makes Some Rabbits Live Longer Than Others?
It is essential to provide your rabbit with an appropriate home, good food, frequent social contacts, and workouts, regardless of breed. Female rabbits can be significantly extended by spraying to prevent uterine cancer. Furthermore, keep your rabbit indoors, away from predators, severe weather, and infectious illnesses like Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus. It keeps them happy and healthy for a much more extended period.
In general, your rabbit will require:
- Unlimited timothy or alfalfa hay, dependent on age, fresh greens, a few pellets, and clean water
- Interactions with you or another rabbit daily
- Veterinary medical checkups regularly
- Suitable housing
- Workouts and safe toys to keep kids cognitively and physically stimulated.
The Oldest Rabbit Ever
We’ve addressed the question, “How long do bunnies live?” but which bunny lived the longest? The oldest rabbit ever was Flopsy, an Australian rabbit who lived for 18 years and 10 months! Rabbits usually live up to 15 years. Mick, the second oldest rabbit, lived to be 16 years old. Heather, a rabbit from Silver Run, Maryland, lived to be 15 years old before passing away.
What Do Rabbits Eat?
Providing nutritious food for your pet rabbit is vital in ensuring it lives a long and happy life. Rabbits require a particular food to stay healthy; otherwise, your pet may become unwell or experience stress.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, your rabbit’s daily food should consist primarily of hay, with a tiny quantity of veggies and pellets. The most essential portion of your rabbit’s diet is high-quality grass hay. It should account for the majority of your rabbit’s daily consumption. Grass hay, which is abundant in fiber, maintains the health of your pet bunny’s digestive tract.
Pet Rabbit Care Tips
If you’ve newly adopted a pet rabbit, you might wonder how to ensure it lives a long and healthy life. It should be straightforward since pet rabbits live far longer than wild rabbits. Here’s how to give your pet rabbit the best life possible.
Make sure it can chew
Chewing is one of the most essential activities a pet rabbit can do since it expels energy and keeps its teeth at a proper length. Rabbit teeth may develop astonishingly and cause injury if not correctly cared for. Wooden blocks and other rodent-specific toys are excellent investments for your pet.
Trim your rabbit’s nails
Even though rabbits are legendary diggers, you may need to cut your pet rabbit’s nails every month. Like their teeth, rabbit nails may develop swiftly and without care for your pet, causing damage and suffering.
Feed them a varied diet
Rabbit pellets are high in nutritional content and essential vitamins and minerals for your pet rabbit, but you may give them anything. Fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as alfalfa or hay mixes, are advised for your rabbit. Treats should be provided carefully since an overweight rabbit will not be healthy or happy.
How Long Do Popular Pet Rabbit Breeds Live?
Every rabbit breed has a different average life expectancy, although, as a general rule, the larger the breed, the shorter the longevity. There are, of course, exceptions to any rule. Pets of common breeds can anticipate to live in the following age ranges:
- The typical lifespan of an American Rabbit is 8 to 12 years.
- The usual lifespan of a Dutch Rabbit is 5 to 8 years.
- The typical lifetime of an English Lop is 5 to 8 years.
- The usual lifespan of a Flemish Giant is 5 to 8 years.
- The typical lifespan of a French Angora is 7 to 12 years.
- The typical lifespan of a Holland Lop is 7 to 10 years.
- The lifetime of a Miniature Lop ranges from 7 to 14 years.
- Miniature Rex has a 7 to 9-year lifetime.
- Netherland Dwarf has a normal of 8 to 12 years in the future.
- Rex Rabbit has a 6 to 8-year lifespan.
It’s critical to note that these are only estimates and averages. Your pet rabbit may survive into his or her forties or even older if you follow the suggested tips for keeping your furry buddy happy and healthy.
Factors Influencing Pet Rabbit Lifespan
Even while a rabbit’s breed will set rough limitations for how long do rabbits live as pets may live, it’s not written in stone, and there’s still a lot you can do to lengthen your pet rabbit’s lifespan. The common consensus is that maintaining your rabbit’s health and happiness for as long as possible requires considering the following six elements.
Medical and veterinary care is essential for all pets, even rabbits. Regular examinations with a veterinarian specializing in exotic pets are one of the most important things you can do for your pet. Minor problems may be caught early and treated promptly, ensuring your rabbit stays healthy and lives a long life with you and your family.
You may also help your pet rabbit live longer by providing it with the finest possible habitat. Enough space, a comfortable resting area, and a house prepared for them are critical to guaranteeing their safety year after year. Keeping them away from cables and cords, out of reach of rubbish, and accountable for their environment and living area will do them great.
Many pet owners are tempted to indulge their pets with additional food and treats. Offering those lovely little eyes and glances, adding food to the dish, and offering more goodies than required can all be harmful to your rabbit. Rabbits must maintain a healthy weight for their breed, and being overweight can significantly shorten their longevity.
The food you feed your pet rabbit is also critical to their health and longevity. The finest choice for your rabbit is high-quality, farm-fresh hay. If you need to modify the diet your rabbit is consuming for whatever reason, do it gradually and under your veterinarian’s supervision. Furthermore, the food and treats you provide your rabbit should be nutritious rather than high in sugar and empty calories.
Rabbits, by nature, enjoy hopping around and exploring. They’re also relatively swift and enjoy racing around and expending energy with their powerful legs. Toys, chew blocks, and playing with you are all enrichment activities that pet rabbits will love. Grooming, mild play, and harness training can help rabbits stay active, engaged, and healthy.
Your daily care is the final piece of the pet rabbit care jigsaw. Your daily routine for yourself and your rabbit will impact your pet’s health and the length of time it will be a member of your household. Customizing the care you provide to match your family’s and rabbit’s requirements is a crucial last step in extending a pet rabbit’s lifespan.
Rabbits are excellent pets for individuals of all ages and are popular with families worldwide. However, before bringing a rabbit into your house, be sure you understand the responsibilities of having a pet rabbit. Keeping these guidelines in mind will make it simpler to increase the longevity of your pet rabbits.