Rabbit Lifespan: How Long Do Rabbits Live?

Written by August Buck
Updated: June 29, 2022
Image Credit Rita_Kochmarjova/Shutterstock.com
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Popular pets and commonly found in the wild, rabbits often live short and stressful lives. So, how long do rabbits live? Many domesticated rabbits find that their lives are enjoyable and full of love, if they are adopted into a loving home. 

If you have recently adopted a pet rabbit, you may be wondering how you might give your rabbit a long and healthy life. In this article we will discuss the average lifespan of rabbits, both pets and in the wild.

We will also go over the life cycle of a rabbit to learn what it needs at each step of its life. We will also discuss some helpful tips you can try to give your pet rabbit the life it deserves. Let’s get started. 

How long do rabbits live?
Many domesticated rabbits find that their lives are enjoyable and full of love, if they are adopted into a loving home. 

How Long Do Rabbits Live?

Rabbits live an average of 3-8 years, depending on their breed and environment. For example, wild rabbits are said to only live up to 4 years on average given their high amount of natural predators.

Pet rabbits are known to live much longer. Many studies show that pet rabbits can live over 10 years, depending on their level of care. This is a striking difference compared to many other wild and domesticated animals.

Rabbits live longer than rats on average, whether they are pets or in the wild. They are friendly, curious, and easy to care for overall. This makes them ideal family pets and great members of your family. 

The Oldest Rabbit Ever

Wonder what the extremes of rabbit age are? The oldest rabbit ever was an Australian rabbit named Flopsy that reached 1 years and 10 months! Lifespans of beyond 15 years are rare for rabbits. The second oldest rabbit was named Mick and reached 16 years of age. Another rabbit from Silver Run, Maryland named Heather reached the age of 15 before passing away.

As you can see while there are cases of rabbits reaching their teenage years, they are extremely rare.

The Average Rabbit Life Cycle

How long do rabbits live?
Rabbits live an average of 3-8 years, depending on their breed and environment.

iStock.com/MriyaWildlife

If you have ever wondered what a rabbit’s life cycle is like, you’re in the right place. Here is what it’s like to be born as a rabbit, from birth to old age. 

Newborns

Newborn rabbits look very different from the rabbits we know and love. They are born without hair, blind, and with their ears folded over. They do not start to recognize their surroundings until after a week or two.

During the first months of their lives, baby rabbits eat and sleep almost exclusively, relying on their mother for everything. Newborn rabbits are known as kits and drink their mother’s milk, not eating solid food until they are young adults. 

Young Rabbits

After two months, young rabbits in the wild are left on their own. While they still get along with their mothers and siblings, they are considered independent at this time. They leave the nest and venture forward on their own.

Pet rabbits are usually adopted after 2 months, as this is an ideal time for socialization and getting to know humans. This helps pet rabbits learn not to bite and makes them into the social creatures we know and love. 

Young rabbits are still growing up until roughly a year old. However, they reach sexual maturity by 3 months of age. Rabbits will unknowingly breed with their siblings, so it is important to keep this in mind if you are raising young litters. 

Adults

How long do rabbits live?
After two months, young rabbits in the wild are left on their own.

Cora Mueller/Shutterstock.com

Rabbits are considered adults once they have reached their full size. This often happens between 1 and 4 years of age. Younger adult rabbits are extremely active and playful, seeking companionship if they are a domesticated rabbit.

This is also the period of time that you should focus on giving them toys and treats. Rabbits have teeth that never stop growing, like many other species of rodents. It is important to keep their teeth filed down so that they don’t experience discomfort.

Adult rabbits can also have some behavioral issues such as spraying and aggression. This is especially present in male rabbits, which is why it is important to spay and neuter your rabbit. Once adult rabbits have passed four years of age, they often mellow out and grow calmer. 

If a wild rabbit lives to see the age of four or five, this is a success. Many wild rabbits are victims of predators or other environmental issues and their life span is limited. However, wild rabbits are not endangered in any way and are an important part of many different ecosystems. 

Tips for a Long Life for Your Pet Rabbit

How long do rabbits live?
Rabbits have teeth that never stop growing, like many other species of rodents.

iStock.com/Laures

If you have recently adopted a pet rabbit, you may be wondering how you can give it a long and healthy life. Given that pet rabbits live much longer than wild rabbits, this is a fairly easy thing for you to accomplish. Here’s how to give your domesticated rabbit it’s best life. 

  • Make sure it can chew. Chewing is one of the most important things for a pet rabbit to do, as it expels energy and ensures that their teeth are filed down to an appropriate length. Rabbit teeth can grow at an alarming rate and even injure the rabbit is not properly tended to. Wooden blocks and other toys specifically made for rodents are good purchases to make for your pet. 
  • Trim your rabbit’s nails. While rabbits are notorious diggers, you may still need to trim your pet rabbit’s nails monthly. Much like their teeth, rabbit nails can grow quickly and without care for your pet, often leading to injury and harm. 
  • Feed them a varied diet. Rabbit pellets are full of nutritional value and important vitamins and minerals for your pet rabbit, but you can still feed them a variety of things. Fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended for your rabbit, as well as alfalfa or hay blends. Treats should be given sparingly, as an overweight rabbit won’t be a healthy or happy rabbit.

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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