If you’re thinking of getting a rabbit as a pet then you may be wondering: “how long do rabbits live?”. Like any pet, before committing to care for them, you’ll want to know how long you’re likely to have your pet bunny.
That’s why we’re going to take a look at the rabbit life span, what factors can affect it and find out how long pet rabbits live…
How long do rabbits live?
How long do rabbits live in the wild?
Let’s start by having a look at the lifespan of a wild rabbit.
The truth is that many wild rabbits could potentially live as long as pet rabbits… if they lived in the same conditions. This isn’t the case though. Wild rabbits live in an environment where they have to deal with predators and danger every day.
Many wild rabbits are attacked and killed by other animals, such as foxes. And one of the biggest dangers for wild rabbits is traffic on the roads; a lot of them are hit by passing cars. All of this means that wild rabbits generally only live for 1 or 2 years.
How long do rabbits live when kept as pets?
Most people wonder how long rabbits live because they want to keep a rabbit as a pet. If this applies to you then it’s important to remember that much of how long a rabbit lives is down to how well it is cared for.
If you take good care of your pet then it is of course likely to live for longer than if it was neglected. It’s worth saying that when we talk about ‘neglect’ we don’t just mean being cruel or ignoring your pet. Neglect can also include feeding your bunny things that it shouldn’t eat, such as chocolate or bread.
If a pet rabbit is well cared for, and kept indoors, it’s likely to live for 8-12 years. There have been rabbits that have lived for as long as 18 years. This is a pretty long life for a small animal; as long as some dogs. A rabbit is therefore a long term commitment and you need to be prepared for that.
What factors affect how long a pet rabbit lives?
As well, as the care your rabbit receives, there are other things that can also have an effect on how long a rabbit lives.
It’s important to remember that each bunny is an individual though. Just like not all humans live the number of years you would expect, not all rabbits do either. Some rabbits have a shorter life than expected; others live a lot longer than their owners think they will.
Here are some of the things that can affect how long a rabbit lives…
How big is the bunny?
The size of a rabbit can have an effect on how long it lives. In the majority of cases, smaller rabbits have a longer lifespan than big ones. This doesn’t mean that your bumper bunny will die quickly though; there have been plenty of exceptions to the rule and many large rabbits live for more than 8 years.
House rabbit or not a house rabbit?
It’s very easy to house train a rabbit and if you can keep your pet indoors then its life may be extended.
One of the main reasons why outdoor rabbits tend to have a shorter life than indoor rabbits is predators. If your bunny is playing outdoors it could be attacked by a fox or a dog.
Rabbits that live outdoors can also be affected by bad weather and by infections that are in the air. If you can keep you rabbit in the house it makes sense to do so.
Spaying and neutering
You may be reluctant to have your pet spayed or neutered, but you could be doing them a huge favour if you get it done.
One of the benefits of spaying and neutering is that it can help your rabbit to live longer. This is especially the case if your rabbit is a girl. Female rabbits are prone to developing cancer if they are not spayed.
Remember though: all of these points refer to the general rabbit population and each individual rabbit is different. Not every small rabbit outlives a big one and not every female bunny that isn’t spayed develops cancer.
The best way for you to ensure that your rabbit lives as long as possible is to make sure that you care for it well. You should also get to know your rabbit so that you can tell if something is wrong. Sometimes it doesn’t take long for a sick rabbit to become very ill. You can help to stop this from happening by taking you rabbit to a vet as soon as you think there is a problem. Doing this can make the difference between a rabbit dying young and it living a long and happy life.