Rabbits like to have a home where they can eat, sleep and chill out. This is the same for rabbits living in the wild and for pet rabbits. But where are these homes and what are they like? Where do rabbits live?
In this article, we look at where rabbits live: where rabbits live in the wild – including what countries they can be found in and what their homes are like – and where rabbits live when kept as pets. We even discover some unusual Japanese and Korean ideas about where you might find rabbits living!
Where do rabbits live? Read on to find out…
Where do rabbits live in the wild?
Humans have introduced the best known species of rabbit – the European rabbit – to every continent except Antarctica. All around the world rabbits can be found living in the wild, being kept as pets, and being bred for food.
Rabbits live in a wide range of environments, from woods and meadows, to grasslands and forests, deserts and wetlands. Over half of all rabbits live in North America. They are also native to southwestern Europe, Southeast Asia, parts of Africa and South America.
Where do rabbits live in groups? What are their homes like?
Rabbits live in groups, called colonies or nests.
A colony of rabbits will make their home wherever it is easy to dig a hole, known as a burrow.
Burrows are linked to nesting areas by a range of tunnels. This linked habitat is called a warren.
Wild rabbit warrens can be really large and can descend as much as three metres underground. There are several entrances to the warren, as well as several emergency tunnels and exits in case the rabbits need to exit the warren in a hurry.
If you could look inside a rabbit warren you would notice that it is very clean. Rabbits only drop soft pellets which they re-digest in their home. The other hard pellets are all dropped outdoors.
Rabbits find their food outside the warren. They eat close to the warren which is why you may notice that the vegetation is shorter in that area. Rabbits are prey animals and eating close to home makes it easier for them to escape into the warren should any predators appear on the scene.
The threat of predators is also the reason why rabbits are crepuscular animals. This means that they tend to be awake and active early in the morning and in the evening, as in the wild these are safer times of day for them to be out looking for food. That is not to say that you won’t sometimes see a rabbit out in the open in the middle of the day, if the weather is sunny and the area is secluded.
Where do rabbits live as pets?
There are two main places where rabbits live when kept as pets:
- Outside, in a rabbit hutch.
- Or inside, in the home.
Keeping rabbits in a hutch
If you are going to keep rabbits outside in a hutch then it’s a good idea to keep a pair rather than just one rabbit on its own. Rabbits are social animals and they will get lonely if left by themselves.
In the UK, the minimum size hutch that is suitable for a rabbit is 6’ x 2’ x 2’; this is according to the Animal Welfare Act. The Act also states that an 8’ x 4’ x 4’ run should be attached to the hutch. If you have a very large rabbit – or more than one – then you will of course need even more space.
If your rabbit is living outside it’s also worth remembering that they should be fully protected from potential predators.
Keeping rabbits inside your home
If you decide to just have one rabbit then you need to be prepared to give it all of the attention and companionship it needs. A good way of doing this is to keep your rabbit in your home with you. Keeping a house rabbit is far more common now than it used to be.
Here are some points to remember if you are thinking of having a house rabbit.
- You need to spend time litter training your bunny; this is relatively simple with most rabbits. It’s easier if you start this training after your pet has been spayed or neutered.
- You need to bunny proof your home. Rabbits do have a tendency to chew. You should be especially careful to make sure wires are out of your rabbit’s reach or boxed in.
- Where do rabbits live when inside a house? Obviously, you can’t just let your rabbit wander freely around the house! You’ll need to make some sort of house for your rabbit within your home. This is a place that your rabbit can go when they want some alone time.
Whether in the wild or in the family home, rabbits are sociable and playful. They need a home that is secure and that includes space for them to be alone if they choose to be.
Where do rabbits live in mythology?
When you asked “where do rabbits live?”, we’re willing to bet you didn’t expect this answer! Here’s a fun fact to end our article on where rabbits live…
In Korean and Japanese tradition, rabbits actually live… on the moon!
Japanese mythology suggests that these moon rabbits make ‘mochi’, a sticky rice snack, while Korean mythology suggests they spend their time making rice cakes. Of course, this is just a myth and NASA are yet to discover any real moon rabbits!!