Why Rabbits Can Live a Long Time: Guide to Expected Lifespan

So you want to know how long your rabbit can live? You’re not alone. Many people wonder what the expected lifespan of a pet rabbit is, especially when they see small animals like hamsters and gerbils have such a short life span.

Many people believe that rabbits have a short expected lifespan. But this isn’t always true!

Many rabbits can live to be 10-11 years old if they are taken care of properly. This is because rabbits are very social creatures and require a lot of attention from their owners. When you do your research on how to take care of them, you will find out that there are many things you can do for your pet rabbit that will make them happy and healthy for a long time!

How long do rabbits live?

Pet rabbits have a life expectancy of up to 11 years if they are kept happy and healthy by their owners. This can drastically differ depending on the certain breed you own. This is drastically different from rabbits in the wild because those have a life expectancy of about 9 years.

Many factors can contribute to a rabbit’s lifespan and it’s important to know what exactly it is that brings in the difference between 9 and 11 years.

Factors that affect the lifespan of a rabbit

Several factors can directly or indirectly affect a rabbit’s lifespan. To start, genetics can play an important role in how long they’ll live.

Next, it’s vital to know the difference between pet rabbits and wild ones because their life expectancy is drastically different (about 11 years vs about nine). Then there are environmental factors such as a diet that also contribute to how long your bunny will live.


Rabbits have been found to have vastly different lifespans when comparing indoor and outdoor and even wild rabbits. A lot of the reason has to deal with the harshness of the environment.

Outside temperatures can become very hot and dry during the summertime in some areas. These temperatures can cause a rabbit to overheat, which is fatal for rabbits because they do not have sweat glands as humans do. And when it gets cold outside, that could be deadly as well because it’s too easy for them to get frostbite on their ears or paws.

Wild and outdoor rabbits are also susceptible to predators, such as coyotes, foxes, and hawks that might attack them.

Indoor rabbits are not exposed to these predators or the harsh weather so they can typically live much longer than outdoor rabbit counterparts!


Rabbits with a healthy diet will be much more likely to have a longer lifespan compared to those who forage and hunt for food. I feed my rabbits hay, vegetables, and apples. Hay is important because it provides them with an easy way to get the needed fiber that they would otherwise need to forage through the yard to find. They also love veggies!

Indoor rabbits are often provided with food that is carefully inspected and nutritional which can create a huge effect on their longevity.


Getting your rabbit out of its cage periodically will provide some exercise. Like humans, exercising is a major part of preventing disease and being overweight. This is probably not an issue with more wild rabbits because their lives are filled with looking for food and avoiding predators.

It’s important to make sure your rabbit has plenty of toys and places to play in its cage so that it can have some mental stimulation too!


Rabbits are social creatures. They yearn for companionship and when left alone this can be stressful (and harmful) to their mental health.

Rabbits socializing tend to live longer
Rabbits socializing tend to live longer

Sitting with your rabbit will provide them the experience of a friend sitting nearby and this is calming for rabbits. Some people even report that they communicate better with rabbits when in person- which is not surprising considering how much we have in common!

If you don’t think you spend enough time with your rabbit or you’re getting busier every day, it might be a good idea to find your rabbit a companion.

It doesn’t have to be another rabbit. As long as this companion can get along with your rabbit, then it’s good to go.

Cats and dogs can make good companions to rabbits as well. Just make sure you are certain they get along.

Health and disease

Health is one of the topics that may greatly determine lifespan. Here, we’re talking about genetics and how that may be one of the factors that affect how long a rabbit lives.

Diseases occur in rabbits just as they do in humans.


Breeds can also affect lifespan. Dwarf rabbits have a shorter lifespan than larger breeds and those that are mixed with other animal species may be even more susceptible to disease or health problems because of the genetic background.

How long do indoor rabbits live?

They can live up to 11 years. Rabbits living indoor possibly have the longest life expectancy.

Indoor rabbits are typically the ones that spend most of their life inside the owner’s home, most likely within a cage but allowed to roam throughout the house.

This is usually because they are kept in a controlled environment that has no dangers of predators or other animals who would pose harm to them from outside the home.

If you’re considering getting an indoor rabbit, it’s important to know how much time they will spend indoors and what type of breed you want so you can make sure your rabbit is happy and cared for properly.

The average range of life for indoor rabbits is recorded to be between 8-12 hours, but even that can depend on more than just environmental factors.

How long do outdoor rabbits live?

Outdoor rabbits are the ones left outside perhaps in a shed to roam around a closed fence yard. These rabbits are faced with the dangers of predators and other animals, weather conditions like extreme heat or cold, sun exposure, and so on.

Outdoor rabbits tend to live shorter lives than indoor rabbits as a result of the dangerous environment they are in. The lifespan is recorded at an average range from about 4 years to 6 years with some living up to 8 years old!

How long do wild rabbits live?

Wild rabbits are categorized as the ones that are not particularly owned by humans. These rabbits forage and explore, and are not restricted to a specific area.

Wild rabbits fare much better in their environment than the outdoor counterparts because they have developed a knack for survival against predators. That’s not to say that they can never be killed by predators in the wild. But they do have defensive mechanisms to avoid getting eaten.

However, they can also avoid dangerous conditions like extreme weather or sun exposure by hiding in the vegetation. This is why it’s difficult to determine the average lifespan of wild rabbits as many factors can contribute to their lifespan.

A few wild rabbits have been reported as living up to eight years in the wild, but speculation has estimated that their lifespan falls within 3-5 years.

Is it true that neutered rabbits live longer?

It was found that neutered rabbits statistically lived longer lives than unneutered ones.

Rabbits are susceptible to diseases that are similar to humans such as certain types of cancers. Studies found that by neutering female rabbits at an early age, they have a much lower chance of developing uterine and ovarian cancer.

The same concept follows male rabbits and the development of prostate cancer.

Neutered rabbits are also less aggressive and generally healthier and happier.

What disease can affect rabbits?

Once again, rabbits have been recorded to die from health conditions such as cancer. They are also susceptible to man-made poisons, parasites, and transmitted diseases from other animals including their own.

Does the size of a rabbit affect its longevity?

Size can somewhat be correlated with longevity, but I wouldn’t say it’s an exact science. Most larger and smaller breeds tend to leave shorter lives than the sizes in the middle.

Again, there are no definitive studies that make this true.

What are the lifespans of different breeds of rabbits?

Holland Lop7-12
American Sable5-8
Giant Angora7-12
Flemish Giant5-7
Checkered Giant5-8
Mini Lop7-14
Netherland Dwarf10-12

How old can a rabbit get?

It’s been recorded that as of February 9, 2019, one of the oldest rabbits is over 16 years crushing the normal stigma of 8-12 years.

His name is Mick the Agouti rabbit from Berwyn, Illinois, USA.

Why do rabbits scream when they die?

It’s not uncommon for rabbits to exert an almost child-like scream when coming face to face with danger and possibly death. Some have even been known to be so frightened that they could scream to death.

If you are ever faced with this situation, it’s best to rush to your rabbit’s aid, calm it down as quickly as possible and stay with it until it feels relaxed and safe.

Do rabbits know when their partner dies?

Rabbits can mourn. They do this if they happen to find the body of their mate. They will try to sniff, pad, and nudge their mate until realizing that their mate is no longer with them.

These furry animals require companions and bonding to remain happy and healthy. The death of a partner or friend will affect the rabbits and they may start to act out more than usual.

They will show depression.

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Author: John