How Long Do Pet Rabbits Live And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on July 17th, 2022

Exact Age Range: 5 to 14 Years

Rabbits, like any other companion animal, have a typical lifespan. Knowing this lifetime can assist one in keeping their bunny in good health throughout all stages of life.

white rabbit on persons hand

The typical life expectancy of cats and dogs is well known, yet few people discuss how long rabbits live. A tamed rabbit may live for five to fourteen years on average.

The Lifespan of a Rabbit

The following is an overview of rabbit behavior at various life stages:

  • Under 1 month: The baby stage, when they are completely dependent on their moms.
  • 1-3 months: Toys and supervised activity are required during the toddler-child era.
  • The teenage stage lasts 4-6 months. After that, hormones kick in; they’re able to reproduce, have a lot of energy and views, grow more autonomous, and are ready to be spayed or neutered.
  • 6 months to 1 year: The young adult period, when they are figuring out what they enjoy and hate.
  • The adult stage lasts from 1 to 5 years. They need to be checked by a veterinarian once a year and get plenty of exercises. Veterinarians consider rabbits to be in their senior years when they reach the age of five. However, most rabbits act much younger at this age.
  • 6-8 years: The HRS deems this to be “middle age,” when rabbits may begin to slow down.
  • The senior years last 8 years or more. If they begin to slow down, they may require weight maintenance (either up or down), particular care (such as more soft surfaces for probable arthritis), and maybe more regular doctor visits.

How Long Do Rabbits Live As Pets?

Unlike their wild counterparts, who live for one to two years on average, pet rabbits can live for five to fourteen years, depending on the breed.

The most prevalent breed of a pet rabbit is the Holland Lop. This low-maintenance, sweet-tempered rabbit can live for up to ten years. Lionhead Rabbits have a lifespan of seven to ten years. They are incredibly friendly and lively, which makes them excellent family pets. Rex rabbits are amiable, clever, athletic, and recognized for their thick hair. They have a lifespan of six to eight years.

The mini lop, another widespread domesticated rabbit, may live for seven to fourteen years.

Dutch rabbits, however, have only six to nine years. Both of these rabbits are simple to look after and groom. California rabbits, the biggest of all domesticated rabbits, with a lifespan of five to ten years. These rabbits are used in exhibits or as meat.

The most common dwarf breeds are the Netherland dwarf rabbits and the dwarf Hotot rabbits. Dwarf rabbits from the Netherlands are tiny, lively critters that can live for 10 to 12 years. Hotot, the dwarf, may live for seven to ten years.

Holland Lopup to 10 years
Lionhead Rabbits7-10 years
Rex rabbits6-8 years
Mini lop7-14 years
Dutch rabbits6-9 years
California rabbits5-10 years
Netherland dwarf rabbits10-12 years
Dwarf Hotot rabbits7-10 years

Why Do Rabbits Live Such Short Lives?

Even when housed in captivity, rabbits have a relatively limited lifetime of 8 to 10 years. Though it is significantly longer than tiny animals such as hamsters, it is much shorter than many other pets such as cats.

An animal’s lifetime is proportional to the age at which it can effectively reproduce. From an evolutionary standpoint, an animal’s life is complete after it has produced a large number of offspring.

Rabbits have developed to reproduce at a young age. They also have huge litters to make up for the enormous number of rabbits that become prey to other animals. These characteristics were chosen by evolution because they aid rabbit survival in the wild.

What is not chosen for is an animal’s ability to live in old age. Once an animal reaches old age, it cannot reproduce to carry on its genes. Rabbits do not pass on genes that help them live longer lives since they produce so many litters in their first few years.

But it’s still a blessing to spend a decade with a loving pet. Even if your rabbit doesn’t live as long as you’d like, they’ll add so much to your life.

Rabbits’ Common Causes of Death

Gastrointestinal (GI) stasis is a common cause of mortality in rabbits and can kill them fast. GI stasis can be caused by various factors, including stress, dehydration, and obstruction. Pierce mentioned indicators to look out for, such as a rabbit that isn’t eating or has smaller droppings than usual.

Other common causes of death include heatstroke (for rabbits left outside), injury, poisoning, infectious illness, cancer, and stress-related heart attacks.

Overall, monitoring your rabbit’s health and visiting your veterinarian if anything appears to be amiss is critical.

How to Tell If Your Rabbit Is Aging

If you have an indoor rabbit, you might expect to notice indications of aging around 4-5 years old.

Aging symptoms include a decline in activity level and the emergence of new health conditions.

Your rabbit is likely to slow down significantly as she ages.

Do some rabbit breeds outlive others?

There hasn’t been enough research into this, although larger breeds of rabbits, like dogs, are assumed to have shorter lifetimes than smaller varieties.

What can I do to ensure that my rabbit has a long and happy life?

Many bunnies suffer due to the widespread misperception that rabbits are low maintenance.

Rabbits require the proper nourishment for their species and appropriate habitat and company.

They also require enrichment and mental stimulation to be happy and live a long life.

Furthermore, keeping your rabbit’s yearly vaccines up to date will aid in the prevention of illness and disease.


A rabbit’s lifetime is determined by its breed. However, additional aspects like health, housing, diet, and exercise all play a role in determining a bunny’s fate. As a result, to maintain their bunnies alive for a long time, they must be fed properly, exercised, and have regular health checks.


Editorial Staff

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