Ask yourself how well do you care for your rabbit from food, housing, lifestyle, medical care, vet visits, mental exercise, and, of course, lots of love – these are the defining factors of your little one’s life.
The breed can also affect the life of rabbits, but not as much as the diet and care we give them. Years ago there was a myth that rabbits only lived a year or two. It’s now known that this is not the case, so choosing to adopt a rabbit is a long-term choice.
It all started when rabbits began to be welcomed into homes and looked after as pets. In a protected environment, the stress and fear of being hunted are diminished, and life expectancy is increased.
We are talking about 35 years ago: rabbits use to live between 3 to 5 years; later, expectations increased until they reached age 7, then age 9, and so on. Today, thanks also to changes in nutrition and the care that is dedicated to them, the average life span of rabbits ranges from 8 to 12 years, sometimes even longer.
The life expectancy of rabbits today :
- House rabbit kept in the apartment: about 10 years or more
- House rabbit kept in the garden: between 2 and 3 years
- Wild rabbit: 1-2 years
Non-apartment rabbits have a much lower life expectancy than domestic rabbits due to the various critical conditions they face.
- The longest-lived domesticated wild rabbit lived up to 18 years and 10 months
- The longest-lived domestic rabbit lived up to 17 years and 2 weeks. The owner of this rabbit said it’s easy to keep a rabbit healthy, all you need is a good diet (hay and some quality pellets) and lots of love. Genetics also have an influence, but nutrition and attention are especially important. The hostess never gave him carrots or other vegetables, fruit, or other prize snacks.
How to make your rabbit live longer
Rabbit longevity depends on:
Diet – A diet rich in fiber and quality hay, a few fresh leaves, and few or no pellets will make up the perfect diet for your rabbit. Avoid sudden power changes.
Low Stress – A rabbit can die of a heart attack just from a barking dog: keep your little one safe and try not to scare It.
Space – Rabbits need space to run and stretch their muscles.
Love – The care and attention you dedicate to your bunny will make the difference: take care of It and dedicate time to It.
Breed – It’s difficult to tell which rabbit breeds live longer, however, smaller rabbits seem to live longer than larger rabbits.
Neutering – A neutered pet rabbit has a life expectancy of around 8-12 years. Furthermore, having your rabbit undergo this surgery will reduce the risk of cancer.
Mental exercise (games)
Temperature – Avoid too high temperatures and sudden changes in temperature: rabbits suffer a lot.
Common causes of death in rabbits
A rabbit kept outside the home lives around 2 or 3 years. The biggest threat is predators: owls, hawks and other large birds can be very quick to catch your little friend, so be very careful when running around in the garden.
When the rabbit is not fed adequately or does not have enough space, various disorders and diseases can arise including dental malocclusion, swelling, obesity, bladder stones, uterine tumors, myxomatosis.
If they live long, it’s easier for some problems to arise; for this reason, older rabbits need special attention and have different needs. Keep this in mind, as it is an important and often overlooked fact.
To conclude: how long do rabbits live if well cared for?
Rabbits can live for a long time, but you should keep them indoors: apartment living is the best choice to make them live peacefully and feel safe. Rabbits kept outdoors live five times less than those kept indoors, and wild ones live ten times less than house rabbits.
How long do they live with the right care and attention? They can keep you company for 10, 12 years. If you are lucky, your rabbit will become very old and may even reach 15 years of age.