Rabbits are amazing creatures known throughout the world for their different breeds and varieties. They have fascinated people for generations and are as popular as ever today.
Our rabbit facts; focus on breeds, their characteristics, behaviour, habitation, social aspects, physical, diet, mating and pet care.
So here are 100 rabbit facts beginning with…
1. Rabbits are small mammals found within the following taxonomic order
2. A young baby rabbit is called a kitten
3. The name for a male rabbit is called a buck.
4. A female rabbit is called a doe
5. Rabbits are actually lagomorphs and not rodents. This is because they have two sets of incisor teeth, one behind the other.
6. Rabbits and hares are closely related but are not the same species. But they are in the same taxonomic family Leporidae.
Rabbit Breed Facts
7. There are 47 recognized breeds according to the American Rabbit Breeders Association and there are 150 recognized rabbit coat colours and varieties.
8. Two of the rarest mammals in the world are the Ryukyu rabbit and the Volcano rabbit from Mexico.
Image “Romerolagus diazi (dispale) 001” by dispale – DSCF5328Uploaded by pixeltoo. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
9. Rabbits are often raised as pets, sometimes for exhibits in shows, or to produce a good source of meat.
10. Rabbit owners have also been known to breed rabbits for laboratory and biological research and to help gain insight into infectious disease, toxin and antitoxin development and physiology and anatomy exploration.
11. Although there are recognised breeds, there are also lesser known mixed breed rabbits although their ancestry can often be traced easily.
12. Rabbits breeds are separated into four key sizes; small, medium, large, and giant rabbit breeds.
Rabbit Characteristic facts
13. They have long ears, which can be more than 10 cm (4 in) long. These are probably an adaptation for detecting predators.
14. Rabbits have large, powerful hind legs that allow them to leap great distances.
15. They have two front paws have 5 toes, the extra toe is called the dewclaw.
16. The hind feet of rabbits have 4 toes for each foot.
17. Rabbits are plantigrade animals while at rest which means that they walk with their toes and metatarsals flat on the ground.
18. Rabbits move around on their toes while running, and have a digitigrade form
19. An average rabbit can run between 25 to 45 mph.
20. Rabbits have the ability to see behind them without turning their heads at all. This is because they have very widely set eyes on the side of their heads.
21. Rabbits have long ears however, the longest ever ears recorded are 31.125 inches long!
22. Their meat is white meat which is lower in fat, cholesterol and calories than chicken, pork and beef
23. Rabbits can get so scared that they can die of fright.
24. They are crepuscular, most active at dawn and dusk
25. The difference between rabbits and hares is how their kittens are born. Hares are pre-cocial which means their kittens are born with hair and vision. Rabbits are altricial which means that their kittens are born hairless and blind.
Rabbit Behaviour facts
26. Rabbits insist on keeping themselves clean and are just as fastidious as cats when it comes to grooming.
27. Rabbits sleep mostly during the day and have the ability to do so with their eyes open because they have a third eyelid which enables them to do this. This helps them stay wary of predators.
28. When they get excited, rabbits are known to jump and twist at the same time. This action is called a binky.
29. The highest ever rabbit jump was measured at 99.5 cm (39.2 in) and was achieved by Mimrelunds Tösen (The Lassie of Quivering Grove) and was owned by Tine Hygom (Denmark) in Herning, Denmark on 28 June 1997.
30. Rabbits have amazing hearing, they can hear up to a mile away.
32. Rabbits can wag their tails to indicate defiance.
33. Rabbits claim possessions by chinning which is where they will use their chin to mark objects with a scent which is undetectable by humans.
34. When they are in pain, they will chatter or crunch their teeth.
35. They have the ability to jump up to 3 metres long
36. Rabbits have several ways of escaping predators. Hopping away in a zig-zag, burrowing, delivering powerful kicks with their hind legs and biting their way of danger.
37. Most Rabbits do not like to be picked up, and much prefer to be stroked..
Rabbit Habitation facts
38. In the wild they live in places such as meadows, woods, forests, grasslands, deserts and wetlands
39. European Rabbits live together in burrows. When there are a group of these burrows, they are called a warren.
40. Rabbits are found in south western Europe, Sumatra, South east Asia, some islands of Japan and in areas of South America and Africa.
41. Rabbits are not found in Eurasia.
Rabbit Social facts
42. Rabbits have the ability to purr by grinding their teeth together which is a sign of happiness, they can also grunt and snort to express displeasure.
43. They live in groups called herds.
44. Out in the wild rabbits will thump their hind feet to warn others in the warren if they sense that danger is approaching. They also use this method to get attention or to express displeasure.
Physical Rabbit facts
45. Rabbits are unable to vomit so their bodies are unable to get rid of any harmful bacteria or viruses.
46. Their two front teeth never stop growing and so they always need to be gnawing at something so as to grind their teeth down.
47. Rabbits can unfortunately get diabetes.
48. The following symptoms are very bad for rabbits and mean they need to see a vet quick;
- They are mouth breathing or are having difficulty breathing,
- They have severe diarrhoea, they are bleeding uncontrollably from wound; or have been attacked,
- They may have a broken back or limb(s), or paralysed limbs, are limp, floppy or cold, are in pain,
- They aren’t eating or passing droppings,
- They have flystrike or are fitting.
49. Mature adult rabbits they can weigh anywhere between 2 lbs – 20 lbs, depending on the breed.
50. Rabbit hair can be divided into three types:
- Guide hairs which are external hairs that are long and rough,
- Guard hairs also called barbes which surround each guide hair and seal the coat
- Down hairs which out number guide hairs by 60 to 1 and are very short and barely visible. They ensure the rabbit is well insulated.
51. Rabbit urine will vary in colour from clear or cloudy and may be yellow,brown, or red. Red urine isn’t necessarily blood and can be a pigment, but should be analysed closely to ensure it is pigment.
53. Rabbits do not sweat apart from through their foot pads.
54. A rabbit sheds its hair every three months, which may be light or heavy depending on the month.
55. They have very delicate skeletons especially their backbone.
56. Rabbits have 28 teeth. Four inscisors, Two peg-like teeth, six upper premolars, four lower premolars, six upper molars and six lower molars.
57. They can suffer heat stroke because of their thick coat.
58. They have a blind spot in front of their face.
59. They are mostly active in the early mornings and late at night making them crepuscular animals.
60. A rabbit’s cecum is about 10 times bigger than the stomach and with their large intestine makes up about 40% of the rabbit’s digestive tract.
Rabbit Diet facts
61. They are herbivores, which means that their diet consists of grasses, vegetation, vegetables and fruit
62. Rabbits regularly eat their own faeces in order to help digest and absorb nutrients from their food.
63. Rabbits produce bacteria-rich droppings called cecotropes which are high in minerals, vitamins and proteins which they then consume to give themselves the nutrients that they need which they may not get elsewhere
64. Rabbits need access to fresh water at all times.
65. A rabbit’s diet should include dried food, meadow hay, fresh vegetables and water.
66. Contrary to popular opinion, carrots are actually very bad for rabbits. They are high in sugar which is harmful for bunnies.
67. Rabbits love to chew and eat hay, and it is the most vital element of their diet. it does three things for them;
- Eating it prevents the build up of hair balls in their stomach’s.
- It helps prevent their teeth from growing as they are constantly grinding it with their dentures.
- It gives the rabbit valuable fibre, vitamins and minerals for their diet.
68. They have a very sensitive digestive system so cant take new foods in large amounts. They need to be given in small amounts gradually.
69. Rabbits need constant access to water. Indeed, a four pound rabbit will drink as much water as a twenty pound dog.
70. Rabbit droppings make great fertiliser as they have a high nitrogen content.
Rabbit Mating facts
71. Rabbits were introduced to Australia in 1859 when a landowner Thomas Austin who released 24 rabbits into the wild. There are now an estimated 200 million rabbits in Australia today.
72. A doe has the ability to breed at about 5 or 6 months and a buck at between 6 or 7 months.
73. Female Doe’s are so concerned with reproducing, that they are known to conjure up false pregnancies.
74. Doe’s will give birth at any time during the day, however most births taking place at night and it takes around 10 minutes for her to deliver all her young.
75. Doe’s only feed kittens for 5 minutes a day as their milk is so nutritious for the kittens.
76. A doe’s babies are called a litter and the average size of a litter is between 4-6. They have been known to be as large as 12 though.
77. A doe’s gestation period is on average 31 – 32 days.
78. They are weaned at 8 weeks old and should not be separated from the mother before then. Before that they stay in their nest and do not move from there.
Image: “Rabbit nest” by Rklawton – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons –
79. Wild rabbits do not tend to breed with domestic rabbits, mainly because they smell of humans. However it is possible and been known to happen.
80. Domestic rabbits are born furless and their eyes do not open for 2 weeks after birth when they begin eating their mother’s cecotropes.
81. Wild rabbits nest their kittens for the first weeks underground in an area of the burrow which is separated from the rest of the warren.
82. More than half the world’s rabbit population is found in North America.
Pet Rabbit Facts
Image “RabbitEating” by Aznseiteki at en.wikipedia – Transferred from ronhjones to Commons by ronhjones.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
83. Rabbits that are kept indoors are often referred to as house rabbits
84. Domestic rabbits can live up to 8 -12 years.
85. Rabbits can be litter trained.
86. Rabbits require a diet that is high in fibre as it helps prevent a carbohydrate, glucose, or indigestible protein overload
87. When they are spayed and neutered they are better able to use a litter box
88. Their nails require trimming every few months so they do not grow longer than they should.
89. When rabbits are spayed and neutered; health complications are minimised, their populations are minimised, and hormonal urges are dulled.
90. Rabbits that haven’t been spayed or neutered will mark their territory using urine or droppings.
91. Brushing a rabbit’s hair is important as they cannot cough up hair balls like cats are able to. Due to the fragile nature of their digestive system, hairballs must be treated quickly or they may cause the rabbit to stop feeding and may ultimately be fatal.
92. Rabbits love to chew furniture, wires and cables inside the home and so need supervision.
93. Most Rabbits tend to not like being picked up as it makes them feel insecure. When they are picked up they will often want to kick out from your grasp, although some will remain passive and wont mind it at all.
94. Domestic rabbits do not like to be confined to small spaces and need space to run around and stretch their legs. Keeping them in cramped spaces is not good for them.
95. Rabbits are very quiet pets and the most noise you may hear from them is if they thump their hind feet.
96. Rabbits love attention either from humans or other rabbits or pets and get lonely if they don’t have company.
97. If you want to interact with a rabbit, sit on the floor with them. They will soon like to be petted sitting next to you but they don’t necessarily like to be picked up in your arms.
98. They need hay every day. This helps prevent digestive problems and needs to be provided as a free choice daily.
99. The average sleep time of a rabbit in captivity is said to be 8.4 hours.
100. The most popular rabbit breeds to have as pets are the Mini Rex, Netherland Dwarf, Lionhead, Holland Lop and other mixed breed rabbits. These are ‘dwarf type’ bunnies weighing between 2-4 pounds as adults and have a good temperament.