68 Interesting Facts About Rabbits

Last updated on June 19th, 2022

With distinctive long ears, and short tails, rabbits are small mammals that are found on all continents expect Antarctica. There are 29 species of rabbits. With these interesting facts about rabbits, let us learn about their physical features, feeding habits, reproduction, behaviour, and more.

Physical Features

1. Size and Weight

Rabbits are small mammals with long ears and powerful hind legs. Most rabbits are between 13 and 20 inches long. Adults weigh between 2.4 and 5.5 pounds.

2. Exceptional Jumpers

Rabbits can easily jump over 2 feet high. The best of them, Mimrelunds Tosen of Denmark, was able to jump over 3 feet (39.2 inches) for the world record.

3. Panoramic Vision

Rabbits use their nearly 360° panoramic vision to effectively avoid predators in the wild. Their only blind spot is a small section in front of their nose. They can see far objects better than nearby objects.

4. Sense of Smell

A rabbit’s sense of smell is even better than their eyesight. They are likely to smell the presence of a predator before they see it.

Bunny Rabbits family
Interesting facts about rabbits. Photo © Yulia

5. Sound Detection

Rabbits have ears that can grow up to 10 centimeters! Rabbit ears can move independently by 180 degrees, enabling them to hear from two directions at once. They can detect sounds from far away, including high frequencies that humans can’t hear.

6. Rabbit Lifespan

A pet rabbit can live for about 5 to 10 years depending on the breed. Sterilized rabbits, referring to those who are spayed or neutered, can often live up to 12 years.

7. Rabbit Speed

Cottontail rabbits can run at a speed of 18 miles per hour (29kph). They move in a zigzag pattern to confuse their predators and make themselves harder to catch.

8. Rabbits vs Hares

These belong to the same family but are different species. Hares tend to have larger bodies and longer ears. They are also less social than rabbits and live completely aboveground.

Alert brown hare (Lepus europaeus).
Interesting facts about rabbits. Photo © Scattoselvaggio

9. Rabbit Tails

Rabbits have small but functional tails. These are used to distract predators during a chase and to signal danger to other rabbits. They can also use their tails to communicate emotion.

10. Largest Rabbit

The largest rabbit of all time comes from Minorca in Spain. Nuralagus Rex existed 3-5 million years ago based on the fossil records. Average weight is 12 kg, but some are as heavy as 23 kg.

11. Longest Rabbit Fur

Franchesca the Rabbit has the longest fur on record at 14.37 inches (36.5 cm). Her owner is an expert on the breed called English Angora rabbit, which is often mistaken for Pekingese dogs.

Two white and black domestic rabbits on grass
Photo © Silvanjogan

Feeding Habits

12. Expelling Food

Humans and some other animals can puke out anything that upsets their stomach. However, rabbits are not able to vomit food, so they must be careful about what they eat.

13. Herbivore Diet

Rabbits eat hay, grass, and other plants. They need a steady supply to stay healthy and full of energy. Pet owners can supplement this with rabbit pellets, vegetables, and fruits.

14. Digestive System

Rabbits and horses have similar digestive systems. They both have an organ called the cecum at the end of the tract. This is filled with microbes that break down the food fibers. Rabbits can’t fully digest their fiber-rich food in one pass. It might be hard to imagine, but they eat their own soft poop pellets to digest them a second time and properly absorb the nutrients.

15. High-speed Chewing

Rabbits can chew 120 times a minute, allowing them to partially break down their food quickly before this goes into their stomach.

rabbits with carrot and cabbage
Interesting facts about rabbits. Photo © Maya Kruchankova

16. Rabbits and Carrots

Rabbits are often portrayed as carrot-loving animals but they can’t live on these alone. Only small amounts are recommended because carrots are high on natural sugars that can cause tooth decay in rabbits.

17. Careful Consumers

Before grazing in the open, rabbits survey the area and formulate an exit strategy. They may seem preoccupied with food but they are always monitoring. At the first sign of danger, they will dash towards a predetermined path.

18. Crepuscular Creatures

Just like house cats and deer, rabbits are crepuscular creatures. This means that they are most active during twilight hours: dusk and dawn. They spend most of the day sleeping. It may not always be obvious because rabbits can sleep with their eyes open for faster response to danger.

Little boy playing with rabbit
Interesting facts about rabbits. Photo © Photobac

19. Longest Rabbit

The world’s longest rabbit is “Darius”, a Continental Giant from the UK measuring 4 feet and 3 inches long. It weighs just over 50 pounds from an annual diet that includes 700 apples and 2,000 carrots.

20. Rabbit Teeth

Their teeth never stop growing. In the wild, their penchant for chewing on barks and branches keep these short. In captivity, they can chew on hay, wooden blocks, or chew toys to get the same effect.

Reproduction

21. Rabbit Terms

A female rabbit is called a doe, while a male is called a buck — just like deer. A baby rabbit is referred to as a kit. When discussing a group of rabbits, call them a herd.

22. Rabbit Litter

Rabbits have a short pregnancy that lasts for only 30 days. After this, an average female will give birth to a litter of 4 to 12 babies.

Rabbits laying on grass.
Interesting facts about rabbits. Photo © Beachboyx10

23. Babies at Birth

Rabbits are born blind and naked. They remain in a fur-lined nest during the first few days for warmth. On the other hand, hares are born with open eyes and body hair. They can even run just a few minutes after birth.

24. Grooming

Rabbits make it a point to stay clean, so they rarely need a bath. They will groom themselves and their bonded partner a few times each day.

25. Breeding

Rabbits breed three to four times a year, but only 15% of babies make it to their first birthday. The high reproduction rate assures survival of the species.

26. Age of Reproduction

Male rabbits can start reproducing as early as 7 months, while females can get pregnant after just 4 months. A single doe and her offspring can produce roughly 800 rabbits in a single year.

Steel rabbit jumping
Interesting facts about rabbits. Photo © Lynnette Guptill

27. Avoid Overpopulation

Given their high reproduction rate, overpopulation can be a big problem for rabbit pet owners. Spaying females and neutering males are among the surest ways to avoid this.

28. Easier to Train

Male rabbits have obnoxious behaviors such as spraying and frequent aggression against other rabbits. Neutering them will stop these. In addition, both spayed females and neutered males are easier to train.

29. Better Companions

Rabbits long for companionship. Male and female rabbits go well together, but the pairs are calmer without the need to breed. They become more loving and dependable.

30. Largest Rabbit Litter

The largest litter recorded for rabbits is 24. This has been achieved several times by pet rabbits in New Zealand, Canada, and Cyprus.

Characteristics

31. Baby Rabbits

The baby rabbits are called “kits” or “kittens”. These kits grow quickly. They depend on their moms for only few weeks before they start taking care of themselves.

32. Cooling Down

When it gets hot, rabbits sweat through the pads of their feet. They may also stretch their ears to cool down or fold these to stay warm.

33. Happy Rabbits

Listen closely. A content and relaxed rabbit may purr just like a cat. Meanwhile, excited rabbits may jump, twist, and kick in mid-air. Give them lots of space, toys, and food to stay happy.

34. Natural Enemies

In the wild, rabbits are keen to avoid cats, dogs, lynxes, badgers, bears, and foxes which love to hunt them. They are also on the lookout for snakes, raccoons, minks, weasels, owls, ferrets, hawks, falcons, and sparrows.

Kids feeding rabbits, rabbits fact file
Photo © Bigandt

35. Communication

Rabbits can communicate through scent, such as leaving their urine and feces in certain areas to mark where they’ve been. They may also talk to each other using body postures and quiet vocalizations.

36. Habitat

Rabbits can live in different types of places thanks to adaptation. In the wild, they can be found in meadows, forests, woods, deserts, grasslands, and wetlands.

37. Anxious Bunnies

Rabbit can easily get scared and jump away, so be careful not to startle them. If you have these as pets at home, avoid picking them up or holding onto them. Be mindful of their mood.

38. Grooming

Rabbits may groom themselves obsessively, ingesting lots of fur that can lead to stomach upset. Owners can groom their rabbit weekly with a pet brush to prevent this behavior.

Unique Behaviors

39. Binky When Happy

Rabbits are expressive creatures. You will know that they are happy when they do the “binky”, a behavior in which they jump in the air, twist their body, and spin around.

Cute rabbit sitting on brick wall
Interesting facts about rabbits. Photo © Engdao Wichitpunya

40. The Trickiest Rabbit

Like other house pets, rabbit can be trained to perform tricks. The record for the most tricks in a minute is 20. It’s held by Taawi the Rabbit from Finland.

41. Underground Tunnels

In the wild, European rabbits burrow and live underground in tunnel networks called warrens. Their whiskers help them determine whether they can fit through holes so they don’t get stuck.

42. Rabbit Habitat

Wild rabbits dig burrows in a variety of habitats including woods, meadows, deserts, forests, grasslands, and wetlands. Rabbits native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa have been introduced to other locations.

43. Social Hierarchy

Rabbits have a hierarchical system. One doe will dominate all female rabbits and one buck will dominate all males. The dominant rabbits enjoy the best burrows, grooming from other rabbits, and first dibs on food.

44. Warning Signs

Rabbits are constantly on the lookout for predators. If they detect danger, they will warn others by thumping their hind legs before sheltering in a burrow.

45. Space Requirements

Rabbits will take as much space as they can get. After all, they love to run, jump, and dig. Pet cages should let them stand upright and stretch out when lying down.

Rabbits in a hutch
Interesting facts about rabbits. Photo © Spongecake

46. Ideal Shelter

Since rabbits are prey animals, they get anxious out in the open. Even domesticated rabbits like having a shelter with plenty of hiding places.

47. Pet Companionship

Both wild and domesticated rabbits love companionship. If left alone, a rabbit will likely get sad and bored. Pet owners should always keep them in pairs or groups for their wellbeing.

48. Pet Preferences

Pet rabbits may allow humans to stroke their fur but they may get scared if someone picks them up. Their instinct is to think they are being captured, so don’t insist if they resist.

Rabbit Trivia

49. Cruelty-free Logo

If you are a supporter of animal rights, then look for the rabbit logo on products such as cosmetics. Its presence on the label means that the item was not tested on animals.

50. Fertility Symbol

Due to their prolific reproduction, rabbits have become a symbol of fertility among several cultures. For example, Germanic peoples worshipped the fertility goddess Eostre who is often depicted with rabbits.

Young cute rabbits
Interesting facts about rabbits. Photo © Meryll

51. Celtic Tradition

Celtic stories feature rabbits that can communicate with underground fairies. They also thought that some people could turn themselves into rabbits, so they did not hunt these animals.

52. Egyptian Tradition

The Egyptian goddess Unut is depicted in different forms. Her sculptures originally had a woman’s body and a snake’s head. Later, this was replaced by a lion’s head and a hare’s head.

53. Rabbit’s Foot

In English-speaking regions, a rabbit’s foot is said to bring good luck to the owner. A person must carry it close to the body to be effective. Folklores suggest the left pocket for storage, although it can also be worn around the neck.

54. Popularity

Rabbits are popular in the UK with over 1.2 million of them being kept as pets. They are the 3rd most popular house pets in the country after dogs and cats.

Group of rabbits eating food, facts about rabbits
Photo © Ploychan Lompong

55. Hyperactive Pets

Rabbits need about 4 hrs of activity each day to stay happy and prevent osteoporosis. They can run around, toss toys, jump up, play fetch, and more.

56. Panicky Pets

Rabbits should feel safe and secure in their environment. Avoid doing anything that could scare them because they are quick to panic. If their heart rate gets too high, they can get a heart attack.

57. Rabbit Island

A small Japanese island named Okunoshima is also known as Rabbit Island. More than a thousand bunnies live here peacefully without hunters or predators. Tourists are welcome to visit and feed them.

58. Oldest Rabbit

According to Guiness, the world’s oldest rabbit is Mick from Berwyn, Illinois. He turned 16 in 2019 when the record was announced. Mick eats mostly low-calcium greens and hay, with occasional treats like berries, carrots, and radishes.

Cute wild rabbits on Okunoshima Island in sunny weather. Interesting facts about rabbits
Photo © Kaedeenari

Famous Rabbits

59. The Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny is a creature from folklore that carries colored eggs, candy, and toys in a basket. It visits homes and leaves rewards for well-behaved children, just like Santa Claus.

60. The Duracell Bunny

Duracell launched a pink rabbit mascot for its 1973 TV ad. It featured several pink toy bunnies banging a drum, with the one using Duracell lasting longer than the others.

61. The Energizer Bunny

After Duracell’s trademark on the drumming bunny lapsed in 1988, Energizer parodied the concept with their own bunny ad. For ease of differentiation, the Energizer Bunny wore sunglasses and had bigger ears.

62. The Cadbury Bunny

Every Easter, Cadbury Chocolates create an ad campaign to sell their Crème Eggs. This typically features a white bunny that clucks like a chicken. Other animals have also appeared in the ads wearing bunny ears.

63. Trix Bunny

Boxes of Trix cereals always have a white rabbit longingly staring at a breakfast bowl. The mascot became the symbol of the brand in 1959 after its first TV commercial.

One young baby rabbit. Interesting facts about rabbits
Photo © Dmitry Kalinovsky

64. Nesquick Bunny

Quicky, the Nesquick Bunny, is on every retail package of the youth-oriented powdered drink. The human-like rabbit wears a red collar and a letter “N” on its chest. In TV ads, it sings the jingle in a rock-n-roll style.

65. Bugs Bunny

Disney has Mickey Mouse while Looney Tunes has Bugs Bunny. The American icon is a clever but mischievous character that has been making viewers laugh since the 1940s.

66. Roger Rabbit

“Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” is a 1988 film that blends live action and animation. It won three Academy Awards, including best film editing, best visual effects, and best sound effects editing.

67. Lola Bunny

The original Space Jam movie featuring Michael Jordan included a character named Lola Bunny, a female rabbit that talks and plays basketball with confidence. She is the love interest of Bugs Bunny.

68. Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit is a beloved children’s book character created by English author Beatrix Potter. The novel was turned into a 3D live action film in 2018, introducing the story to a new generation of kids.