Why Are Rabbits So Amazing?

Check out these interesting rabbit facts, rabbits truly are amazing.

There are many facts about rabbits that will amaze you and some that, in my opinion, are essential for you to understand if you already have rabbits or intend to have pet rabbits.

Did you know that rabbits are the third most popular pet?

Yet I have come across many rabbit owners that just don’t know the basic rabbit facts. Then when the going gets tough, they abandon the poor little things because they just can’t cope. I’m hoping this information will change that!

First, Here’s The Science Bit…

The following rabbit facts text is taken from Wikipedia – the links will open a new window if you would like to read more about each topic.

The scientific classification of Rabbits is family Leporidae and order Lagomorpha. They are found all over the world.

There are eight genera assigned to the family classified as rabbits. Two of these include cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus, which includes 13 species); and the Ryukyu rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi, an endangered species found on the island of Amami Ōshima in Japan).

All species of rabbits, pikas and hares belong to the order Lagomorpha.,

A buck is a male rabbit and a doe is a female; a young rabbit is a kitten or kit.

Basic Rabbit Facts

  • What & Where – A rabbit is a small mammal known for its long ears and short fluffy tail. They are found all over the world in forests, woods, meadows, grasslands, wetlands, and deserts. Rabbits are territorial animals which normally live together in loosely organized social groups called “warrens.” These warrens consist of an intricate series of underground tunnels with many entrances and exits. There are 50 known breeds of rabbit with over 100 different rabbit varieties in the world. Some reports say there are over 180 different varieties contained within the basic breed list.
  • Color & Size – Rabbits have fur ranging from pure white to black or gray and many more besides! Their size can range anywhere from 8 inches (20 cm) in length and less than one pound in weight to 20 inches (50 cm) and more than 15 pounds. There are over 150 recognized rabbit coat colors and varieties. 
  • Third Most Popular Pet – Rabbits are popular pets because they are social and adapt to humans well. North America has the largest domestic rabbit population. Keeping rabbits as pets at home is just as rewarding as a cat or dog.
  • Diet – They are herbivores that prefer green, leafy vegetation and feed mainly at night. A rabbit will eat its own cecotropes (night droppings)- they are a valuable source of protein.
  • Life: – Pet rabbits tend to live to be much older than wild rabbits. They typically live in the wild for 10 years, but a domestic rabbit can live up to 12 years. How old is your rabbit? 

Other Rabbit Facts

  • Activity: Rabbits are popular prey and spent most of their day hidden in vegetation or in underground burrows. They are generally the most active during the evening and early morning
  • Speed: If spotted, they flee from prey in a zigzag. Their powerful hind legs can help them reach speeds of up to 18 mph.
  • Ears: Rabbit ears can be as much as 4 inches (10 cm) in length. They use their ears to detect predators in their habitat. The longest rabbit ears on record measured over 31 inches!
  • Toes: A rabbit has five toenails on each of its front paws and four toenails on each of its back feet. That’s 18 toenails per rabbit.
  • Breeding: Rabbits breed at least three to four times a year. Litters of three to seven young are produced. Baby rabbits are called kits and are born blind as well as hairless. The largest number of recorded kits ever born in a litter is 24!
  • Babies: Rabbits and hares may look alike but they are two different species. The biggest difference between the two is what their newborn babies look like. Newborn hares have fur when they are born and are able to move about, as well as see shortly after birth.
  • Luck: Rabbits are popular in mythology and culture. Many people believe carrying a rabbit’s foot will bring good luck. Not good luck for the rabbit though, hey?
  • Danger: Rabbits stand upright on their hind legs to give themselves a better vantage point to look for predators. They alert other rabbits to the presence of danger by thumping their hind legs. They are also very territorial – their behavior can be interesting to watch!

Amazing Rabbit Facts

The following rabbit facts are not only amazing but also VERY important to understand. The first one on this list is a passionate point of mine and one that is so often overlooked.

  • Rabbits should be kept in pairs!! Companionship is vital to the happiness of rabbits – without the company of another neutered or spayed rabbit, they get lonely and bored. In the wild, rabbits are social creatures, a fact that doesn’t change just because they are kept as pets.
  • Teeth: Rabbits have 4 large front teeth called incisors – 2 on top and 2 on the bottom. They also have 2 small incisors located right behind the upper incisors, called peg teeth. At the back of their mouth, they also have 6 upper and 5 lower cheek teeth on each side.
  • Rabbit teeth are similar in design to horse teeth. They are used to break down tough, fibrous grasses, leaves, twigs, barks, and weeds. Rabbit teeth are open-rooted, meaning they continue to grow throughout their lives, to compensate for constant wear.
     
  • Vomiting? There are many rabbit experts out there, including vets who will tell you rabbits are unable to vomit because of the anatomical arrangement of the heart and stomach. Indigestible food causes blockages and may cause fatal heart attacks. Post-mortems revealed food obstructing the larynx (airway) having passed from the esophagus. So rabbits can regurgitate food and vomit!

Worlds Heaviest Rabbit:

Four-year-old Ralph, a Continental Giant from the UK, weighs a little over 53lbs! He eats an average of $62 worth of food a week. In March 2013 he weighed a massive 50lbs, which beat his nemesis Darius by 3lbs, who took the title off him in 2010.

Overpopulation: Rabbit overpopulation is a serious problem in some parts of the world.  It has been estimated that in Australia rabbits destroy around $600 million worth of crops each year. 

  • Farming: A rabbit business is commonly called a “rabbitry”. Rabbits were an important home meat supply during World War II. Millions of pounds of rabbit meat are still consumed each and every year. Some rabbits are raised specifically for their fur. 
  • Jumping: The current world record for the rabbit long-jump is 9.8 feet and for the rabbit high jump is 3.2 feet. 

Quick-Fire Rabbit Facts:

  • The backbone of a rabbit is very fragile. It can break easily if handled improperly or dropped on its back.
  • When a rabbit grinds its teeth it may sound like they are purring.
  • Rabbits are very nearsighted.
  • Rabbits are often mistaken for rodents but they are not.
  • Rabbits only sweat on the pads of their feet.
  • The statement “breed like rabbits” is not always true.
  • In ancient Egypt, rabbits were used as a sport for dog racing.
  • Rabbits can not interbreed with Hares.
  • Councils, Organizations & Charities: There have been many rabbit rescue charities established in the past decade. Popular rabbit associations include; American Rabbit Breeders Association, House Rabbit Society and numerous State-specific House Rabbit organizations.

Funny Rabbit Facts

  • Rabbits ‘binky’ – This is an expression of joy. While running, they will jump into the air while twisting their body sideways, and flick their feet our behind them.
  • Rabbits can talk – Although normally very quiet, rabbits do communicate different messages with varying types of vocalizations, e.g. low humming when moving around an object or individual is a sign of affection.
  • Rabbits can be trained – Rabbits kept as pets can benefit from reward-based training. For example, they can be trained to go over small jumps, which is great exercise. Being active reduces the chance of a rabbit becoming overweight and provides physical and mental stimulation.

More Amazing Rabbit Facts

  • Rabbits have an excellent sense of hearing and smell. They also have superior eyesight with their 360° panoramic vision. They can easily see everything in front and behind them, except for a small spot right in front of their nose.
  • Rabbits can leap great distances using their strong back legs. They can jump up to 3 feet high and 9 feet long.
  • Rabbits are social and very affectionate that enjoy being with other rabbits. They will engage in allogrooming where two rabbits groom each other at the same time. 
  • In 2010, about 6.6 million rabbits were kept as pets in the US alone.
  • Caring for a rabbit is likely to cost more than $3,750 over the course of its lifetime. 
  • Rabbits need a lot of fiber, in the form of hay and grass, this is a very important rabbit fact and the most vital for rabbits – it’s essential for their digestive health, and without it, they can easily die. 
  • Pet rabbits should have access to shelter and hiding places – left in the open with no place to hide, they will feel threatened. 
  • Rabbits get bored. Wild rabbits rarely become bored, spending their lives foraging, reproducing, and guarding their territory. Domestic rabbits often lack stimulation, which can lead to health and behavioral problems. Much like humans, rabbits need physical and mental activity. A rabbit’s natural environment can be imitated by providing tunnels, tree stumps and twigs to chew, toys, and plenty of hiding spots such as cardboard boxes. 
  • Just like humans, rabbits can benefit from an occasional change of scenery to keep them from becoming bored. A wild rabbit’s survival depends on an intimate knowledge of its surroundings. This enables them to escape from predators, so changes to the “warren” of a  pet rabbit should be kept to a minimum. Instead, try changing their toys out regularly.
  • Digging is a natural and favorite pastime of rabbits, both wild and domesticated. Digging substitutes, such as sand or an earth pit, will let your pet rabbit behave naturally without damaging your garden or escaping.
  • It’s very beneficial for pet rabbits to interact with people, other rabbits, and other pets as early as possible. Interaction with other humans and other animals will help young rabbits grow into friendly, confident adults. Introducing them slowly to the sights and sounds that will be part of their normal environment will help keep them relaxed and happy.
  • Many Renaissance artists used the timid and gentle nature of rabbits to symbolize purity and unfaltering religious faith. Titian’s Madonna with Rabbit (1530).
  • Rabbits have been commonly used in mythology and religion.
  • Rabbits have long been recognized as symbols of rebirth and fertility. Thus, their association with Spring and Easter.

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Miranda Hawkins
Miranda currently lives just outside Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, 8-year old son, and what she lovingly calls her “zoo.” Miranda grew up in the Midwest and always had animals around while growing up. After graduating from college, she married her husband Sam and they moved to the mountains of Colorado where Miranda became very involved with the regional rabbit rescues.

Currently, her “zoo” includes two dogs, one rambunctious cat, and three indoor rabbits. Oliver, a delightful Black Otter Holland Lop, and Juniper, a gorgeous Opal Satin Angora, are a bonded pair and have been together for three years.

She had the pleasure of adding an energetic Fawn Flemish Giant to her family one year ago, named Sir Gregor. He had been abandoned outside a pet store and was put up for adoption. Miranda feels very blessed to have this lovable lagomorph living amongst her family and is a strong advocate for educating people about rabbits and how special they truly are.

Miranda has put together a team of rabbit lovers and breeders from across the country and hopes you will find the information and resources on the JustRabbits.com site beneficial. She loves to hear from her readers and looks forward to seeing many more people become loving responsible bunny parents.