How Long Do Rabbits Live?

Find out how long rabbits live in this Howcast video featuring bunny lover Amy Sedaris and rabbit expert Mary E. Cotter.

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Rabbits make wonderful pets. If you're thinking of getting one, check out these videos: Actress Amy Sedaris, who is a loving mom to her own pet bunny, helps rabbit expert Mary E. Cotter, Ed.D., LVT answer all your questions about how to take care of a pet rabbit. It's not always easy, but it's worth the work.

 
 

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Speaker 1: How long do rabbits live? Well, how long do rabbits live? That question really is answered in terms of how well you take care of a rabbit. It used to be that when people got rabbits and this is I'm thinking 15, 20 years ago. We were telling people that they lived five to seven years because they were living five to seven years. Then it moved up to seven to nine years and then it moved up to seven to ten years. Then we started saying eight to ten years. Now, we're saying ten to twelve years and this reflects changes that we've made and learned about and passed onto owners in diet and in veterinary care as well as in the way that the rabbits are kept. This little bunny, this beautiful little creature with blue eyes and white fur is three years old. It's a young rabbit. Speaker 2: Three? Speaker 1: Three and Amy's rabbit on the other hand . . . Speaker 2: She's 12. Speaker 1: She's 12 years old. Speaker 2: She's 12 years old and she's doing great. Speaker 1: How long has she lived with you? Speaker 2: I've had her for, what, 11 years. Speaker 1: Ten, eleven years? Speaker 2: Yeah. Speaker 1: Yeah, so Amy really has an elder rabbit at this point and elder rabbits require a different kind of care just as elder humans require a different kind of care. The main thing to remember when you get these animals, this is not a short term commitment. Rabbits are likely to live 10 to 12 years. I've had a couple of teenagers and I believe we had one person this year applying to the Guiness Book of World Records and her rabbit was verified to be 14 years old. I have heard from people who say they have rabbits older than that, but Guiness checks all records. Speaker 2: Maybe they're talking coat. Speaker 1: Maybe. Speaker 2: The rabbit coat they had in their closet. Okay? Speaker 1: So, anyway. However long your rabbit lives, it will live longer if you take good care of him and take him to a vet at least once a year for a well bunny check. Feed the right kind of diet without excess calories. Speaker 2: But you're right. It's mostly stress. Speaker 1: Yeah. Speaker 2: Keep the stress level down and they'll live for a long time. Speaker 1: Yeah. It's true. If you take care of them correctly . . . Speaker 2: Mm-hmm. Speaker 1: . . . they'll live for a long time. Good exercise, good diet, good love. Good love.

Expert

  • Mary E. Cotter

    Mary E. Cotter, M.A., Ed.D., LVT is the founder of the NY-based Rabbit Rescue & Rehab. She serves as chapter manager of the NYC House Rabbit Society and is vice president of the International House Rabbit Society. Involved with rabbit rescue since 1982, she speaks and writes frequently on rabbit-related topics, addressing owners, veterinary professionals and shelter workers. Mary is an adjunct assistant professor in the veterinary technology department of LaGuardia Community College (City University of New York) and co-manages a 7,000-member Internet mailing list focused on rabbit health, care and behavior.