If you are a new rabbit owner watching your pet explore its new environment, you might wonder how fast it can run. You might be surprised to learn that rabbits can run as fast as 35 miles per hour. However, top speed can vary significantly from one rabbit to the next,1 so keep reading as we look at what can affect how fast they move and compare their speed to other animals to help put their abilities into perspective.
How Fast Do Rabbits Run?
Although not commonly associated with high-speed dashes, pet rabbits can surprise you with their agility. The average domesticated rabbit can run at an impressive speed of 25–35 miles per hour, which slightly slower than wild rabbits that can reach speeds up to 45 mph. However, remember that this range can vary depending on factors like breed, individual characteristics, and the environment in which they live.2
Factors Affecting Speed
Different rabbit breeds have varying levels of speed potential. Some breeds are naturally faster and more agile than others. For example, breeds like the Belgian Hare and English Spot are known for their exceptional speed and agility, while the English Lop, Flemish Giant, and Lionhead are much slower.
Small rabbits tend to be quicker and more agile compared to large ones because their lighter bodies allow for faster acceleration and maneuverability. Additionally, a well-balanced body structure, with strong hindlimbs and a streamlined physique, enhances a rabbit’s speed and agility.
Age and Health
Younger rabbits tend to be more energetic and exhibit greater speed and agility than older rabbits. Additionally, rabbits in good health, free from any physical ailments or injuries, are more likely to perform at their maximum speed potential.
Like any other animal, rabbits tend to run faster when a predator is chasing them. Other factors can also help motivate your rabbit to run as fast as possible, including good training and a desire for a reward.
How Does a Rabbit’s Speed Compare to That of Other Animals?
Domestic rabbits are quite fast and can easily outrun and outmaneuver a human. If they are in good shape, they can also likely outrun a housecat, grizzly bear, squirrel, and many other animals. However, many animals depend on this prey species for food, so a few of these predators can catch them in a chase, including the coyote, fox, lion, and cheetah.
Animal Speed Comparison Chart
|Top Speed in Miles Per Hour
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Slower Rabbit Breeds Require Less Exercise Than Faster Breeds?
Slower rabbit breeds generally have lower exercise needs than faster breeds, but regular exercise is important for all rabbits to promote their overall health and well-being.
Are Faster Rabbit Breeds More Challenging to Train?
The trainability of faster rabbit breeds can vary depending on the rabbit’s temperament. While some may be more energetic and independent, they can still be trained effectively with proper training techniques and patience.
What Are a Few Considerations for Owning a Faster Rabbit Breed?
Owning a faster rabbit breed requires providing ample exercise opportunities, mental stimulation, and a secure living environment. Therefore, it is essential to understand their particular requirements, give them suitable training, and ensure that they have enough room to express their natural behaviors.
Domestic rabbits are slower than wild rabbits, but they can still be surprisingly fast, often reaching speeds up to 35 miles per hour, which is faster than a domestic cat and squirrel. Smaller breeds tend to be faster than larger rabbits, and faster breeds include the Belgian Hare and English Spot. However, many predators can still catch them, including the coyote, so it’s important to ensure that any outdoor enclosures are predator-proof or to keep your rabbit indoors.
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Featured Image Credit: Pentium5, Shutterstock