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How Long Does a Pet Rex Rabbit Live? Average Lifespan Data & Facts

Bynewsmagzines

Jun 9, 2023
rex rabbit held by owner

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rex rabbit held by owner

Rex rabbits are some of the most adored pets. These creatures have captivated the hearts of countless animal lovers with their velvety fur and adorable floppy ears. Besides, they have charming personalities and inquisitive natures, warming their owners’ hearts from the very beginning.

But before bringing home a Rex rabbit, it’s only natural that you will want to know several aspects of this pet, including how long it can live. On average, you can expect your pet Rex to live for 6 to 8 years. We’ll unravel the mystery surrounding what affects the lifespan of these adorable furry companions in this guide and what you can do to keep your friend healthy and happy.

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What’s the Average Lifespan of a Pet Rex Rabbit?

Averagely, a Rex rabbit can live for 6 to 8 years. However, each rabbit is unique, and individual genetics, care, and environmental factors can influence their lifespan. Some Rex rabbits can live longer than this, even up to 15 years.

For instance, one receiving the utmost care from its owner is bound to live longer. On the flip side, rabbits are quite delicate animals, and if not given a proper diet, a loving and nurturing environment, along with appropriate veterinary care, you can be sure that its lifespan will be reduced significantly.

Why Do Some Rex Rabbits Live Longer Than Others?

Below, we’ll examine the key elements influencing each Rex rabbit’s health and lifespan.

1. Nutrition

Proper nutrition plays a critical role in extending the lifespan of a Rex rabbit. A balanced diet includes 70% high-quality hay, 30% fresh fruits, and leafy vegetables. Pelleted rabbit food provides essential nutrients for their overall health.

As grazers who feed continuously all day long, Rex rabbits should always have access to food. Similarly, fresh water needs to be replenished once or twice daily.

lilac rex rabbit
Image Credit: HolySource, Shutterstock

2. Hutch or Cage Size

A spacious living environment mitigates stress levels and allows your rabbit to exhibit natural behaviors. It enables more freedom of movement and room for exercise, which promotes healthy muscle development while preventing obesity.

Ample space also allows you to include separate areas for sleeping, eating, and litter boxes. This way, you’ll maintain cleanliness and minimize the risk of infections. Experts recommend an enclosure of at least 5 feet long, 3.5 feet wide, and 18 inches high.

Last, your rabbit will require at least two to four inches of straw, shreds of cardboard, or paper pulp. However, keep your rabbit away from cedar shavings, pine, or sawdust. These substances may be harmful to its health.


3. Weight

An overweight Rex rabbit will have a shorter lifespan. Feeding your rabbit with a well-balanced diet keeps its weight in check. A helpful method of keeping their weight in check is exercising them every day.

two broken rex rabbits
Image Credit: Kassia Marie Ott, Shutterstock

4. Environment and Conditions

The conditions under which the rabbit lives may shorten or prolong its lifespan. Ideal conditions include a well-ventilated area that is completely dry, without any drafts, and shielded from direct sunlight. Sure, your rabbit needs sunshine, but it should be indirect.

Similar to other rabbit breeds, Rex rabbits prefer temperatures ranging from 12° to 21°C (55° and 70°F). While it can cope with slightly lower temperatures, it can become ill from excessive heat or an overly warm habitat. The living space for your rabbit must be weatherproof if kept outdoors.


5. Sex

Male Rex rabbits have a longer lifespan than females. Statistics have shown that males from all rabbit species can live about 40% longer than females. Nevertheless, the males are more prone to developing dental diseases and overgrown nails and teeth compared to their female counterparts.

amber rex rabbit
Image Credit: Diana Sklarova, Shutterstock

6. Breeding History

Through careful selection and breeding practices, breeders can focus on improving genetic traits associated with longevity. Reputable breeders will produce offspring that inherit these favorable traits by identifying rabbits with strong immune systems, robust health, and resistance to common ailments.

Moreover, they can avoid breeding rabbits with known genetic defects or predispositions to some health issues. This selective breeding approach creates a healthier population of rabbits that will live longer, or at least to the maximum lifespan.


7. Healthcare

As a prey species, rabbits have evolved strategies to conceal their ailments to avoid becoming predation targets. In other words, since rabbits can hide their disease from you, a yearly check-up with a veterinarian is essential. Otherwise, your rabbit might get sick and die without you even knowing that they were sick.

black otter rex rabbit is eating the dried glass from the basket
Image Credit: Chawannuch_Njoy, Shutterstock

8. Genes

Several genetic factors may contribute to a prolonged lifespan, and this applies to all rabbits generally. That said, Rex rabbits possess unique genetic variations that affect cellular processes like the oxidative stress response, DNA repair mechanisms, and immune system functioning.

These genetic adaptations enable them to cope with environmental stressors and maintain healthier cellular function over time. Any rabbit with these favorable gene variants lives longer than their counterparts who lack genetic advantages.

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The 5 Life Stages of a Pet Rex Rabbit

Newborn (0 to 2 Months Old)

Female Rex rabbits give birth to tiny, hairless, and helpless kittens. The mother will wean her kittens for up to eight weeks, and by this time, the kittens will have gotten immunity from the mother. In fact, some states do not allow kittens to be sold or separated from their mother before this time elapses.

Adolescent (2 to 6 Months Old)

Assuming you adopt a male Rex rabbit at two months, you can expect it to reach sexual maturity in a few weeks and will start getting attracted to female Rex rabbits. Females reach sexual maturity later at eight months. During this stage, they may be aggressive because of hormonal changes in their bodies. You can neuter or spay them then.

Young Adult (6 to 18 Months Old)

At this age, many Pet Rex rabbits are aggressive chewers and diggers. They may actively avoid letting you touch or hold them because they are experiencing excessive energy, which is only natural.

castor rex rabbit
Image Credit: HolySource, Shutterstock

Adult (18 Months to 4 Years Old)

Most Rex rabbits start to mature at one and a half years. This stage is characterized by the rabbit being quite affectionate and with fewer aggressive gnawing and digging inclinations as it ages. Besides, they’ll be more relaxed and will engage with you without running away.

Senior (5 Years and Above)

Once your pet Rex rabbit reaches the age of 5 and above, it’ll begin displaying signs of advancing years. Some signs include thinning fur, less energy, more sleep, and weight loss.

Alter their surroundings at this point to make it simpler for your furry friend to move around. Besides, add softer bedding or other modifications. Also, adjust your vet visits to twice a year so that your pet’s health will be checked progressively.

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How to Tell Your Pet Rex Rabbit’s Age

black white mini rex rabbit outdoor
Image credit: assia Marie Ott, Shutterstock

If you didn’t adopt your rabbit while still a kitten, determining its age later may not be straightforward. This is partly because rabbits don’t exhibit much change as they age. Though telling the exact age might be difficult, the following signs can aid in putting it in a certain age bracket.

  • Senior Rex rabbits react less, engage with their owner less often, and sleep more.
  • The senior rabbits will have damp chins from drooling, and since they eat less, their teeth become overgrown. They also lose weight.
  • Older rabbits don’t groom themselves often, and they develop sores on their hocks as they get older.
  • The rabbit’s coat may speckle and become coarse as it ages.

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Conclusion

The lifespan of a pet Rex rabbit depends on several factors. These adorable creatures live anywhere from 6 to 8 years on average, but with proper care, they may even exceed these expectations.

It’s crucial to provide a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a stress-free environment to ensure the longevity of your pet rabbit. Regular veterinary check-ups and attentive care are essential to detect and address any health issues promptly.


Featured Image Credit: Kyttan, Shutterstock

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