Rabbits love to jump. It’s how they move, and how they explore the world. Unfortunately, this makes for some anxious moments for pet owners. As rabbits are such delicate and fragile animals, watching them leap from higher ground can be nerve-wracking.
A safe distance for a rabbit to vertically jump is four feet. They can leap this high. Rabbits can safely jump on and off beds, house furniture, and hutches. Jumping out of human arms is very dangerous.
Note that regular jumps from a height will be harmful to a rabbit. As they age, rabbits that are prone to crash landings will be more likely to become arthritic. Every leap affects their joints and bones.
- 1 Do Rabbits Like Heights?
- 2 Do Rabbits Like to Climb?
- 3 What Height Can Rabbits Jump From?
- 4 How Far Can a Rabbit Fall Without Hurting Themselves?
- 5 Do Rabbits Land On Their Feet?
- 6 My Rabbit Doesn’t Jump from Heights Any Longer
- 7 My Rabbit Fell from Height
Do Rabbits Like Heights?
Rabbits have a complicated relationship with heights. As a rule, rabbits feel more comfortable with all four feet on the ground. As a prey species, high vantage points can be invaluable to rabbits.
This is because bunnies, especially those in the wild, need to be constantly vigilant. Rabbits are at risk from countless predators. Being perched on higher ground allows them to survey their terrain.
A pet rabbit may enjoy the opportunity to find higher ground. This is especially likely if you have other pets. Bunnies elevate themselves so they can hide, and see what’s coming.
Above all, rabbits need to feel safe. This means they’ll need solid grounding on a raised platform. If you provide climbing equipment for your rabbit, ensure that it offers a large surface area.
Rabbits are jittery and skittish. They’ll always look to escape dangerous situations, even if it involves leaping from significant heights. Bunnies operate a, “jump first, ask questions later” policy.
This means that you must be mindful when offering climbing equipment. Likewise, you’ll need to be careful if your rabbit is running free in the home. Don’t surprise your bunny if they’re hiding on your closet as they may jump off and injure themselves.
Do Rabbits Like to Climb?
Every bunny is different. Some humans have a head for heights, while others find them terrifying. The same applies to rabbits. It’s crucial that you learn how your pet feels about elevation.
The average rabbit is more inclined to dig than climb. They feel safer underground than elevated. Naturally, this may not be an option in the wild, though. This means that rabbits can reach heights.
While rabbits are not natural climbers, they’ll clamber up a tree if necessary. This may be in the search for food, or to escape a predator. They may also watch from this position, coming down when they consider it safe.
This behavior can be replicated in the home. A rabbit may climb surfaces to hide, or for fun. They’re more likely to jump, though. A rabbit can leap as high as four feet, if they’re sufficiently determined.
This means that you’ll need to take some safety precautions for your pet. Ensure that any garden fences are high to prevent an escape. Avoid wire fences if possible, too. If a rabbit is spooked, they’ll use these gaps to climb.
You can provide climbing frames and similar toys for exercise. If your rabbit enjoys heights, they’ll get plenty of use from them. Just ensure that any platforms are large enough to accommodate all four of your rabbit’s feet.
The height of the climbing frame must also be a consideration. Remember the golden rule – if a rabbit can jump, they will. Provide a soft landing, and ensure they’re not leaping from too great a height.
What Height Can Rabbits Jump From?
Most bunnies will be able to jump to and from the roof of their hutch while exercising. This kind of play must always be supervised. Aside from the risk of falling, not all predators are ground-based.
Be aware that rabbits can jump far further horizontally than they can vertically. Rabbits may consider your home a fun obstacle course, leaping from sofa to armchair to staircase.
Bear this in mind, and make your pet’s home as bunny-proof as possible. Avoid leaving anything breakable in touching distance, and consider any broad surface attractive to a rabbit.
How Far Can a Rabbit Fall Without Hurting Themselves?
There is a multitude of factors that play into this question. You’ll need to consider several different things.
- What is your rabbit’s weight, and how is their general health?
- Did the rabbit land on something soft, or was it a jarring landing?
- Did the rabbit plan to jump, or did they fall unexpectedly?
- Has your rabbit ever leaped or fallen from a height before?
As a rule, a rabbit can comfortably fall from the same heights they can jump. This could be up to four feet. All the same, try to provide soft landing spots where possible. Carpets, rugs, and even strategically-placed cushions are advisable.
It’s vital to understand the impact that falling will have on your rabbit’s joints. Every time they experience an impact, it can cause damage. This, in turn, can leave your rabbit immobilized in the future. Carpets can minimize this risk.
The psychological impact of falling must also be taken into consideration. Rabbits are nervous by nature. If they slipped unexpectedly, it could frighten the life out of them.
This will have a knock-on effect. The bunny will no longer feel safe in their environment, and behave accordingly. They may even experience heart failure.
Typically, a rabbit knows how far they can fall without hurting themselves. These animals are governed by survival, after all. They sometimes act on impulse though, can injure themselves with a reckless leap into the unknown.
Can Bunnies Jump Off Beds?
The average house rabbit can comfortably jump onto a bed, and off again. Whether or not you actually want them to is a different story, and at your discretion.
To check whether your rabbit can safely jump from your bed, place them alongside it. You’ll likely find that your rabbit can reach the top of the bed by standing on their hind legs.
If this is the case, there is nothing to worry about. All the same, think about the space they have. Rabbits can jump long distances. Are they in danger of bumping into a closet when they hop off? If so, discourage this behavior.
The same also applies to sofas. Many rabbits enjoy spending time with their humans in the evening. You’ll probably find that your bunny seems to watch TV with you at night.
If they can get onto your sofa, they can easily get off again. Provided they are not breaking lamps or bumping into walls, let your bunny have their fun. This movement is a great exercise.
The only caveat to all of this is that your rabbit will need a soft landing. Carpet is typically fine. This will absorb shock, and minimize the impact on your rabbit’s joints.
If necessary, leave a cushion on the floor by your bed or sofa. Your rabbit will quickly learn that this is where they should aim to land.
Will a Rabbit Jump Off a Balcony?
Rabbits will typically exercise a certain amount of caution when on a balcony. Unfortunately, they will also be very curious. It’s quite possible that a rabbit will look to jump onto a balcony ledge. From here, accidents can easily happen.
In the spirit of safety, it’s best to keep rabbits off balconies. They achieve little by spending time on them. The average balcony will be too small to provide adequate exercise. Rabbits can also squeeze through small holes in railings.
If you cannot ensure that your rabbit will never access your balcony, install a high fence. Use Perspex if you do not wish to block any view. It’s the only way to ensure your pet’s safety.
Will My Rabbit Jump Out of My Arms?
Rabbits can, and will, jump out of a human’s arms if frightened. This is arguably the most common source of injuries. Never attempt to pick up a rabbit that does not enjoy the sensation.
If your rabbit does welcome – or at least tolerate – handling, ensure you hold them appropriately. The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals explains the best way to hold a bunny.
- Firmly place one hand under the rabbit’s chest.
- Place the other hand under the rabbit’s hindquarters.
- Scoop the bunny up, holding them against your chest. Get a firm grip, but don’t crush the rabbit or make them feel trapped.
The moment your rabbit shows any signs of distress, put them down. A bunny that’s restrained against their wishes is likely to jump out of your arms. This often leads to a dangerous crash landing.
Do Rabbits Land On Their Feet?
If a rabbit makes a jump, they’ll have a destination in mind. As a result, they will maneuver their body to land on their feet. They’ll also spread their legs, to share the impact across all four limbs.
Rabbits do not have a natural ‘righting’ instinct when dropped from a height. This is why it’s particularly important to ensure your bunny never falls unexpectedly. If panicked, a rabbit could land on their back or head.
Landing on their feet will also not protect a rabbit that tumbles from an unsafe height. A crash landing will still harm their legs, neck, and spine. Never grow complacent about rabbit safety.
My Rabbit Doesn’t Jump from Heights Any Longer
If your rabbit now seems reluctant to jump, age is likely catching up with them. It’s natural for a rabbit to wind down their physicality as they grow older. Unessential activity, such as jumping from a height, will be the first to cease.
It’s also likely that your rabbit is showing signs of arthritis. Every jump from a height that a rabbit makes an impact upon their joints. Eventually, this makes such movement very painful.
If your rabbit is arthritic, don’t cease all exercise. This is the worst thing you can do. Your rabbit will need to remain limber. Just slow down on the climbing and jumps from a height.
Naturally, these activities rely on each other. If rabbits cannot climb onto a bed or their hutch, they won’t need to jump off. Remember this when placing a rabbit somewhere elevated. What comes up must come down. They may need help.
Rabbits can also remember the trauma. This means if they hurt themselves jumping or falling, they’ll be reluctant to do so again. Never force your rabbit to jump from height against their wishes. Carry them to solid ground, if this is their wish.
My Rabbit Fell from Height
If your bunny has a fall, take it very seriously. Rabbits have very fragile skeletons, and can cause themselves severe damage.
In the immediate aftermath of the fall, give your pet some space. They’ll be frightened and skittish. Watch from a safe distance, and make some immediate observations.
- Is your rabbit moving? Ensure they can move their legs and neck before approaching.
- Is your rabbit bleeding? Head injuries, in particular, can be very traumatic.
- When your rabbit moves, are they doing so freely? All four limbs should be in a natural position, with no splayed legs or limping.
Naturally, if your rabbit is in clear physical distress, they’ll need urgent medical attention. Spinal injuries, in particular, must be assessed immediately.
If your bunny is not in immediate danger, offer them comfort. Lots of petting and treats will be necessary, in addition to reassurance. If they allow it, return your rabbit to their hutch. There is comfort in familiarity.
You’ll also need to observe your bunny for a few days. Ensure they do not experience a delayed reaction to their body. Pet Place discusses the symptoms of rabbit concussion. Also, be vigilant for any signs of shock.
If you have any concerns at all about your pet’s health, speak to a professional. It never hurts to get x-rays, and have tests run. These will eliminate any risk of undetected internal bleeding, or minor fractures.
If your rabbit does have a bone fracture, treatment depends on the severity. Your pet may need a splint, a cast, or even amputation of the limb. Follow the advice of a professional in this instance.
Rabbits are prone to making death-defying leaps that frighten the life out of their owners. We have to remember, jumping is how bunnies move. They’ll never walk when hopping is an option.
If your rabbit is happy and healthy, jumping from heights will not be an option. Just allow them to make a soft landing wherever possible. This will protect their joints.
Perhaps more importantly, never force nervous rabbits to climb or elevate themselves. Some bunnies are only happy with four feet firmly on the ground, and that’s just fine.