Rabbits being prey animals, become the perfect meal for predators. They need to fight for their lives to survive and save themselves. They need to become escape artists – they need to learn how to jump. But, can rabbits jump from high places?
2 Reasons Why Rabbits Jump
Rabbits jump due to several factors. But, most of the time, these rabbits jump because of their emotions. They may jump because they are excited, afraid, or they just feel the need to jump. Interestingly, in some cases, the height of their jump may be influenced by the intensity of their emotions, although further research is needed to substantiate this.
Here are two main reasons why rabbits jump:
Rabbits jump when they are happy
If the rabbits are happy, they do that cute little jump called “binky.” This is where rabbits sprint at high speed and then jump and twist in the air simultaneously. You might see them jumping and turning in the left or the right direction, and sometimes in both.
So, if you are a new rabbit owner, don’t be surprised by your rabbit’s binky. They are just trying to show you how happy they are and how safe they feel.
Rabbits jump when they are frightened
Another reason why rabbits jump is when they feel scared, terrified, or frightened. It could be because they feel the need to escape from the predator they sense is somewhere near them. They need to jump as high and quickly as possible to avoid danger and save their lives from becoming a delicious meal.
Can Rabbits Jump from High Places?
It is a lesser-known fact that rabbits start jumping at three months old. And guess what? These three-month-old rabbits can competitively jump against adults.
But of course, it is essential to ensure their safety during their early stages of development. So, as much as possible, do not allow these escape-artist baby rabbits to jump off from anything beyond 2 feet.
In general, rabbits can jump from high places. But the definition of “high” depends on how a person defines it. Is it a human’s definition of a high place? Like generally high, which is around 6 feet or more? Or is it a “high place” in rabbits’ world?
If the high place pertains to the former, rabbits will have bruises and broken bones. Though their body seems as flexible as cats, their delicate and fragile structure can only take heights not more than 4 feet.
Also, you need to consider several factors that may affect their jump and their body. These factors may include age, health status, landing surface, and jumping experience. These factors determine whether a rabbit can jump over 4 feet or not.
Wild rabbits, being prey animals, can jump from high places most of the time. They can jump over 4 feet and land without injuries. All thanks for their skills and abilities as prey animals in the wild.
The rabbits’ experience getting chased by predators at a very early age allows them to master the art of jumping and landing without broken legs.
On the other hand, domesticated rabbits might not be able to jump over 4 feet. Though they are naturally prey animals, their living space may be limited to a specific square meter, which means they might not have enough jumping experience.
Thus, if you have pet rabbits at home, be cautious with them. If they are inside a rabbit pen, make sure they can’t jump over it. If they can, put a cushion right outside it to save them from getting injured when landing.
Rabbits getting injuries after the fall may cause psychological and physiological issues.
How do Rabbits Usually Land?
In general, rabbits usually spread their legs to disseminate the impact properly to other parts of their body. However, unlike cats, rabbits do not have an immediate instinct to land properly when they suddenly fall.
Because of this, they might land with their heads or other parts of their body, causing them to have broken bones. They must not fall accidentally to avoid harming their legs, neck, and, most importantly, spine.
How High Can a Rabbit Jump Vertically?
Rabbits are excellent jumpers, but how high can they jump vertically?
You will usually see a wild rabbit jumping vertically. But don’t get so excited to see them jumping, as this does not pertain to happy behavior. Most wild rabbits jumping vertically are frightened and afraid of becoming their predator’s meal.
Wild rabbits can jump vertically for a significant height, though it is generally much less than 15 feet. They may look extremely amazing jumping and turning their bodies in the air, but they are performing this stunt to scan the area and know which direction they should go to escape their predators.
Domestic rabbits’ jump height can vary significantly. Some may be able to jump surprisingly high, although reaching heights over 4 feet is quite uncommon. One reason why they arrived at this conclusion is that domesticated rabbits are caged and well-fed.
This means that their prey instinct is not as strong as the wild rabbits. So, they end up with no threat and just chilling in their hutch or pen. Apart from that, they might be a little bit heavier than their supposed average weight due to lack of exercise.
But that doesn’t mean that they cannot jump over their pens. To ensure they won’t jump over their pens and escape, make their pens at least three times higher than their ideal height. The height also applies to the fence that you make for your garden. It should be at least 4 feet or higher.
Also, don’t forget that your rabbits love to munch on everything, including wood. So, the fence that you will make must be made of either plastic, metal, or anything that they won’t chew.
Highest Rabbit Jump Recorded
Do you know that rabbits can jump as high as 15 feet? But this height is not actually in Guinness’s official world record. In fact, the highest jump of a rabbit that the Guinness ever recorded is just around 3.2 feet. That is .8 feet less than a rabbit’s average jump.
But when it comes to the longest jump, a rabbit named Yabo from Denmark holds a world record. Yabo managed to jump for 9 feet and 9 inches.
And here’s a video of rabbits in a jump competition.
Are Rabbits Afraid of Heights?
Rabbits are not afraid of heights. They need to be in higher places to quickly see their predators and other threats.
But don’t get this wrong with picking your rabbits and holding them with your hands around 3 feet to 4 feet off the ground. Rabbits love heights, but they hate being picked up. They are under the impression that they can’t do anything against any predators, in case there’s any.
Thus, picking them will make them feel uncomfortable. Then, their fear may cause them to squeal or scream, which is bad for them. If the rabbits can’t contain their emotions and heartbeats fast, they may die from a heart attack.
What to Do if Rabbits Fall Badly from Jumping High Places?
Rabbits are good at hiding their emotions and pain. They are not like dogs, which tend to be more vocal and expressive with what they feel.
As much as possible, rabbits do not want their owners to know that they are in pain. They will tend to act like nothing happened and may continue to do their everyday routine. Because of this, you might be having a hard time telling whether the rabbits have fractured or broken bones from jumping high places.
One sign that tells that your rabbit is in pain is when it gets easily irritated. They quickly get mad if you touch them or pick them up. Another noticeable sign that your rabbit is not okay is when they are lethargic and refuses to engage with other rabbits or with its owners.
Bring the rabbit to the vet if you notice these signs and symptoms. Do not wait for them to feel so weak before bringing them to the clinic. They might have a lesser chance to live. At least, if you bring them to the clinic, they will be given proper medication for a possible bone fracture to stop any inflammation.
How to Train Rabbits to Jump Over Obstacles
Rabbits are intelligent animals, and they can learn new tricks. This means that you can train your rabbits to jump correctly. You can start teaching them how to hop by building small obstacles until they learn to jump correctly.
You may increase the height over time as they get used to and learn how to jump over those obstacles you made.
Teaching your rabbit how to jump correctly may take some time due to some challenges. But to teach them successfully, you need to teach them according to how they understand things. This means that you need to have extra patience for it to work out.
Can rabbits jump from high places? Yes, they can, but not all know how to land correctly. Thus, you must be cautious with your pet rabbits. Domesticated rabbits don’t have the same prey instincts as wild rabbits. They might not know how to jump and land without breaking their bones.