Let’s assume I asked you to name an animal that was known for jumping; you might say a frog or a kangaroo but one of the most common answers is a rabbit. Rabbits are seen hopping and jumping everywhere including on TV and in the media. But when it comes down to it, are they good jumpers? The question we all want to know is how high can bunnies jump?
How high a rabbit can jump will depend on its size, breed and several other factors. Although the average jump height for a bunny is around three feet.
I wanted to discuss the subject more so I’ve put together this article that tells you everything you need to know about rabbits and jumping.
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When asking how high do rabbits jump, the most common answer you will hear is 3 feet. This is about average for a rabbit but there are factors that can affect this. For example, the physical health of the individual rabbit as well as its age, size and breed.
Normally, you’ll find that medium sized buns have the highest jumps. This is because smaller rabbit breeds don’t have large enough legs to propel themselves quite as high while bigger rabbits are much heavier so they can’t lift all that weight as easily.
But there are anomalies and we’re always hearing stories of rabbit owners whose buns have excelled when it comes to jumping. There was one Netherland Dwarf that was reported to have jumped more than 3 feet which is a lot to be said for such a small breed.
While rabbits would normally jump no higher than 3 feet, and they’d probably only do this if they were trying to escape danger, there is a world record holder for the highest rabbit jump.
The Guinness World Record is 99.5cm which is around 39 inches; three inches more than the average three feet. This bunny feat was achieved back in 1997 and it seemed that no other rabbit would come close to beating it. The jump took place in Denmark and the bun was named Mimreslunds Tösen.
In 2019 however, a new record (though not certified by Guinness) was set. Dobby, also known as Miss Pinkys Grand Champion Harajuku jumped 42 inches (106 cm). The bunny was from Sweden, and her keeper is Julia Samson.
The rabbit that won the world record for the highest jump was not only a Guinness champion but also took part in other rabbit competitions. These were rabbit high jump contests; believe it or not, these things do exist!
Commonly, this sport is referred to as rabbit hopping (Kaninhoppning in Swedish) and the game started in Sweden back in 1980. It didn’t take long before the Danes jumped on the bandwagon and that’s how the aforementioned Mimreslunds Tösen earned its title. There are now rabbit hopping and agility clubs in Germany, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
When you look at a rabbit, it’s easy to assume these small creatures don’t have much about them. They’re pretty timid and don’t seem to have anything particularly special about them but you just have to look a little more closely.
The reason that rabbits can jump so high is due to their amazingly powerful hind leg muscles which are super strong especially when you consider the size of the animal. When you compare these muscles to a cheetah, pound for pound, the rabbit’s muscles come out 29% more powerful.
Having this amazing body allows these critters to jump crazy distances. Even when they’re at a complete stand still, a rabbit would be able to jump as high as one meter. Some people wonder how high can baby bunnies jump and the reality is that even at a young age, rabbits still have this incredible ability to jump high.
If you’ve got a pet rabbit, you may have seen them doing a strange, twisted jump that can take them pretty high into the air. This isn’t necessarily a jump but what is known as a binky. Rabbits do this when they are excited or happy.
Some people find it hard to tell if their bunny is happy as these animals don’t give too many emotional clues. However, if you see your rabbit performing a binky then it’s safe to say that you’ve got one cheerful bun!
It’s one thing to think about how far into the air rabbits can jump but it’s another to think about how far they can jump down from a height. If you observe your rabbit in its cage or hutch then you’ll notice that it is easily able to jump from one platform to another. Some bunnies will stand on the roof of their hutch and jump down without any problem.
While this is usually well within their capabilities, we would still advise supervising your bunny as it plays just to be sure to avoid any accidents.
One thing to keep in mind is that a rabbit can make a much larger jump if it is moving horizontally compared to when it moves vertically. This means that your rabbit may enjoy hopping and climbing around your home using chairs, couches, low tables and other pieces of furniture as something of a playground.
While this is great to watch and super fun for your rabbit, you have to ensure that your pet is safe. This is why it’s essential to fully bun-proof your home.
You might also consider that rabbits aren’t massive fans of heights. These animals are much happier when their feet are planted firmly on the ground. But when they are able to sit somewhere higher up in the wild, this is essential to them in allowing them to spot predators. In the wild, a rabbit must always be on its guard as they are extremely vulnerable animals. One wrong move or if they stop paying attention for just a second, and they could end up falling victim to Mr. Fox.
But when you have a pet rabbit, there’s really no need for them to be up high. If your rabbit moves to a higher vantage point to get a look around the home, as long as she’s supervised, it shouldn’t be a problem. Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of safety and making sure that there is nothing that could harm your rabbit.
While she might appear happy and content one moment, these are very skittish and nervous animals that can make a dash for it without a moment’s notice. If the rabbit is on a raised platform and suddenly darts, there is a risk of it falling and injuring itself. For this reason, any elevated play areas should have a large surface area to avoid this. You bunny won’t think about the consequences of jumping if it feels threatened and that’s when you really need to be on your guard.
We would recommend avoiding the use of raised play areas as this totally eliminates the risk of any accidents or injuries. But there may be times that your rabbit makes its way up to a higher point and if it falls, you’ll be understandably worried. However, the distance that a rabbit can fall without becoming injured varies considerably and there are several factors that could affect this.
The age and weight of the rabbit are a critical part of determining how resilient it is as well as its general state of health. You also have to consider where the rabbit landed after falling. If it’s a soft surface like a bed or pillow then this will naturally be far less damaging than if it fell on concrete or something uneven.
You should also consider whether the rabbit made a conscious decision to jump or if the fall was an accident. Some rabbits may have fallen in the past with little to no consequences and if this is the case, you might assume that your rabbit is a little ‘tougher’ than you’d given it credit for. But generally speaking, you wouldn’t want your rabbit to fall any further than the height it was capable of jumping to.
The main problem with falling or even jumping from a height is that the rabbit’s joints will be adversely affected. Rabbits are very delicate creatures at the best of times so that shock on the joints can cause all kinds of problems. Each time there is an impact, more potential future issues are likely which could result in the rabbit being unable to move at all, in the worst cases.
You should also think about how falling can impact a rabbit psychologically. These are naturally nervous animals so something like this could interfere with their confidence even more. What might seem like an innocent slip to us could be devastatingly frightening to a bunny. As a result of this, the rabbit may feel even more nervous and may stop feeling safe in the home. In the absolute worst cases, a rabbit can be scared to death as a result of heart failure from fright.
Another reason that you might find yourself asking how high rabbits can jump is if you are struggling with wild rabbits getting into your garden. Wild rabbits have the same jumping abilities as their domestic cousins so it’s worth putting up a fence to stop them from getting in and nibbling on your plants.
You will need to make sure that you choose a fence that is at least three feet in height otherwise a determined rabbit could easily clear it. However, if you’re trying to keep pet rabbits in then we would suggest choosing something at least four feet just to be sure. In any case, it’s highly recommended to make sure that there is nothing near or on the fence that a rabbit could stand on to give them a head start to their jump therefore allowing them to clear the fence.
You’ll also need to make sure that the fence is set deeply into the ground. Another thing that rabbits are especially good at is digging so if you don’t place it far enough down, they’re just going to tunnel underneath it. You’ll want at least six inches of fence below the ground and try to angle the fence towards the side you want the rabbits to stay on as this will make it harder for them to get around.
When placing fence posts, make sure that any steps or platforms are on the side opposite to the rabbits so that they cannot use these to gain leverage.
Building a rabbit fence is an excellent way to keep bunnies in or out of your garden. However, there was one rabbit fence that gained a notable place in history and that was the rabbit fence of Australia.
In the 18th century, the British made their way over to Australia. With them, they brought wild rabbits which were not native to the land Down Under. An Aussie guy by the name of Thomas Austin decided that he would release a dozen or so wild rabbits giving the locals an animal to hunt. However, as the saying goes ‘they’ll breed like rabbits’; and that’s exactly what they did.
Side note; rabbits can produce a litter as often as every four weeks so there really is some truth behind that saying!
So after not many years, rabbits started to become a pest in Australia and started to damage the natural environment. People wanted rid of them so a huge fence was erected that was known as the longest rabbit fence in history. This fence was made up from three fences that were combined to run a distance more than 2000 miles!
The fence sat at three feet high (it seems even back then they were aware of the average rabbit jumping height) and was finally completed in 1907. Much like the advice I gave earlier, the Aussies ensured that the fence was planted six inches into the ground.
But then there was a problem with maintaining the fence. Some people would put holes in the fence and place traps on the other side to catch the rabbits as soon as they came through. This became such an issue that the Australian government had to start fining people for it.
The fence plays such an important and interesting role in history that there has even been a movie made about it. The film Rabbit Proof Fence is based around a true story of a group of Aboriginal girls who want to escape and return to their native land. They used the rabbit fence to guide their way across an arduous 1500 mile journey!
If you’ve ever asked yourself how high can a rabbit jump, then we would like to think that this guide has answered all of your musings. With an average jumping height of three feet, these small animals really do have some get up and go!