How Fast Can A Rabbit Run? Wild vs Domestic rabbits (2023)

How Fast Can A Rabbit Run?

Rabbits are often thought of as cute, cuddly creatures that hop around slowly. However, they possess an impressive ability to run at incredibly fast speeds. Rabbits may not be known for their speed like other animals such as cheetahs or horses, but they have impressive abilities nonetheless. So, how fast can a rabbit run?

The fastest rabbit species can reach up to 45 mph. The size, age, health, terrain, and weather conditions can impact a rabbit’s speed. Additionally, rabbits use a unique technique when running – starting with their hind legs first – which helps them reach high speeds quickly.

In this article, we will explore the top speeds of rabbits, factors that can affect their speed, and their unique running techniques.

A Brief Overview of Rabbits and Their Physical Abilities

Rabbits are cute, fluffy creatures that are known for their long ears, twitchy noses, and furry tails. They are herbivores and have a diet consisting of grasses, fruits, vegetables, and hay.

These animals belong to the Lagomorph order and come in different sizes depending on the species. One of the most striking features of rabbits is their exceptional hearing ability.

They can hear sounds from a distance of up to two miles away and can even detect the, slightest, rustle in the undergrowth. Their eyesight is also remarkable as they have a wide field of vision that allows them to see predators from different angles.

Although rabbits may seem like adorable and harmless creatures, don’t let their cute appearance fool you – they’re incredibly fast and agile animals capable of outrunning most predators.

From their impressive speed at birth to the sudden bursts of energy when under threat, there’s no denying that rabbits are fascinating creatures full of surprises. Next time you see one hopping away from you at breakneck speeds, take a moment to appreciate just how impressive they truly are.

How Fast Can Rabbits Run?

Rabbits are generally known for their agility and speed. On average, rabbits can run at speeds of 25 to 45 miles per hour (40 to 72 kilometers per hour). However, the specific speed at which a rabbit can run depends on various factors, including the species of rabbit, its age, health, and the terrain it is running on.

The fastest rabbit species is the European hare (Lepus europaeus), which is capable of reaching speeds up to 45 miles per hour (72 kilometers per hour). Other common rabbit species, such as domestic rabbits and cottontail rabbits, can also reach impressive speeds, though they may not be as fast as hares.

Rabbits have powerful hind legs that enable them to make quick bursts of speed to evade predators. They are well adapted for running and can change direction rapidly to avoid danger. However, they are also skilled at hiding and using their agility to escape through narrow spaces or intricate burrows when necessary.

It’s worth noting that the top speed a rabbit can achieve is not sustained for long distances. They are more suited for short bursts of speed to escape from danger rather than long-distance running.

Rabbits Top Speeds 

Rabbits are known for their speedy movements, especially when they are trying to outrun predators. The fastest rabbit species is the black-tailed jackrabbit, which can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.

This impressive speed is achieved through a combination of powerful hind legs and a streamlined body that helps reduce air resistance. To put this into perspective, the top speed of a domestic cat is around 30 miles per hour, while an average human can only run at about 15-20 miles per hour.

Even some larger animals like deer and horses have trouble keeping up with a sprinting rabbit! However, it’s important to note that not all rabbit species can run at such high speeds.

Some smaller breeds like the Netherland Dwarf or Holland Lop may only be able to reach speeds of around 5-10 miles per hour. So while rabbits, in general, are known for their quick movements, it’s important to consider the specific breed when talking about their top speeds.

Wild Rabbits Vs Domestic Rabbits

Wild rabbits and domestic rabbits generally have similar running abilities, as their basic anatomy and instincts remain intact regardless of their environment or breeding. However, it’s important to consider that the speed of rabbits can vary based on factors such as species, age, health, and individual characteristics.

In general, wild rabbits and domestic rabbits can achieve speeds of 25 to 45 miles per hour (40 to 72 kilometers per hour) during short bursts of running. This range applies to various species of rabbits, including both wild and domesticated individuals.

While domestic rabbits may have slightly different genetics and variations in size and shape due to selective breeding, their basic running abilities are comparable to their wild counterparts. Domestic rabbits, just like their wild relatives, have strong hind legs that allow them to execute quick bursts of speed when necessary.

It’s worth noting that the specific speed at which a rabbit can run can also be influenced by factors such as the terrain they are running on and the presence of any obstacles or distractions in their surroundings.

Rabbit vs. Other Animals

Rabbit 45 mph
Horse 54 mph
Lion 49.7 mph
Greyhound dog 39.5 mph
Domestic Cat 29 mph
Zebra 40 mph
Polar Bear 17 mph
Giraffe 29.2 mph

Factors Affecting Rabbit Speed

1. Size, Age, and Health

Size, age, and health are all crucial factors that affect a rabbit’s ability to run quickly. Generally speaking, smaller rabbits tend to be faster than larger ones.

However, the age of the rabbit also plays a role in its speed – young rabbits who have not yet reached their full growth potential may not be as fast as adults. Additionally, a rabbit’s health can impact its speed.

Rabbits with injuries or illnesses will likely not be able to run as fast as healthy rabbits. Injuries such as broken legs or sprained ankles can significantly hinder a rabbit’s ability to move quickly, while illnesses like respiratory infections can cause fatigue and lack of energy.

2. Terrain and Weather Conditions

The terrain on which a rabbit is running can greatly impact its speed. Rabbits are built for running on flat grassy surfaces – they’re sprinters rather than long-distance runners – so they’ll have an easier time reaching top speeds in these conditions. However, if they’re forced to navigate steep inclines or rocky terrain, their speed will inevitably suffer.

Weather conditions can also play a role in how fast a rabbit can run. For example, rabbits may struggle to reach top speeds on rainy days when the ground is slick and slippery.

Similarly, extreme heat or cold can negatively affect their performance by causing fatigue or muscle cramps. While many factors affect how fast rabbits can run – including size, age and health; terrain; and weather conditions – these furry creatures are generally speedy creatures that deserve our admiration!

Rabbit Running Techniques

1. Bunny Hop

Rabbits are known for their unique running style, which is often referred to as “bunny hop.” This technique involves using their hind legs to propel themselves forward while keeping their front legs tucked in close to their body. Essentially, they use a combination of hopping and galloping motions to reach high speeds.

2. Efficient Movement

This running technique is exceptionally efficient and allows rabbits to reach incredible speeds. By using their hind legs first, they can quickly gain momentum and utilize the full power of their strong back legs. Additionally, this technique allows them to make quick turns and sudden stops with ease.

3. Training Potential Predators

Interestingly, the bunny hop also has a practical function: it helps young rabbits train for potential predators. When fleeing from danger, baby rabbits will use this same technique, which helps them move quickly through dense brush or across uneven terrain.

As they grow older and become more skilled runners, they will continue to use the bunny hop as their primary means of locomotion. Rabbits have an incredibly unique running style that allows them to reach impressive speeds while remaining agile and efficient.

By using their hind legs first in a hopping motion, these furry creatures can quickly escape danger or chase down prey when necessary. Next time you see a rabbit running through your yard or local park, take a moment to appreciate just how impressive these little animals truly are!

Fun Facts about Rabbit Speed

1. Born to Run

Believe it or not, baby rabbits are born with an impressive ability to run. Despite being blind and hairless, they can start running within hours of birth.

This is because rabbits have a high chance of being preyed upon in the wild, so their survival depends on their ability to outrun predators from an early age. It’s incredible to think that these tiny creatures are already equipped with such a crucial life skill right from the start.

2. The Need for Speed

Rabbits aren’t just fast runners; they’re also capable of sudden bursts of speed when they need it most. When a rabbit senses danger or feels threatened, it can take off at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour – that’s faster than some cars can go! This incredible speed is one of the reasons why rabbits are such elusive creatures and notoriously difficult to catch in the wild.

3. Size Matters

Interestingly enough, a rabbit’s size plays a significant role in how fast it can run. Smaller rabbits tend to be faster than larger ones because they have less weight to carry and can move more quickly. However, larger rabbits make up for their lack of speed with greater endurance – they may not be able to sprint as fast as their smaller counterparts, but they can maintain their top speed for longer periods.

How Fast Can a Jack Rabbit Rabbit Run?

The jackrabbit, known for its remarkable speed and agility, is one of the fastest rabbit species. Specifically, the black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) is widely recognized for its exceptional running abilities.

Jackrabbits, despite their name, are hares and not true rabbits. They are built for speed, with long legs and slender bodies. These adaptations allow them to reach impressive speeds to evade predators in their natural habitats.

On average, jackrabbits can run at speeds of 35 to 45 miles per hour (56 to 72 kilometers per hour) during short sprints. Their powerful hind legs and elongated body proportions contribute to their quick acceleration and ability to maintain high velocities.

It’s important to note that the top speed of a jackrabbit may vary depending on factors such as the individual’s age, health, and the specific conditions of the environment in which it is running. Additionally, jackrabbits have remarkable agility and can change direction rapidly, further enhancing their ability to outmaneuver predators.

How Fast Can a Flemish Giant Rabbit Run?

The Flemish Giant rabbit, known for its impressive size, is not typically renowned for its speed. As a larger breed of rabbit, its bulk and body structure makes it less agile compared to smaller and more slender rabbit breeds. While there is limited specific information available regarding the top speeds of Flemish Giant rabbits, it is generally understood that they are not among the fastest rabbits.

Based on their anatomy and observations of rabbits in general, it is estimated that Flemish Giant rabbits can reach speeds of around 15 to 20 miles per hour (24 to 32 kilometers per hour). However, it’s important to note that individual rabbits may vary in their speed capabilities due to factors such as age, health, and overall fitness.

It’s worth mentioning that Flemish Giant rabbits are more renowned for their calm and gentle nature, as well as their impressive size, which can reach up to 2.5 feet (0.76 meters) in length and weigh up to 20 pounds (9 kilograms) or more.

These rabbits are often cherished as pets and show animals for their docile temperament and striking appearance, rather than their running abilities.

Are Rabbits Faster Than Cats?

When comparing the average speed of rabbits and cats, it’s important to consider the specific breeds and individual characteristics of each animal.

In general, domestic cats are known for their agility and bursts of speed, which allow them to be formidable hunters. On the other hand, rabbits are recognized for their quick acceleration and ability to change direction rapidly to escape predators.

In terms of sustained speed over long distances, certain cat breeds, such as the Egyptian Mau and Bengal, are known to be among the fastest domesticated feline species, reaching speeds of up to 30 miles per hour (48 kilometers per hour). These cats have powerful muscles and agile bodies that contribute to their swift movements.

In comparison, while rabbits can achieve impressive bursts of speed, their agility, and evasive maneuvers are more notable than their sustained velocity. On average, rabbits can reach speeds of 25 to 45 miles per hour (40 to 72 kilometers per hour) for short distances.

The European hare, a close relative of rabbits, is the fastest rabbit species, capable of reaching speeds of up to 45 miles per hour (72 kilometers per hour).


Rabbits are often underestimated as slow-moving, adorable creatures. However, they possess remarkable speed and agility. In this article, we will delve into the impressive running abilities of rabbits, factors influencing their speed, and their distinctive running techniques.

We will discover that the fastest rabbit species can achieve speeds of up to 45 mph (72 km/h). Additionally, factors such as size, age, health, terrain, and weather conditions can influence a rabbit’s speed. Moreover, we will explore how rabbits utilize a unique running technique, initiating their sprint with their powerful hind legs, allowing them to rapidly reach high speeds.

While rabbits may not be renowned for their speed like cheetahs or horses, they possess remarkable attributes. Their acute hearing and agility make them adept escape artists in the wild.

Furthermore, their robust hind legs enable them to execute impressive leaps over considerable distances when necessary. It is truly fascinating to contemplate how these charming and fluffy animals can achieve such incredible speeds.

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