When you think of bunnies, you probably imagine a small, cuddly rabbit, wiggling its nose and jumping around. And let’s face it, bunnies are known best for their hops.
Rabbits are natural-born jumpers. Their hind legs are solid and powerful.
But, how high can rabbits jump? It may be higher than you think.
Whether you’re a rabbit owner or dealing with some mischievous wild rabbits in your garden, it becomes a prudent question, especially when considering fencing.
We’re going to dive (or jump) into everything from how high rabbits can jump to competitive rabbit jumping (yes, it’s actually a thing).
Why do rabbits jump?
If you know a little something about rabbits, you may have seen them do their adorable “binky.” For those readers who aren’t well versed in rabbits (yet), binkies are when rabbits jump high in the air while twisting their heads and bodies.
While rabbits are naturally skittish creatures, the binky is a sign of happiness. Your rabbit is literally jumping for joy.
With such powerful hind legs, rabbits can move quickly when they need to. Their leg strength allows them to powerfully sprint when they need to.
Rabbits are prey animals. That means, quite literally, what it sounds like: rabbits are prey for many. Having so many predators means they need to be able to escape quickly when needed. Their powerful hind legs allow them to move quickly and jump high to get away from danger.
So, jumping isn’t always fun and games for rabbits.
How high can rabbits jump?
We know that rabbits are natural-born jumpers with their strong hind legs and skittish survival instincts. Also, their way of moving around is hopping, so it’s only fitting that they are great jumpers.
How high a rabbit can jump will vary based on the individual rabbit. Whether or not the rabbit is domesticated or wild also has a lot to do with its jumping abilities.
The jumping ability of domesticated rabbits will vary. The height that a domesticated rabbit jumps can be anywhere from 2-4ft high.
Not every domesticated bunny will be able to jump high. It will be different based on the breed and also how the rabbit is raised.
Domesticated rabbits usually live in a smaller area, free of imminent danger, eating a full diet. This makes them inferior jumpers to wild rabbits. They don’t have as much motivation and usually aren’t as lean or fit as wild rabbits.
Living as domesticated rabbits, their jumping skills are nowhere near that of a wild rabbit.
This is where the real jumpers shine: out in the wild. Wild rabbits can jump as high as 15 feet. Jackrabbits (technically not rabbits but hares) can jump up to 20 feet high.
What’s a wild rabbit’s motivation? They have many predators in the wild, so coyotes, raccoons, and snakes are likely some of the motivating factors. Wild rabbits are jumping for their lives.
Wild rabbits will take a vertical jump up, twisting their heads and bodies to see in all directions around them. This enables them to see where the danger is and sprint the other way.
Competitive rabbit jumping
Yes, that’s right. There are actually competitions where domesticated rabbits show off their jumping skills.
What exactly is rabbit show jumping? Well, rabbits are trained to jump hurdles and make their way through obstacle courses.
It’s done for entertainment purposes only, like all pet shows. Rabbit jumping competitions are quite popular in the United States and Europe. The competitions are meant to mimic horse jumping, albeit with littler, cuter, furrier competitors.
Competitive rabbit jumping began in the 1970s in Sweden. These competitions first started appearing in the US in the early 2000s. Rabbit lovers were excited about a new way to show off their pets.
The competitions have changed over time, beginning first with just hurdles and obstacles. Now the competitions also include long jumping and high jumping.
Alright, all fun, cute rabbit jumping competitions aside, you may be here to learn about the jumping capabilities for practical purposes, such as to put in some rabbit fencing. It’s important to take into account how high a rabbit can jump when thinking about fencing.
If you’re trying to keep your pet rabbit in, then the fence height should be higher than 2 feet, which is the average height that a domestic rabbit can jump. This height should keep your rabbit inside the fenced-in area.
Now, if you’re interested in rabbit fencing to protect your garden, then you’ll have to do a little more work. We know that wild rabbits can jump high.
When thinking about rabbit fencing height for protecting a garden, you’ll want it to be high enough to discourage them from jumping it. While building a 15-foot high fence probably isn’t realistic, you’ll probably want it to be at least a few feet high.
Rabbits are also burrowing mammals, meaning that they’d have no problem digging up the ground around the fence to get through to your lovely fresh herbs and veggies.
Knowing that rabbits love to burrow, you’ll need to think about the depth of the fence. You’ll want your fence to go at least 6 inches deep.
Can rabbits climb?
Our mischievous and curious pet rabbits are known to get into everything and anything. As a rabbit pet owner, it’s important to be attentive to your rabbit, especially when letting it roam free.
We know that rabbits can get some air while jumping, so you’ve certainly got to keep an eye on your hopping bunny. But, you may now be wondering what else rabbits are capable of. With such strong hind legs, they’re sure to have some other strengths.
So, can rabbits climb? Yes. You’ll want to keep an eye on your pet rabbit because they’ll certainly try to climb up your stairs, chairs, and anything else available to them.
But, what about real life, wild rabbits? If we, somehow, found ourselves in a forest and we looked up long enough, could we find a little bunny staring back at us?
Well, wild rabbits can climb, yes. However, it’s not the easiest thing for them to do. They’re certainly more adept at jumping. But, when they need to, they’ll climb a tree.
If a rabbit is looking for food or nourishment, it may resort to climbing a tree to find something. While they’re capable of climbing, it’s certainly not the norm to see rabbits scaling trees.
Rabbits are natural hoppers
When you think about rabbits, you probably think about cute little furry bunnies hopping through the grass. And, in all honesty, that’s an accurate depiction.
Rabbits are made to jump, and with strong hind legs, it’s no surprise that they can do it pretty well. Pet rabbits average a vertical jump of about 3 feet and wild rabbits can jump up to about 15 feet (and often their lives depend on it).
So, next time you need some entertainment at home, keep an eye on your pet rabbit and see what kind of height they’re able to get on their jumps. Or, keep an eye on your new fenced-in garden to see if you’ve got the right height to keep out those mischievous wild bunnies.