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How Fast Can a Pet Rabbit Run? Speed Comparison & FAQs

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

rabbit running on grass

One of the most adorable habits that pet rabbits can have is racing from room to room in the house. These “zoomies” are commonly referenced for dogs or cats, but rabbits run around for fun too, and their speediness might surprise you. Domestic rabbits can run about 30 mph at full speed. Wild rabbits are faster, with some species reaching speeds between 35 and 45 mph.1

Rabbits rarely reach their full speed, though, and your pet might prefer to nap on the couch rather than run around all the time. Here, we explore how fast rabbits can run, why they can reach such high speeds, and how long they can run, so you can know more about your pet bunny.


How Fast Can a Pet Rabbit Run?

Out of all the rabbits in the world, the domestic bunny is the slowest, but they’re still speedy animals when they want to be. They might not be able to reach 45 mph like some of their wild rabbit cousins can, but they can get to just under 30 mph.

Wild rabbits run faster simply because they have more need to. They’re constantly on the lookout for predators, giving them more reason to keep their running skills honed. All the darting into their burrows and running around that they do works to keep their muscles in top shape for hitting high speeds.

Although they are a separate species and shouldn’t be confused with rabbits, hares are even faster. They’re larger and have much stronger back legs, which help them reach speeds of 50 mph.

Despite some rabbits being able to reach speeds of 45 mph, very few rabbit species do. Rabbits have a natural tendency to zigzag rather than run in a straight line. This habit isn’t just to show off their ability to turn on a dime; it also helps them evade predators that aren’t as agile.

How Do Rabbits Compare to Other Animals?

english spot rabbit
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

For their size, rabbits are surprisingly swift. They’re not the fastest land animal by any means—and they can’t outrun all predators—but they can hold their own against many other animals. Here’s a comparison:

Animal Average Running Speed
Domestic cat 29.8 mph
Rabbit 29.8 mph
Horse 54.7 mph
Mouse 8.1 mph
Greyhound 39.5 mph
Cheetah 74.6 mph

How Do Rabbits Run So Fast?

Rabbits are delicate animals, but their body and muscle structure are designed to keep them safe in the wild. Their back legs are much longer and stronger than their front legs, and they have webbed feet to prevent their toes from splaying as they jump or run. They also move by hopping rather than walking or running like other animals; this enables them to move both back legs together for an extra boost.

The fibers making up their muscles matter too. There are two types: slow twitch and fast twitch. Everyone has a combination of both, and they do different things. For endurance, you rely on slow-twitch muscle fibers, while speed and acceleration rely on fast-twitch muscle fibers.

As you might have guessed, rabbits have more fast-twitch fibers than slow-twitch fibers—between 45% and 54% of their overall muscle fiber. This gives them the ability to go from standing still to full speed in a short amount of time and run fast enough to get away.

How Long Can a Rabbit Run?

rabbit running on field
Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

Now that you know how fast rabbits can run, you’re probably wondering how long they can maintain their speed. Unfortunately, your rabbit won’t be winning any prizes for the fastest marathon. Although they are excellent at putting on sudden bursts of speed, they don’t have much stamina.

Their body is designed for short sprints, which is why they’ll instinctively run for their burrow or another hiding spot if they get startled. When it comes to escaping from a predator, a rabbit will rely on their ability to make quick turns, their jumping skill, and their short acceleration time.

Combined with their speed, this agility makes rabbits unpredictable targets, and many of them escape harm unscathed. Over long distances, they won’t be able to maintain their top speed, but a short sprint to a burrow is usually the perfect getaway.

How to Measure Your Rabbit’s Speed

There are two ways that you can measure how fast your pet rabbit is, and you can do both at home. All you need is a few tools, a bit of patience, and plenty of space. Keep in mind that your pet rabbit likely won’t reach their top speed for either of these methods, but it’s a fun way to see just how fast they can be.


The first method is to use a stopwatch and a way of measuring and marking distance. This will be easier if you have plenty of space available and your rabbit runs to you when they’re called. The idea is that you call them from the starting point, start the stopwatch when they run, and stop it when they pass the last marker.

For an average speed, you can run the test several times—just remember to give your rabbit plenty of praise and rest for being such a good sport.


You can also try using a video of your rabbit to estimate their speed, but you’ll need plenty of open space for this. It might not be as accurate as the stopwatch method and will take much longer, but it’s often easier to take a video of your rabbit than it is to encourage them to run on command. Grab your phone or a video camera, and film your rabbit when you let them out to play.

Record them until you’ve got plenty of footage of them running, grab the time stamps to figure out how long they were running for, and roughly measure the distance that they ran by using the video as a reference.

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Although pet rabbits aren’t as fast as their wild cousins, they still have an average running speed of about 30 mph. In comparison, wild rabbits can run between 35 and 45 mph due to their greater need to escape predators and greater muscle power built by constant use.

Domestic rabbits have much safer lives and thus, less of a need for speed. They also have less space to run and develop their speed properly. Their running and jumping skills are often used for fun in the form of the occasional zoomies session or cheerful binkies. They can still give you a run for your money, though, and it’s important to make sure they can’t escape from their enclosure when they’re unsupervised.

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Featured Image Credit: Pentium5, Shutterstock

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