How Long Can Rabbits Live Without Food or Water?

So, to answer the query, how long can rabbits live without food? To avoid GI stasis, your rabbit should never fast for longer than 12 hours.

Most folks tend to believe that having a rabbit as a pet is relatively easy. While it is true that rabbits may make excellent pets, it is still a significant commitment to keep them healthy and happy.

A rabbit’s diet is one such responsibility. A Rabbits’ digestive system is very delicate, to the point where even a minor error might result in death.

As a result, rabbit owners should understand the intricacies of their rabbit’s nutrition, as well as what should be avoided.

How long can rabbits live without food or water?

Not feeding your rabbit for an extended time, such as more than 12 hours, may result in GI stasis or a slowing of food transit in your rabbit’s GI tract. And one of those blunders is the subject of this article.

Rabbits who go without food for more than 12 hours experience a pH shift in their digestive system, which encourages gas-producing bacteria. And the gas further causes the rabbit to stop eating altogether, eventually leading to organ failure and death when this happens.

how long can rabbits live without food

Let us now learn about the other intricacies that this query brings along with it.

Rabbits are sociable!

Rabbits are highly loving and social creatures, which means they not only like spending time with their people, but they also demand it. Rabbits can get lonely and unhappy if they are not exposed to human interaction.

While toys might help them pass the time, they still want human attention and contact. Many rabbits appreciate having another rabbit as a companion.

Some people ask if rabbits are more similar to cats or dogs. Well, they are like rabbits! Your rabbit may use a litterbox like a cat and get thrilled when they see you like a dog, but rabbits are not exactly like any of these animals.

Is it true that they “make good pets”? They make fantastic, clever partners for fabulous, intellectual folk! Each rabbit, like each person, has its personality.

When bringing a rabbit home as a friend, a new rabbit owner should be prepared to learn a new language. A rabbit will offer you a fresh perspective on the world! Rabbits are lovely, entertaining, and affectionate companions, despite their occasional delinquency.

Rabbits are active!

If you have a pet rabbit, you might have observed that it sleeps a lot throughout the day. Perhaps you’ve observed that you only encounter wild rabbits outside when you go for a morning run.

Because like many other animals that are more active at night, you may believe rabbits are nocturnal.

Rabbits are crepuscular instead of nocturnal, which implies they are most active between the hours of dawn and dark.

Rabbits will still get up to stretch and feed during the day and night, but you will observe them resting for most of the day, and this protects rabbits against nighttime predators as well as daylight hunters.

A rabbit’s internal clock, like that of humans, has a significant influence on their behavior. It tells them when to eat, sleep, exercise, and play. Understanding our bunnies and how the time of day influences their behavior might help us better care for them.

We’ll know when to feed them and when to allow them out for a walk. Most importantly, understanding these activity levels in rabbits can help us determine if our bunnies are ill or simply exhausted.

How Many Meals a Day Does a Rabbit Require?

Every day, rabbits require at least one bundle of high-quality hay the size of their bodies! You should always provide your furry friend with good quality, fresh hay, and rabbits should ideally have access to growing grass for grazing or kiln-dried grass.

It would be best to feed your furry friend lawnmower clippings as they can make them sick. An adult rabbit of typical size (6-10 pounds) requires an only one-quarter cup of pellets each day.

Rabbits eating

If your rabbit is less than five pounds in weight, feed only one-eighth of a cup. Rabbits weighing more than 10 pounds require no more than a quarter of a cup, as it is not an essential element of a bunny’s diet.

What Food Does a Rabbit Require?

Rabbits should eat primarily hay, a small number of fresh vegetables, and a small number of pellets regularly. An essential element of a rabbit’s daily diet is hay. Most of a rabbit’s diet should consist of unlimited, high-quality grass hay, such as Timothy, orchard, or brome.

Most of your rabbits’ food should consist of fresh, clean drinking water and high-quality hay and grass. A rabbit’s digestive tract needs hay or silage to operate correctly. Thus a good supply is critical. Leafy greens and a small number of pellets can be used as supplements.

Can Rabbits Starve Themselves?

We don’t believe a rabbit would do this Because animals don’t starve themselves or refuse to eat because they don’t like what is provided. They might likely wait for pellets or other food, but if they understand none will arrive, they will consume what is available.

Many rabbits develop the undesirable habit of just eating pellets and fresh vegetables. Instead of eating their hay, your rabbit will opt to wait as long as they know the ‘good thing’ is coming shortly. Your rabbit will not starve to death.

Allow it a day or two with only hay, and watch your rabbit begin to eat hay!

Is there any way to persuade my rabbit to eat hay?

Rabbits require hay daily to be healthy. But what if your rabbit refuses to eat hay? Every rabbit is unique when it comes to hay.

The best you can do is attempt to figure out how your rabbit loves to eat hay and what kind of hay they prefer! We have compiled a list of top methods to encourage your rabbit to eat hay to assist you.

  • If the pellets are not consumed within an hour, then you discard them. Rabbits become bored with items that are constantly present. When the pellets become time-bound, they become more intriguing.
  • Take out a new bag of pellets. Pellets become dusty at the bottom of the stack.
  • Change the brand of pellets you purchase. The fresh pellets may have a distinct odor, and this will be enough to entice a rabbit to go back to eating them. You can always mix old and fresh pellets.
  • Smear some jam on the pellets. Rabbits enjoy sweet flavors. Don’t be shocked if your pet consumes the laced pellets. When you stop doing this, your furry friend may start rejecting pellets again.
  • After a long run of games, reward your rabbit with pellets as this is the point at which your rabbit will be the most hungry. Your furry friend gladly feeds on hay most of the time.

What is a Wild Rabbit’s Diet?

Rabbits primarily consume grass in the wild. They can graze for 6-8 hours every day. This diet and feeding habit has modified their whole digestive tract, from their teeth to the end of their gastrointestinal tract.

It is essential to provide grass or grass hay to pet rabbits to keep them healthy. During warmer months, rabbits will consume clover, weeds, wildflowers, grasses, and vegetable plants and flowers.

Rabbit nibbling

Rabbits will consume twigs, conifer needles, buds, bark, and any remaining green vegetation as the weather turns chilly. Rabbits are well-known for their penchant to reproduce.

Tips for Giving Water to a Rabbit

The majority of rabbits can manage their water consumption without the need for human intervention. They will drink when thirsty and obtain some water from their usual diet (leafy greens contain lots of water).

Now and again, however, you’ll come across a rabbit who is a touch fussy. They will not drink enough and will be more likely to become ill as a result. There is a lot you can do in these situations to encourage your rabbit to drink more water.

Giving your rabbit a big dish to drink from is the greatest way to encourage them to drink more water, as this is a more natural method of keeping rabbits hydrated.

If this doesn’t work, you may try adding tiny quantities of flavor to their water dish or assisting them in drinking water alongside their leafy greens.

Other ways to make sure that they have water is:

  • Make sure to give your fresh rabbit water every day.
  • Your furry friend should have easy access to water at all times.
  • If your rabbit is fond of warm water, then ensure to give them warm water.
  • Clean the bowl or bottle that you give water in regularly.

Why does a rabbit’s appetite cease?

The most prevalent cause of a rabbit’s loss of appetite is a gastrointestinal issue known as ileus. Ileus occurs when regular peristalsis (intestinal contractions that drive food through the gastrointestinal system) slows or ceases.

Ileus is highly hazardous in rabbits and, if left untreated, can result in death.

Is it possible for rabbits to go without water in freezing temperatures?

Bunnies, despite their small size and fragility, are remarkably well-adapted to low temperatures.

With proper care, a healthy adult rabbit may be comfortable at temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit and can withstand even lower temperatures if necessary. However, the same does not apply to a baby rabbit.

Rabbits cannot go without water for longer than 24 hours (even less in hot weather) without suffering significant health repercussions. Rabbits usually handle colder weather better than increased ambient temperatures (if acclimatized and given appropriate shelter).

Symptoms of dehydration in a baby rabbit

Look for the following signs to know if your baby rabbit is dehydrated:

  • poor appetite
  • crusty eyes
  • thick sticky saliva
  • tiny quantities of dark-colored urine
  • hard, dry fecal pellets

You should provide extra water to your rabbit to treat dehydration.

You may rehydrate your baby rabbit by using commercial hydration solutions (such as Pedialyte or Gatorade) or by making your solution by mixing one teaspoon salt and three teaspoons of sugar in 1-quart warm water.

Prepare to house and resume a regular feeding schedule after the baby rabbit is warm and hydrated. Make sure you feed baby rabbits as well.

Rabbits that are left alone during the day

Rabbits are not remarkably self-sufficient, and thus you should not leave them alone for more than two days.

However, whether it’s only a weekend or a working day, we can ensure they have all they need, allowing us to spend time away from home without being concerned about their health.

Rabbits, when left alone for the weekend

Rabbits can be left alone for a period of two to four days. Rabbits are sociable creatures, and as such, they thrive in the presence of others. They, on the other hand, don’t eat much and don’t need to be walked.

With appropriate food and water, your rabbit may easily survive on its own for up to four days. Other variables, though, might either reduce or lengthen that interval. Rabbits are readily abandoned for the weekend.

However, you need to make sure they have enough well-contained food and drink to be clean and last the whole weekend. You should also provide your pet bunny with a variety of rabbit toys to keep them entertained.

A few days in their cage isn’t a massive problem for a rabbit as long as it’s spacious enough for them to play and has all the necessities.

10 Things to Consider Before Leaving Your Rabbit Alone for Long Periods

If you’re planning a long trip, you’re probably wondering what you’ll do with your pet rabbit while you’re gone.

You should not leave your pet rabbit alone for longer than a week because rabbits are sociable creatures who would be very lonely.

Rabbit in cage

It would be impossible to leave enough food and water without the rabbit bingeing and devouring it all before you returned home, and the rabbit cage would be a mess.

Rabbits may be fed massive amounts of hay that can easily sustain them for a week or more. You may put extra hay in their hay manger and bedding, which they don’t mind consuming.

However, it is pretty challenging to feed your rabbit with enough water to keep him safe for that long. A rabbit will die if it goes without water for longer than two to three days.

Hire a Rabbit Caregiver

Someone must visit your rabbit at least every third day. During these visits, your bunny sitter will look after your rabbit’s requirements, including socialization time. Among these tasks are:

  • Fresh Hay and Pellets
  • Rabbit Litter Box Cleaning
  • Swapping Out Rabbit Toys
  • Bunny Play Time
  • Fresh Water

Think about using a larger hay feeder.

No matter how excellent your rabbit sitter is, they will not care for your bunny as well as you do when you are present. They could even be a day late getting to your residence. You don’t want your rabbit to run out of hay. Therefore a larger hay feeder could be worth considering.

Think of a larger rabbit water

Water is more vital than hay for the well-being of your rabbit. If your rabbit goes without water for more than 24 hours, its health is jeopardized. Don’t put your rabbit in danger of running out of water.

If you typically hydrate your rabbit in a bit of water bowl, that will simply not work while you are on vacation. At the absolute least, you should replace the dish with a larger bowl, or maybe two larger bowls, in case one is accidentally poured out while you are away.

Consider a rabbit water bottle that connects to the outside of your bunny’s cage, so it does not spill.

Remember, Consider a Larger Litter Box

If your rabbit’s litter box becomes too cluttered, your bunny will most likely stop using it, and this will leave a massive mess for your bunny sitter to clean up or for you to clean up when you come home.

Unfortunately, if your rabbit has developed the habit of not using the litter box by the time you arrive home, you may have a long-term influence on your house. It will take longer for a larger litter box to become too dirty for your rabbit to use. 

Obtain Multiple Rabbit Toys

You owe it to your rabbit to keep her entertained before leaving her alone while you go on vacation. For that reason, we recommend that your bunny sitter change out rabbit toys every time they come to visit. Every few days, your rabbit will be stimulated by new toys.

Invest in a remote monitor.

You may purchase inexpensive IP Video Cameras that you can access from your phone while on vacation. If you’re a worried bunny parent, this video stream could be just what you need to relax and enjoy your trip.

If you have left your rabbit alone for the weekend and you find him in a depressed state don’t forget to check out this article How to Tell If Your Rabbit is Sad or Depressed?

Which hay is best for my bunny?

There are several advantages of feeding hay to your rabbit. Preventing dental problems by keeping their teeth from growing too long, preserving digestive health, and giving the appropriate amount of fiber, protein, and other vitamins and minerals are all examples of these.

It can be challenging to determine which hay is the finest, and you want to ensure that the hay you buy is of good quality and free of mold, dust, and chemicals. Timothy and meadow hay are easy to acquire and generally inexpensive.

Keep in mind that some rabbits are pickier than others, so it’s a good idea to be open to trying different varieties of hay.

There are six types of hay that you can choose from for your lovely little rabbit friend. These are –

  • Timothy Hay
  • Orchard Grass Hay
  • Oat Hay
  • Meadow Hay
  • Herbal Hay’
  • Alfalfa Hay

Is it safe for rabbits to drink tap water and apple juice?

A rabbit’s food plays a vital role in its general health as it must consume the necessary nutrition for all of its organs to operate correctly. So, are tap water and apple juice liquids okay for a rabbit’s diet?

Tap water is typically a safe alternative if you reside in a region without hazardous chemicals or germs in your supply. Apple juice has high sugar content and thus should be avoided by rabbits.

If you have a medical emergency, your veterinarian may suggest adding a splash of 100% apple juice to your water.

Can rabbits consume banana peels?

Veterinarians believe that banana peel is not harmful to rabbits, although it is not always advised. A tiny amount of banana peel may be okay to provide to your rabbit. However, feeding a whole banana peel is not recommended.

What human food is safe for rabbits to eat?

After you’ve given your rabbit the majority of their diet (hay), pick from the list of veggies below for a variety of fresh greens. It is critical to feed your pet with a range of healthy greens to provide a well-balanced diet.

Greens that your rabbit can eat:

  • Parsnip
  • Asparagus
  • Courgette
  • Bok Choy’
  • Celery
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Chicory
  • Broccoli leaves
  • Collard Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Cauliflower leaves and stalks
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Watercress
  • Radish
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce – Romaine or dark leaf
  • Red Cabbage
  • Rocket
  • Salad Peppers
  • Turnips
  • Spinach
  • Coriander

Pet rabbits may also eat fresh herb plants such as:

  • Dill
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Coriander


A rabbit should never be left alone for more than 12 hours without food since this might develop gastrointestinal stasis, often known as GI stasis. The slowing of food transit is referred to as GI stasis.

GI stasis is a vicious cycle in which your rabbit has uncomfortable gas due to pH changes in their GI tract, which leads to your rabbit not eating anything.

Your rabbit going without food and water for a long time can be fatal, so ensure that it never happens. Take care of your fur baby for us, and soon we will be back with more informative articles.


Is It Possible To Pet A Newborn Bunny?

It’s a misconception that a mother rabbit would reject her offspring if they have human scent on them. Simply cover the nest and do not touch the babies again; touching the infants might result in damage and discomfort.
It is advisable to avoid handling the babies until they are mature enough to leave the nest box independently.

Are Newborn Rabbits Able To Sip Water?

A Baby rabbit (up to 8 weeks old) consumes milk from their mothers. They may also begin drinking water from their mother’s water bottle or dish when they are 3 to 4 weeks old.

For How Long Do Newborn Rabbits Have To Go Without Food?

A baby rabbit can only last 3-4 days without nourishment. Most young bunnies are only fed once a day, between midnight and 5 a.m. In addition, unlike many other animals, rabbits do not nurse their young immediately after birth; instead, their mother feeds them the following night.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!thing.