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How Long Can Rabbits Go Without Food

Any rabbit owners who have a pet rabbit, or like many homeowners, have a family of wild rabbits living around their garden will see rabbits seem to be forever eating. It can lead you to think about a couple of questions. First, how long can a rabbit live without food or water? Besides this, you could wonder, do rabbits stop eating when they are full?

As owners, we must keep our rabbits safe and meet all their requirements. So, knowing how long rabbits can go without food is good. There are plenty of things to know about rabbits and their eating habits.

Because they graze, rabbits require constant feeding and can face the risk of acquiring GI Statis, which is a fatal condition, if they go for around 12 hours without eating. For the longest period, you can find rabbits could go 3–4 days without eating at the most. A rabbit’s digestive system slows as it experiences GI (Gastrointestinal) Stasis. Here the stomach dehydrates, and there is a struggle to pass food, along with bacteria and gas production buildup.

rabbit no food

In our guide, you can learn more about how long rabbits can last without eating, how to help them remain healthy, and more. The biggest outtake by the end will be what to include in an appropriate diet, what food kills rabbits, and how to prevent GI stasis before heading off to a licensed veterinarian. (Read What Sound Does A Peacock Make)

How Long Can a Rabbit Go Without Eating?

First, the digestive system of rabbits is incredibly delicate. They are accustomed to eating continuously; therefore, if you discover your bunny is not eating. Pet owners need to contact a vet immediately to get pet medical advice on whether an underlying condition is making your rabbit lose their appetite.

A rabbit may go without food for around 12 hours before eating a significant risk of getting the potentially fatal condition known as GI stasis. You must call a veterinarian right away if your rabbit hasn’t eaten in 12 hours to have your pet examined for any medical issues and maybe start syringe feeding.

How long can rabbits survive without food?

The answer to the question “how long can rabbits survive if they stop eating?” is 3–4 days.

This is the longest time your rabbit could survive without food before passing away. But, of course, your pet’s overall health, weight, and size, and if they have a clean living space, impact how long they live.

Never let a pet rabbit go longer than a couple of hours without food. A rabbit may live up to four days without food, but staying without food for 12 hours poses serious health risks and may cause gut stasis, a potentially deadly condition, and dental disease at a minimum.

Should Rabbits Have Food Around The Clock

A wild rabbit is a grazer and needs to consume oat hay, alfalfa hay, or grass continuously.

Since rabbits spend so long eating constantly, eating frequently is necessary to maintain a healthy and effective digestive system.

The basic diet comprises:

  • 80% of the diet should be hay
  • 10% should be veggies with three-quarters leafy greens and 25% veggies
  • 5-7% rabbit pellets comprised of timothy hay
  • 2-3% treats such as fresh fruits or healthy rabbit treats

Diet Necessities

The most crucial factor is that rabbits should always have access to food. This entails constant access to fresh water and unlimited hay. Your rabbit spends most of its waking time nibbling on food, as you may have seen, to keep its digestive system working. (Learn How To Get Rid Of Rabbits Under Deck)

If they don’t keep eating, they will become gravely ill rapidly. Signs of gastrointestinal stasis include:

  • Lethargy
  • Teeth grinding
  • Excessive gas, diarrhea, and bloating
  • Passing little or no stools
  • Smaller droppings
  • Weight loss and Loss of appetite
  • Drinking less water than usual

rabbit foods

What To Do If Your Rabbit Isn’t Eating?

You should take your rabbit to the vet as soon as possible if you discover it isn’t eating and you think it may have stomach stasis.

Here are a few things you can do at home to aid your pet right away:

  • Massage your rabbit’s belly
  • Try to get your rabbit moving
  • Keep rabbits warm and comfortable.
  • Try to encourage your bunny to eat with fresh grass, dandelions, and herbs like basil.
  • Try to encourage your rabbit to drink
  • Give young rabbits infant drops (syringe feed)

How Long Bunnies Go Without Bunny Food?

You might run out of hay or rabbit food and wonder whether you should head straight to the pet store or wait. So that they can go a few days without pellets, rabbits should eat hay.

Immediately obtain more hay if it is. For bunnies, even a little time without hay can result in GI stasis and eventual death.

Your rabbit can go without hay for a day if you have pellets and leafy greens, but we advise against it. It’s dangerous to let your rabbit go without hay or grass since pellets and hay don’t provide enough crude fiber to keep your rabbit’s digestion functioning. (Read Do Rabbits Eat Tomato Plants)

Why Would A Rabbit Stop Drinking Water?

Besides seeing how long can a rabbit go without food, it is uncommon for a rabbit to reject water. For a variety of reasons, a rabbit could refuse to drink. 

Here are a few examples:

  • Rabbits are discerning animals. A rabbit wouldn’t, therefore, drink water if it tasted or smelled odd.
  • Water that is the same temperature as rabbits prefer the environment. Your pet will likely refuse if the water is too hot or cold.
  • Water consumption is challenging for rabbits with dental issues since eating and drinking aggravate dental pain.
  • A rabbit might feel hydrated if it eats a lot of green vegetables.
  • Your rabbit could be sick. Rabbits turn down food and drink for a variety of medical reasons.
  • There’s a chance the rabbit can find another water source.

Would rabbits die if they don’t eat?

Unfed rabbits can indeed pass away. This is because a rabbit’s digestive system often processes negligible amounts of food. This automatically turns off when the rabbits finish eating.

Bloating may result from the digestive system not functioning correctly. Gastrointestinal stasis is what this is known as, and it is extremely unpleasant. The discomfort makes the rabbit’s decreased appetite worse. Unfortunately, it quickly gets out of hand, so getting help as soon as possible is essential.

Most bunny owners never have to deal with such a dilemma with the proper diet and housing. In comparison, a kit or senior underweight rabbit might barely survive for a short while after 12 hours.

Here’s how much food rabbits may need to maintain a constant supply of nutrition.

  • An adult rabbit needs 14 cups of pellets for every 6 pounds it weighs in body weight.
  • He should also receive two cups of veggies and 1-2 ounces of fruit daily. Therefore, the quantity of food that is advised for rabbits is this.
  • Adult rabbits should have given Timothy grass and oat hay access.
  • If you notice your rabbit is gaining weight, cut back on the quantity of fruit and pellets it consumes. Make sure your rabbit is receiving the food it needs.
  • Senior rabbits face a different problem than younger rabbits. So if you see your senior rabbit losing weight, we suggest increasing the number of pellets you give them.
  • Alfalfa hay can also be added back into your pet’s diet. They will now have a more caloric but still nutrient-rich food option.
  • For the first year, young rabbits may eat as much alfalfa hay and pellets as they like.
  • Baby rabbits only consume breast milk from their mother for the first three weeks of their lives. After that, they can begin eating solid food like hay and pellets at three weeks old.

How Long Can A Rabbit Go Without Food Before Dying?

A rabbit can live without food for three to four days if not fed. However, if your bunny goes more than 12 hours without food, it might get a serious illness. He could die as a result of this condition, known as GI stasis.

Rabbits require practically constant feeding. So call your veterinarian straight away if you find your rabbit isn’t eating. There might be more at stake than just avoiding GI stasis. There’s a chance that it’s preventing your rabbit from wanting to eat.

However, the time your rabbit can go without food may also depend on their age, size, and general health. A rabbit can survive without food for three to four days. However, an underweight kit or senior rabbit may barely make a few hours past the 12-hour mark. Therefore, always assume that your rabbit can’t spend over 12 hours without eating.

Ensure your rabbit is fed and kept hydrated by someone else if you’re out for an extended time. Have someone else take care of your rabbit if you plan to be gone for more than a few days to avoid worrying about running out of food or water.

How Long Can Rabbits Go Without Pellets?

Pellets in small quantities might be helpful for rabbits. However, they do not constitute a necessary part of a rabbit’s diet. Pet rabbits may be fed a variety of leafy green vegetables and hay made from grass to survive without a diet of pellets.

If fed lots of hay and a healthy diet, rabbits may survive without eating pellets as they can eat constantly. It is possible to maintain a rabbit’s condition on a diet wholly devoid of pellets.

Wild rabbits do not have access to pellets. It is feasible to feed your pets a natural diet comprising fresh leafy greens, hay made from grass, and treats such as fresh fruit. You have a choice in how to maintain the happiness and health of your rabbit. (Read Do Rabbits Eat Pepper Plants)

Why Does My Rabbit Not Eat Hay?

If your rabbit doesn’t eat hay, his cage might be to blame. The hay rack is placed over the litter box, encouraging rabbits to eat while using the restroom, as they typically urinate when eating.

Do Rabbits Need Hay every day?

Yes, rabbits require hay daily. However, most of a rabbit’s daily diet should make of hay, fresh vegetables, and pellets. A rabbit should consume Timothy or orchard grass hay as most of its diet to keep the rabbit’s stomach healthy.

rabbit with food

How Many Pellets Should A Rabbit Eat Everyday?

A healthy adult rabbit of average size only needs a one-quarter cup of pellets daily. Feed a quarter cup of pellets to rabbits weighing under five pounds.

A bunny’s diet includes non-essential pellets. Therefore, for rabbits weighing over 10 pounds, more than a quarter of a cup is adequate where they can eat continuously a supply of hay to prevent health issues in the digestive tract.

Conclusion Of How Long Can Rabbits Go Without Food?

As grazers, rabbits shouldn’t go longer than a few hours without food to stay healthy. They need a steady feed of hay to keep their digestive systems functioning.

A rabbit may stop eating for various causes, including stress and various medical issues, along with the rabbit’s age. Therefore, there is always cause for concern if your rabbit stops eating. You should take your rabbit to the vet as soon as possible if it has been 12 hours since its last food and exhibits intestinal stasis symptoms.

Rabbits can thus only go without food for a brief period. As a result, you make that your rabbit always has access to clean water and unlimited hay as a responsible pet owner.

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