The concept of rabbit years (or pet years in general) to human years is mostly made up. There is no scientific calculation to determine how old your pet would be if they were human. However, you can guesstimate their approximate age by paying attention to the age of maturity, life stages, and the overall expected lifespan of rabbits.
Because of a rabbit’s rapid growth in the first year, they are considered about 12 human years when the rabbit is 4 months old. By the time the rabbit is 1 year old, they are roughly equivalent to 20 human years. After which, every rabbit year is equivalent to approximately 6 human years.
This is based on the rabbit life expectancy of 10-12 years for pet rabbits. It can vary a little bit by breed. For example, larger breeds (10+ pounds) tend to have a slightly shorter lifespan, so the math might look a little different.
Rabbit Years to Human Years Chart
|Rabbit Age||Human Age|
|1 month*||3 years|
|2 months||6 years|
|3 months||9 years|
|4 months||12 years|
|5 months**||13 years|
|6 months||14 years|
|7 months||15 years|
|8 months||16 years|
|9 months||17 years|
|10 months||18 years|
|11 months||19 years|
|1 year***||20 years|
|2 years||26 years|
|3 years||32 years|
|4 years||38 years|
|5 years||44 years|
|6 years||50 years|
|7 years||56 years|
|8 years||62 years|
|9 years||66 years|
|10 years||72 years|
|11 years||78 years|
|12 years||84 years|
|13 years||90 years|
|14 years||96 years|
|15 years||102 years|
|*Months 1-4 in rabbit age are equal to 3 human years|
**Months 5-12 are equal to 1 human year per month
***Every year after the first is equal to 6 human years, each rabbit month is half a human year
How rabbits age
The reason you can’t just say that one rabbit year is equivalent to 6 human years (or something like that) is that rabbits reach developmental stages at a very different pace than humans do. To get a more reasonable estimate of where rabbits are in their life stage compared to humans, you need to take the rapid growth of their first months and years into account.
However, once rabbits reach adulthood at approximately one year old it’s a lot easier to simply scale the rabbit’s age to a human’s age and get a realistic estimate of where your rabbit is in their life cycle.
That’s why I’ve split the rabbit age to human age chart into three separate sections: the baby years, early maturity, and adult rabbits. One month in the first stage of the rabbit’s development is equal to 3 human years. Once rabbits reach maturity at four to six months, their development slows down a little. Then rabbits reach full adulthood at about 1 year old, at which point their development remains steady until old age.
Baby rabbits reach major developmental milestones at a much faster pace than human babies. They are born with their eyes and ears closed, unable to hop around. Within the first month, they will open their eyes and start to hop around and explore.
By the time rabbits reach 3 months of age, they are like little toddlers, questioning and learning everything about the world around them. And by the time they reach 4 months, they start to gain confidence and athletic ability while they explore.
Because of this rapid development over a short 4-month period, each of these months in rabbit age is equal to approximately 3 years in human age.
Early maturity in rabbits
Early maturity begins for rabbits at 4 months and is roughly equivalent to 12 years old for humans. This is because most rabbits will reach maturity and start being able to reproduce at around months 4-6, while it’s pretty common for humans to reach that stage of development at 12-16 years old.
Rabbits are still growing rapidly at this point, but their development is not quite as fast-paced as in the first 4 months of their lives. So, one month of rabbit age is still about equivalent to 1 human year.
If the rabbits are left intact (not spayed or neutered) it’s also likely that they’ll become moody teenagers during this time. The sweet baby bunny will start to become unnecessarily aggressive and lash out for no reason.
Rabbits reach maturity at about 1 year old. To make the math easy, we’re saying that this is 20 years for humans (even though the age of adulthood varies from 18-21 depending on what country you live in). At this point, the development of rabbits and humans alike has slowed down and we all continue to age steadily through life.
By the time rabbits reach age 8, they are considered to be old rabbits, or elderly. 62-65 is the typical age of retirement so it makes sense for that to fall in the 8-9 year area of a rabbit’s life.
Expected rabbit lifespan
Most rabbits will live for approximately 8 to 12 years, but rabbits living to 15 is also not completely unheard of. The human average life expectancy is about 78 to 80 years old. That’s why when determining the rabbit to human age factor, the 10-12 age range for rabbits is in the 70 and 80 age range of humans.
The life expectancy of rabbits will obviously change depending on the level of care they receive, their lifestyle and living conditions, any illnesses or diseases they are susceptible to, and other unknown or genetic factors.
Understanding rabbit age for different breeds of rabbit
Different breeds of rabbits have slightly different lifespans so you may need to adjust the math for breeds that have a shorter life expectancy. The first year of life through maturity and to adulthood will be pretty much the same. After that point, a rabbit with a shorter life expectancy will age about 7 to 8 human years for every rabbit year instead of the usual 6.
Breeds that often have a shorter life expectancy are the really big breeds of rabbits. There are some breeds that weigh in at 10 pounds or more. Learn more about the lifespan of rabbits, including different breeds of rabbits.