How Cold Can A Pet Rabbit Tolerate? ( Winter temperatures )

rabbit in snow

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Rabbits are a popular pet around the world. They need a lovely hutch or home to live in and can form deep bonds with their owners. Pet rabbits can be kept in different countries around the world, as long as the climate in the enclosure is suitable.

Keeping a rabbit too hot or too cold will not be good for their health.

Pet rabbits can tolerate temperatures as lower than 40 Degree Fahrenheit but only for short periods of time. Domesticated pet rabbits need warmer temperatures compared to wild rabbits. Many owners keep their rabbits indoors in room temperatures for prevent harm and also to enjoy their pet more often.

How cold can a pet rabbit tolerate?

No lower than around 40 degrees Fahrenheit ideally. In the wild, rabbits build burrows to keep warm and shelter from the elements. If you are keeping your rabbit(s) in a hutch, then a temperature below 40 will be too cold for the nests they build to keep them warm.

Although rabbits have a thick coat, they should not be left in temperatures that plummet below freezing. The ideal temperature for keeping rabbits is around 60 Fahrenheit.

Anything below that and you will need to take special precautions to keep your pets safe.

How To Keep Pet Rabbits Warm In An Outdoor Hutch?

Some people choose to keep their rabbits indoors. This is a good way to keep them warm if you have the space. A more common way of keeping rabbits is to use am outside hutch that mimics their burrows.

To keep your rabbits warm and healthy in an outdoor hutch you will need a few different things.


The Outdoor Hutch Itself

A good quality hutch that keeps rain, snow, and drafts out is very important to keeping your rabbits healthy. Make sure that the hutch isn’t letting any water in, and the inside isn’t too drafty. Any heat the rabbits generate by cuddling and huddling together should be kept inside the hutch.

On the other hand, the hutch should not be too airtight. The air inside can become too humid and cause health issues for the rabbits if it stays too humid for too long. Try and find a good balance between drafty and well ventilated.

Placing the hutch against an outside wall of your home or another building will help to stop drafts, while also providing some residual heat from the house. Likewise, building or placing something to block wind on the sides of the hutch will ensure that windchill won’t make it too cold.

Heating Pads

If you live somewhere very cold, and the rabbit hutch is often subjected to temperatures below the freezing point, heating pads may be the solution. Automatic heating pads can be placed underneath the hutch and will turn on when it gets too cold. They will turn off once they have warmed the hutch enough.

Here is one we like on Amazon ↗️

If you choose to use heating pads, make sure that there is enough space in the hutch for your rabbits to move away from the heated part. Rabbits can quickly get too hot if they are right on top of the area above the heating pad.

Enough Food And Water

It is important to note that rabbits need more food once temperatures start to drop. Like us, their bodies burn food energy to create heat energy. This means feeding them more than you would in summer time.

Monitor their weight and increase the food if they start to lose weight in winter.

Water is often forgotten about if it is wet or snowy outside. Remember to check your rabbit’s water source is not frozen and that there is enough of it.

Maybe place the water container or receptacle near the area with the heating pad so that it does not freeze. 

rabbit in winter
Ensure your rabbit has protection from the cold and the wind

Can I Move Indoor Rabbits Outside In Winter?

Rabbits that are used to living indoors should be kept indoors during the colder months of the year. This is because their coats actually get thicker once they sense the colder weather.

Putting a rabbit outside without time to adapt will mean they are not ready for the change.

Imagine being sent out in winter while wearing your summer clothes. It doesn’t sound fun.

If you want to move your rabbits to an outside hutch, move them in spring, summer, or fall. This will give them time to adapt to the changing seasons and be prepared for when winter comes around.

Can rabbits die from cold?

It’s not likely, but rabbits can die from the cold. For a rabbit to die from cold weather, there would need to be circumstances that prevent them from warming up, for example, being wet, having a cold, or not having the energy to burrow.

What temperature is too low for rabbits?

Rabbits have adapted to cold weather. Anything below 30 degrees F is considered too cold for a rabbit to be outside, but if they have a warm hutch or burrow, they can still stay outside. 

Do rabbits hibernate?

No, rabbits do not hibernate. In the winter rabbits will burrow to keep warm and their diet changes to more wood-based products like twigs and bark.

Can my rabbit stay outside in the cold?

Yes, your rabbit can stay outside in the cold. Make sure that they have somewhere warm and dry that’s easily accessible so they don’t catch a cold.

What temperature is too cold for baby rabbits?

Newborn rabbits need to be kept warm. If the mother rabbit made a good nest, they’ll be starting their lives in temperatures up to 100 degrees F! Anything below 70 degrees is too cold for a baby rabbit.

Final Thoughts

Rabbits are naturally adapted to live in cold temperatures. They have thick fur and build burrows to keep heat locked into their habitats. Their hutches should mimic their burrows, retaining heat and being sheltered from elements. Make sure you have the right equipment before winter hits.

Your rabbits will thank you and be far healthier for it.

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