Domesticated rabbits have a life span of about 9 years depending on size, breed and several other factors; wild rabbits, on the other hand, have very high mortality rates. Both European rabbits and Eastern cottontail rabbits, two common species, rarely live more than a year due to predators.

Even domesticated rabbits that are kept outdoors are at serious risk for predation by stray dogs or cats, raccoons, hawks or other local predators. Whether or not a rabbit has been neutered is another factor in its longevity. Females with intact reproductive organs are at a high risk for cancer. Males also have reduced life spans if they are kept intact. Smaller breeds live longer than larger breeds; large breeds have an average life span of 5 years, while small breeds can live 10 years or even into their teens.