How Many Ribs Does a Rabbit Have? Are Those Strong?

As you explore your daily playtime adventure with your fluffy creature, its energetic vibe may cause you to feel anxious because of its fragile little body that hops around and binkies which may hit the wall or furniture.

You may also feel hesitant to hold it for the first few weeks, as its form looks like it tends to break easily. In this occasion, it is somehow unfathomable to know what kind of activities can your rabbit do that would not hurt his tiny bones.

Being his owner, you must give him enough supplements for your little one to be healthy. Their safety is in your hands, that is why it is essential to know every little detail about your little pet's well-being.

To have an insight regarding this matter, here is the following information about your rabbit's ribs and how to take care of it.

The Ribs of a Rabbit

A rabbit typically has 12 pairs of ribs with the sternum and costal cartilages. In total, a healthy rabbit has 24 bones in his ribs alone.

The first seven pairs on their ribs are referred as "truly sets" because it is attached to the costal cartilage, while the remaining pairs are not, which are often stated as "false sets."

The last two, specifically the 11th and 12th pair, is not attached to the sternum which appears as if it is floating, with the term "floating ribs."

It is not connected because there is no cartilage; therefore, it is only attached to the vertebra. Moreover, they are easily broken because it is not stable which poses a risk that it can break.

The attachment in the vertebrae is only one on the located dorsal. Meanwhile, as they extend in a lateral position, they just have thin bone tissues that are locked in the muscle.

With regards to the overall bone make-up, the ribs are 11 percent of the rabbit’s bones. Specifically, they have 222 bones in their bodies.

You can also distinguish them from other creatures by looking at the placement of their ribs. If you would compare it to a cat, they have nine pairs of true ribs, three pairs of false ribs, and one pair of floating ribs.

In general, it if has 12 pairs, then it is a rabbit.If it has 13 pairs, then it is a cat. The difference can also be seen in other animals.

Foods That Are High In Calcium

As a rabbit owner, we would like to ensure the health of our little fuzzy animals, and that includes their calcium intake. Calcium is essential in keeping the bones of your rabbit as strong as it can ever be.

Though, be aware of the proper amount that your bunny needs, which depends on their diet plan. Having too much or lacking the mineral can cause them serious problems. If you are looking for foods that are high in calcium, here are some that are rabbit friendly;


Fruits should only be given occasionally as treats, for it has high sugar content. Regarding the specific amount, two tablespoons of some calcium-rich food can be eaten in a day. Here are some of the fruits with their corresponding calcium amount per 3.5 ounces:

  • Oranges- 43mg
  • Dried apricots-55mg
  • Kiwi-34mg
  • Rhubarb stalks (not leaves!)-143mg


Keep in mind that even if rabbits are herbivores, they can only eat some specific amount of vegetables. Here are some of the vegetables that they can eat with their corresponding calcium amount per 3.5 ounces:

  • Broccoli rabe-118mg
  • Okra-96mg
  • Lettuce-53mg

Some Selected Hay and Herbs

Some fresh hay and herbs are known for being high in calcium and can help your rabbit's diet. Here are some of those with their corresponding calcium amount per 3.5 ounces:

  • Parsley-200mg
  • Grass hay- 0.4 percent
  • Alfalfa hay- 1.5 percent

Vitamin D Deficiency

The lack of vitamin D does not only give inadequate blood levels of calcium but can be seen as your little animal suffers from poor-quality teeth and bones. Such examples of this phenomenon include uneven tooth growth and tooth root problems common on domestic rabbits.

Even if dental issues depend on a lot of factors and is complex, vitamin D deficiency is one of the main causes of it. Seeing our rabbit limp is the most painful scenery a rabbit owner can see, especially if you can see them hurting as they move their little bodies.

The deficiency cannot only reflect on bones, as their immune system can also weaken. This can result in infections, diseases, or worse, cardiovascular problems. Seeing that the vitamin is important, make sure that your little pet gets enough of it to be at their optimal state.

Rabbit Exercises to Keep Bones Strong

Daily playtime escapades are important not only for a stronger human-rabbit relation, but also to keep their health in balance with the use of daily exercise.

The ability of their bones to be strong depends on how you take care of them. Failure to do this can lead to some serious problems such as poor bone density.

If they have poor bones, your little creature may develop osteoporosis or thinning of the bones because he is confined to a small space for a very long time. If this happens, their backs can be fractured even with normal handling or leaping.

Another negative outcome can be poor muscle tone. With their muscles underdeveloped and weak, they will be unable to move properly. To prevent this, here are some exercises to keep them strong—

Let Them Hop Freely

Just letting them go in an empty room is already a big help. Wild rabbits tend to stretch their legs for 3 miles, and house rabbits also need this. Allow him to wander in all different corners of the house and watch him as he gracefully hops and binky. Though, ensure that all of the furniture, especially wires, are rabbit proof!

Reach Your Treat!

Place their treat at a level that they can reach but also hops high. This can extend their hind legs and exercise them. Aside from teaching your rabbit to leap in high places, you are also keeping their well-being safe.

Final Key Points!

It is critical to ensure that their bones are strong, for it depends on how you take care of them. If they are healthy, then it would not break as easily as expected.

Rabbits are usually cheerful creatures, as they always run fast or binkies whenever excited. In the act of doing so, we need to ensure that none of their bones will break for the painful feeling of our companion can also reflect on you as an owner.

Now that you know the tips unto how their bones can be healthy, apply it to their diet and playtime exercises!

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