From Ears to Tails: Are Rabbits Good Pets?

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Rabbits are adorable, fluffy creatures who easily capture people’s hearts. They are often portrayed as the perfect pet for children, but do rabbits make good pets?

happy family with rabbit.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Rabbits can make great pets for the right person. They are social animals who can learn to use a litter box and even perform tricks. They are also relatively low-maintenance pets and can be a good alternative choice for those with cat or dog allergies.

However, rabbits are not for everyone because they require a lot of care and attention to keep them healthy and happy. In this article, learn what rabbits need and what you need to know before bringing one into your home. A rabbit is an excellent family pet for many families but shouldn’t be an impulse purchase.

Pros and Cons To Consider

Here are the top pros and cons of having a rabbit as a pet.

Top Pros for Choosing a Rabbit

  • They are low-maintenance and clean animals.
  • They are quiet animals, a plus for those who live in apartments.
  • They’re social animals who can bond with their owners.
  • They’re relatively low-cost pets who don’t require expensive food or toys.

Top Cons for Choosing a Rabbit

  • They require a lot of space to exercise and play.
  • Their diet is specific, and if they are not fed correctly health problems can develop.
  • Some rabbits are skittish and may not enjoy being held or cuddled.
  • A rabbit’s lifespan is up to 10 years, making rabbit ownership a long-term commitment.
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Space for a Rabbit

Most people keep their domestic rabbits indoors, making it easy for the rabbit to receive attention and be part of the family. Indoor living also protects them from predators and extreme weather conditions.

The disadvantage is they tend to have less room to roam. It is essential to provide them with a comfortable and safe living space. A bunny needs a hutch, cage, or pen large enough for it to move around in, as well as a separate area for sleeping and eating.

An indoor rabbit needs some time every day for social interaction and exploration. As Katie Grace, a zookeeper, rabbit owner, and blogger at ChinchillaCorner, explains, ” A pet rabbit needs daily exercise and out-of-cage time. Otherwise, they will be unhappy, destructive, and not a good pet.”

They should have access to an ample, safe space to run and play, such as a rabbit-proofed room or a pet pen. Providing toys and tunnels also helps keep rabbits active and engaged. Just remember that rabbits like to chew, dig, and make nests, so supervise them when they are out.

feeding a rabbit.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Feeding a Rabbit

Rabbits eat plants, but they enjoy a lot more than carrots. A healthy rabbit diet is a high-fiber diet with lots of hay, some fresh vegetables, and a small amount of rabbit pellets. Most of their diet should be hay, such as Timothy hay, which helps keep their digestive system healthy.

Fresh vegetables, like leafy green vegetables and herbs, should comprise about 15 percent of their diet. Rabbits can eat non-leafy vegetables like carrots, asparagus, or bell peppers occasionally. Rabbit pellets, which should be high in fiber and low in protein and fat, should make up no more than 5 percent of their diet.


Rabbits are intelligent animals and require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive chewing behavior. Providing toys, hiding food, and rotating their living environment can help keep rabbits mentally stimulated and happy. But this doesn’t have to be expensive. Simple things like cardboard boxes and empty toilet paper tubes can keep them busy while you aren’t home.

Litter Training

Rabbits can be litter trained, making cleaning up after them easier and keeping their living space clean. A litter box should be placed in the corner of their living area and filled with safe, absorbent litter. Rabbits should be encouraged to use the litter box by putting hay or treats in it.


Rabbits require frequent grooming to keep their fur and skin healthy. Brushing them prevents matting and removes loose hair. Daily grooming may be necessary for some long-haired rabbit breeds.

Rabbits also need their nails trimmed regularly to prevent overgrowth, which can cause discomfort and health problems. Handling rabbits gently during grooming is crucial to avoid causing them stress. They are prey animals and scare easily.

Spaying and Neutering

Spaying or neutering your pet rabbit is essential. It is still important even if you have only one rabbit and never let it outside. It will reduce hormone-driven behaviors, and both male and female rabbits will be calmer and friendlier after being fixed. It also makes it easier to litter train them and makes them less susceptible to many types of cancer.

Boy with pet rabbit.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Rabbits and Children

Rabbits can make great pets for children, but teaching children how to handle rabbits gently and respectfully is essential, as rabbits can be easily injured. Children can learn a lot from caring for a rabbit, including responsibility, empathy, and respect for animals, starting with choosing rabbit names as a family. But they will need parental supervision and guidance.

When choosing a rabbit for a family with children, it’s crucial to consider its temperament and personality. Some rabbits may be more tolerant of children than others, so choosing a rabbit that matches the family’s lifestyle and needs is essential.

  • Always supervise children when they are interacting with the rabbit.
  • Teach children how to handle the rabbit gently and respectfully.
  • Provide a safe and secure environment for the rabbit.

With the proper care and guidance, children can learn a lot from caring for a rabbit, and they’ll develop a lifelong love and respect for animals.

Rabbits and Other Pets

Similarly, how well rabbits get along with other pets will depend on the temperament of the rabbit and the other pet. Many cats and bunnies coexist happily together as long as the cat is social or ignores the rabbit. 

Dogs and rabbits are a more difficult combination. But a calm, friendly dog may be able to live with a rabbit, especially if they are introduced when young.


Overall, rabbits can be great pets for the right person or family. It’s essential to do your research and make sure you’re prepared to meet their needs before bringing one home.

Anne Jolly is the creator of the food blog Upstate Ramblings. She loves to cook with gadgets like an air fryer, sous vide or pressure cooker. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading, knitting and spending time with her three kids.

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