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16 Fascinating Pet Rabbit Statistics (2024 Update)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Pet Rabbit Statistics

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Rabbits are the third most popular pet, after cats and dogs. They are popular because they are an easy size to handle and, unlike dogs, they don’t need to be walked regularly.

However, potential owners need to know that rabbits still require a lot of care and attention to ensure they are happy and fulfilled. They are social animals, too, and they benefit from being kept with at least one other rabbit of the same gender. They also need regular feeding, their hutches need cleaning out regularly, and their teeth and nails never stop growing so these may need attention. Vet bills can also be quite high for rabbits, even compared to cats and dogs, and with a lifespan of up to 12 years, they do require a long-term commitment.

With that said, for those that are prepared for a rabbit’s requirements, they do make good pets. With regular work, they can be handled, and some rabbits can be given virtually free run of an apartment or at least a room of the house. They are intriguing little animals with some odd quirks: for example, they purr, like cats, when they are content, and they will zip around in a happy state of glee when they are enjoying themselves.

There is no register of rabbits, and some statistics can be difficult to come by regarding rabbit numbers, but we have gathered 16 statistics related to pet rabbits in the U.S. and around the world and curated the most recent and pertinent figures below.

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Top 16 Pet Rabbit Statistics

  1. There are approximately 2.2 million pet rabbits in the U.S.
  2. Just over 1% of U.S. households own at least one rabbit.
  3. Holland Lop, Mini Lop, and Dutch are three of the most popular breeds.
  4. Rabbit sales in the UK increased by more than 200% in 2020.
  5. A rabbit costs approximately $30 from a pet store or $10 from a rescue.
  6. Rare breeds can cost as much as $100.
  7. Pet rabbits will usually live for between 8 and 12 years.
  8. Owners should budget around $50 a month for rabbit care.
  9. A single pair of breeding rabbits, and their offspring, can yield nearly 4 million rabbits in just 4 years.
  10. Rabbits are the third most commonly abandoned pet.
  11. More than half of pet rabbits are lonely.
  12. Rabbit medical care can be more expensive than for cats and dogs.
  13. Most abandoned rabbits are simply left outdoors to fend for themselves.
  14. 3 in 10 pet rabbits have inadequate housing.
  15. Three-quarters of unspayed female rabbits develop uterine cancers.
  16. It costs $250, on average, to have a rabbit neutered.
PET_RABBIT_FACTS_&_STATISTICS
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Rabbit Numbers

1. There are approximately 2.2 million pet rabbits in the U.S.

(AVMA)

Rabbits are the third most popular pet in the U.S. Although numbers vary according to different sources, there are likely about 2.2 million pet rabbits across the nation, which puts them behind just cats and dogs for popularity. There are nearly 77 million pet dogs and 58 million pet cats in the country, as well as 1.9 million pet horses.

Rabbit close up
Image Credit: suju-foto, Pixabay

2. Just over 1% of U.S. households own at least one rabbit.

(AVMA)

The 2.2 million pet rabbits live in 1.5 million households, which means that the average owner has 1.5 rabbits. Rabbits are social animals that, in the wild, would live in large groups. Most experts recommend that they be kept in at least pairs when kept as rabbits or they can become lonely and bored, which can lead to emotional and health problems.


3. Holland Lop, Mini Lop, and Dutch are three of the most popular breeds.

(Wag Walking)

There are dozens of different rabbit breeds across the world, kept as pets. In the U.S. some of the most popular breeds are the Holland Lop and the Mini Lop. Lop refers to the lop ears of the rabbit, which droop down rather than stand up. These breeds are popular for this very feature. Another popular breed is the Dutch, which has erect ears and has arguably the archetypal profile of a rabbit’s physical characteristics.

Holland Lop
Image Credit: Jorgeie009, Pixabay

4. Rabbit sales in the UK increased by more than 200% in 2020.

(University of Liverpool)

Rabbit ownership is also very popular in the UK, and during the pandemic, when a lot of pet owners turned to their animals for companionship and to combat loneliness, they became even more popular. Sales of rabbits in the UK increased by more than 200%, which was a larger increase that was witnessed in both cats and dogs. Rabbits tend to be popular with renters and where landlords may not allow the tenant to have cats and dogs.

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Owning A Rabbit

5. A rabbit costs approximately $30 from a pet store or $10 from a rescue.

(PetKeen)

Rabbits are not expensive to buy. While purebred dogs can cost several thousand dollars, and certain breeds of cats can cost $1,000 or more, you can expect to pay $30 for a rabbit from the pet store and $10 to adopt a rabbit from a rescue. Potential owners are always advised to adopt because there is a substantial number of abandoned and surrendered rabbits that are looking for homes.

White Rabbit Playing with People in the Cafe
Image Credit: KArd, Shutterstock

6. Rare breeds can cost as much as $100.

(PetKeen)

Some breeds do cost more. Rare and highly sought-after breeds can cost as much as $100 and owners that want exhibition standard rare breeds with an award-winning lineage may have to pay even more than this with some championship-winning descendants costing several hundred dollars.


7. Pet rabbits will usually live for between 8 and 12 years.

(Web MD)

Wild rabbits typically only live for two or three years, having to deal with a host of illnesses as well as an array of predators. This is roughly how long many potential owners think their pet rabbits will last. In reality, though, pet rabbits will live for 8 years, with many of them reaching 10 or even 12 years of age. This is nearly as long as cats and as long as some breeds of dog, and potential owners do need to be prepared to care for the rabbits for this length of time.

Wild rabbit
Image Credit: Davies_Designs, Pixabay

8. Owners should budget around $50 a month for rabbit care.

(PetKeen)

The cost of buying a rabbit is actually one of the lowest costs associated with this type of pet. Buying a hutch or cage will run between $100 to $200 for a fairly basic setup. Ongoing monthly costs include the cost of bedding, food, straw, toys, and healthcare costs, and you should expect to pay an average of around $50 per month to keep a pet rabbit.


9. A single pair of breeding rabbits, and their offspring, can yield nearly 4 million rabbits in just 4 years.

(House Rabbit Society)

One cost that should never be overlooked is that of neutering. Rabbits breed from a young age and can breed for several years, having multiple litters every year. And, even if you think you have two rabbits of opposite genders, breeders can and do misgender rabbits. If you find you have a male and a female, and you haven’t had one or both of them neutered, be aware that a single breeding pair of rabbits, and its offspring, can result in the production of nearly 4 million rabbits in the space of just 4 years.

pair of rabbit
Image Credit: Tscharlie, Pixabay

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Rabbit Welfare

10. Rabbits are the third most commonly abandoned pet.

(PETA)

As well as being the third most commonly owned pet, rabbits are also the third most commonly abandoned or surrendered pet. Rabbits are often given up because the new owner did not expect them to live as long or require as much care and attention. They are also bought as easter gifts for kids and then abandoned once the easter period is over.


11. More than half of pet rabbits are lonely.

(Best Friends Vets)

According to one study, more than half of pet rabbits are lonely because they are kept as solitary animals, rather than being kept with other rabbits. Although the study is based in the UK, the figure in the U.S. is likely to be similar considering the average number of rabbits in rabbit-owning households is less than 1.5.

rabbit
Image Credit: ChiemSeherin, Pixabay

12. Rabbit medical care can be more expensive than for cats and dogs.

(National Geographic)

Rabbits generally require specialist medical care and are very different from dogs and cats. This means that a general veterinarian may not be able to offer the kind of treatment a rabbit needs if it gets ill. This, along with the fact that rabbits do tend to get ill as they age, means that veterinary care for rabbits can end up being more expensive than treatment for cats and dogs.


13. Most abandoned rabbits are simply left outdoors to fend for themselves.

(National Geographic)

While a lot of owners believe that rabbits can fend for themselves if they are simply left outdoors, this isn’t true. Rabbits that have been kept as pets are unable to fend off or avoid potential predators and do not know how to build or find protection from the elements. Despite this, most rabbits that are given up by their owners are simply left outdoors to fend for themselves.

rabbit
Image Credit: GregMontani, Pixabay

14. 3 in 10 pet rabbits have inadequate housing.

(University of Liverpool)

Rabbits need more space than a lot of potential owners think. As well as needing a minimum of 8 square feet of living space to sleep and eat, a rabbit needs 24 square feet of exercise space, where they should spend around 5 hours a day. This is a far cry from the small hutches that are sometimes provided, and it means that around 30% of rabbits are given inadequate housing.


15. Three-quarters of unspayed female rabbits develop uterine cancers.

(Pet MD)

Neutering rabbits is important because they really do breed frequently, and easily, and they produce a lot of offspring. The number of rabbits an owner has can quickly become uncontrollable and unmanageable. Another reason to have your rabbits neutered is to avoid illness and prolong the rabbit’s life. Three-quarters of female rabbits that are not spayed develop uterine cancers.

Neutering surgery rabbit
Image Credit: Vladislav Mirenskii, Shutterstock

16. It costs $250, on average, to have a rabbit neutered.

(Pet MD)

Whether it is to avoid having unwanted litters of kits or to prolong the life of the rabbit, neutering is important, but many owners are shocked by the fact that neutering typically costs multiple times the actual cost of the rabbit. On average, you should expect to pay $250 to have a rabbit desexed, which is approximately 10 times the average cost of buying the rabbit in the first place.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Rabbits

Do rabbits make good house pets?

Rabbits can make very good house pets, but they do need a lot of care and attention, as well as space. With regular handling from a young age, some rabbits will enjoy being picked up, and even those that don’t like to be cuddled can enjoy spending time with their humans. However, potential owners need to be aware that rabbits can live 10 years and they need a combined space of at least 30 square feet for their living space and exercise area.

Do bunnies like to cuddle?

Rabbits are prey animals, which means that they are naturally wary of being approached and some do not like to feel constrained by being cuddled. If a rabbit were to be approached by a predator while in the clutches of their owner, it would not be able to get away. With that said, some rabbits do enjoy being cuddled, especially if they have been regularly handled since they were very young.

Girl Cuddling Rabbit
Image Credit: stock_studio, Shutterstocks

Is it OK to keep one pet rabbit?

Rabbits are social animals, and they can become bored and depressed if they are kept as solitary pets. Keeping two rabbits does not require much more space than keeping a single rabbit, although it will require more food and bedding and will mean having to pay more for neutering and healthcare costs.

Do rabbits need a lot of space?

Rabbits need a minimum of 8 square feet of living accommodation and 24 square feet of exercise area to meet their needs. This is a lot more than is needed for small, caged animals like hamsters, so if you are looking for something that doesn’t need much space, a pet rabbit may not be the best option.

divider_rabbitConclusion

Rabbits can make excellent pets. They are fun and cute. Some will endure and even enjoy being handled, and they are fun to watch. However, they require more care than a lot of potential owners think, which leads to many pet rabbits being abandoned every year. Owners need to ensure that they provide ample space and regular care and that they are prepared for their new pet rabbit to live 10 to 12 years. And all rabbits should be neutered because there are already far more rabbits than potential owners.

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Featured Image Credit: ZouZou, Shutterstock

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