Is a Rabbit a Pet? Yes and Here is Why

Published on:
TheRabbitRetreat is reader supported. When you purchase through referral links on our site, we may earn a commission.. Learn more
Is Rabbit a Pet?

Have you ever wanted to own a pet but don’t want to go for the common cats and dogs? Then you may want to get a pet rabbit to give you company indoors or in your yard. 

A rabbit can be a pet animal. They can be a lot of fun to own.

Rabbits are cute, fluffy, intelligent, affectionate, clean, and can be litter trained and taught different tricks. 

There are many advantages to owning a pet rabbit. However, there’s more to caring for them than feeding them. They are sensitive animals that require a lot of care and attention.

This article will tackle everything about rabbits as pets and the pros and cons to consider before deciding to own them.

Can I keep a rabbit as a pet?

For many centuries, people have bred different breeds of rabbits. Initially, rabbits were farm animals and not house animals. Eventually, they entered our apartments, homes, and gardens.

Here’s a little back story of how rabbits were domesticated. Domestication of rabbits was started in 600 A.D. by French monks when they were introduced as “meat substitutes” during the Lent season. They declared rabbit meat to be some kind of fish. Therefore, Christians were allowed to eat them when fasting.

As a result, the monks captured more wild rabbits and bred them in their homes. They mainly bred European rabbits for their meat and fur. Rabbits were originally found in the Iberian Peninsula and southern France.

With the increased trade between countries, rabbits moved to other parts of the world. In the 19th century, people started keeping rabbits as pets in western countries. Today, rabbits are the third most popular pet in America. 

Why do rabbits make good pets?

Rabbits are social creatures that are full of personality. They can make great companions if you take the time to learn about their behavior and body language.

Rabbits are quiet pets

One of the benefits of having a rabbit as a pet is that rabbits are generally very quiet. While dogs bark and cats meow, a rabbit will not disturb you as you get your work done or sleep.

A rabbit could be perfect for people with a quiet lifestyle or those who live in apartments or locations with strict noise regulations. The only exception is when they are communicating what they feel.

  • A happy and contented rabbit will make purring noises
  • An angry or frustrated rabbit will let out one loud thump
  • A scared rabbit will let out continuous thumping sounds

But these noises are still quieter than what you’d expect from other pets.

Woman carrying a rabbit
Woman carrying a rabbit

Rabbits have a long lifespan

Pet rabbits live an average of about 10 years. There are many breeds of rabbits. Usually, dwarf rabbits live longer than giant rabbits. Also, mixed-breed rabbits tend to live longer than pure-bred rabbits.

Besides breeds, other factors such as living conditions, nutrition, and health affect a rabbit’s lifespan

Rabbits tend to be docile animals

Rabbits are not naturally aggressive- aggression is not their first instinct. They may nip you here and there to get your attention, but that’s it. They are playful, gentle, and friendly if treated well with love, care, and attention.

However, some rabbits can show signs of aggression if they’re territorial or feel cornered.

Rabbits can be litter trained

Rabbits are smart and hygienic. They can be trained to use a litter box if spayed or neutered. 

Rabbits prefer to poop or pee in one spot, so litter training comes naturally. All you need to do is to choose a litter box big enough for the rabbit to fit in and place it where the rabbit chooses to go. 

Also, since they are territorial, you should place the litter box where they know others won’t invade their space.

Rabbits are highly intelligent creatures 

Pet rabbits are clever. Beyond simple litter training, they can learn a few tricks, solve puzzles, and even learn a few words. 

This is a great way to bond with your rabbit, and it’s interesting to watch them put their brains to work.

With patience, you can teach them a lot of activities. Not only is this fun, but it provides them with the mental stimulation they deserve.

Rabbits come in many breeds and personalities

There are several breeds of rabbits, all with distinct personalities. Certain breeds are known for inhibiting specific characters. 

A rabbit’s personality can be predicted by the personality traits its breed is known for. However, other factors influence personality, such as the environment the rabbit grew up in.

Rabbits’ personalities can range from cleverness, intelligence, playfulness, and more. With so many breed options, come different personalities. It is, therefore, important to have the perfect personality match.

Rabbits are not smelly

Rabbits are clean animals, and they do not have body odor. Their poop doesn’t have a strong smell either. But their urine has a strong smell due to high levels of ammonia content. However, if you empty and clean the litter box, you shouldn’t have to worry about a bad smell.

A smelly rabbit is either sick or has an infection and should be taken to the vet.

7 Reasons Why Rabbits Make Great Pets

Disadvantages of having rabbits as pets?

Sometimes, pet rabbits can be more than what you signed up for. They may be social, cute, and friendly, but they have their fair share of disadvantages. Here’s a list of the negatives you may experience when you own a pet rabbit.

  • Rabbits can be very destructive because they like to bite and chew on everything. You can’t leave them alone for extended periods.
  • As prey animals, rabbits need time to develop trust. Therefore, it might be challenging to bond with them. They also don’t like to be held or petted.
  • They need to exercise, play with toys, and jump up and down for mental and physical stimulation. Therefore, they need a lot of space.
  • Rabbits can be expensive compared to other pets. There are running costs associated with keeping them, such as spaying or neutering costs, quality food, occasional treats, etc.
  • Rabbits are social animals, so they are better in pairs. They rely on each other to survive. So, it’s not advisable to keep a single rabbit.
  • Rabbits poop a lot because they constantly feed on hay. A rabbit will poop an average of 200-300 pellets a day.


A rabbit can be a pet. We hope this article gives you a perspective on pet rabbits. What’s cuter than a fluffy, playful rabbit? 

With proper care and attention, a rabbit can make a good companion for you and your family.

However, pet rabbits are not suitable for everyone. That’s why it is crucial to evaluate the pros and cons before making the life-changing decision of owning a pet rabbit.

Photo of author


Jennifer Bourassa is a passionate animal lover and the founder of The Rabbit Retreat, a website dedicated to educating rabbit owners and providing them with the necessary resources to care for their furry friends. With over a decade of experience in rabbit care, Jennifer is a knowledgeable and compassionate advocate for these beloved pets. Jennifer's love for rabbits started when she adopted her first bunny, Thumper, and quickly realized the joy and challenges that come with rabbit ownership. Since then, she has made it her mission to help other rabbit owners navigate the ins and outs of bunny care, from feeding and grooming to housing and more. With The Rabbit Retreat, Jennifer hopes to build a community of like-minded rabbit enthusiasts who can share their experiences and support one another in providing the best possible care for their furry companions.