When I was a kid, my parents bought my first rabbit for $15.
That’s not a lot of money. But of the three bunnies that the breeder was selling, Biscuit was the most expensive one, because he came with a pedigree.
As you can see from my story, rabbits have traditionally been considered cheap pets. You could breed them quickly, people believed, and feed them hay or garden scraps – so no one wanted to invest much in a rabbit. This attitude resulted in a lot of bunnies ending up in shelters, or being released into a terrifying life in the wild.
Rabbit Keeping Has Become Expensive – And That’s a Good Thing.
For bunnies, things have changed for the better. The public is finally realizing that rabbits have individual value and deserve high-quality care.
This means that the cost of buying a rabbit and providing it with an enriching life have gone up in recent years. If I were to buy Biscuit today, the breeder would probably charge $80 for him, and his cage would cost 2-3x what it did 20 years ago.
And this is a good thing. Paying more for an animal forces us to make careful decisions about whether or not we’re ready for rabbit ownership.
While it still costs less to keep a rabbit than to keep a dog or a horse, the costs of rabbit adoption add up to become a significant investment. The choice to add a rabbit to your family isn’t one to make on a whim.
In this article, we’ll look at exactly how much money it takes to adopt a rabbit and provide for its needs throughout the course of its life. We’ll consider adoption fees, housing costs, food, and medical expenses.
How Expensive are Bunnies?
Pet rabbits cost between $30 and $80 if you buy from a breeder or a pet store. For fancy breeds, such as an Angora, you might pay up to $200.
If you adopt from a shelter, the rehoming fee will probably be $40 – $90 for one rabbit, or $50 – $120 for a pair.
Factors that Affect the Price of a Rabbit
If you’re buying a rabbit, the price will depend on a variety of factors:
- Age – You may find that baby bunnies cost more than adult rabbits, since the demand is higher for babies.
- Breed – Purebred rabbits may cost more than those that don’t come from a particular breed.
- Pedigree – In the show rabbit world, rabbits from rare or winning bloodlines will be more expensive than common lines, even within the same breed.
- Color – Bunnies that are spotted or that have an interesting color pattern often have higher price tags than solid black or white rabbits.
- Gender – Gender is rarely a factor in determining the price of a rabbit for sale, but it does cost more to spay a female rabbit than neuter a male one.
How much does it cost to buy a bunny?
The biggest factor in determining the cost of buying or adopting a bunny is the place where you get your rabbit from. Breeders may charge more than pet shops – or may charge less, depending on the circumstances. Adoption fees vary significantly from shelter to shelter.
Remember: the cost of a rabbit should not be the deciding factor when choosing where to look for your new pet. Our article on Pet Rabbits 101 walks through the pros and cons of adopting your bunny from a pet shop, breeder, and a shelter.
So how much does a bunny cost? Let’s jump into some numbers.
How much does a rabbit cost from a pet store?
Rabbits in pet stores usually cost $50 to $80 each. Some pet stores will charge more for bunnies that are of a popular breed or have attractive coloring. Others will charge higher prices for rabbits that have been handled and socialized.
How much is a rabbit from a breeder?
Rabbit breeders have highly variable pricing. Some breeders let “pet quality” rabbits go for as little as $30, while asking $250 – $500 for bunnies that win at national shows.
If you get your rabbit from a breeder, expect to pay $50-$100 for a bunny that you intend to keep as a companion. This price usually will not include a written pedigree.
Do shelters charge adoption fees for rabbits?
Most shelters charge a small and very reasonable fee for adopting a rabbit. Some shelters offer rabbit adoptions for free, or may waive adoption costs on certain individual bunnies that urgently need a home.
Shelters are transparent about their adoption fees. Many shelters publish their adoption fees on their websites, and are happy to share the information when you call.
How much are adoption fees for rabbits?
In the United States, adoption fees for a single rabbit typically range from $30 – $100. Adoption fees for a bonded pair of bunnies range from $50 to $150.
In the UK, rehoming fees for a single rabbit run around £25 to £75.
The adoption fee usually includes:
- Neuter or Spay
- Health Check
- Paperwork costs
If you were to buy a rabbit from a pet store or a breeder, or receive one for free from another source, the costs of veterinary visits, vaccinations, and surgery would run into the hundreds of dollars – far more than the shelter fee.
In the end, adopting a rabbit from a shelter is the most affordable way to bring a new bunny home.
Our experts at Fuzzy-Rabbit.com strongly recommend adopting your rabbit companion from a shelter or rabbit rescue.
How Much Does a Rabbit Cost? A Chart
|From a Breeder||$25 – $500||$50|
|From a Pet Store||$40 – $90||$70|
|From a Shelter||$30 – $100||$40|
Costs of Owning a Rabbit
As you can see from the numbers above, the adoption fee for the rabbit itself is rarely over $100, and is very reasonable for all it includes.
But what does a rabbit cage cost? How expensive is rabbit care from month to month? How much money will it take to care for a rabbit through the course of its life?
Before we hop into the world of bunny ownership, we need to consider these costs, too. We’ll break down the costs of rabbit keeping into one-time startup costs and ongoing expenses.
One-Time Costs of Rabbit Ownership
|Wellness Check at Veterinarian||$75|
|Cage or Enclosure||$140|
|Non-slip Floor Mats||$35|
|Shelter Boxes and Tunnels||$38|
|Total Startup Costs without Medical:||$356 on average, plus adoption fee|
|Total Startup Costs with Medical:||$750 on average, plus adoption fee|
Enclosure and Environment
Rabbits need unique environments to stay safe and happy.
- Cage or enclosure: Rabbits need to have an enclosed space where they can feel comfortable and stay contained when you cannot watch them.
- Hidey-holes and tunnels: adding shelter boxes, hiding holes, and tunnels to your bunny’s play space will enhance their sense of safety and encourage them to have fun.
- Slip-proof flooring: Rabbits need to have all four feet on a non-slip surface to feel safe and
- Litter box: House bunnies are easy to litter train! You will need a litter box and bedding for your indoor pet rabbit.
- Bunny safety supplies: Don’t forget to bunny-proof your home! Rabbits’ powerful incisors can do damage to furniture legs, upholstery, and electrical cords in short order.
How much does a bunny cage cost?
Indoor luxury cages that provide enough space to truly meet a rabbit’s needs typically cost between $70 and $250. Simple exercise pens offer enough room for rabbits to move freely, but fancier rabbit habitats often have climbing structures and other enriching features built in.
Here are a couple of our favorite indoor rabbit cages:
- Aivituvin XZ7002 Two Story w/ No Leak Tray Bunny Hutch. Price range: $200-225. This eco-friendly option is made of fir wood and has two stories for bunnies that love to climb.
- Trixie Natura Portable Outdoor Pen. Price range: $75-100. Although this pen actually is not strong enough to protect outdoor rabbits, it’s a fantastic spacious option for indoor bunnies.
Additional Toys & Equipment
- Food bowls: Pro tip – buy rabbit food bowls that attach to the side of a cage! These stay slightly elevated to discourage rabbits from sitting in them, and playful bunnies can’t tip them over.
- Water bottles: Water in bottles stays fresh longer than water in bowls. Use 32oz water bottles for rabbits.
- Hay rack: Did you know that hay makes up 80-90% of a healthy rabbit’s diet? But hay is messy; reduce waste by using a hay feeder.
- Grooming tools: Rabbits need regular brushing and nail trimming. They don’t, however, need regular baths.
- Cleaning tools: You’ll want to keep a broom and dustpan, scrubbing brush, and pet-safe cleaning solution in your rabbit’s space. Even if your rabbit doesn’t have an accident, the cage will need regular cleaning.
- Wellness check: If you purchase your rabbit from a breeder or a pet store, always take it to see a veterinarian right away. I’ve seen many pets come home with serious illnesses that escape the notice of a new rabbit owner.
- Vaccinations: In the UK and Australia, vaccinations are available for myxomatosis and RHD. In the US, RVHD-2 immunizations are available in certain areas.
- Spay/Neuter surgery: Spayed or neutered rabbits live longer and stay healthier than intact bunnies do.
If you adopt your rabbit from the shelter, you won’t need to add medical costs into your total, since these services will be included in the adoption fee.
The total one-time startup costs for owning a single rabbit are about $365 , plus about $385 for medical expenses if they aren’t included in the rehoming fee.
How much does rabbit care cost month to month?
Regular monthly expenses for rabbits include food, litter and bedding, and toy replacement Aging or unwell bunnies may have healthcare needs on a regular basis as well.
Monthly Costs of Rabbit Ownership
|Item||Average Monthly Cost For One Rabbit|
|Fresh Greens and Vegetables||$30|
|Litter or Bedding||$20|
|Chew Sticks or Toys||$10|
|Medication or Special Needs||$25|
|Total Monthly Costs||$125 on Average for One Rabbit|
|$175-$200 Monthly for Two Rabbits|
- Rabbit Food: This includes fresh hay, fresh greens and vegetables, and supplemental pellets. Treats should be minimal and will not be a significant expense.
- Litter and Bedding: Hay is not absorbent and doesn’t work as bedding. It’s better to use aspen shavings or a formulated pet litter that’s safe for rabbits.
- Toys and Enrichment: Rabbits need things to gnaw on in their environment to keep their teeth to a proper length. This means rabbit toys take a beating. Even though rabbits love them, you may have to replace toys like grass huts regularly.
- Veterinary Care: Rabbits with chronic health problems like malocclusion may need monthly vet visits or medication. Even healthy rabbits should receive an annual wellness check.
The average total monthly cost of caring for a pet rabbit is $125.
Does it Cost More to Keep Two Rabbits Instead of One?
How much are two rabbits? Keeping a bonded pair of bunnies together is a healthy practice, and won’t cost twice as much as keeping a pet bunny alone.
Bonded pairs of bunnies can share the same cage, but each one may want its hiding boxes or tunnels to call its own. They may be content to share the same food bowl, or they may prefer to keep them separate. Each rabbit will need its own litter box.
Since rabbits need a rotation of fresh vegetables every week, but can’t eat a whole head of cabbage or entire bunch of kale at a time, keeping two rabbits will cut down produce waste.
A safe estimate is that, by adopting a second rabbit, you will add about 50% more money to your startup and monthly costs.
In addition to the monthly costs of keeping a rabbit, there may be additional unexpected expenses. Unfortunately, these unexpected costs can also be some of the highest bills associated with keeping bunnies.
- Pet sitting: If you don’t trust a friend to watch your rabbit when you’re out of town, a professional pet sitter can cost up to $50/day.
- Elderly rabbit care: Aging rabbits may need adjustments to their housing and may have increasing medical needs. Medications and surgical procedures can become very expensive.
- Furniture repair: Bunnies like to chew, remember? Accidental damage to furniture, clothing, or other personal items can happen quickly, and these items can be costly to replace or repair.
How much does it cost to care for a rabbit over its lifetime?
Rabbits live, on average, about 8 years. But I’ve had rabbits live to 10 and 12!
Since rabbits can live for a decade, may have increasing healthcare needs later in life, and may need equipment replacements as they age, it’s difficult to calculate the total cost of a rabbit over its lifetime.
You can get a ballpark number by estimating that a rabbit costs about $125 per month to keep, and multiplying that number by 12 months and 8 years. Then add $365 for your startup costs, and an estimated $500 for medical costs or equipment replacement as your rabbit ages.
This puts our estimated annual cost of keeping a rabbit at $1,500.
And our estimated lifetime cost of a pet rabbit is $12,865.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a bunny cost at Petco?
According to its website, Petco does not sell pet rabbits. However, Petco organizes a pet matching site called Petco Love that helps connect potential bunny owners with rabbits in shelters that are looking for new homes.
How much do baby bunnies cost?
Baby bunnies cost between $30 and $80 if you buy from a breeder or a pet store. However, we strongly caution against buying a baby rabbit.
Young bunnies are delicate, prone to injury, and struggle adjusting to new environments.
What breeds of rabbits are most expensive?
Rabbit breeds that are in high demand – such as Holland Lops or Lionheads may be more expensive than “mutt” rabbits. Breeds with special care needs, such as Belgian Hares or Angoras, also command a high price.
However, the cost of a purebred rabbit will vary greatly by individual based on the perceived value of its pedigree.
Conclusion: How Much is a Rabbit?
If you’re considering buying a pet rabbit, we hope that these numbers didn’t deliver sticker shock. While the initial startup costs of adopting a rabbit can add up to several hundred dollars, bunnies are relatively affordable pets to keep on a month-to-month basis.
And they offer so much in return. Keeping a rabbit is entertaining, comforting, and develops your appreciation for the little things in life.
As you plan for your upcoming rabbit adoption, read our article on Rabbit Care Essentials to help you prepare to care for your new investment as well as possible.