Rabbits have been popular house pets for decades now and it’s easy to see why. They are cute, inquisitive and social. Rabbits are clever pets too: they recognize their names, can be taught to respond to commands and can be potty trained. If you are thinking about getting a rabbit, keep in mind that although they are relatively easy to care for, these animals DO need a lot of attention and space. Moreover, different rabbit breeds have different care needs. Future owners should think carefully about which breed to get to make sure the breed in question suits them and their lifestyle.
Here are some of the popular small to medium rabbit breeds:
MINI REX rabbit
The Mini Rex rabbits are small, quiet, gentle and easy to handle. They have no genetic health issues. Unfortunately, they do have a short life span of 5-7 years, so if you are looking for a longer living companion this is something to consider.
Perhaps one of the most popular breeds, Lionhead rabbits are very playful, affectionate and energetic. They live longer than most breeds, 7 to 10 years! Unlike other rabbits, Lionheads require weekly grooming to stop their beautiful fur from getting matted.
The Netherland dwarf is one the smallest rabbit breed. These tiny fur balls are very energetic and inquisitive but nervous. Usually they do not enjoy being picked up. The Netherland Dwarf rabbits lives for 10-12 years and make amazing pets for bunny-loving grown-ups.
The Holland Lop is a small rabbit with big personality! These rabbits are known for their floppy almond-shaped ears and adorable looks. They come in a huge variety of colors (including some pretty weird ones). Holland Lops have no serious genetic health issues and live longer than most rabbits, that is 7 to 14 years. They are quite active and need a lot of space to roam about. These rabbits will be a great choice for a small family with older children.
Have you ever seen a tiny white rabbit with black (rarely-chocolate) circles around their eyes and short V-shaped ears? That’s Dwarf Hotot! These fancy rabbits bond well with their owners and are highly social, playful and active. Be aware that Dwarf Hotot rabbits are prone to overeating and have a high risk of a dental disease called malocclusion (that’s teeth misalignment). Their life expectancy is 7 to 10 years.
The medium size Havana rabbits are calm, gentle, affectionate and bond well with their human family. The name of the breed is misleading: Havana rabbits come from Netherlands, not Cuba. The name refers to the rabbit’s brown colour that resembles that of a Havana cigar. At the moment three more colours of Havana rabbit are officially recognized: black, blue and “Dalmatian”.
Harlequin rabbits are medium size rabbits with beautiful short colourful fur. Their coats have patterns in shades of brown, orange, blue, lilac, white and black. Harlequins are playful and curious bunnies who love exercise and playing with toys. They can live for up to 8 years. Another popular medium-size breed is REX. You can learn all about these amazing creatures with velvety coats in our blog post Rex Rabbit.
If you are still having troubles deciding which breed to get, this quiz might help you figure out which rabbit is best for you.
Do you need more information about rabbit breeds and rabbit care?
- Email your questions to Animal Club
- Book Animal Club visit and meet our animals, including Netherland Dwarf rabbit Tilly and Lionhead rabbit Emily
- Check out RSPCA website and learn more about rabbit care and how much it cost to keep a rabbit. Please consider adopting one of the RSPCA pets instead of buying one from a pet shop!
Good luck! And take a good care of your bunny, whichever breed you choose!