If you’re an animal lover who lives in an apartment with a small living space, you might be wondering if having a pet rabbit in an apartment is the right choice for your living situation. Keeping a pet rabbit comes with responsibilities and needs special attention, which is why not all apartments are suitable for keeping pets.
If you have looked into the advantages of having a pet rabbit and think it’s the right fit for you and your home, read on to learn more about pros and cons of keeping a pet rabbit in an apartment.
We’d need a book length article to explain and list everything to know about pet rabbits, but here’s a good start as you begin researching.
What to Expect Having a Rabbit as a Pet in an Apartment
Rabbits are very social creatures and love being around people. If you have a rabbit as a pet, you will have a constant companion. Rabbits are also very gentle and calm animals. They are great for people who live alone or have children and are looking for a friend.
Similar to keeping a pet cat, many litter-box-trained rabbits do not have strong odors that other animals might have, which is great for apartment dwellers. This makes them a great option for people who want to keep an animal but are sensitive to smells.
Some rabbit breeds have short hair and others have long hair, so if shedding is a concern for you choose a pet rabbit breed with their shedding tendencies in mind.
Best Rabbit Breeds for Apartment Living
Making a decision about which rabbit makes the best pet is difficult. They’re all so cute! Just seeing pictures of the adorable bundles of fur are enough to make you anticipate snuggling them. But rabbits come in all shapes, sizes, weights, and hair-lengths. Luckily, there are several rabbit breeds that make great companions.
For apartment living two large considerations are the rabbit’s overall size and what maintenance is required. In rabbit terms, whether they shed lots of hair is a large consideration because heavy shedding requires a lot of cleaning up (and it gets on your clothing or anything else it touches).
- Netherland Dwarf
- English Lop rabbit
- New Zealand white
- Min Lop
- Mini Rex
- Mini Satin
- American Fuzzy Lop
- Jersey Wooly
- French Angora
- English Angora
- Satin Angora
If you plan to have a rabbit as a pet, you must be prepared to spend time caring for it. This includes daily cleaning of the cage and daily feedings. Rabbits also need daily exercise. You can’t simply keep them in a cage all the time. This means you must have some free time to take care of your rabbit. And if you like the idea of snuggling, cuddling, or petting your rabbit keeping them socialized from a young age is important.
But more importantly for their own safety, rabbits that allow you to pick them up will also enable you to protect them from potential harm down the road. When you see them heading toward danger, you can pick them up as protection. If you don’t spend the time socializing, and keep socializing your pet rabbit regularly and consistently, this bond you share might fade in time.
How Much Does a Pet Rabbit Cost?
Rabbit prices vary widely based on their source.
Check with the local animal shelter and pet rescue organizations. Sometimes you can adopt a pet rabbit for free or a nominal amount ($35 – $50). Check with your local Humane Society organization for rabbit adoption information.
When buying from a breeder, prices may vary much more depending on the breed, location, lineage, etc. For example, show quality rabbits will cost more than some other breeds and may fetch prices of $500 or more. Check around with breeders in your local area to gauge current prices where you live.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association provides a valuable resource to find breeders in the United States including several articles about being a responsible rabbit owner.
Besides the purchase price consider other factors contributing to cost of ownership including:
- Veterinarian care
Plan to spend $500 – $1,000 in additional annual rabbit ownership costs after you bring your new rabbit home.
While researching the possibilities perform some internet searches for pet rabbit for sale near me or rabbits as pets pros and cons.
Pros of Having a Pet Rabbit in an Apartment
Rabbits are very low maintenance animals and are great for apartment dwellers. They do not require much space and their cages can be placed in a corner of your apartment.
Ideally, your rabbit will have the ability to come and go from their living space allowing them to be around household members and activities when they desire it, and then a place to return to when they don’t. The smaller size in an apartment requires the entire dwelling to be rabbit proofed, which means removing, or storing away, anything that might cause danger to your new friend(s).
You must have a way to let your rabbit get plenty of daily exercise.
Rabbit exercise ideas
- Carboard boxes and tubes
- Chewable wooden toys
- Allow them to free range
A rabbit does not make a lot of noise and does not need much attention. This means that you can keep a rabbit as a pet without sacrificing a lot of your living space or time. Rabbits are very clean animals. They keep themselves clean.
The rabbit lifespan is similar to house cats and ranges from 7 to 9 years on average.
Cons of Having a Pet Rabbit in an Apartment
Rabbits are social creatures and may become bored and lonely if they do not have enough attention. If you work long hours and do not have time to spend with your rabbit, it can become depressed. You may have to reassess your living situation if you do not have enough time to care for your rabbit.
Rabbits love interaction. You must have time to interact with your pet rabbit and spend time bonding with it. If you do not have the time to spend with your rabbit, it can be very lonely and unhappy. Unhappy rabbits become very messy animals and are not ideal to keep in an apartment. Their cages remain messy and need to be cleaned often. Rabbits also produce a lot of droppings, which can quickly pile up.
While the rabbit’s lifespan is also an advantage, before bringing your new rabbit home consider whether you are willing to assume your new role as rabbit caregiver for the next 7 – 9 years.
Tips for Keeping a Pet Rabbit in an Apartment
Before you bring a rabbit home, make sure you are able to handle the cleaning and feeding of the bunny.
- Are you comfortable cleaning up droppings? Rabbits produce a lot of droppings, and you must clean them out daily.
- Are you able to provide fresh vegetables and pellets for your rabbit to eat? Rabbits need fresh vegetables and pellets daily.
- Can you provide a place for your rabbit to sleep? Bunnies like to burrow, so having a small place to make a bed is ideal.
- Do you have the time to spend bonding and caring for your rabbit? Rabbits are content to be near you while you perform daily activities and are quite content chilling with the family in the evenings while watching television.
- Are rabbits hard to take care of? Like any pet, rabbits need the right care, at the right time, and plenty of attention.
- Are rabbits a good pet? Please don’t buy a pet rabbit to keep in a cage in the corner of a room you never use. Rabbits enjoy social activity – on their own time. They need a place to go back to when they need alone time, but will often come towards family activities in the evening when the daily hustle and bustle settles down.
- Is a rabbit a good indoor pet? Yes and no. They can learn to use a litter box like cats do, but they do have occassional accidents. As with any pet, if the mess of having a pet is something you are concerned about, please carefully consider whether you would really enjoy cleaning up after them and giving them proper care they need and deserve.
Here’s another article we wrote about popular apartment pets
Rabbits are adorable and are fairly low maintenance pets and are great for apartment dwellers. Before buying a rabbit, or any pet, consider whether you have the time and energy to be a good pet parent.
- Do you have the time to spend caring for your rabbit?
- Will you clean-up when the pet rabbit messes up his cage and surrounding areas?
- Are you able to provide proper out of cage time for your rabbit to provide for its social needs?
- Will you supervise children when playing with your rabbit?
Pet rabbits trained to use a litterbox are also very clean and do not have strong odors, making them a great option for people who are sensitive to smells provided the litterbox is cleaned regularly.
If litter training doesn’t sound appealing to you, consider adopting a pet rat.
Some rabbits don’t like to be picked up and cuddled (neither do some house cats for that matter). If that’s a deal breaker for you, please consider another type of pet.
Bored rabbits are messy animals and are not ideal to keep in an apartment if you do not have the time to clean their cages frequently. Rabbits also produce a lot of droppings, which must be cleaned daily.
Rabbits make great house pets for families, and singles, who do the research and approach rabbit ownership with the proper goal – to provide the best living environment and care possible.