Rabbits have been one of the most popular house pets for many decades now. If you’re looking for your first pet rabbit you’re going to need to know what the best house rabbit breeds are, and which is best for you.
As owners become more familiar with living with rabbits and we learn more about them as animals there are changes in opinions. In fact, over the past decade or so more breeds have appeared on the scene. But there are some characteristics that prove beneficial to being a house pet.
You can train some breeds to respect your home, be litter trained, and to co-exist with other pets. Being such cute and fluffy little creatures, it’s no wonder rabbits are soaring in popularity. They make great pets for children and adults alike, and bring a lot of joy to a home.
Let’s first take a look at some of the reasons why people choose rabbits as their house pets, and what you can expect.
Why Choose a House Rabbit?
There is a stereotype that rabbits live in hutches at the bottom of the garden. Indeed some do live like this, depending on the climate and type of bunny it’s perfectly acceptable. But there are also rabbits that live indoors, and live a much happier life doing so.
Rabbits are intelligent and curious animals. They thrive on having room to run around and explore, and they love interacting with humans or other animals. So if you want to get the most from your bunny, and give them the most fulfilling life – an indoor life is what they prefer.
Animal lovers also enjoy having a rabbit around. much like a cat, or a dog, it’s nice to come home and be greeted by a family pet. It’s enjoyable seeing them jump and run around the home having fun.
Remember to Spay or Neuter Your Indoor Rabbit
It’s responsible as owners to spay or neuter your bunny unless you are specifically going to breed them. Apart from the obvious reasons for doing so, it makes the rabbits much easier to litter train. Something that’s important if you want to keep your home clean and hygienic.
Getting their hormones under control also has several other benefits. Such as making them a lot less likely to fight with other pets, less likely to scratch you or act a little erratic, and less likely to scratch and chew items of furniture.
These reasons are usually more than enough reason to have someone book their bunny in with the next available appointment at their vets.
House Training a Rabbit
There are various tips and methods to help with house training rabbits, but the basics are always the same. You start by using a litter box in a cage, this familiarises them with the area and makes it easier to keep them going back to the same place.
Fasten a clean litter box in their cage. Make sure you keep them in the cage enough that they choose to use that litter area when needed. Then let them out and reward them with treats. If they do have an accident in the house, never punish them.
Reinforce the treats associated with using the correct litter area, this is a lot more effective in training rabbits where to do their business. It’s usually not that difficult, I’m sure you will get the hang of it fairly quickly.
Rabbit Proofing Your Valuables
Unfortunately rabbits have the habit of destroying the things you absolutely don’t want them to. Like important paperwork and expensive items. Even the best behaved rabbits give in to temptation at times, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
This means bunny proofing your home the best you can. Hide or move all electrical wires out of their way and reach. These are often first to be chewed on. Then move any valuables out of reach.
Make sure there are toys and cardboard items they can chew on and make these available. You will need to keep an eye on young rabbits, much like you would a child. But this is part and parcel of being a rabbit owner, and part of the fun, I’m sure you’ll agree.
House Rabbits and Your Other Pets
Typically rabbits will get on fine with cats and dogs. It’s more so the dog that needs to be trained not to attack or pester the bunny. So make sure all animals are fine around each other for long periods before ever leaving them alone with each other.
You’re better off having more than one rabbit if you want to keep them amused and out of trouble with other animals. Rabbits are more likely to hang out with other rabbits than other animals.
Best House Rabbit Breeds
The German Lop Rabbit
The German Lop obviously comes from Germany. They are a medium sized rabbit, designed to be great house pets. They have large ears and long bodies, and weigh around 8 lbs on average.
They look more muscular than other lops, and have quite a broad back and shoulders. Typically available in all colors, and their fur is dense and strong. It’s soft to the touch as it’s a dense coat, and benefits from a little help with the grooming.
When it comes to personalities, German Lops are known for being quiet and happy on their own just as much as with other pets and people. They can be aggressive when put under stress, but nothing that’s going to upset anyone.
The English Lop Rabbit
The English Lop is a cute looking rabbit with large lovable ears. As the name suggests this breed of rabbit was developed in England. It was created through selective breeding, and dates back to the 19th century.
They are loving and friendly bunnies that make great indoor pets. They average around 11 lbs, so they aren’t too heavy to pick up. Their fur is incredibly soft and nice to the touch, and their long ears and large bodies make them very identifiable.
They come in a wide range of colors, the black or fawn are probably the most popular and these are usually easily found. They typically live between 5 – 7 years, and have calm, placid, and laid-back personalities.
The Holland Lop Rabbit
The Holland Lop is also known as the Miniature Lop in the UK. There are a lot of colors and variations of coats. They are dwarf breeds and usually weigh around 2-4 lbs when fully grown. This makes this breed very small and manageable, ideal for living in the home.
It’s look it a little different than a common rabbit. Their heads are larger in proportion to their bodies, and they have the long lop ears as you would expect. They look muscular and strong, and are very active.
Their coats are glossy and smooth. They live up to around 10 years in age, and they have an easy going temperament. They are great with children, intelligent, and love being handled and fussed over. Making them one of the most popular and well-suited best house rabbit breeds.
The American Fuzzy Lop Rabbit
The American Fuzzy Lop was born from mixing the Holland Lop with some other genes. What resulted is as you see in the picture. An incredibly cute, fuzzy looking bunny. This breed is very popular with children as it’s so cute.
Their body shape is short and thick. As young rabbits they look like balls of fur, as they grow up they fill out a little but are still very fluffy. Although they have long fluffy fur, they don’t matt or get tangled very often so they are still low maintenance.
They are a very social, mischievous and playful breed. The enjoy being fussed over and attention, so they make great family pets. They also play a lot with toys and other interactive items, so be prepared for a bundle of fun.
The Continental Giant Rabbit
If it’s a large bunny you want, the Continental Giant is going to be just the pet. They are huge, some make it as heavy as 35 lbs. Something to be aware of at this point is that a large bunny needs a lot of food, and it can be costly feeding them.
A downside is that they only have a life-expectancy of around 4-5 years. But they are friendly and loving rabbits. They require some special attention from a young age or they will grow up to be distant from humans.
They can do some serious damage around the home if you’re not prepared for them. So house proofing is more important than ever with the Continental. You can use a large dog cage for sleeping quarters.
The Alaska Rabbit
The Alaska rabbit doesn’t actually come from Alaska. They were bred in Germany and are named after the Alaskan fox as it happens. Just a bit of information and background for you, but pretty interesting.
The Alaskan are medium sized rabbits, topping off at around 7 lbs. They are well-rounded and solid rabbits, but easy to handle and they enjoy being held. The breed only comes in black, and they have a distinctive look that rabbit enthusiasts can easily identify.
They are extremely friendly and do not have an aggressive bone in their bodies. They are gentle, have one of the softest costs you’ll find, and love attention and fussing from people. Certainly worth looking at if you’re after a house rabbit that will fit in with a busy family of all ages.
The Brazilian Rabbit
Native to South America and not always easily found in the UK are the Brazilian Rabbit. They are medium sized rabbits, and can weigh up to 10 lbs at the heavier end. This makes them that cuddly and easy to handle range.
They are more common in colorful variations, as you would expect from such a colorful country. The blues, pastels, and tortoise shell colors are the most popular and look attractive. Their fur is a little rough, thick and spongy to the touch.
Their personality allows for getting along with all types of other pets. So if you have other pets in the household the Brazilian will settle in smoothly. They can get stressed and a little annoyed at a lot of fussing, so not a first choice for children.
The Rare Hulstlander Rabbit
Another bunny from the Netherlands, this time it’s the Rare Hulstlander. They only come in one color and look – a blue eyed, white rabbit. They grow to be around 5 lbs, making them manageable and great home pets.
The coat is what separates this breed from the others. It’s a striking white that looks clean and bright, and is thick and dense. It’s still soft to the touch and does require a little grooming to keep it in top condition.
They are known to be playful and full of energy, especially when young. They really do enjoy fussing and attention, so this is a breed that works well with children. They are very curious and intelligent rabbits, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on them around the home.
The New Zealand Rabbit
The New Zealand rabbit also makes for a great home rabbit. There are a few different types, and they are shown competitively but you can find them to keep just as pets at a reasonable price.
As you can see from the picture they don’t have long lop ears like some of the breeds mentioned here. More so they have normal long rabbit ears that stick upwards. They have a medium size body and short fur.
They have a lifespan of about 5 to 8 years, and are great with children and in busy homes. They love being handled and are not easily stressed by a busy and noisy home. Other pets are not a problem either, so the New Zealand bunny should fit nicely into most households.
The Lilac Rabbit
The Lilac Rabbit is an interesting breed. It’s suitably named after its lilac color, although other breeds also come in a similar color there are some features unique to this breed.
They are medium sized rabbits and weigh around 5.5 lbs when fully grown. They obviously come in lilac coloring. But there’s is some variation to this, they can often look grey or more purple in different light.
They have a long lifespan of up to 12 years. They enjoy being fussed over, groomed, and petted. So the Lilac makes a great companion for family members, and its playful nature will have them forcing their way into the hearts of everyone in the home.
Rabbits are some of the most lovable, friendly, endearing, and entertaining indoor pets. They are intelligent, curious and have bundles of personality.
All these breeds highlighted in this article make for great indoor pets. They are happy to be in busy households, they like humans and being fussed, and will make a great addition to any family home.
They can be house trained. You can teach them tricks. Any of these rabbits will become members of your family. So if you’re looking for a new member for your family, please browse the above and look into them in more detail.
I’m sure you will find the perfect bunny. I know I did.