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As we’ve talked about in other articles, there are pros and cons of getting a kid a pet rabbit but overall pet rabbits make great pets for children. However, some rabbit breeds do make better pets for children than other rabbit breeds.
In this article, we’ll discuss the top 10 rabbit breeds for a child’s first pet bunny.
Traits That Make A Good Kid’s Pet Rabbit Breed
Before we get into the specific breeds that are good bunnies for children, let’s start by talking about what breed-related traits you should consider when looking for a good pet rabbit for a child.
Size is an important factor when it comes to choosing the best breed for a kid’s pet bunny.
When choosing a rabbit breed as a potential pet for a smaller child, the trick is to get one just the right size; too large or too small of a bunny can cause problems.
Large rabbits are less fragile than small rabbits which is a great advantage of these rabbits that can grow as big as a small toddler.
However, being so large means that they can more easily hurt a small child when they kick. Giant rabbits are susceptible to back injuries when being carried if the person carrying them can’t fully and evenly support their large body.
For these reasons, we don’t recommend large rabbits for smaller children.
Really small rabbit breeds are on the other end of the fragility spectrum. The bones of small rabbits are significantly more fragile than the bones of larger rabbits. This means that they are more easily accidentally hurt by a drop.
In addition, small rabbits tend to be more skittish and nervous due to their size.
For these reasons, we don’t recommend very small rabbits as pets for smaller children.
The best size of rabbit for a child’s pet is a medium-sized rabbit that will be between 4 and 9 pounds when fully grown.
One of the advantages of rabbits as a pet for children instead of other small pets like hamsters or guinea pigs is that rabbits live longer which saves our children from the pain of losing a pet at an early age.
Some rabbit breeds live longer than other breeds, so we recommend looking to those longer living breeds as pets for kids.
Rabbits are generally gentle and docile but some rabbit breeds tend to have other personalities.
When looking for a pet rabbit for a smaller child, look for breeds that are known to be gentle and not super skittish. A scared rabbit is way more likely to accidentally scratch a kid or hurt itself than a chill bunny.
I recommend choosing a rabbit that doesn’t have really long hair.
Long hair can make for a super cute bunny…when it’s clean and well brushed. However, keeping a long hair rabbit properly brushed can be quite a task, especially for a child.
10 Rabbit Breeds That Make Good Pets For Children
1. Harlequin Rabbits
Harlequin rabbits make good pets for children for a number of reasons.
First, they are medium-sized rabbits that grow to a maximum of about 9.5 pounds. They have a good temperament being neither too skittish nor aggressive. Finally, they are beautiful rabbits with no two of the breed looking exactly alike!
Harlequin rabbits are known for their unique color patterns and they earned their names because their coats resemble a harlequin’s mask.
The Harlequin traces its origins back to France in the 1800s. They are very popular due to their luscious coats that are a combination of 2 to three colors. Based on their coat colors, Harlequins can be categorized as Japanese or Magpie. Japanese Harlequins have orange bellies and coats that can be a mix of brown, blue, tan, or lilac while Magpie Harlequins have white bellies and coats that can be a mix of the same color combinations mentioned.
Harlequins are middle-sized rabbits that can weigh from 6.5 lbs to 9.5 lbs. They are active and curious and they also generally like to receive pets and cuddles from their owners.
The only downside to Harlequin Rabbits as a pet for a child is that their lifespan is less than that of an average pet rabbit. On average, Harlequin Rabbits live for just 5 to 8 years. However, this relatively short lifespan is still twice that of a hamster and is still longer than the life of a guinea pig.
2. Standard Rex Rabbits
Rex Rabbits are called the “King of Rabbits”. Rex rabbits are intelligent and curious animals that are great pet bunnies for your children. Rex rabbits also hailed from France in the early 1900s.
There are usually two kinds of rex rabbits: The Standard Rex Rabbit and the Mini Rex.
As the names suggest, the Standard Rex rabbit weighs 7 to 9 lbs while a Mini Rex only weighs from 3 to 4.5 lbs. This means that the Standard Rex Rabbit is the better pet rabbit for a kid.
Rex rabbits live on average for 6 to 8 years.
Rex rabbits are known for their almost velvety coats that are soft to the touch. They are also even-tempered rabbits who enjoy training and activity.
3. Chinchilla Rabbits
Chinchilla rabbits are named so because of their silky coats that are very similar to that of the Chinchilla. Chinchilla rabbits were selectively bred so that their fur will resemble that of the Chinchilla.
When Chinchilla Rabbits were first introduced, they were popular because of their beautiful and useful coats and were bred extensively for that coat. However, as the years passed these rabbits have become valued mostly for their companionship rather than the utility of their fur.
A Chinchilla rabbit weighs from 6 to 8 lbs when fully grown and live for 5 to 10 years on average.
They are friendly rabbits known to be affectionate and mild-mannered. Chinchilla rabbits are also known for getting along with other pets and other rabbits thus integrating them into the family easier.
4. Himalayan Rabbits
The Himalayan Rabbit is a popular rabbit that is called many different names. For example, it is sometimes called the Chinese, Egyptian, Antwerp, or African rabbit, and those are just a few of its many names. Having so many names speaks to this bunny’s worldwide popularity.
The Himalayan has origins shrouded in mystery but it doesn’t stop the breed from being popular and being one of the most popular rabbit breeds.
Himalayan rabbits are among the smallest rabbits on this list of good pets for kids but they made this list because of their temperament.
However, they are known to be one of the calmest rabbit breeds. They don’t get frightened as easily as some other rabbit breeds which makes them good pets in noisy households and less likely to become fearful and hurt themselves or a child petting or holding them.
A fully grown Himalayan rabbit can weigh from 3 to 5 pounds and live from 5 to 8 years on average.
However, Himalayan rabbits are very rare so you would need to do some thorough research and get in touch with a reputable breeder if you want to get one.
5. Havana Rabbits
Havana rabbits are popular show rabbits and pet rabbits. Surprisingly, the Havana rabbit isn’t from Cuba and instead was named because its original chocolate brown color reminded bunny lovers of the color of Cuban Cigars.
Now Havana Rabbits come in chocolate, lilac, black, blue, and broken (spotted) colors.
Havana rabbits are also known for their soft and fluffy fur.
Havana rabbits weigh less than 6 lbs and live 7 to 10 years on average. These are sweet and intelligent bunnies making them the perfect pets for families with children.
6. Lionhead Rabbits
Lionhead rabbits are known for their lion-like manes which sets them apart from other rabbit breeds.
This is another of the smallest rabbits to make our list of good pets for kids because of their temperament.
Lionheads are known for being one of the most affectionate rabbit breeds and because of this, they are popular pet bunnies that are more likely to enjoy being petted and cuddled.
Lionhead rabbits have a lifespan of 7 to 9 years and they weigh less than 4 lbs, which makes them very small and much more fragile than larger bunnies. For this reason, we don’t recommend Lionhead Rabbits for very small children.
In addition, you need to be aware that with their long hair, Lionheads require more brushing than short-haired breeds and their shedding will be more obvious.
7. Holland Lop Rabbits
Holland Lops are small in stature weighing from about 4 lbs when fully grown. However, even if they are small, they make it up with their big hearts.
Holland lops are kind, gentle, and curious creatures. They adapt well to their environment provided that they are well taken care of.
Holland Lops are one of the most popular pet rabbit breeds in the world, and despite their small size, they make good pet rabbits for children. As a matter of fact, the Holland Lop in the picture above is Snoop, who we got for our daughter when she was 11 years old.
8. English or French Angora Rabbit
Angora rabbits are unusual bunnies because they have wool instead of fur. They are often raised for their wool which is sheered just like you’d shear the wool off of a lamb.
However, even those who keep Angora Rabbits for their wool fall in love with these cute and sweet bunnies.
Angora Rabbits come in a number of types and sizes, but the two most common and most appropriate sized for pets are the French and English Angora Rabbits.
French and English Angora Rabbits can weigh from 7 to 10 lbs and live 6 to 11 years, though French Angoras have a longer lifespan than English Angoras.
Angora rabbits are sweet bunnies that love to be petted and cuddled, but this might be because their beautiful wool requires daily brushing to remain beautiful and not become a matted mess that is not only unattractive but a health risk for the rabbit.
You should only consider an Angora Rabbit as a family pet if you are committed as a family to the daily brushing.
9. Satin Rabbit
Yes, you guessed it, Satin Rabbits are best known for their satin-like fur which comes in a variety of colors. They also come in a standard size and a mini variety. Both are great rabbit breeds, but for smaller children, we recommend the standard size which will not be as fragile.
Standard Satin Rabbits can grow up to 11 lbs and live 5 to 8 years.
Satin Rabbits are friendly, have a sweet disposition, and are known to be very affectionate once they grow to know their owners. These personality traits along with their ideal size are what make Satin Rabbits good family pets for a family with smaller children.
10. Sussex Rabbit
Sussex Rabbits are very popular because of their teddy bear-like features. This breed is relatively new and its popularity is still increasing. Sussex rabbits are a cross of Lilac and Californian rabbits. One of the most common color coats for these breeds is tan or red, therefore making them look like teddy bears.
Sussex Rabbits can weigh up to 7 lbs and their lifespan is 6 to 8 years.
These shorter-haired rabbits do not need extensive grooming and most Sussex Rabbits are cuddly as they are friendly and affectionate.
Best Rabbit Breed For Children
We’ve already talked about size, lifespan, temperament, and grooming requirements as key considerations, and if we consider all four of these considerations and add cuteness and popularity into the mix, we come out with an obvious choice for best rest rabbit breed for a kid’s first pet rabbit.
The best rabbit breed for a child is a Holland Lop. These adorable bunnies are not too big or too small. They are lifespan is long and their temperament is friendly and curious which makes them wonderfully interactive bunnies.
If you want to learn what other people think are the best rabbit breeds for pets, I encourage you to jump over to our survey-based list of the most popular pet rabbit breeds in the world.
And before you get a bunny you must read this article about how to choose and set up an indoor rabbit hutch.