Rabbits make great pets because they are pretty low maintenance and not very expensive. Lots of people want a pet bunny, but they want to know how much it is really going to cost to get that pet rabbit and all of the essential tools needed to own and care for a rabbit. My family has owned rabbits for decades, so I did all the research of our own records to share with you.
So, how much is the average total cost of a pet rabbit? The average cost for a pet rabbit is about 50 dollars, but that doesn’t include the cost of a rabbit cage, food, bedding, and other essential items to care for your new pet bunny. If we add all those upfront costs together, on average a new pet rabbit is going to cost about 300 bucks.
Now, there are ways to reduce the total you spend on your new rabbit by making some more frugal choices. With those more frugal choices, your new pet rabbit could cost as little as 90 dollars!
There are also some pretty nice upgrades you could choose that might make life more luxurious for your bunny, and your life as a bunny caretaker easier, but those upgrades come at a cost of around 550 dollars.
Below I’ve created some tables on the costs of getting a pet bunny. After the table, there are a few paragraphs about each of those items to help you better understand if you want to make choose the frugal, average, or quality option when selecting your rabbit tools & supplies.
Initial Upfront Costs of Getting A Pet Rabbit
|Item||Frugal Cost||Average Cost||Quality Cost|
|Buying Your Pet Rabbit||$20||$50||$150|
|Rabbit Play Pen||N/A||$35||$90|
|Total Initial Bunny Cost||$88.00||$306.00||$554.00|
Cost of Buying Your Pet Rabbit
The cost of pet rabbits can vary quite a bit depending on where you get your bunny and the characteristics of that bunny.
The frugal option is to buy your bunny from a local breeder that you can find at your local 4-H Club, at a local Animal Swap, on CraigsList, or on a local rabbit group on Facebook.
These bunny lovers are usually looking for a good home and often just want to cover the cost of keeping their own rabbits. As an added bonus, these bunnies are often the most healthy and socialized rabbits you can find.
This is my #1 choice when looking for a pet rabbit. Be sure to indicate that you are looking for “pet quality” rabbits so they don’t offer you higher-priced “show” or “Breeding” quality bunnies (see below).
The average option is going to a pet store to get a rabbit.
The price here is usually at least twice that found in your frugal option, and the chances of health issues are decidedly higher just because of the stress of being in a pet store.
This would be my least favorite place to purchase a rabbit.
The quality option involves going back to the local rabbit breeders that we talked about in the frugal option but making it clear to those folks that you are looking for a high-quality bunny.
This would include rabbits that are “show or breeding quality”, which means that they have all of the ideal characteristics of their particular breed. This might include physical build, size, or even just color patterns.
If you may want to enter your bunny in rabbit shows or breed them for show rabbits in the future, this added expense might be worth it
The other reason a rabbit might be more expensive is if it is a more rare breed which commands a premium based upon simple supply and demand.
If you do decide that you want a higher quality breed, take your time and know exactly what you are shopping for.
There are so many breeds of rabbits and so many color variations of each of those breeds that understanding the true rarity or desirability is very difficult and will take time.
You definitely don’t want to pay a premium for a bunny that just a single person has told you is particularly hard to find.
Cost of a Rabbit Hutch
There are two main factors that affect the cost of a rabbit hutch:
- Large vs Small
- Inside vs Outside.
Let’s address Large or Small Hutch first.
When deciding if you need a large or small hutch, you need to consider the size of your rabbit and how much time your bunny will have outside of their hutch.
Larger rabbits will, of course, require a larger hutch.
Multiple bunnies in one hutch will also require a larger hutch.
Bunnies that will have regular time outside of their hutch either free-ranging inside a safe room, or outside in a safe and secure bunny play pin in a securely fenced area can be housed in a smaller hutch.
Here is an article we wrote about selecting a bunny play pin (which is different than their hutch).RabbitPros.com
When considering an inside or outdoors hutch, an outdoor hutch will be more expensive. The price increase for an outdoor hutch comes from the need for the hutch to be more weather and predator resistant.
An outdoor hutch is usually about twice as expensive as a comparable indoor hutch.
The frugal option for a hutch is usually smaller and perhaps used.
You can usually find used a hutch or indoor cage on Craig’s List or at local flea markets or animal swaps.
You can also choose to build your own rabbit hutch for about one-third the cost of an equivalent pre-built hutch.
You could even go with just a plain standard rabbit cage, but you’ll need to come up with something to collect poop underneath it, a box of some kind to give your bunny a ‘burrow’ where they can relax, and provide a roof and windbreak if you house your bunny outside.
Here is an example of a quality plain standard rabbit cage on Amazon.
The average option for a hutch or cage option is one that you can find on Amazon or at your local farm supply store (pet stores are more expensive).
Of course, a hutch is more expensive than a plain cage, but they really do look nice and give your bunny built-in hiding spaces which are essential for all rabbits.
The Quality Option is a much nicer, more convenient, and more secure housing option for your bunny.
If a high-end hutch for your pet rabbit is within your means, they really can be wonderful homes for your bunny and an interesting conversation piece for your home.
Cost of a Rabbit Feeder
The frugal option is to feed your bunny in a bowl you already have around the house, just make sure the bowl you choose is low enough for your bunny to be able to reach over the bowl’s lip, and have a broad enough base that it’s not easily knocked over.
The average and quality options are really the same because there’s no reason to feed your rabbit out of a crystal bowl.
I like feeding our rabbits out of a nice quality bunny feeder like this one on Amazon.
Cost of a Rabbit Waterer
The frugal option is to water your bunny in any old bowl you can find. It just needs to be low and stable.
The average option just a good quality rabbit water bottle like this one on Amazon.
The quality option is a heated waterer, but this is only necessary if your bunny is going to be in an outdoor hutch. If not, just get the standard bottle linked above.
Here is a link to a quality heated waterer on Amazon.
Cost of a Nail Clipper & Styptic Powder
Your bunny is going to need to have her nails trimmed regularly. Here is an article we wrote about trimming your bunny’s nails that explains how to do it and what the Styptic Powder is for.
The frugal option is to use nail trimmers that you have for your dog or cat.
In a pinch, you can use your own nail clippers, but it’s a lot harder.
You could also use Corn Starch instead of the Styptic Powder, but it won’t work as well (see the bunny nail trimming article for more info and links to the nail trimming tools that we prefer).
The average & quality options are the same.
Just get a decent pair of small animal nail clippers like these on Amazon. You can find more expensive ones, but rabbit nails aren’t that hard so you don’t need more leverage to trim them easily.
Here is a link to Amazon for the Styptic Powder that we like.
Cost of Rabbit Playpen
A rabbit playpen isn’t necessary, but it’s nice.
If you have a very secure outside fenced-in area where your bunny can get exercise and time with you, just use that
Likewise, if you have a secure room in your home where your bunny can roam and you don’t mind a few bunny messes, you don’t need a playpen either.
If you have young kids that are going to want to play with the bunny, a playpen makes that playtime safer for everyone and more fun for your kids since they won’t be trying to find their pet bunny all of the time.
The frugal option is no playpen.
The average option is something like the playpen that my daughter loves.
The quality option is pretty extravagant.
However, if you have the means and space, this is a dream playpen.
A large secure playpen like this one on Amazon will protect your bunny from predators both on the ground and from above (hawks eat rabbits).
The best part about this kind of rabbit play pin is that you can easily fit inside the enclosure with your bunny. This is the dream option if you have young kids so they can easily play with their pets without worrying about a bunny escape.
Keep in mind that your pet rabbit still needs to be supervised in this cage, because it has no bottom and a bunny can tunnel out faster than you think.
Pet Rabbit Cost Summary
As you can see, you can spend a lot to get your first pet bunny. However, with an eye for the frugal, you can also get your rabbit all set up for about $90.
Rabbits are a joy, but not if they introduce financial strain to your life. Save up and pay cash so you can really enjoy your new family member.
~The Rabbit Pros