One white rabbit and one brown rabbit on the grass in a fenced off run

Six things you need to know before getting rabbits

Rabbits make wonderful pets, but they are also a big commitment.

  1. 1. Rabbits need companionship of their own species

    Rabbits value companionship as much as food, so it's essential that they have company of at least one other rabbit to stop them from becoming lonely.

    When introducing unfamiliar rabbits, a neutered male and a neutered female is advised, but there are other combinations that work well too.

    Read more about rabbit companionship and bonding.


Rabbits can breed from as early as four months old, so neutering is essential.

Example of suitable outdoor rabbit housing that is 60 square feet in size. Inside is a wendy house, rabbit enrichment and toys, and a rabbit bed. Two rabbits sit happily inside.
Rabbit housing must be at least three metres by two metres in size and one metre high
  1. 2. They need lots of space

    Rabbits need permanent access to lots of space. A hutch alone is not enough. Instead, two rabbits need an area that's at least three metres by two metres in size (or 60 square foot), and one metre high. This can be indoors or outdoors.

    They also need a sheltered area. This should be six foot by two foot in size and two feet high, and can be permanently attached to the larger area or it can sit inside.

    Read more about suitable housing for rabbits.


Groups of rabbits or giant breeds will need more space.

  1. 3. Rabbits are not low maintenance

    Caring for rabbits can be highly rewarding, but it's also time consuming.

    From cleaning and grooming to providing plenty of enrichment to keep their minds busy, rabbits need lots of care and attention. You'll need to make sure you have plenty of time to spend with them every day.

  2. 4. They can be expensive to keep

    Despite being small pets, rabbits are expensive. Alongside their daily care and annual check ups, rabbits can become unwell very quickly, meaning vet fees can rapidly mount up.

    Some breeds, such as flat-faced (brachycephalic) rabbits, can also be prone to expensive health conditions.


Many pet insurance companies will not insure rabbits once they reach five years old. It's important to consider this expense when thinking about getting rabbits and insure them as soon as you can.

  1. 5. They can live up to 12 years

    Pet rabbits are a long term commitment, as they can live between eight and 12 years. Consider whether you will be able to care for rabbits for this amount of time, before taking them on.

  2. 6. Rabbits are not always ideal for children

    Rabbits are sensitive and do not enjoy being picked up, so children will need to understand this before getting pet rabbits. Children can enjoy caring for rabbits, but they will always need to be supervised.

    Before getting pet rabbits for your family, make sure that they are the right pet for you.

    Read more about caring for your rabbit.

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• 11 March 2024

Next review

• 11 March 2027

Claire crouching next to her white staffie dog
Approved by
Claire Stallard

Animal Behaviourist ABTC-CAB