Which Rabbit Breed Makes the Best Pet?

Trying to decipher which breeds of rabbits make the best pets can be quite an undertaking. Maybe you just want a snuggly little companion. Maybe your kids finally got you to cave. Whatever the reason, choosing a breed can become overwhelming. 

And while the American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes 50 rabbit breeds, there are many more options to choose from. From the fanciest breeds to the hybrid cottontails down the road, you really have your hands full in deciding which lucky bun will soon be a part of your family. 

So, we decided to take some of the research off your plate with this cheat sheet of the best breeds of rabbits for pets. 

The good news? 

Each rabbit on this list is a winner in our book. 

They’re friendly, good with kiddos, and of course, completely cuddly and cute. 

What to Consider When Choosing Between Breeds of Rabbits 

Before we dive in, there’s a few things to think about when choosing your pet rabbit breed. 

While each breed on our list is equally adorable and furbaby-worthy, there are a few things to consider when presented with the face-melting cuteness of a bunny. 

Think about these three things when deciding on a breed of rabbit for your family: 

1. How Much Space Will Your Rabbit Need 

Rabbits come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are quite large, and considered giants, while others are teeny tiny and referred to as mini (the miniature of the standard breed size). 

Smaller rabbits need less space, but if you’re going big you’ll need bigger cages, bigger potty areas, and more space for bunny antics and exercises. 

2. Long or Short Fur Rabbits

Next, consider what kind of fur you’re ok with. Because, like cats and dogs, rabbits do shed. 

Long-haired rabbits are beautiful, but they require upkeep. In fact, these buns need their hair done on a regular basis to prevent painful snarls and knotting. 

3. Will You Show Your Rabbits?

If your kiddos are destined for the rabbit show ring, you’ll want to ensure you’re buying from a reputable breeder who breeds registered rabbits. 

That way, your rabbit can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. 

There are many things to consider when bringing any new pet into your home. But now that you’ve got a few of the deal-breakers out of the way, let’s get on with the list of best pet rabbit breeds. 

rex rabbit

Calmest Pet Rabbit Breed: The Rex Rabbit 

First on our list is the plush, velvety Rex rabbit. This bunny is quite docile and laid back and a favorite among young children. They’re cool with relaxing on the couch and accepting pets from their parents and human siblings.  
 
Their fur is shorter and denser than other breeds. And, if we may say so ourselves...it’s irresistible! You can find this gorgeous bunny in a variety of colors, including black, blue, chinchilla, chocolate, Himalayan, lilac...and on and on it goes! 

lop eared rabbit

Friendliest Rabbit for Pets: The Lop 

Friendliness is a trait that can be found across all rabbit breeds. But if you’re looking for the Golden Retriever of all the breeds of rabbits out there...look to the Lop (specifically the Mini Lop or The American Fuzzy Lop). 

The Lop has droopy ears and an expression that just begs to be loved and coddled. (And they know it)! The standard sized Lops are fantastic pets, but the minis provide the same personality in a smaller package. 

The mini-lop is also quite the entertainer. They’re active, feisty, and have a great sense of humor. The only downfall is the summer shed they go through every year. 

flemish giant rabbits

Biggest Breeds of Rabbits: Flemish Giants 

The Flemish Giant is a gentle giant, make no mistake! And if you’ve seen the viral photos of bunnies as big as a small child (or bigger) they’re typically from the Flemish Giant varieties. On average, these rabbits weigh around 15 pounds and they grow very quickly.   

As big as they are, this breed is fun to pick up, snuggle, and, of course, give treats.  

And speaking of feed, they’ll need a bit more than the typical sized rabbit to maintain a healthy weight. They’ll also require a larger habitat than your average-sized bunny. 

You can find Giant Flemish rabbits with black, blue, fawn, light gray, sandy, steel gray or white coats.   

angora rabbit

Best Long-haired Pet Breed: Angora Rabbits 

If you love the idea of a huge fluffball in the middle of your living room, you’ll love Angora Rabbits. They’re soft, extremely fluffy, and fairly docile. 

As mentioned, any long-haired rabbit will need a consistent grooming regime, but think of it as more time to spend with your beloved bunny! 

Fun fact: Angora rabbit fur is used to make some of the most beautiful fiber in the world! So if you’ve been considering taking up spinning or knitting, your Angora rabbit can triple as a pet, hobby, and maybe even moneymaker. 

That being said, Angoras prefer to be left on the ground, thank-you-very-much, and aren’t big on being toted around the house. If this is the breed for you, make sure your family knows that Miss Cottontail enjoys her personal space. 

harlequin rabbit

Smartest Pet Rabbit Breed: Harlequin Rabbit 

This calico-like rabbit breed is easy on the eyes and as curious as they come. In fact, you’ll probably want to purchase a toy box for this bunny because she is crazy about toys. 

You’ll find that this cutie pie always wants to be a part of the action and is one of the easier rabbits to walk on a leash. 

In other words, this fluffer isn’t going to shy away from new things if approached gently. 

chinchilla rabbit

Best Lap Bunny: Chinchilla Rabbit 

Smart, cute, active - rabbits have many different personalities. But if you’re looking for a rabbit breed that’s sweet with kids and ready to binge-watch your newest show with, a Chinchilla rabbit might be the best pet rabbit for you (named for their soft fur that resembles a chinchilla).  

This pretty breed likes to relax. So if you’ve always thought of yourself as someone who wants to curl up at the end of the day with your fluffer, well, this bun will hit the spot. 

Bonus Points: The Chinchilla rabbit is known to enjoy getting petted. 

Which Rabbit Breed is Best For You? 

The truth is, rabbits make great pets, and which breed you choose will come down to your family’s preferences. 

And if you ask us, you simply can’t go wrong when it comes to a pet rabbit. So try your best not to feel overwhelmed because there’s a bunny out there with your name on it just waiting to become part of your family. 

Amanda is an accomplished freelance agricultural writer who owns and operates a small farm in Wisconsin with her husband and spunky border collie. Amanda is laser-focused on raising healthy rabbits, goats, and pasture-raised poultry.