avv Rabbit Ownership Calculator

Rabbit Ownership Calculator

Interested in becoming a rabbit owner? Make sure you punch in the numbers before getting one using our simple rabbit ownership calculator.

how much does it cost to keep a rabbit?

Rabbits are one of the most abandoned pets in animal shelters. One of the reasons why it happens is the cost of keeping one.

Understanding the cost of keeping a rabbit is one of the most important rabbit-related articles you’ll ever read.

Understanding this can mean the difference between abandoning the rabbit in shelters or keeping it.

Initial Cost

The initial cost, or the “one-time cost,” of owning a rabbit encompasses anything that you should buy right after or before getting a rabbit.

This can include things like their feeding and water bowl, litter box, hair brush, nail clippers, etc.

The initial cost also includes the cost of getting the rabbit itself, whether from an adoption center or a pet store.

This type of cost can vary a lot. Some people would get their rabbits for free, while others would have to adopt or buy them.

Another important variable that would change the initial cost is the quality of materials you are planning to buy. Obviously, the higher the quality, the higher the price.

And finally, your location could drastically change the initial cost. Some places, like New York, could double the initial cost of owning a rabbit.

So take everything that I say here with a grain of salt. Think of this as a very rough estimate of rabbit ownership. If you’re planning on getting one, don’t let this guide discourage you.

You should definitely double check if the price I’m mentioning here applies to your area.

Adoption or purchase cost.

Adopting a rabbit can vary a lot depending on where you get them or what breed you want. Some adoption centers would also include the cost of neutering or spaying and vaccinations in the total amount.

Here’s a table of a few adoption centers and their adoption fees for single and bonded pair rabbits:

Name of rescueAdoption fee (single)Adoption fee (bonded pair)Spay/NeuterVaccinated
Triangle Rabbits$50$100
Indiana House Rabbit Society$100$175
Bunny bunch rabbit rescue$90$150
House Rabbit Society of Missouri
St. Louis
MINNESOTA COMPANION RABBIT SOCIETY$100 (plus tax)$165 (plus tax)
Georgia House Rabbit Society$100$150
Average Cost$86.5$142.5

I would highly suggest getting a rabbit from an adoption center that includes neutering or spaying in their fee.

Adopting would save you a lot of money because the average cost of neutering or spaying a rabbit is $50-200.

Also, adoption centers often have a rabbit-savvy veterinarian on staff who performs the surgery.

Rabbit-savvy vets are often more expensive than regular veterinarians. So the cost you would save on the neutering or spaying by adopting is definitely worth it.

By searching through petfinder.com, you can find rabbits that are up for adoption in your area.

As for pet stores, they generally cost between $20 and $50, depending on the store and the breed of the rabbit.

Housing cost.

The cost of housing a rabbit would depend on what type you want to buy. There are several options you can choose from:

  • NIC cube cage: Neat Idea Cubes (NIC) are square wire frames that can be joined together to design and build an enclosure for your rabbit that matches your living space. The average cost on Amazon is $40.
  • Commercial cage: Commercial rabbit cages are those that can be bought at pet stores or other sources. They are generally smaller and not recommended for rabbits. The average cost of a commercial rabbit cage on Amazon is $100.
  • Rabbit Hutch: Rabbit hutches are usually made from wood and are much bigger than commercial cages. They typically look like mini houses. The average cost of rabbit hutches on Amazon is $200.
  • Exercise pens: Exercise pens are similar to NIC cube cages. The difference is that exercise pens are usually only foldable and have an open top part for easy access. The average cost of exercise pens on Amazon is $30.

Whatever type of housing you plan to buy for your rabbit, just make sure that it has enough space. Rabbits should not be caged for long periods of time.

Accessories costs.

You would also need to buy a few accessories for your rabbit so he can live comfortably. Some of these costs are optional, while others are essential.

If you’re short on budget, some of these can be DIYed as a temporary solution.

As an example, if you currently have no money for a hay rack, you can make one using cardboard.

Essential accessories.

  • Water bowl.
  • Hay rack.
  • Pellet bowl.
  • Litter box.
  • Hidey house.
  • Bedding.

Optional accessories.

  • Hair brush
  • Nail Clippers
  • Hair comb
  • Harness

You will also need some bunny-proofing materials if you’re planning on letting your rabbit free-roam your house.

Here’s a great video on what you’ll need to bunny-proof your home:

Neutering and spaying cost.

The cost of neutering or spaying would depend on where you are from and what veterinarian you go to.

It would cost more to hire a veterinarian that specializes in rabbits.

But, I highly suggest that you go with a rabbit-savvy veterinarian to do the surgery to avoid complications.

But on average, it would cost you $50-$200 to neuter your rabbit in the United States.

As for spaying, it would cost you 20% more compared to neutering.

Pet fees and deposit costs.

Some apartments charge monthly pet fees and extra rent for your rabbit’s stay.

Exotic pets like rabbits may have slightly higher fees than common pets like cats and dogs.

Pet fees are highly dependent on the location and type of apartment.

Some states don’t even allow pet fees as per Fair Housing Law. Check your state.

Your landlord may ask for three types of payments to allow rabbits. These are pet rent, pet deposits, and pet fees. These fees cover any damage caused by your rabbit during the lease.

Pet fees are non-refundable one-time payments to your landlord. These usually cost between $50 and $500.

Finally, pet deposits are a one-time refundable fee used to cover any damage caused by your rabbit during the lease. These range from $100 to $600.

Ongoing costs

Food Cost

I’ve written a great article that discusses this topic in detail. You can read more about it here.

Here’s a rough summary of how much your rabbit’s food would cost you per month:

FoodCost (small->giant breed)
Total$42$147 (Treats included $52 – $157)

Litter Cost

Rabbit litter cost would depend on the type you use. On average, it would cost you $3–$8 per month.

The most common types of litter for rabbits are:

  • Wood pellets ($3 per month on average). Wood pellets are great for being used as litter for rabbits because they are highly absorbent, easier to clean, and cheap. Wood pellets are usually made from leftover sawdust that’s been compressed. Rabbits can safely munch on this type of litter without a problem. It has the added benefit of grinding down your rabbit’s continuously growing teeth.
  • Aspen/wood shavings ($4 per month on average). Aspen is also a great wood-based litter. It’s dust-free and non-toxic. It also does a good job of controlling the odor because of how absorbent it is.
  • Carefresh ($8 per month on average). The most expensive option on this list is Carefresh. It’s made from paper material, which makes them a great option because this type of litter absorbs odor and moisture well (up to 2X more absorbent). They are also dust-free, which makes them a great option for rabbits that have respiratory problems.

Toys Cost

Rabbit toys are needed because rabbits need a lot of stimuli to prevent depression. Depressed rabbits would often refuse to eat or would only eat a little.

Rabbits that are not eating right are susceptible to digestive problems because they need to eat to induce gut movement.

The best toys for rabbits are those they can chew on. Rabbit’s teeth continuously grow; toys they can chew on can help grind them down.

Rabbits that are unable to grind their teeth could develop malocclusion or overgrown teeth. Malocclusion can lead to abscesses or death if not treated.

Here are the most common toys for rabbits:

  • Willow balls ($8 per month on average)
  • Willow bridge ($12 per month on average)
  • Willow sticks ($8 per month on average)
  • Twig Tunnels ($15 per month on average)

Veterinary Cost

Veterinarian costs can vary a lot depending on your location and what type of vet you choose to go to.

Rabbit-savvy veterinarians or veterinarians that specialize in rabbits would cost more than regular vets.

Certain locations, like New York, would be more expensive. But on average, getting your rabbit’s regular checkups would cost you $80+ per year.

The most common veterinarian costs for rabbits are:

  • Regular vet checkups ($140 per year on average) 
  • VHD vaccine ($80 per year on average) 
  • Myxomatois vaccine ($40 per year on average) 
  • RHDV2 vaccine ($70 per year on average).

The vaccines I mentioned above would depend on your location.

If there are no active infections in your area, your rabbit would not need it. Your veterinarian will know what vaccines are needed for your rabbit.

Insurance Cost

Pet insurance costs would vary depending on your rabbit’s age, location, health status, needs, etc.

On average, rabbit insurance would cost you $20-$30 per month. This would vary depending on what plan you choose, though.

You can read more about pet insurance here.

Pet Rent Cost

Pet rent is charged as additional rent on top of your regular rent. These usually cost between $10-$60 per month.

Rough Estimate of Rabbit Ownership

Initial Cost

The initial cost of owning a rabbit can be as low as $100 or as high as $1,066, depending on what you decide to buy initially.

Here’s a rough break down of what it would typically cost to get a rabbit on a budget:

  • Adoption cost: $50.00
  • Housing cost: $30.00
  • Accessories cost: $20.00

Total initial cost: $100.00

Here’s a rough break down on what it would typically cost to get a rabbit if you include everything:

  • Adoption cost: $50.00
  • Housing cost: $200.00
  • Accessories cost: $66.00
  • Neutering cost: $125.00
  • Pet Fees & Deposit: $625.00

Total initial cost: $1,066.00

Ongoing cost

The ongoing cost of owning a rabbit can be as low as $116 or as high as $207, depending on what you decide to provide per month.

Here’s a rough breakdown of what a rabbit would cost you per month on a budget:

  • Food cost: $94.00
  • Litter cost: $3.00
  • Toys cost: $8.00
  • Veterinary cost: $11.66 (yearly cost/12)

Total ongoing cost (monthly): $116.66

Here’s a rough breakdown of what a rabbit would cost you per month if you include everything:

  • Food cost: $104.00
  • Litter cost: $8.00
  • Toys cost: $8.00
  • Veterinary cost: $27.48 (yearly cost/12)
  • Insurance fees: $25.00
  • Pet rent: $35.00

Total ongoing cost (monthly): $207.48

Lifetime cost of owning a rabbit (10yr lifetime)

The lifetime cost of owning a rabbit can be as low as $14,099 and as high as $25,963 over a 10-year lifetime.

As you can see, rabbits are neither cheap nor easy to care for.

So make sure that you are truly prepared, both financially and mentally, before getting one.

Otherwise, you might end up surrendering your rabbit to a shelter.

9 Rabbit Ownership Calculator