Best Rabbits for Families
No family is ever truly complete without a loving pet. These are often cats and dogs, but rabbits are a very popular choice as well. There are plenty of good reasons why rabbits remain one of the most sought-after pets – they are intelligent, fun, energetic, and affectionate. Not to mention ridiculously cute! All of this makes them ideal for families, where they can be adored by both kids and their parents. Of course, there are numerous unique rabbit breeds to choose from, and while they all make great pets, not all of them are ideal for a family setting. Some are skittish, some nippy, and others are too docile to fit in with a busy family. But there are those breeds whose unique traits make them perfect for any family, be they large or small. We’ve handpicked 10 breeds that are considered to be the best rabbits for families – you can’t help but fall in love with any of these cute bunnies!
#1 Mini Lop
The Mini Lop is one of the most popular rabbit breeds, both with families and solo owners. Their appearance is super adorable, and their size – the name’s a hint – is super small! Not only will the whole family fall in love with their cuddly looks, but with their quirky, fun, and affectionate character. Another great fact is their need for interaction. These are inquisitive and intelligent rabbits and will have to be stimulated to avoid boredom and apathy. Perfect for the kids! Rabbit toys, regular play, and plenty of love will make these rabbits the best versions of themselves. That makes them a great addition to any loving family – just make sure that kids know how to handle them and that regular care is provided.
#2 Lionhead Rabbit
If you and your family are after a striking, unusual-looking rabbit with a lovable personality, then you can’t go wrong with the Lionhead Rabbit. This fluffy, cuddly rabbit breed prides itself on its attractive appearance which gives it that unique name. The mane is gorgeous – but also is their temperament. Often described as “pocket bunnies”, these bunnies don’t lack adorable quirks and are considered playful, friendly, and very affectionate. Thanks to their gentle and loving nature, they also love to play and cuddle, which makes them great for owners of all ages. But keep in mind that a Lionhead Rabbit will need to be properly handled from an early age in order to get used to human interaction. Otherwise, they can be skittish and easy to scare, especially by large crowds or eager and playful children.
#3 Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
Just as their name suggests, these unique and fluffy rabbits are very small! Their tiny stature makes them very cute, but it’s also their personality that wins people over –they are curious, happy, and love to cuddle and play. Being one of the smallest rabbit breeds, they are naturally a bit more fragile than standard-size rabbits. This means that you will have to be extra careful when playing with them, especially when children are around, eager to play and handle them. These rabbits work best in pairs, when they are happiest and display their best traits. Interestingly, these tiny bunnies are quite feisty when they become annoyed. Make sure you don’t let curious children overwhelm and aggravate them – the Netherland Dwarf will be nippy if challenged. But otherwise, they are wonderful as family pets, especially if given all the care and love that they need.
#4 Californian Rabbit
Californian Rabbits are true gentle giants, with huge fluffy bodies and a fun and laid-back demeanor. Keep in mind that they are large and can weigh up to 12 lbs (5.5 kg), which means that handling can be tiring after a while and that young children won’t be able to pick them up in the first place. But all the size means there’s more to love! These are calm and relaxed rabbits that react well to people around them and will tolerate children eager to play. Additionally, they make very affectionate family pets and have a ton of fun and loveable traits that the entire family will adore. Just make sure that you provide them with plenty of love and regular care so they can really shine through in every regard.
#5 Dutch Rabbit
These are perhaps the “classic” family bunnies that we all know and adore. These rabbits have a moderate size and striking bi-color coats which make them hard to miss, but it’s not their looks alone that makes them appealing to families. They are also surprisingly intelligent and fun – you will be astonished by their tricks and problem-solving abilities. Of course, they are super affectionate as well and will go perfectly along with children, making them ideal for family settings. Dutch rabbits are at their best when accustomed to handling from an early age – it’s something to keep in mind. When not fully socialized, they can be a bit shy, and require further stimulation to play. In general, however, they are calm and patient, and very attractive as well. With plenty of care and love, they can stay in the family for many years!
#6 Chinchilla Rabbit
What is not to love about the superbly fluffy Chinchilla Rabbit? Their endlessly cute appearance will make you fall in love at the first glance, but so will their character. The first thing you will notice is their unique look – they have large floppy ears, a chubby small body, and fluffy fur that’s a delight to pet. But once you get to know them, their calm and friendly temperament will quickly come to the foreground. They love to cuddle and are great when playing with kids. Another important thing for families is their ability to thrive both indoors and outdoors! If you have a fenced-in yard, you can play with them outside, with adult supervision, of course. Besides all this, Chinchilla rabbits are generally seen as hardy and healthy, and with your patient care, they can be around for many years. Plenty of time for some quality bonding and forming of lasting memories.
#7 English Lop
Well, there’s certainly no mistaking the English Lop. They’ll catch your attention from a mile away, thanks to their huge and floppy ears, and cartoonish appearance. These are easy-going and affectionate rabbits that won’t fail to bring some fun into your daily routine. Ideal for families, they are generally patient with kids, and equally love to cuddle and play. The English Lop can be quite intelligent and will love to solve puzzles and play with complex rabbit toys. Naturally curious, these rabbits won’t hesitate to start an interaction, especially with kids or persons they consider interesting. Still, it goes well to properly socialize them and introduce them to handling from an early age – otherwise, they can be skittish and shy later on.
#8 Rex Rabbit
Again, the name is the clue: Rex Rabbits are deemed the “Kings of Rabbits” – and that stems mostly from their large and elegant appearance and luxuriously soft, velvety fur. Their size, however, matches their affectionate nature and their cuddliness. For the most part, they have an even temper and a relaxed nature, and won’t be adverse to some quality playtime. But sometimes, however, they might prefer to relax all on their own or snooze for hours in their favorite person’s lap. Either way, the Rex is ideal for families, be it with small children or adults: the Rex provides a bit for everyone. Moreover, they are quite intelligent, so don’t hesitate to gather plenty of unique rabbit toys. With plenty of love and care, these rabbits can live for up to 8 years or more.
#9 English Angora Rabbit
Is that a snowball in the corner? Nope – that’s the endlessly adorable English Angora rabbit, with its creamy fluffy fur and dangerous levels of cuteness. Tiny and calm, these unique rabbits are quickly recognized by their shaggy wool! That’s right, they are unique as they have actual wool growing on them. It can be sheared, just as with sheep. But in a family setting, this wool coat will require regular brushing and grooming. English Angoras are very friendly and calm bunnies, with a great love for cuddling. They would just spend hours in your lap, with your gentle stroking of their coat. But that’s not all – they enjoy the company of kind children, and can display an occasional spur of energy as well. In no time, they will become the focal point of the family, bringing everyone together and completing every family gathering with their antics.
#10 Havana Rabbit
This rabbit breed might not be seen often, but that does not make it any less attractive for families. Havana rabbits are well known for their fun character and a great love for play and exercise. If you have a family with playful children, this breed is a great addition. Of course, they are not as energetic as to be hard to handle – it is all in good measure. Havana rabbits are not all about energy and play, though. They have an affectionate and cuddly side too, especially in the evening hours when the day draws to a close. If you are looking for a versatile pet for your family, that will go well with both kids and adults, the Havana Rabbit might be the ideal choice!
What Makes a Good Rabbit Breed for Families?
Not all rabbit breeds will make ideal family pets. There are a number of traits that make them acceptable or not. A rabbit can be aggressive, nippy, and territorial – or shy and skittish on the other hand. But not all breeds are like this, and some have those ideal traits that you need to look for.
A good family rabbit is fun and curious. There is nothing wrong with a bit of curiosity. The inquisitive nature of bunnies makes them natural instigators of fun and games. This is especially important for families with children.
Another great trait to look out for is an affectionate disposition. Cuddly and sweet rabbits make excellent pets, and they react well to being handled and petted. They are also more likely to make a lasting bond with one or several family members, which only adds to their positive behavior in the family.
Even though certain breeds have predispositions to have certain personality traits, even the friendliest of breeds won’t express their loving, trusting side if they haven’t been socialized and accustomed to people in their young years. So, if you are looking for a pet rabbit for your family, have in mind that any breed that is meant to be a pet has to pass a period of socialization at an early age, either with a breeder or with their owners. This allows them to get used to being handled, large crowds, and human attention in general. A rabbit that did not get this experience can be shy and fearful and quickly scared by larger crowds or eager children. Still, with all this accomplished, you still need to be careful when handling any pet rabbit. They are fragile animals and caring for them is universal and mandatory.
Last, but not least, a family rabbit needs to be hardy. You want a pet that won’t have fragile health and who will have a reasonably long lifespan. Many of the best rabbit breeds are generally healthy and don’t suffer from too many problems. Of course, this is only true only if you provide them with regular care and meet all of their needs – from a balanced diet, exercise, grooming, and regular vet checkups. With all this in check, you will have a healthy and loving pet that will be cherished by everyone in the family for years to come.
A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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