There are many breeds of domestic rabbits. The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes an impressive 49 rabbit breeds! Breeds can vary significantly in size, and new rabbit owners are often surprised by how big their rabbit grows.
Often people see wild rabbits and expect pet rabbits to be around the same size. However, wild rabbits are a completely different species from their domestic relatives. Wild rabbits are much smaller than many pet rabbits.
Domestic rabbits can range from weighing 6 pounds all the way up to 20 pounds or even more. This is one of many reasons why it’s so important to do detailed research before choosing a rabbit breed to bring into your home.
What Is The Average Size of a Rabbit?
Technically, there is no ‘average’ size of a pet rabbit since their size ranges so much depending on their breed. Rabbits tend to be referenced by weight when discussing their size.
It’s worth noting that, unlike many other species, male and female rabbits of the same breed are often very similar in size.
Below are details of the different sizes of domestic rabbits to guide you.
Rabbit Breed Size Guide
|Rabbit Size Group||Breeds Included|
|Small Rabbits (2-6 pounds)||American Fuzzy Lop|
|Medium Rabbits (6 to 9 pounds)||American Sable|
|Large Rabbits (9 to 11 pounds)||American|
|Giant Rabbits (11 pounds +)||Checkered Giant|
Small breeds of rabbits weigh between 2 and 6 pounds. This category includes a lot of mini and dwarf breeds. They’re small and cute and are very popular as pets. Most of the breeds in this category have been bred specifically to be pets.
Medium rabbit breeds weigh between 6 and 9 pounds. This is the size of a rabbit that most people think of as average. It’s very common to see medium rabbit breeds as family pets.
Large rabbit breeds weigh between 9 and 11 pounds. These breeds are typically larger than the rabbit’s people picture when they think of a pet rabbit. They tend to be less common as pets, although they are growing in popularity.
Giant breed rabbits weigh more than 11 pounds. These breeds tend to be less popular as pets. They take more care and more space but can make wonderful pets for the right owners. Giant rabbits are even bigger than some dogs (certainly bigger than my two small breed dogs)! Unfortunately, a lot of the rabbits in this category are bred as meat rabbits.
Smallest and Largest Rabbit Breeds
Since we’ve taken a look at the average size of rabbits, let’s take a closer look at the smallest and largest domestic rabbit breeds.
What Is the Smallest Breed of Rabbit?
The Netherland Dwarf is the smallest domestic rabbit breed. This cute little bunny weighs between 2 and 2.4 pounds! Several other small breeds can be a similar size and weight, including Britannia Petites, Dwarf Hotots, Lionheads, and the Jersey Wooly.
What Is the Largest Breed of Rabbit?
The largest domestic breed is the Flemish Giant Rabbit. They usually weigh between 15 and 22 pounds. However, they can weigh much more than that. A Flemish Giant Rabbit called Ralph won the World Record for the largest rabbit, weighing a huge 55 pounds!
The Continental Giant Rabbit descends from the Flemish Giant and is the second largest breed. They usually weigh 12 pounds and upwards.
How Can I Tell How Big My Rabbit Will Get?
If you have a young rabbit, you might wonder how big they’re going to get when they reach adulthood. The most reliable way to tell how big your rabbit will get is by researching their breed. The table from earlier will give you an idea of the average weight your rabbit might reach.
If you adopt or rescue a rabbit, you may not have a lot of information about them. If you are unsure what breed your rabbit is, you may be able to work it out by doing some research online. Your vet should also be able to give you some guidance.
If you know your rabbit’s age, you also use this to estimate their adult size. When a rabbit is around 4 months old, they’ll be about half the size they will be as an adult. When they’re about 6 or 7 months old, they’ll be about two-thirds of their adult size, so don’t have much more growing to go. While this isn’t exact, it’s a good way to get an estimate.
Knowing how big your rabbit will get is important because you need to ensure they have a large enough enclosure to accommodate them when they reach their adult weight. Most pet shop cages and hutches aren’t large enough for a rabbit to live happily. They need plenty of space to stretch out, move around, and play.
How to Weigh Your Rabbit
Since we’re talking a lot about the weight of rabbits in relation to their breed and adult size, you are likely wondering how to weigh your rabbit. The best way to get an accurate weight for your bunny is to take them to your vet to get weighed. They have specialist scales and can weigh your rabbit accurately. They can also let you know whether your rabbit is at a suitable weight for their breed, and perform a health check.
If you want to weigh your rabbit at home, you could use simple home scales to weigh yourself. Then simply stand on the scales holding your rabbit and note the weight of the two of you. Subtract your weight and you’ll have the weight of your rabbit.
Dr. Amir Maurer from the Companion and Exotic Animal Veterinary Center in Holon, Israel explains that you can also use kitchen scales with a plastic basket or container on top to hold your rabbit. Of course, this depends on the size of your bunny. Since rabbits will move around a lot, it’s important to weigh them three times and then work out an average.
How Long Does It Take for a Rabbit to Fully Grow?
Rabbits reach their full adult size by the time they’re a year to 18 months old. They won’t continue to grow after this point, so if you notice they’re gaining weight after this time it’s important to take your rabbit to visit the vet. Rabbits need to maintain a balanced weight to stay healthy, and it may be that they’re overweight. Your vet will be able to check and give you advice on whether you need to change your rabbit’s diet.
Keeping Your Rabbit at a Balanced Weight
Ensuring your rabbit maintains an appropriate weight is key to ensuring they’re healthy. Rabbits who are overweight are at risk for a number of health issues. The correct diet and plenty of exercise will ensure your rabbit stays healthy.
Providing your rabbit with a healthy diet is crucial. Vet Anna Meredith says that feeding a rabbit the correct diet is the most important factor in keeping them healthy.
Your rabbit should have access to plenty of high-quality hay, some vegetables, and a small number of complete rabbit pellets each day. It’s important not to overfeed and to avoid ‘mixes’, as your rabbit will likely pick out their favorite parts and leave the rest. This means their diet isn’t balanced.
You should always do your research to ensure any vegetables you feed your rabbit are safe and healthy for them. Check out our detailed guide on what you should feed your rabbit.
Just like humans, rabbits need exercise to stay healthy. Ensure your rabbit has plenty of room in their living area to move around. They should also have time out of their enclosure each day with as much space as possible to run around and play.
You can encourage movement by providing toys and games to keep them interested, as well as by interacting with them. This is also really important for their mental health. Happy rabbits are likely to eat and move around more!
Keep in mind that rabbits are crepuscular, which means they’re awake mostly at dawn and dusk. Offering plenty of stimulation during these times when they would naturally be more active can encourage more movement.
Choosing The Right Breed
Now you know that how big a rabbit gets will depend on its breed. There are lots of breeds to choose from and it’s important to choose a breed that you can care for properly.
Larger breeds need more space and cost more money. The Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund explains that, in general, smaller breeds live longer while larger breeds have shorter lifespans.
Take your time to do your research so you can choose the right breed to suit your lifestyle. That way, both you and your bunny can have a happy life together!
American Rabbit Breeders Association, (2022), ARBA Recognized Breeds.
Diane McClure , DVM, PhD, DACLAM, (2020), Description and Physical Characteristics of Rabbits. MSD Veterinary Manual.
Strychalski, J., Gugołek, A., Daszkiewicz, T., Konstantynowicz, M., Kędzior, I., & Zwoliński, C. (2014). A comparison of selected performance indicators, nutrient digestibility and nitrogen balance parameters in Californian and Flemish Giant rabbits. Journal of Applied Animal Research, 42(4), 389-394.
Dr. Amir Maurer, (2022), Monitoring the weight of a rabbit. MediRabbit.com.
Anna Meredith MA VetMB, (2007), The Importance of Diet in Rabbits.
Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund, (2022), Caring for Giant Rabbits.