Rats VS Rabbits: Which Make Better Pets?

We’re well aware that rabbits are one of the most popular pets in the world. Rabbits are also the third most popular pets in America.

Little do people know that another contender is making its way up to the top of becoming one of the most popular pets in America and other parts of the world.

The animal we’re talking about are rats, and these small creatures have been subject to the interests of people who are looking for pets that may not be too hard to take care of.

So it’s clear that two of these animals make popular pets. The question is, which animal makes a better pet than the other?

Are Rats Or Rabbits Better Pets?

Rats would make better pets compared to rabbits.

Some may be surprised with this answer since rats are often thought of as vermin that destroy things and are dirty animals that roam in the streets, but the demands for rats as pets are still rising.

Rats in general are just way easier to take care of than rabbits, and people might be wondering, “Why is that?”. Well, first off, rats are low-maintenance.

This has got to be one of the factors that pet owners are after since not every person is always available and has the luxury of time to dedicate to their pets.

Rats can survive on little space and less food, also, the enclosure that rats stay in isn’t required to be cleaned all the time since it stays clean for quite some time, and rats don’t need to be socialized with other animals or humans to become friendly pets.

Most rats are pretty affectionate off the bat, so there won’t be much problem when it comes to interacting with rats and having this fear of being rejected or ignored by the animal.

When it comes to health, both rats and rabbits are susceptible to numerous kinds of illnesses, one illness that is common in both animals is respiratory infections.

There are some pet owners who claim that rats are less likely to get sick compared to rabbits.

Take note that the statements of said owners are people who actually own both a rabbit and a rat, so basically, their statements are based on their observations for both pets.

Another thing that makes rats better pets than rabbits is their diet. Rats aren’t picky eaters and they can consume almost any kind of food since they are opportunistic omnivores. The only thing that owners have to watch out for are foods that are poisonous to rats.

Rabbits on the other hand are strictly herbivores and can only consume certain foods like hays, pellets, and small amounts of fresh veggies.

It would be a bit tedious to pick out foods for rabbits as it has to be of high quality so that the proper nutritional diet requirements are met.

In addition to costs, rats are much cheaper and this applies to initial costs and maintenance costs. Veterinary care is not as expensive as a rabbit’s veterinary costs.

It’ll only get pricier for rabbits when they have to undergo emergency vet care, and that could easily flare up costs to at least a hundred dollars.


Rats As Pets

Some people may not know this, but rats are truly fun to be with! This comes from multiple people who’ve actually owned and raised pet rats themselves.

Rats are small interactive animals that love to socialize with their owners and fellow rats. With that being said, when rats are to be bought from a breeder or a pet store, it’s best to buy them in pairs.

Rats thrive for social interactions, so it’s crucial to buy them in pairs or in groups. Moving on to a rat’s behavior, they’re pretty much docile. They seldom bite and they usually display affection to their owners.

However, it’s imperative to know that rats can’t be left alone with children since kids have a tendency to be rough around animals, let alone small pets. Always supervise children when they’re handling pet rats.

Moreover, this actually makes rats a non-child-friendly pet. Caring for rats would require patience, attention, and dedication from owners since these small pets are not merely low-maintenance animals.

It’s true that rats are fairly easy to take care of, however, owners still need to observe proper feeding, exercising, and cleaning.

Rats are easy to feed and owners don’t have to go through the trouble of buying special foods for special diets. Rats can eat almost anything, so buying dog pellets, some veggies, and berries.

When it comes to cleaning, rats have to have their cages cleaned every once or twice a week to keep ammonia levels low. Ultimately, this also avoids the likelihood of rats succumbing to respiratory problems (a common illness for rats).

Rats have the tendency to become obese if not given regular daily exercises. Always aim to let them out of their cages and let them roam around for at least an hour or so. Also, it’s best to keep them in larger cages filled with toys and things to climb and hide on.


  • They can be considered low-maintenance pets.
  • They’re affectionate and friendly animals.
  • Rats don’t require any special diet.
  • Rats are clean animals.
  • Rats are intelligent.
  • Rats aren’t long-term commitment pets.
  • Rats are most active during the day so they won’t cause any disturbances during the night.


  • Short lifespans (averaging from 2 to 3 years)
  • Rats have the tendency to bite.
  • Rats can’t be kept with other animals, especially pets that are bigger than them.
  • Rats don’t make suitable pets for kids.
  • Rats may carry diseases.

Rabbits As Pets

Rabbits are one of the most popular pets in the world and there’s a good reason why, they’re adorable, friendly, and cuddly pets!

The thing that makes them so entertaining to own is seeing them hop around. Another thing is they are sociable animals so this characteristic makes them naturally gravitate towards interaction, be it with humans or fellow rabbits.

Rabbits make great companions for families, however, they must be kept under supervision when they’re being handled by children. This is to avoid any injuries from happening to the rabbit.

Since rabbits are social animals, it’s always best to buy them in pairs. However, if a person doesn’t have the time nor the budget for another rabbit, then they will be the companions of their rabbit instead.

Rabbits can’t be left alone for too long, so if owners are away for some time, they must provide some sort of entertainment for their rabbits to keep them stimulated and not stressed. Toys and hiding spots inside enclosures would be a great example.

Also, rabbits have this special diet, so owners must make sure that their rabbits consume specific types of foods regularly to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Usually, their diet must have high fibre content.

A rabbit’s enclosure must be huge to accommodate their kind of lifestyle. They need plenty of space to hop around for exercise, they need places to hide since they are prey animals, and the enclosure itself must always have clean beddings to avoid respiratory problems.

Another thing to take note of is when rabbits are primarily active. Usually, rabbits are active early in the morning, late in the afternoon, and in the evening. These are the best times to interact with rabbits.


  • Rabbits can be litter trained.
  • Rabbits aren’t noisy animals.
  • Rabbits love to socialize with their human families and fellow rabbits.
  • Rabbits can be taught tricks.
  • There are a lot of rabbit breeds to choose from.
  • Rabbits have a long lifespan (7 to 12 years if taken care of properly).
  • These animals are gentle.


  • Rabbits love to chew on things, so furniture isn’t safe around rabbits.
  • Keeping rabbits can be quite pricey.
  • Vet care for rabbits is costly.
  • Rabbits need to be exercised regularly, three hours a day would be ideal.
  • Rabbits need to come in pairs.
  • Rabbits defecate a lot.
  • Rabbits are susceptible to many illnesses.

Similarities Between Rats And Rabbits

  • Both animals are affectionate towards their owners.
  • Both animals consume fresh veggies.
  • Both animals aren’t noisy.
  • Both animals are docile.
  • Both animals are active during the day.
  • Both are sociable animals, so they need to be bought in pairs.

Differences Between Rats And Rabbits

Purely herbivorous animals    Opportunistic omnivores
Rabbits consume a special dietFlexible diet
Vet care is costlyVet care is budget-friendly
Mid-high maintenance petLow-maintenance pet
Long-term pets (due to long lifespan)Short-term pets (due to short lifespan)

Rat V.S. Rabbit Fight

There have been several discussions about this topic among pet owners and they’re settling this dispute in regards to who would win in a fight between a rat and a rabbit.

One of the reasons why this topic emerged in the first place was because of the reported cases of rats attacking small rabbits.

Now, some owners who own both rats and rabbits, or have plans on owning both animals as pets, are worried because both might hurt each other when kept in the same place.

Then there are other people who are genuinely curious as to what the outcome would be if a rat and a rabbit were to engage in a fight with each other.

Who Would Win In A Fight Between A Rabbit & A Rat?

Rats would win against small rabbits, while adult rabbits would win against rats.

Rat attacks against small rabbits are quite common since rabbits give off this scent that naturally attracts rats.

The good thing is, these kinds of attacks can be prevented. Also, adult rabbits are relatively safe from attacks since they’re larger compared to rats, and rats will get intimidated by the difference in size.

Can Rats Live With Rabbits?

No, rats can’t live with rabbits and vice versa.

This would only make way for fights to occur between the two animals. Rats have the tendency to attack small rabbits, while larger rabbits (the adult ones) intimidate rats and can cause injuries to rats by kicking them.

Are Rats Dangerous To Pet Rabbits?

Yes, rats are dangerous to rabbits, especially small ones. This is because they see small rabbits as food.

Rats also have the tendency to pull on a rabbit’s fur because they view this as a way of playing with them.

Which Is Smarter, Rats Or Rabbits?

Rats are more intelligent than rabbits.

The proof behind this is rats are the animals that are being used in psychological studies. Rats are able to perform a wide array of tricks and they also have the ability to solve puzzles.

The two main things that would motivate a rat to do such incredible things would be a dedicated trainer and a food rewards system.