Rex Rabbits are one of the most expensive rabbit breeds—and have been for decades. Back in the 1930s, Rex Rabbits reportedly cost $1,500 1—the equivalent of $22,000 today.
Fortunately, you won’t have to put out the cost of the average car to buy one now. Rex Rabbits cost between $25 and $250 today, depending on the rabbit’s breeding and quality. Specialty breeds, such as the Mini Rex, can command higher prices.
In addition to the cost of the rabbit itself, you will have upfront costs to set the rabbit up and ongoing costs for its care and maintenance. Here’s everything you need to know about the investment for a Rex Rabbit.
Bringing Home a New Rex Rabbit: One-Time Costs
As mentioned, the cost of a Rex Rabbit can vary by several factors just to buy the rabbit itself. There are a few different ways to bring home a Rex Rabbit, as discussed below:
People often keep rabbits in colonies, which means you could get lucky and find a litter of Rex kits free to a good home. Rabbit groups, homesteaders, and the classifieds in your area are a good place to start. Keep in mind that accidental litters could mean that your rabbit is of lower quality in terms of health and conformation, however.
Rabbits often end up in rescues and shelters, especially if you live in an area with many farmers and homesteaders. They’re usually older and may be of different breeds, but it’s worth looking into. Most rescues and shelters charge an adoption fee to cover expenses, which means you get a rabbit vaccinated and neutered or spayed. Some rescues have zero-fee adoption days to free space as well.
The cost to buy a Rex Rabbit from a breeder varies widely by the breeder’s reputation, the rabbit’s bloodlines, and the quality of the rabbit. Rabbits are either pet standard or show standard, the latter intended to enter the show ring. These rabbits can be quite expensive, especially if they come from champion bloodlines. Pet standard rabbits are intended as companions or for fur and meat, so they’re cheaper.
The Mini Rex is a breed variant highly sought after for its size, much like teacup dog breeds. As a novelty, the Mini Rex can command high prices—even up to $250 or more.
Initial Setup and Supplies
Rabbits require a lot of supplies when you first get them, including a cage or hutch, toys, and supplies (which will be ongoing).
List of Rex Rabbit Care Supplies and Costs
|Cage or Hutch||$100–$200|
|Litter Tray and Litter||$10–$30|
How Much Does a Rex Rabbit Cost Per Month?
- $85–$210 per month
The ongoing costs for a Rex Rabbit are primarily food and veterinary care. Though your rabbit will only need to see a vet a few times a year, other than sick visits, you will need to budget for biannual exams and emergency care. Otherwise, you will also need to pay for litter, cage/hutch maintenance, toys, and other miscellaneous costs.
- $80–$185 per month
Your rabbit’s health care is your biggest expense but the most important aspect of keeping a happy and healthy rabbit. It includes a high-quality diet, grooming, and ongoing veterinary care.
- $20–$40 per month
Your food costs can vary based on the size of your rabbit, its appetite, and how many rabbits you keep. Buying food in bulk to feed a colony is often cheaper per unit but has higher costs overall. People who keep a colony of rabbits for food or fur often grow some of their own food, some of which goes toward feeding the rabbits.
Generally, you will need to pay for high-quality hay like Timothy, commercial rabbit pellets, and fresh vegetables. If you feed a quality diet, you shouldn’t need supplements unless recommended by your vet.
- $0–$10 per month
Rabbits need to be groomed regularly, but you can do it yourself to cut down on costs. If you take on your rabbit’s grooming on your own, your upfront costs for grooming supplies are all you need. Show rabbits should have professional grooming, however, which can get pricey.
Medications and Vet Visits
- $50–$100 per month
Veterinary care costs vary by your vet, location, and any health problems your rabbit may have. If you choose to take a free rabbit or buy one, you will need to pay for vaccinations and spaying or neutering. Depending on your vet, this can cost around $250. Then you will need additional exams and vaccinations for your rabbit’s preventative care, which costs about $50. You should have an emergency fund to ensure you’re prepared if your rabbit has an unexpected illness or injury as well, which can get quite expensive.
- $10–$35 per month
Pet insurance is a great option to give you a safety net and peace of mind if your rabbit is sick or injured. Though rabbit owners don’t often get pet insurance, it is available through many providers. You can evaluate policy options and adjust your plan, deductible, and limits to get a monthly premium within your budget.
- $5–$15 per month
Rabbits are generally clean animals and take well to litter box training. This helps you minimize your costs for bedding, but you will need to clean the litter box regularly and replace it periodically. The rabbit’s cage or hutch bedding will also need to be spot cleaned and replaced on a regular basis, depending on how messy your rabbit is.
- $0–$10 per month
Rabbits need toys and enrichment to keep them happy and stave off boredom. Generally, rabbits enjoy chewing. If you don’t provide them with appropriate chew toys, the hutch or cage is fair game. It’s important to get toys that are safe and enjoyable for a rabbit, but you can also make your own toys with household supplies like cardboard boxes or empty toilet and paper towel rolls.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Rex Rabbit
- $85–$210 per month
Rabbits are often thought of as a low-maintenance pet, so rabbit owners may underestimate the costs involved. But if you want a happy and healthy rabbit, it’s important to focus on a high-quality diet and regular veterinary care. You will have some costs for upkeep and enrichment, but these tend to be lower than your healthcare costs.
Additional Costs to Factor In
If you travel often and think you’ll need a pet sitter or boarding services, your monthly costs for a Rex Rabbit can be higher. Some boarding facilities don’t offer boarding for rabbits, so be sure to check in your area before you commit to owning a rabbit and consider the costs.
Rabbits can be destructive, especially if your rabbit is bored or left unsupervised. They can chew on wood, such as their hutch, or the furniture and wires in your home. It’s important to always monitor your rabbit to not only prevent damage but ensure that your rabbit isn’t chewing on hazardous items. If your rabbit destroys its own environment, you may need a higher budget to replace toys, cage furniture, or the hutch itself more often.
Owning a Rex Rabbit on a Budget
Were you expecting a rabbit to cost this much? Though it may seem excessive, investing in the proper care of your rabbit saves you a ton of money in the long run. Veterinary care and a quality diet are your absolute musts, but you can save money on other aspects of your rabbit’s care to stretch your budget. For example, paying for pet insurance is a great way to be prepared for emergency expenses that can get pricey.
Saving Money on Rex Rabbit Care
Beyond veterinary care and food, a lot of the expenses to own a rabbit are optional. For example, you don’t need to pay for professional grooming if you’re not showing your rabbit and you take on grooming yourself. You can also make homemade toys and treats to cut back on buying them.
Rex Rabbits used to be one of the most expensive small pets you could get, but the price has gone down in recent years. Still, rabbits are deceptively costly animals to own, so make sure you’re prepared for not only the cost of the rabbit itself but the initial setup costs, ongoing vet care, food, and other maintenance costs.
Featured Image Credit: Marcuzioart, Shutterstock