For hundreds of years, with their tradition of multipurpose use, rabbits have been a valuable commodity. From their earliest aims as suppliers of meat and fur, the good disposition and appealing looks of many a rabbit contributed to their eventual adoption as show animals and, more recently, home pets.
It should come as no surprise then that rabbit breeds of distinctive or high-quality were sold for often surprising prices!
You might be curious as to which breeds are more likely to drain your wallet if you’re considering buying a rabbit to keep in your own home.
When bought from a breeder, most rabbits will cost between $20 and $50, or slightly more if they have a pedigree that qualifies for use in rabbit shows (the rabbit’s list of ancestors).
Pet shops, with prices ranging in the hundreds of dollars, can charge considerably more.
A few highly sought-after bunnies count as the most expensive rabbit breeds outside of these general requirements, however. We’ll be looking at today’s most extravagantly priced rabbit breeds in this report, as well as a few honourable mentions of expensive breeds throughout history. Let’s start now!
Harlequin rabbits will still stand out from a crowd in their signature two-tone coats. Originally known as the “Japanese” rabbit, the race’s exact origins are unclear. Brought into the United States in 1917, its status as an exceptionally rare breed led to an exorbitant expense of $40 for a fully grown adult; adjusted for inflation, that would be almost 900 dollars in today’s currency!
The Holland Lop’s adorably droopy ears and lightweight puffball of a body have made it a favourite of inexperienced and seasoned owners alike, ranking as the most popular rabbit breed for professional shows. A properly pedigreed Holland Lop from a nationally known family will easily sell for $250 or more due to this popularity.
Lionheads were first accepted as a pure breed only as recently as 2014, a relative newcomer to the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Having been in the United States for less than thirty years, due in large part to their shockingly styled fur and petite stature, they are rapidly becoming a favourite crowd. Though Lionheads have a long way to go before hitting Holland Lops’ popularity for display purposes, they still sell easily with an included pedigree for about $100.
The Mini Rex, heir to the king of the most expensive rabbits of all time, vies with the Holland Lop for today’s most famous (and most expensive) rabbit. Their velvety, fluffy, densely plush coats have earned them millions of adoring fans, usually kept as show rabbits and house pets. Mini Rexes with a pedigree from a nationally known family regularly sell for $250 or more, like the Holland Lop.
Dwarves from the Netherlands
The spunky Netherland Dwarf, tiny and filled with energy, has lent his genetics to miniaturise many rabbit breeds. Accessible in a wide range of colours and coat patterns, alongside the Holland Lop and Mini Rex, it rounds out the top three most common show rabbit breeds. Well-pedigreed examples from proven bloodlines sell for between $100 and $200 for the most successful rabbit breed, marginally more common than its two rivals.
Rex The Rex
The proud holder of the title of Most Expensive Rabbit in History is this French-born beauty! When they were first introduced to the United States in the early 1920s, their unusually thick and plush fur contributed to an almost national craze.
Author Lynn M. Stone quotes in her book, Rabbit Breeds: The Pocket Guide to 49 Important Breeds, that a male/female pair of Rex Rabbits could cost as much as $1500 in 1930, the equivalent of nearly $22,000 today, or more than $10,000 per rabbit! Although nothing similar to this would cost even the most well-pedigreed Rex today, its heritage and title live on in its genes.
Their cost is not inherently a great predictor of how kind, affectionate, or loving they would be, apart from buying a rabbit for show use. However, if you want to exhibit rabbits, consider looking for a common breed with a nationally recognised pedigree! Even at its most expensive, after all, you would never have to pay quite as much as anyone did for a Rex in America in the 1930s.