Rabbit vs. Bunny vs. Hare: The Main Differences to Guide You in Choosing the Best Pet for You

Rabbits, bunnies, and hares are different animals with different personalities and needs. All three of these animals belong to the lagomorph family and share similar physical features, such as long ears, long tails, small eyes, and soft fur. However, you should be aware of a few key differences between them.

Differences in Rabbit, Bunny, and Hare

little bunny lurking in the green grass

Main Differences

Rabbit: The rabbit is usually considered the softest and cutest of the three types of rabbits. They make great pets if you want something cute and cuddly to keep you company. 

Bunny: The bunny is also a rabbit, a term used for younger ones. They are less active but more friendly. They make great pets for people who want a small and low-maintenance rabbit. 

Hare: The hare is the fastest and most agile rabbit. Hares are not as common as bunnies and rabbits, but they make for a great pet if you’re looking for something fast and active.

Physical Appearance

Generally, rabbits are more petite than hares and have different body shapes. They also have long ears and a long tail, while hares have a different profile and move more slowly than rabbits. In addition to these physical differences, rabbits, bunnies, and hares also have different teeth profiles and locomotion differences.

Ability for Pest Control

A bunny might be the right fit if you’re looking for a pet that can help keep pests and rodents under control. On the other hand, if you’re more of a predator, you might better suit a rabbit for you. They have long ears and sharp claws, making them the top predators in their ecosystem. Additionally, rabbits are social animals that live in groups, while bunnies are solitary creatures that like to forage for food. 


If you’re on the hunt for a cuddly pet that you can keep indoors and feed with some rabbit food, a hare might be the perfect choice for you! They are smaller than rabbits and have shorter ears, making them less likely to be preyed upon. 


Rabbits reproduce quickly – giving birth to litters of up to 12 babies per year – while bunnies and hares tend to have smaller litters that average four or five babies. Additionally, all three species have strong runs where they can escape predators. 

white rabbit sitting on cardboard box on wooden table


A rabbit, bunny, and hare all live in groups of three to six individuals and spend most of their time together grooming each other or playing games. Rabbits are social animals that are great for families or groups that want a small but active pet.

Rabbit/Bunny vs. Hare

Life History

Here’s a look at their life histories and some key differences: 

  • The hare is the largest of the three and is the most adaptable of the three. They can live in various environments and are very quick on their feet. 
  • Hare is also known for its long ears and ability to run long distances. 
  • The rabbit is the second largest of the three and is the most cuddly of the three. They make good pets for people who have allergies or live in apartments. 
  • Rabbits are also known for their long ears and ability to jump high. 


Habitat is essential to any animal’s life; this goes for rabbits and hares. Rabbits are more common and live on open grasslands where they can run very fast. They form four or more family units and eat mainly grasses, but rabbits eat seeds and vegetables. Hares live in dense forests where they have long ears to help them detect prey in the undergrowth.


Diet is an essential aspect of hare and rabbit ecology. Hare’s diet consists mainly of grasses, whereas rabbits eat vegetables primarily. Rabbits are fast runners and can cover a lot of ground in a short time, while hares are slow but can cover a large area for long periods.

When it comes to hares and rabbits, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them. For example, both animals suit those looking for a low-maintenance pet, but be sure to research their dietary needs first! 

Hares are herbivores like rabbits. But rabbits eat more grasses, while hares consume more bark and leaves. This affects their weight and health, so keep that in mind when making your decision. 


The rabbit’s ears are smaller, and its coat is shorter and softer than the hare’s. The male bunny has a larger penis than the female rabbit – an interesting fact for bedroom enthusiasts! 

Brown hare, Lepus europaeus


Shedding is a natural process that helps rabbits and hares get rid of their fur. Both rabbits and hares have long ears, which they use to detect predators in their surroundings. Hares are typically herbivores, while rabbits are omnivores that eat both plant and animal matter. 

Group Living

Group living is one of the most amazing things about rabbits and hares. These mammals are social creatures that live in groups. They depend on each other for food, protection, and communication. Rabbits have a compelling sense of smell and can run at speeds of 40 mph. On the other hand, horses are solitary and have a three times longer lifespan than rabbits!

Physical Appearance

Regarding physical appearance, the hare vs. rabbit is a pretty close call. But, in the end, the hare emerges as the clear winner. The rabbit and bunny are both intermediate in size between the hare and rabbit – it’s about halfway between the two animals in height and width. 

The rabbit is considerably smaller than the hare and has shorter fur, rounder ears, and smaller eyes. The hare is a much larger animal with shorter ears, stockier legs, and a longer tail than the rabbit.

Development at Birth

Hares and rabbits are both mammals, which means they are warm-blooded and have a gestation period. Both hares and rabbits develop quickly at birth; hares are smaller than rabbit babies, and their fur is denser, helping them to survive in cold climates. 

Temperament and Behavior

There are many different types of rabbits and hares, but the hair is the faster and sprightlier of the two. Both rabbits and hares are good climbers, but the rabbit tends to be better at it than the hare. 

Regarding temperament, rabbits and hares can be shy or boisterous when meeting new people or animals for the first time – but they typically get along with others once they know them well! 

The hare has more prominent ears and a longer tail than the rabbit, which aids it in its speedy pursuit of prey. So, the hare is the perfect option if you’re looking for a fast and agile rabbit for your garden or house!


Regarding habitat, rabbits and hares have a few things in common. Both need spacious living areas and eat grasses, flowers, and other plants. However, hares have larger stomachs, allowing them to digest these items better than rabbits. 

Also, hares prefer open areas, while rabbits prefer dense underground vegetation or tunnels. So, the key to avoiding conflict between these animals is providing them with different habitats and ensuring their food and water sources are available.