Their friendliness and playfulness make bunnies and domesticated rabbits a favorite among many. However, do you comprehend the distinct differences between bunny vs. rabbit?

Based on the anatomy of rabbits and bunnies, these two are identical to one another. In casual speech or context, rabbits are referred to as bunnies.

So, why is it an ‘Easter bunny’ and not an ‘Easter rabbit’? On the other hand, a bunny sounds cuter and sweeter than a rabbit.

In reality, bunnies and rabbits are only different names for the same animal species. Over 20 closely related species of rabbit belonging to the same genus are known by the name “rabbit.”

Simply put, the term “bunny” refers to the same animal, particularly when referring to a little or immature rabbit.

While the name “rabbit” is more frequently used when referring to the animal as a whole, the word “bunny” is frequently used in the US as a term of endearment.

Additionally, some individuals think bunnies are more adorable than rabbits because they have adopted the popular culture stereotype of being fluffy and attractive. In contrast, rabbits are perceived as being more aloof.

Genus/GeneraPentalagus, Bunolagus, Nesolagus, Romerolagus, Brachylagus, Sylvilagus, Oryctolagus, Poelagus
FamilyLeporidae (in part)

Despite how inconsequential it may appear in the present era, there is a difference between rabbits and bunnies. Stay with us to find out how these terms vary and if a certain animal is best described as a rabbit or a bunny.

Table of Contents

Identification Bunny vs. Rabbit

Bunny and Rabbit, side by side

What is a Rabbit?

This prey animal is a tiny mammal member of the Leporidae family. Most people picture an adult rabbit when they hear the word “rabbit.” When referring to them, rabbit is the proper phrase to use in academic language.

There are several varieties of rabbits, both wild and domesticated. Since 1912, rabbits have been categorized into various families. Hence, it is inaccurate to refer to them as rodents.

Compared to rodents, rabbits have an additional set of incisors and unique skeletal characteristics.

Rabbits can be kept for fur or meat, as a pet, for research, or as a display animal. Domestication of rabbits dates back to the Middle Ages, and all domesticated breeds descended from the European rabbit.

There is a popular myth about these celestial animals. In the 18th century, a woman named Mary Toft supposedly gave birth to baby rabbits. Later the examiners confirmed this as a hoax.

In the 19th century, the demand for these simple nest creatures increased as people used the attractive breeds for shows and events.

In modern times, we can find strains of rabbit in pet shops and sometimes in meat shops too.

Based on the breeds of rabbit, they can have a wide variety of colors, patterns, and body forms.

What is a Bunny?

Although a bunny is another term for domestic rabbits, it only applies to young or juvenile rabbits.

It is not a scientific name, and it originally meant something comparable to a rabbit as a word of affection for little kids.

When you hear “bunny,” you probably picture a sweet, fluffy animal needing hugs and caresses.

Additionally, it is often appropriate to refer to the Easter Bunny rather than the Easter Rabbit because the word “bunny” conjures up images of a cuddly animal bringing your kids’ Easter eggs and other delicacies.

Although it is clear that the comic character Bugs Bunny is not a young rabbit, it served the character’s best interests to include “bunny” in his identity to cater to a younger demographic.

Kit or kitten is the proper noun for a young rabbit. However, if you use the word “rabbit,” everyone will know what you mean.

Appearance: The biggest difference between Bunny vs. Rabbit

Bunnies are young and seem petite, relaxed, and tranquil compared to rabbits. Bunnies relax with their ears lopped and hunched, but rabbits are perkier with erect ears and are pretty active. Bunnies’ tails are also shorter than rabbits’.

Adult rabbits, on the other extreme, are larger than bunnies and are noted to be energetic and ready to go at any time. They have long tails that they utilize to express their emotions.

Rabbits have a round body and short legs. Their hands and front legs are shorter than their feet and rear legs. Their rear legs are long and muscular, allowing them to bounce everywhere.

The body size of an adult rabbit is 24 – 50 cm based on the breed. For example, the cottontail rabbits are big-sized wild rabbits with a 45 cm long body length.

Etymology: Bunny vs. Rabbit

The epithet “bunny” initially originated in the English language in the 17th century as an expression of love for a person. Other ethnicities referred to bunnies as squirrel rabbits or just rabbits.

Before the name rabbit’s invention, people referred to this invasive species as a bunny. In the 1500s, the bunny was derived from the Scottish term ‘Bun,’ which meant “hare or rabbit tail.”

The term rabbit dates back to at least the 14th century, derived from Anglo-Norman “rabete” and Old French “robez.” It is also considered to be drawn from the Latin “rabbus,” which means “strong” or “powerful,” due to rabbits’ high fertility rates.

The name of this wild animal is also said to be originated from the Middle English term “Rabet” which was grounded in French or Middle Dutch.

Diet: Bunny vs. Rabbit

Bunnies begin by consuming their mother’s milk. Although, after a few weeks, they prefer to consume the same meals as an adult rabbit.

Hay accounts for 80 to 90 percent of a rabbit’s diet. This dietary source contains fiber, which their digestive system demands. Furthermore, their constantly developing teeth require the chewing activity that hay provides.

These furries also enjoy a wide range of vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Rabbits love weeds, blooming plants, pine needles, bushes, and clover. They keep their teeth in good condition by chewing on tree bark and twigs.

Coat: Bunny vs. Rabbit

Bunny and Rabbit are the same

Rabbits are famed for being puffy, yet this is not their natural state. Bunnies are born blind, defenseless, and immobile. They are also born naked, with no fur!

No matter how much fur your rabbit grows to have, it begins off with none. As babies, they usually have a single color on their coats. However, as they age, new hues and patches appear.

Most rabbits will develop fur within 7 days of age, becoming a thick coat of fur spanning their entire body within 12 days.

Adult rabbits will lose their silky, cottony newborn fur between 3 and 12 months. Their sleeker mature coat will then fill in.

Quick Glance on Bunny vs. Rabbit

Definition: Bunny is a phrase that describes a rabbit’s offspring or a young rabbit. A bunny is a young baby rabbit, similar to a puppy.
Weight: Bunny appears to be somewhat minor, weighing between 700 and 880 grams.
Lifespan: Bunnies are young, and their survival depends on their immune systems, which must be strong.
Behavior: Bunny sounds innocent, callow, youthful, beautiful, and awkward, just like the name. And exhibits behaviors such as nudging, running, chinning, flopping, licking, burrowing, etc.
Definition: Rabbits are tiny, well-developed mammals with long ears and powerful incisor teeth. Rabbit falls under Mammalia Animalia kingdom.
Weight: Rabbits are small, but when they grow up, they have two huge ears weighing between 1.2 and 2 kilos.
Lifespan: Rabbits have a maximum lifespan of 12 years and a minimum lifespan of 8 years.
Behavior: Rabbits are lovely and peaceful animals that sprint and are active. They are constantly digging, snorting, stomping, grinding teeth, clinging, biting, and chinning.

Facts about Bunny vs. Rabbit

  • The gestation period for these animals is 31-33 days, and they can give birth to 1 to 12 kits.
  • The worldwide rabbit population is over 36 million, which looks like a huge number. In reality, several species of rabbit have seen a population declination.
  • The mortality rates of rabbits are higher at 4-8 months of age. However, throughout the average period, the rate is below 10%.
  • House rabbit society is the biggest welfare group for the care of rabbits. They are also actively rescuing rabbits, which are later open for adoption.
  • The rabbits often represent human culture and lifestyle in cartoons and comics. Such rabbits and hares are called ‘Anthropomorphized Rabbits.’ Br’er rabbit is an example of such representation.
  • Many consider black-tailed jackrabbits as the species of wild rabbits. But it’s not entirely true. It is a hare. The same goes for Antelope Jackrabbit.
  • If you are a pet rabbit owner, tips to remember are:
    1. Make sure your pet is safe from bone rarefaction. In case of fracture, it takes 2 months for bone formation,
    2. The average sleep time for pets is 6-8 hours. If it doesn’t get adequate sleep, it may damage the articulations of rabbit,
    3. The optimal body temperature for rabbits is 102-103 degrees Fahrenheit. An imbalance in core body temperature can be fatal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all rabbits herbivores?

Yes, rabbits are all herbivores. This implies they consume vegetables and no meat. Plant waste is digested relatively efficiently by their systems. They have a big gut that is explicitly designed for disintegrating plant cellulose.

Why are bunnies more popular than rabbits?

Rabbit is considered to be a more standard term than a bunny. Because it is a term of affection, it is reasonable to assume that many pet owners prefer addressing their furry pets as bunnies rather than pet rabbits.

What is a baby rabbit called?

A newborn rabbit is known as a kit. They are born blind and furless, utterly reliant on their mother. The youngster will only leave its nest if there is a danger when they are extremely young.

Is a rabbit bigger than a bunny?

If the term “bunny” refers to a baby bunny, then a rabbit is larger than a bunny. But remember that the words bunny and rabbit are interchangeable.

What is a mother bunny called?

The female rabbit is referred to as a doe, giving birth is known as kindling, and newborn rabbits are known as kittens. Bunnies are born with their eyes and ears closed.

As we discuss the distinctions between bunny vs. rabbit, we must remember that they are both of the same species.

The former is a baby rabbit, whereas a rabbit is an adult rabbit. When you encounter a rabbit, remember that you should not call it a bunny unless it is a young rabbit. All bunnies are rabbits, but not all rabbits are bunnies.

If you like to read and gossip about comparing identical breeds of animals, here is our article on Terrier vs. Pitbull dog breeds.

(Last Updated on August 16, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Shradha Bhatta holds a Bachelors’s Degree in Social Work along with a Post-graduate degree in Project Management from Georgian College in Canada. Shradha enjoys writing on various topics and takes pleasure in discovering new ideas. Her life’s mission is to make the world a better place for all beings.