No one knows exactly how many pet rabbits there are in the U.S., but we have a few ways of trying to figure it out.
in 2001, the American Veterinarian Medical Association found that 1.7% of American households lived with a rabbit.
In 2002, the USDA released a report that said that there were 5 million rabbits living as pets in the United States at that time, in 2.2 million households.
In 2006, Gallup found that just 1% of American households had at least one rabbit as a pet.
According to the 2007 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook published by the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA), there were 6.1 million pet rabbits in the U.S. that year, which was confirmed by the current American Pet Products Manufacturing Association (APPMA) Pet Owners Survey, which noted that in the past decade, rabbits have surpassed hamsters as our favorite small pet, making them the third most popular companion mammal, behind cats and dogs.
The American Pet Products Association’s 2009-2010 Pet Owners Survey also confirmed that rabbits are the most commonly kept small animal pet in the United States. It also gave a hard number: out of the 15.9 million small animal pets owned in the U.S., 42 percent of them were rabbits. That means 6,678,000 rabbits were kept as pets in the United States in 2010.
According to the 2012 American Pet Products Association (APPA) Pet Owners Survey, 2.5 million households now live with rabbits, who remain the favorite pet of the “small animals,” and, because they are often spayed and neutered, live as multiples in many homes. They also count 18 million small animals living in American homes, with rabbits being the most popular of those. That same year, the AVMA did their survey again, but found only 1.2% of American households (or 1.2 million American households) living with about 3 million rabbits.
So how many rabbits are there in the United States in 2014?
We estimate, based on the above numbers and trends, between 3-7 million. The APPA also discovered in their 2013-2014 survey that 25% of all pet rabbits were adopted and 14% were purchased from pet stores. The rest came from other sources. Between 2011-12 and 2013-14, the number of rabbits purchased at pet stores declined by 42%.
As an aside, in the U.K. the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association surveys their members, and in 2013, estimated that there were 1 million pet rabbits in that country, in 3% of households, and making rabbits the third most popular companion mammal, just as in the U.S.