The Lionhead, a small rabbit with a long “mane” of fur around their neck, is a very popular family pet—especially for those with children. However, since these rabbits can be fragile, suffer from stress in the wrong environment, and get sick if they’re not fed an appropriate diet, committing to properly caring for a Lionhead and providing them with a suitable living environment is all important.
This means that the cost of owning these sweet bunnies amounts to much more than just the breeder or adoption fee which could be as low as $25. In this guide, we’ll give you a heads-up as to everything your Lionhead rabbit will need to be as healthy and comfortable as possible.
Bringing Home a New Lionhead Rabbit: One-Time Costs
It’s recommended to get two or more Lionheads instead of one. In nature, rabbits live in groups, so it’s best to provide your domestic Lionhead with a companion to help ward off loneliness and boredom. Let’s explore how much Lionheads cost depending on where you acquire them from.
Some people choose to give their rabbits up for rehoming due to being unable to care for them or other reasons. The best way to find a Lionhead for free is to join rabbit rehoming social media groups or search for organizations that rehome rabbits without requesting a fee. You can also find rabbits in need of loving homes for free on classified websites. Alternatively, you can adopt a Lionhead for a small fee.
From our research, adoption fees for rabbits typically range between $95 and $200, though some charge less. For example, the RSPCA in the U.K. charges £45 (approximately $55 USD) for a single rabbit and £80 (approximately $97 USD) for a pair. On that note, there is usually the option to adopt a pair of rabbits together. This is strongly recommended.
Adoption fees typically include the spaying or neutering fee and sometimes general care fees while the rabbit is still with the association, but it’s best to check this with your adoption association. Adoption is by far the best option as it helps support rescue and rehoming associations and gives rabbits a second chance at a happy life.
The cost of purchasing a Lionhead rabbit from a breeder varies greatly. On the lower end of the scale, it appears you can get Lionheads for as little as $25. It’s important to bear in mind, however, that this is just the purchase fee, and you’ll likely have to pay for spaying and neutering by yourself.
Initial Setup and Supplies
In addition to the breeder or adoption fee, you’ll need to make sure your Lionhead rabbit has everything they need to be comfortable and settle into their new home. Now, you may not need everything on this list as supply requirements vary depending on how and where you plan to house your rabbit (i.e., indoor or outdoor).
Moreover, your rabbit may be neutered/spayed when you first bring them home thanks to adoption associations or previous owners. If this is the case, it cuts a large amount off of your initial supply costs.
List of Lionhead Rabbit Care Supplies and Costs
|Spacious housing (i.e., hutch without a wire bottom)||$100–$200|
|Food and water bowls/bottles||$5–$15|
|Blanket or rug (for soft flooring on the bottom of the hutch)||$10–$20|
|Bag of hay||$10–$30|
|Other bedding (i.e., paper-based bedding)||$10–$20|
|Pack of toys||$5–$15|
|Pet first-aid kit (optional)||$20–$30|
How Much Does a Lionhead Rabbit Cost Per Month?
Monthly Lionhead rabbit care can vary depending on multiple factors, including the cost of the food you buy, hay, and if any unexpected vet visits are necessary. If you only purchase a bag of hay and food per month but have everything else you need at home, you may spend as little as $55 or even less per month.
If unexpected vet visits crop up, your rabbit requires treatment or needs replacement toys, housing, or grooming equipment, this can really bump up the costs.
Keeping your Lionhead rabbit healthy and comfortable means offering quality food, getting them groomed or grooming them yourself, and being ready to provide for any unexpected vet visits and treatment your rabbit might need. Let’s break this down further and look more closely at general care costs to anticipate.
This estimate is based on the cost of both hay—something all rabbits need—and rabbit food pellets. Rabbits also need fresh, leafy green veggies (like broccoli, kale, cabbage, mint, and parsley) on a daily basis, so we’ve also factored in the approximate cost of these.
In terms of amounts, rabbits need, at a minimum, one bundle of hay per day which is about the same size as the rabbit. They need a handful of various (rabbit-friendly) vegetables (shoot for five or six types) and, as for pellets, this depends on their weight. According to the RSPCA, 25 grams of pellets per kg of your rabbit’s total weight is ideal.
If you have all the grooming tools you need at home, you can groom your Lionhead yourself without spending a dime. Just bear in mind that the fur around their neck should be brushed daily to keep tangles and matting at bay and the rest of their body should be groomed at least once weekly. Keep an eye on their claws, too, to make sure they don’t get overgrown.
If you go to a professional groomer for a full session including services like nail trimming, brush-out, ear cleaning, and scent gland cleaning, this can set you back approximately $65–$95, but this depends on the groomer.
Medications and Vet Visits
This estimate is based on the approximate cost of a single vet visit and basic medication like antibiotics or standard vaccinations. However, if your rabbit needs surgery or a special kind of medication, treatment costs could head closer to the hundreds or, in serious cases, even thousands. If this worries you, you might want to consider looking into pet insurance.
Though it’s easy to automatically think of dogs and cats when it comes to pet insurance, it’s possible to get your rabbit insured, too. Unfortunately, it’s not very common for insurance providers to cover rabbits, but Nationwide does under its exotic pets plan. The monthly cost can vary greatly depending on your pet’s age, breed, and other factors like location.
It’s important to clean your Lionhead rabbit’s environment regularly, changing out litter and bedding. It’s a good idea to invest in a pet-safe cleaning product to make sure no harsh chemicals get on your rabbit’s fur or in their eyes or respiratory systems. A decent-sized bottle may last you several months, so you may not need to replace this monthly.
|Bedding for the bottom of the cage (i.e., paper-based bedding)||$20–$30|
|Pet-safe cleaning product (for cage/hutch cleaning)||$8–$20|
If you invest in some durable rabbit toys and your rabbit gets plenty of space to exercise and play, you may not have to spend anything extra on their monthly entertainment. You can get sets of rabbit toys online for as little as $5, but if you’d like to subscribe to a rabbit toy box delivery service, this costs approximately $25 per month.
These boxes typically come filled with a wide variety of treats and toys to make sure your rabbit gets to experiment with all different kinds of fun stuff. That said, you can definitely keep your rabbit happy without splashing out on a subscription service.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Lionhead Rabbit
The above figures are estimates based on all factors discussed above— entertainment, maintenance, pet insurance, vet visits, medication, grooming, and food. Of course, the actual monthly cost may be much higher or much lower depending on your Lionhead’s medical needs and the brand of food, bedding, and hay you purchase.
If you only need to replace food, bedding, and litter, you can expect to pay a great deal less for your rabbit’s care per month. But if your rabbit falls ill or you splash out on a professional grooming session, you can expect the costs to rise dramatically.
Additional Costs to Factor In
In addition to all the general and health care factors we’ve been through, you’ll also need to consider whether you can provide for the cost of other services like a pet sitter or boarding service when you go on vacation.
Another thing to think about is how well your furniture will stand up against a curious indoor bunny with a tendency to chomp on things they’re not supposed to. There’s also the possibility that your furniture gets stained with urine if your Lionhead is allowed on it. If your rabbit often roams free in your house and is not litter trained, you might need to invest in protective covers for your furniture.
Moreover, it’s a good idea to take your rabbit for a general vet check-up at least once per year, so there’s an extra annual fee to consider.
Owning a Lionhead Rabbit on a Budget
Though it’s not easy to provide for a pet when you’re struggling financially, you can certainly own a Lionhead on a budget. Here are some budgeting tips and ideas for those in financial difficulty:
Saving Money on Lionhead Rabbit Care
If your Lionhead falls sick and you’re worried about how to afford vet bills, one option is to talk to your vet about creating a paying in installments plan for you. Some clinics allow this, and it will probably help if you have a good history with the clinic.
Alternatively, you can try low-cost clinics like veterinary schools or look into organizations that offer reduced vet fees for those who meet certain criteria. CareCredit is recommended by many vets so it is an option worth looking into if you’re in the U.S.
Though it may look like a Lionhead rabbit is easy to care for, there are certainly many things you need to purchase to make sure they have everything they need to be happy and healthy. Some of the most important items include a suitable hutch or cage, bedding, hay, high-quality food pellets, fresh vegetables, and water.
Finally, if you’re considering welcoming a Lionhead into your home with young children, first think about whether it would be a good fit. Though Lionheads are thought to be family-friendly, they can be quite sensitive and fragile. They can easily be injured by small children left unsupervised around them.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay