Rabbits Multiplying Like Rabbits: The Rise in the Worldwide Popularity of Rabbits as Pets

  • Margo DeMello


Rabbits are one of the world’s most recently domesticated animals, having been domesticated for food and fur in the first millennium after Christ. The idea of keeping rabbits as pets did not gain widespread acceptance in Europe and North America until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the late twentieth century, the house rabbit movement emerged, whereby rabbits graduated from outdoor, caged pets to indoor household companions, gaining a status among some which now approaches that of cat or dog. At this time, rabbits began to be kept more commonly as pets in areas outside of Europe and the USA as well; in particular, rabbits are extremely popular pets in Australia (even though they are banned in some states) and Asian countries like Japan and Singapore. This chapter looks at the issues facing rabbits as pets outside of the USA, and makes some predictions for the future of rabbits as companion animals.


Companion Animal Wild Rabbit Rabbit Population Myxoma Virus Animal Shelter 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margo DeMello
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Animals and Society InstituteAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Canisius CollegeBuffaloUSA

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