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Thinking about adopting a pet rabbit? Before taking the plunge, find out the real cost of owning and adopting one in Singapore.
Small, fluffy and absolutely adorable. It is safe to say that almost anyone would melt into a puddle whenever they see a rabbit (unless they are allergic to rabbits or a serial killer in the making). There’s just something about them that makes you want to cuddle them tight and never let go—similar to the cute aggression you experience when you see a dog or cat.
From flemish giant to lionhead, dwarf hotot, Holland lop, silver fox and mini rex, there are many domesticated rabbit breeds available in Singapore. Independent, (mostly) small enough to lift with ease and low maintenance, rabbits make a great companion for new pet owners and children above the age of six.
So, if you are thinking about welcoming a bouncy four-legged baby into your home, here is your comprehensive cost guide to adopting and owning a rabbit in Singapore, complete with a step-by-step adoption guide.
Last updated on 29 June 2021. Prices of adoption, sterilisation, cage and accessories, hygiene and grooming, food and treats, and medical expenses are subject to change without prior notice. The calculations below are estimates, and prices listed may vary depending on actual quantity needed, credit card discounts, among others.
Where to adopt a rabbit in Singapore
A quick search on Google and you’ll find that there are a few animal welfare groups, Facebook Groups, Gumtree pages and even forums in Singapore dedicated to rabbit adoption.
To cut through the noise, we’ve curated a few reputable animal welfare groups that you can adopt a rabbit from.
House Rabbit Society Singapore (HRSS)
Established in 2002, the HRSS is one of the largest rabbit welfare groups in Singapore run purely by volunteers. They may not have a dedicated website, but they do have a very active Facebook page with posts on rabbit adoption, successful adoptions and other rabbit-related know-hows.
No rabbit gets left behind, not when Bunny Wonderland is keeping watch. They are a private volunteer welfare group founded in 2013 by Jackie Fang, and just like HRSS, they provide assistance to rabbits in need, rehome rabbits and conduct workshops to educate the public on rabbit care.
Fun fact: Since the group started, they’ve rescued and successfully rehomed over 350 rabbits.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Singapore (SPCA)
Apart from dogs and cats, the grandfather of all welfare groups in Singapore, SPCA also rescues and rehomes rabbits.
At the time of writing, SPCA did not have any rabbits up for adoption. So, if you are intent on adopting only from SPCA, some effort and time may be needed to stalk their webpage.
Word of caution: There is a fine line between adopting and buying a rabbit. Some listings on Gumtree or forums are created by home-based breeders masking as owners looking to rehome their rabbits. Remember to ask the correct questions and if their answers don’t sit right, know that it is perfectly all right to cut the conversation short.
Process of rabbit adoption from a welfare group
There are a few steps to rabbit adoption, and they may differ depending on the welfare group. It may seem like an unnecessarily long drawn out process, but these steps are put in place to ensure that you and your chosen rabbit are a perfect match.
Step-by-step guide to rabbit adoption
- Contact the welfare group
- Short-listed adopters will be paid a house visit by welfare group representatives
- Meet-and-greet session
- Preparation to welcome the furry one home
- Trial staycation for a month
- Actual adoption
- For certain adoptions, an additional house visit might conducted after six months
Depending on how fast you progress from one step to the next, a successful adoption can take place within just a couple of weeks.
How much does it cost to adopt a rabbit?
It varies depending on where you adopt your rabbit from. Based on our research, the average adoption fee for a rabbit hovers around S$50.
But the cost of adopting a rabbit doesn’t stop there—there’s also the cost of a cage, accessories, grooming supplies, food and medical expenses to consider. Below, we calculate all of that to find out the real cost of owning a rabbit.
The real cost of owning a rabbit
As mentioned above, the average rabbit adoption fee is S$50.
Many think that sterilisation is cruel for domesticated animals, but that isn’t true. Sterilisation significantly reduces the chance of medical issues, and therefore prolongs an animal’s life. If that doesn’t convince you, then think of it as an insurance of sorts where you pay a one-time premium to avoid hefty medical bills.
Depending on which vet you visit and the sex of your rabbit, prices of sterilisation will differ. In general, female rabbit sterilisations cost more as their procedure is more invasive.
|Vet||Consultation||Male rabbit||Female rabbit|
|Beecroft Birds & Exotics Veterinary Clinic||S$60+||S$500+||S$600+|
|Monster Pet Vet Clinic||S$40+||S$225+||S$350+|
|The Animal Clinic||S$54+||S$267.50||S$331.70|
|Total average price for consultation and sterilisation without complications||S$382.17||S$478.57|
Five to seven days post-surgery, you’ll have to bring your rabbit back to the vet for a review (charges are included in the price listed above). However, if any complications (e.g. infection, loosened stitches, etc.) will be treated as a new condition and incur additional charges.
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Cage and accessories
Below, we calculate the cost of items you will need to build a comfortable home for your rabbit. Do note that this isn’t an exhaustive list as we’ve only included the bare essentials.
|Water bottle||Moby’s Pet Shop||1||S$5.90|
|Food bowl||Any small ceramic or plastic plate that you can find around the house or Daiso||1||S$2|
|Bedding||Perromart||1 bag every two months||S$29.95|
|Chew toys||Kohepets||2 to start and 1 every month after||S$5.90 each|
S$11.90 for two
Hygiene and grooming
Like all other domesticated animals, rabbits need regular grooming to prevent matted fur, overgrown nails, ear infections, etc.
Most items listed will last at least six months, some can even last a couple of years depending on how you care for it. For easier final calculations, we will consider hygiene and grooming items as a one-off expense, with the exception of dry bath powder that is replaced once every six months.
|Dry bath powder||Pet Lovers Centre||1 every six months||S$10.30|
|Nail clipper and file||Perromart||1||S$16.85|
|Deshedding brush||Pet Lovers Centre||1||S$16.20|
|Towel||Any small towel that you can find around the house or at Daiso||1||S$2|
|Pet-friendly wet wipes||Any unscented, alcohol-free and paraben wet wipes like these from Perromart will do||1||S$3.90|
Food and treats
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot put your rabbit on a fresh vegetable-only diet. Apart from being more expensive (if you were to calculate it by the gram), a healthy and balanced diet for them consists mainly of hay with a side of pellets and fresh vegetables.
Calculations below are based on an average-sized rabbit for a month. We’ve also included treats, because why not?
|Item||Shop||Quantity needed||Unit price||Total price for one month|
|Dried pellets||Moby’s Pet Shop||1 bag||S$9.40||S$9.40|
|Treats||Moby’s Pet Shop||1 packet||S$8.60||S$8.60|
|Fresh vegetables||Wet market or supermarket||2 packets||S$2||S$4|
Rabbits are low maintenance and with the right level of care they would not need any visits to the vet.
However, with the recent Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) outbreak in Singapore, vets are strongly encouraging owners to vaccinate their rabbits against the virus, especially those that are frequently brought outdoors.
As RDHV is a swift killer with a high mortality rate, we think that it is best to err on the side of caution and vaccinate your rabbit. This will come at an additional cost of S$62 to S$80, excluding consultation fee. On average, you can expect to fork out between S$113.30 and S$131.30 (including average consultation fee of S$51.30) for this annual vaccine.
|Sterilisation||S$382.17 to S$478.57|
|Cage and accessories||S$257.05|
|Hygiene and grooming||S$59.30|
|Food and treats||S$57.20|
|Medical expenses (RHDV vaccine and consultation only)||S$113.30 and S$131.30|
|Initial cost of owning a rabbit||S$869.05 to S$983.45|
|Total cost of owning a rabbit for the first year||S$1,723.20 to S$1,837.60|
Surprised at the final cost?
Based on our calculations, owning a rabbit will set you back at least S$1,723.20 for the first year—almost the same price as owning a small dog. Although most of it is due to one-time purchases like cage and accessories, you will still be looking at around S$60 to S$80 per month for food and other miscellaneous expenses.
Plus, this amount doesn’t account for professional grooming services (due to matted fur or overgrown nails), complications from sterilisation or emergency medical care (should there be any).
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Final word on adopting and owning a rabbit in Singapore
Be sure to consider carefully before welcoming a rabbit to your home. Owning a rabbit isn’t only an emotional and financial commitment, but also one that requires time and effort. Although they may require less maintenance when compared to dogs or cats, they are still considered long-term commitments as their lifespan averages 10 to 12 years.
If you find yourself on the fence after looking at the numbers, why not consider fostering a rabbit instead? You’ll get all the perks of owning one without the long-term commitment, and you would be helping out a rabbit in need. Win-win situation.
Read these next:
The Real Cost Of Dog Ownership In Singapore
4 Best Pet Insurance Plans To Protect Your Furkids
Best Online Pet Shops In Singapore With Free Delivery
Guide To Vet Clinics In Singapore: How Much Does It Cost To Treat Your Sick Pets
The Real Cost Of Working From Home (WFH) May Surprise You
By Geralyne Ong
A lover of gin and all things Nigella Lawson, Geralyne’s a big believer of #Adulting. She spends her leisure time serving fur-babies and doing as many mountain climbers and kettlebell swings as she possibly can.