If you are trying to choose between a rabbit and a chinchilla, you will need to get a lot of information before making a final decision.

 Despite how similar these animals might seem, they are very different in a lot of ways. We will help you determine which pet is the right choice based on your needs.

Chinchillas vs. Rabbits – Which Is the Best Pet?

1. Temperament

Chinchillas and rabbits admittedly have pretty similar temperaments. They are both very active and curious creatures. You will find, however, that chinchillas are far more loyal to their owners.

If you want a pet that you can rely on for years of loyal affection, a chinchilla is the best option. It doesn’t take very long to establish a strong bond with these animals. Rabbits on the other hand aren’t particularly known for being loyal, and in fact they can be pretty irritable at times.

You won’t have to worry about your chinchilla becoming aggressive out of nowhere, as you would with a rabbit. This consistent temperament is reassuring and ultimately makes for a better pet. This is especially true if you have small children.

It is generally accepted that chinchillas are at least slightly more intelligent than rabbits. You can train a chinchilla to use a litter box fairly easily. You will most likely have a much more difficult time training a rabbit to do this. Chinchillas are always showing you how smart they are in one way or another. 

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2. Cage Maintenance

There is no question that chinchillas are clean overall animals, especially compared to rabbits. Their poop doesn’t even smell, which is a huge plus. You can also train a chinchilla to urinate in a litter box, which makes cleaning the cage easier.

While it is necessary clean a chinchilla’s cage on a regular basis, doing so isn’t quite as unpleasant as with rabbits. You won’t have to deal with any strong odors that make your want to wretch.

eating chinchilla

 3. The Entertainment Factor

Chances are you want a pet that is entertaining to watch. Chinchillas have a reputation for being very active, almost eccentric creatures. One minute they will be jumping around, and the next you will see them trying to climb something. There is truly never a dull moment when you have one of these animals.

Rabbits are also highly active, but they don’t offer the same level of entertainment for their owners. These animals are a bit more predictable, which can get boring after a while. The spontaneous and unique behavior of the chinchilla makes it the more interesting overall pet.

4. Lifespan

The average chinchilla lives anywhere from 15 to 20 years, while most rabbits live up to 12 years at most. If you are looking for a long term cuddly companion, this is something to consider. Chinchillas offer at least several years more of fun and affection. Keep in mind that things like diet and exercise will have a big impact on the lifespan of your pet.

5. Cost

A lot of people choose to get a rabbit because they believe a chinchilla is too expensive. The fact is that chinchillas really don’t cost all that much to keep. The biggest one time expensive you will encounter with these animals is their cage. The food they eat is pretty cheap, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that.

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There are always ways to save money with a chinchilla, such as making toys for them to play with instead of buying them from the store. You can also forego bedding in favor of fleece liners. You shouldn’t need to spend more than $15 per month on a chinchilla.

You can expect to spend at least $30 to $40 each month on a rabbit. There is no question that they are the more expensive animal to own, despite popular belief. If you are on a fairly tight budget, a chinchilla is probably the way to go.

two cute rabbits

6. Grooming

One of the great things about owning a chinchilla is that you really won’t have to worry about doing any grooming, as they will do it for you. You can just plop it into a bowl filled with a special dust that is meant to help keep these animals clean. Your chinchilla will roll around in the dust, cleaning itself thoroughly. This saves you some time, and it is quite a spectacle.

If you have a rabbit, you will need to make a point of brushing its fur on a regular basis. This can get fairly tiresome after a while. These animals also need to have their fur trimmed once in a while. Chinchillas don’t require trimming, and they are very low maintenance when it comes to grooming as a whole.

7. Veterinary Care

If you take proper care of your chinchilla, you shouldn’t need to take it to the vet for anything but an initial exam. These animals aren’t particularly prone to lots of diseases or infections. While it is possible for them to get sick, it’s not something you’ll need to worry about.

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Rabbits can develop all sorts of health issues, including uterine tumors and a condition known as Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus. Both of these things are life threatening and often result in death. There are other things like hairballs and overgrown teeth to consider as well.


  • When it comes to temperament, chinchillas tend to be a bit more predictable and even-tempered.
  • Chinchillas are generally considered to be a little more intelligent than rabbits.
  • Cleaning a chinchilla’s cage is a lot easier overall. This is partly because their poop doesn’t smell and is easy to pick up.
  • You’ll almost certainly find that a chinchilla is more entertaining to watch.
  • Most rabbits live 12 years at the most, while chinchillas can live up to 20 years.
  • Chinchillas require minimal grooming, while rabbits need to be brushed on a regular basis.
  • You can get away with spending $10 per month on a chinchilla, whereas a rabbit costs at least $30 per month.
  • Rabbits tend to require a bit more veterinary care than chinchillas, as they are prone to more serious diseases and health problems.
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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".