Are Rabbits Smarter Than Cats & Dogs? {Smartest Rabbit Breeds}

I’m left wondering the same thing when I see my pet rabbit obeying my commands better than my dog. Are rabbits smarter than cats & dogs? My friend’s cats seem to never listen to her.

How do we understand the intelligence of a rabbit? Can we provide them with enrichment to make them smarter? Do they recognize our voices and their own name?

In this article, we’ll run through the intelligence of a rabbit to see if they are one of the smartest domestic animals.

Are Rabbits Smarter Than Cats & Dogs?

No. A rabbit’s IQ is on par with that of a dog or cat. Bunnies are adept at expressing their wants and needs. A rabbit will take action on their own if you don’t comply with their demands.

You can talk to your rabbit just like a cat or dog. They obviously have no way to respond, but they will comprehend what you’re expressing and react appropriately.

Human-bunny interactions resemble cats more than dogs. A well-cared-for rabbit will adore you, but they won’t see you as their owner.

Are Bunnies Smarter Than Dogs?

No. Dogs and rabbits exhibit many forms of intelligence. When it comes to mastering challenging instructions, dogs are smarter than rabbits, while rabbits can be smarter than dogs when it comes to their own unique habits.

Rabbits are more intelligent than dogs and vice versa depending on the situation. I’ve played games with my rabbit that my dog wouldn’t be interested in.

My rabbit loves puzzles more while my dog listens to my voice commands and responds quickly to receive immediate rewards. Rabbits can play the long game and enjoy the attention without treats offered right away.

Are Pet Rabbits Smarter Than Wild Rabbits?

Rabbits in the wild and in homes are both clever, but in different ways. A wild rabbit is far more clever than a domestic pet when it comes to surviving. This has a straightforward justification:

  • Domesticated rabbits don’t need to utilize their survival instincts frequently.
  • A wild rabbit will always be conscious of their surroundings

On the other hand, tamed rabbits can better appeal to human emotions. A rabbit learns certain orders and behaviors through spending time with human households.

Wild rabbits won’t take to any tricks or respond to litter training. Every type of rabbit is intelligent enough to acquire what they require. I just think domesticated rabbits merely trick people into giving it to them.

Which Breed of Rabbit is the Smartest?

Any breed’s owners will assert that their rabbit is the most clever. Regardless of their genetic makeup, every rabbit is different.

  1. The Belgian Hare is said to be the smartest domesticated bunny by Mother Nature Network.
  2. Another common claim made about the Harlequin Rabbit is that it is one of the most intellectual lagomorphs. If learning a trick will put them in the spotlight, they’ll eagerly do it.
  3. Another intelligent breed that needs ongoing intellectual stimulation is the Mini Lop.
    They are usually eager to socialize with others and pick up new playing techniques.
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Does My Rabbit Understand My Words?

Yes. Several human words and orders are understood by rabbits. A rabbit will eventually remember their name if they hear it often enough. Also, they will learn the meanings of phrases like:

  • “dinner”
  • “bedtime.”

The tone of your voice matters more than the word, just like it does with other domesticated animals. Rabbits pick up on the positive connotations of high-pitched vocalizations rather fast. When you want anything from your bunny:

  • provide joyful, high-pitched orders like “come here” and “jump up.” Your rabbit will be much more eager to comply as a result.
  • If your rabbit is tense, speak in a softer yet comforting tone. A rabbit will relax if you provide an instruction in this tone, such as “it’s Fine.”

Avoid overusing the “no” command. Positive reinforcement will always elicit a greater response from rabbits than negative punishment.

Can Rabbits Be Litter Trained?

Yes. It is possible to teach rabbits simple tricks and jobs. They’ll learn certain actions through repetition.

Litter-training is a great example. A rabbit that lives in the wild has never used a litter box. Domesticated rabbits also don’t have a natural urge to relieve themselves in a tray after they are born.

In spite of this, rabbits are naturally clean creatures. Often, they’ll select a favorite area and stay there for peeing. This is often on the other side of the hutch from where they eat.

A rabbit’s skill set extends beyond only litter training. Bunnies may be trained to:

  • beg for food
  • play ball games
  • leap through hoops

Make sure they learn something from it. The training of rabbits comes after they are six months old. Although they are cute, baby rabbits have short attention spans.

How To Teach Rabbits

1. Make sure that your bunny is at ease.

Never attempt to train your rabbit when it is upset or anxious. Positive reinforcement will be rendered ineffective in this case. An irritated rabbit won’t appreciate the training and will get uncomfortable with it.

2. Hold the treat your rabbit likes.

If you want to attract your rabbit’s attention, try shaking the snack box.  The rabbit would begin hopping toward you to approach you if it saw you carrying its treat. As the rabbit approaches you, offer them their gift while mentioning their name.

3. Rabbits are able to learn their names.

By rewarding rabbits when they respond to their name, names may be taught to rabbits with ease. To begin, sit close to your rabbit and periodically call them by name. Reward them with a goodie your rabbit adores when they respond to the sound of their name

Can You Use A Clicker To Train A Rabbit?

Yes. A clicker is also used by certain trainers. A clicker is a training tool that emits a sound at the precise moment the animal exhibits the desired action.

The animal will eventually link the clicking sound to doing the required activity and receiving a reward.

After the rabbit becomes accustomed to this, the owner may then use a command. Training sessions have to be brief intervals.

Are Rabbits More Intelligent Than Cats?

No. Rabbits are just as resourceful as cats when it comes to escaping from undesirable situations or gaining access to desirable objects.

While they are both intelligent, cats and rabbits are completely distinct creatures.

  • Cats play the role of the predator
  • Rabbits are treated as prey

Prey must be nimble on their feet and intelligent enough to trick their predators. If they don’t, they can find themselves as someone else’s food.

Learning to hop will be challenging for cats. Cats and rabbits share the trait of being more independent and standoffish than dogs.

Owners of rabbits should enjoy their pet’s distinct qualities and stay away from comparisons to cats or dogs.

Are Rabbits Smarter Than Squirrels?

No. Some evidence suggests that rabbits are smarter than squirrels, but this is not proven. The IQ of squirrels and rabbits has never been objectively measured in a journal.

Rabbits and squirrels are quite trainable. Squirrels are considered to be clever litter creatures and are more inquisitive than rabbits. They are also renowned for being compulsive hoarders who would stop at nothing to obtain their goals.

Moreover, squirrels are more agile than rabbits.  They must constantly forage for food, and they move quicker than the placid rabbit.

Training squirrels would more demanding in my opinion.


Comparing entirely different creatures makes it very challenging. Dogs, cats and rabbits are clever in their own unique ways.

Whichever the conventionally smarter animal is, it doesn’t really matter in the end. The most important thing is to provide your bunny a healthy, enriching environment so she or he may express her own special personality.

When you offer a rabbit what they want and need, they may learn and develop intellectually and emotionally.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.