Bunny vs Rabbit – 3 Main Differences

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Published: July 15, 2021


You know about the Easter Bunny and Bugs Bunny, but what exactly is a bunny? Is it a miniature rabbit or another species entirely? In fact, “bunny” is an informal name for a rabbit, but it usually refers to a young rabbit or a baby. Baby bunnies have other names, but many people refer to rabbits and hares as bunnies.

Comparing Bunny vs Rabbit

BunnyRabbit
DietMother’s milk.Twigs, grass, bark, clover, and seedlings.
CoatFluffySmooth
NameBunnyRabbit, coney, cottontail, or jackrabbit

Bunny vs Rabbit – 3 Main Differences

Bunny vs Rabbit: Diet

Baby bunnies start by feeding on their mother’s milk. Adult rabbits have a more varied diet. In the wild, they regularly forage for many types of vegetation. Rabbits can eat weeds, flowering plants, pine needles, shrubs, and clover. They keep their teeth trimmed by chewing on tree bark and twigs.

Bunny vs Rabbit: Coat

Baby bunnies are born without fur. They usually develop fur in about a week. After 12 days, they develop a soft, fluffy coat that makes them irresistibly cute. That soft fur will last from a few months to a year. After that, they shed their fluffy coats and grow their smooth adult coats.

The colors of a baby bunny’s coat don’t show what color it will be as an adult. Many bunnies start at one color and develop another when they become adults.

Bunny vs Rabbit: Name

Baby rabbits are called kittens, kits, or kitties. They are also called bunnies, but that’s not an official name. Rabbits are sometimes called coneys, cottontails, or jackrabbits.

A female rabbit is known as a jill or a doe, and a male rabbit is sometimes called a jack or a buck.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What Is the Difference Between a Rabbit and a Bunny?

There isn’t much difference. Most people use “bunny” to refer to a baby rabbit, but “bunny” can also refer to a fully grown rabbit.

Why Is a Rabbit Called a Bunny?

Nobody is sure where the word comes from. One theory is that it comes from the Gaelic word “bun,” which was used for squirrels, rabbits, and attractive women. Some people believe it referred to the rabbit’s small, bun-shaped tail.

Another theory notes that the original name for a rabbit was “coney,” which referred to both rabbits and hares. Since it was close in pronunciation to a vulgar word, people began avoiding it and using the rhyming word “bunny” instead. Initially, people used rabbit to describe baby rabbits and “bunny” for adults, but in modern times, those meanings have switched.

In short, nobody knows where the word came from. We only know people have been using it since the 1500s to describe the flop-eared cuties.

Do Bunnies Turn into Rabbits?

Yes, bunnies turn into rabbits.

Bunnies Are Rabbits

Whether you call them bunnies, rabbits, or cottontails, these bouncing, long-eared mammals are some of nature’s cutest critters. Fortunately, they are plentiful in the world, and you can see rabbits anywhere.