I’ve got two pet rabbits. Motchi and Bayley. You can see them in the image above (Motchi is the grey one, Bayley is white 🙂).
Motchi, like all pet rabbits, has an average life expectancy of around eight years. Unfortunately, pets — just like people — eventually pass away.
While thinking about end-of-life plans for a beloved pet can be emotional and tough to think about, my philosophy is that the more information we have, the easier it will be to make hard decisions when the time comes.
Many pet owners are increasingly choosing cremating as an option. That’s why I’ve written this article to help you understand the processes relating to rabbit cremation, the costs involved, and alternatives like burial.
Related Article: Rabbit Cremation: 7 Things You Need to Know
In This Article
How Much Does Rabbit Cremation Cost?
On average, the cost of cremation for a rabbit ranges from $30 to $60 for communal cremation and $100 to $175 for private cremation. These prices will vary depending on the rabbit’s size and the pet crematorium chosen, and they do not include an urn or memorial box which may add another $30 to $200.
It’s also worth noting that having a memorial or funeral service for your rabbit can add additional cost. You should ask the crematorium about this – but personally, I would do my own memorial service at my home anyway.
Why Choose Cremation for Your Pet Rabbit?
At least for me, my pet rabbits are a part of my family.
When they die, I expect I will grieve them just as I would a human loved one.
So it’s no surprise that I would want to give them the sending off I believe they deserve.
For many years, burial has been the “default option” for pets. When I was younger I had a hamster that died, and we buried him in our garden. We gave him a little cross and everything.
However, these days more and more people live in urban environments, and apartment dwellers simply don’t have the option of burying their bunny in their backyards.
Furthermore, if you do have a garden but don’t own your own home, you may not be allowed to bury pets there.
Pet cemeteries do exist, but they are significantly more expensive than cremation.
And personally, I want my pets to stay close to me and the place they know and love after they pass away, not some far away place they’ve never been to before.
Having your rabbit cremated also allows you to keep the remains with you forever, or scatter them in a place they loved.
Cremating a Rabbit: What Are Your Options?
Families with pet rabbits that have died have two basic options when they decide to have their bunnies cremated.
Pet cremations can be carried out in a “communal cremation” or “individually/privately”.
Communal pet cremation is when multiple pets are cremated at the same time. Effectively, the crematorium will put multiple pets in the same cremation chamber before the cremation occurs.
This means the ashes (also known as cremains) that result from a communal cremation are mixed. Crematorium staff won’t be able to return your bunny’s remains to you.
Instead, crematorium staff will dispose of the ashes themselves.
Personally, I would never choose this option for my rabbits. It seems incredibly impersonal. Not a way to honor them the way they deserve. However, that is just my opinion, and everyone will be different.
Communal cremation may be a suitable choice for you if:
- You are on a tight budget.
- The pet crematorium is far away, and you are not sure if you will be able to pick up the remains.
- You treasure the time you spent with your rabbit, but you don’t feel you need to keep your bunny’s remains to remember your pet.
Choosing a private cremation means that your rabbit will either be cremated in an individual cremation chamber or in the same cremation chamber with dividers separating each pet to keep the ashes separate.
Your rabbit’s remains will be returned to you, from which point you can decide what to do with them.
Private rabbit cremations usually unfold in one of two ways:
- Some pet crematoriums allow for funeral services to be held for pets, in which case owners may be present during the cremation. After the cremation is complete, you will immediately receive your bunny’s ashes in a wooden, plastic, or cardboard container which you can take home with you.
- Your rabbit’s remains may also be shipped to the crematorium. Veterinarians often partner with pet cremation providers. In this case, your vet can store your bunny’s remains until the crematorium is able to pick them up. The ashes are returned to you after the cremation. There may be additional costs for transportation that you should ask the vet and/or crematorium about.
Choosing the Right Pet Crematorium
The fact that so many pet owners are deciding on cremation for their pets means that many members of the Cremation Association of North America have started offering pet cremation services.
Members of the Cremation Association of North America uphold high professional standards and standards of care, giving you the best chance that your pet rabbit gets a dignified send-off, and that you don’t get taken advantage of financially in your time of grief.
My recommendation is that you look for a crematorium that carries the Certified Pet Crematory Program (CPCO) certification.
If you are not sure where to even start, I would also suggest that you ask local animal or rabbit rescue shelters for recommendations.
You can also ask your vet, but be aware they may have a financial interest in the option you choose (i.e. they may receive a “kickback” for referring you to a specific crematorium).
Can You Save Money By Cremating Your Rabbit Yourself?
Cremations follow very specific procedures.
In order for a body to be cremated properly, the cremation chamber has to reach very high temperatures — between 1400 and 1800 °Fahrenheit (760 to 982 °Celsius).
Crematorium staff then process the cremains so they can achieve a consistently fine texture.
Creating a funeral pyre for your rabbit in your backyard may seem like a more loving alternative to professional cremation – and it is certainly something you can do, there are no laws against it in any places I’m aware of – but it will not have the same result as a professional pet cremation.
If anything goes wrong (which I would consider likely), the process may well be traumatic for everyone in attendance.
Yes, you will save money. But personally, I would advise against it.
Cremation vs Burial: Which Is the Better Option?
There is no single best option — there’s only the best choice for you.
In some jurisdictions, it’s illegal to bury rabbits (or any pet) in your backyard without following very specific rules. For example, in Florida, you must ensure the rabbit is buried at least 2 feet deep. It’s unlikely this is something that the police would come knocking over, but it’s something to be aware of.
If that is true where you live or you don’t have a backyard, a pet cemetery may be your only reasonable burial option.
Naturally, this will be more expensive than cremation, but for bunny owners who would like a physical final resting place where they can occasionally visit their rabbit’s grave, this may be the best option.
Beyond being more affordable, the main benefit of choosing a private cremation is that the cremated remains are returned to you. This means you can memorialize your bunny however you like.
What Can You Do with Your Bunny’s Ashes?
People who opt for a private cremation for their pet rabbit will have access to the remains.
Once they are returned to you, you have effectively unlimited choices for what to do with them. Some of the most common are:
Keep your rabbit’s remains in an urn. This choice allows you to keep your rabbit at home, which some people find comforting.
Related Article: 23 Beautiful Cremation Urns for Ashes: Buyer’s Guide 
Scatter your bunny’s ashes. Scattering your rabbit’s ashes in a favorite spot or a place you think your rabbit did enjoy, or would have enjoyed, is another great way to memorialize your friend.
Keep your rabbit’s ashes in a glass or acrylic memorial. It is now possible to have your rabbit’s ashes encapsulated in a glass or acrylic statue, sun catcher, or piece of jewelry. You can even have their ashes turned into a diamond.
Bury your bunny’s ashes. Even if you were unable to bury your rabbit in your backyard, you could still choose to bury their remains. You could even create a headstone for your rabbit, which you can visit as often as you like.