Difference Between Rabbit and Jackrabbit

Rabbit vs Jackrabbit

Someone could really argue that the main difference between these two animals would be the word Jack, but there are many more than that. They both are in the same taxonomic order (Lagomorpha) and family (Leporidae), but their distinguishing features are important to notice, and this article intends to look for those differences between rabbits and jackrabbits.


Rabbit is a small mammal with about 25 species in eight genera. The domestic rabbit, aka European rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus, has many breeds. Buck and doe are the referred names for a male and a female respectively. Their habitats differ across species and grasslands, woodlands, deserts, forests, and wetlands are their preferred habitats in the wild. In all these ecosystems, rabbits manage underground burrows or holes as their homes. They have characteristic long ears to hear well, and powerful hind limbs to hop fast in the presence of a predator. Rabbits have a unique body shape, which is round as an egg. Their body weight range from 400 grams to more than 2 kilograms, and they have long but soft fur with brown, white, grey, ash, or any combination of these colours. Rabbits’ eye colour could range within pink, red, and brown according to the species. Additionally, selected gene mutations in domestic breeds have proven their ability to change their eye colours. Rabbits have a short and puffed tail, which is important to notice, as well. They could reproduce very rapidly, and the newborn rabbits could be either kit or kitten according to the gender. The other important thing to notice about rabbits is that their kits or kittens are blind and hairless.


Jackrabbits are the true hares of the Family: Leporidae, but there are 32 different species of hares. Jackrabbits are wild and not domesticated, as they do not get along with humans due to exceptional shyness, or they are so afraid of humans. These wild creatures are large and can grow up to two feet height with a weight of 4 – 5 kilograms. Most of the jackrabbits have coarse, dense, and short coat of fur. The fur colour of jackrabbit is typically greyish-brown or black. They have black tips on their ears and their eyes could be either dark brown or black in colour. Usually, they have large and long ears. Jackrabbits can stand straight up by only using their hind limbs, which are long and slender but powerful. Jackrabbits make their homes or nests on the ground, but not underground. Leveret is the referred common name for their newborns, and they have open eyes and hairy bodies.

What is the difference between Rabbit and Jackrabbit?

• Rabbits have both domesticated and wild species, whereas jackrabbits are always wild.

• Jackrabbits are larger and taller compared to rabbits.

• The body shape of a rabbit is round like an egg, whereas jackrabbits have a slender body with long limbs.

• The ears of the jackrabbit are longer than in rabbits.

• Rabbits are social and like to stay in family units. However, jackrabbits are solitary most of the time except during mating.

• Rabbits have long, soft fur, but jackrabbits have coarse and short coat of fur.

• Rabbits make their nests underground, while jackrabbits prefer their nests above the ground.

• Rabbit kits and kittens are blind and hairless, whereas leverets of jackrabbits are open-eyed and hairy.