Difference Between Hare And Rabbit


Sometimes, people interchangeably use the word hare and rabbit; and most of the time, it doesn’t make a big difference. Both animals are members of the Leporidae family, so they are already relatives just like sheep and goat. They belong to same family but they are different species. Rabbits differ from hares in size, life history, and preferred habitat. In general, rabbits are smaller and have shorter ears than hares.

Baby hares, known as leverets, are born after a 42 day gestation period, they are already covered in fur, their eyes are open and they are essentially ready to go. Baby rabbits, which are called kittens or kits, on the other hand, enter the world after an average of just 30 days in utero, and are born blind and hairless with no capacity to regulate their own temperature.

What you need to know about Rabbits

  • In general, rabbits are smaller and have shorter ears than hares.
  • They are born without fur and with closed eyes after a gestation period of 30–31 days.
  • Rabbits prefer to hide, rather than run away from their potential predators.
  • They prefer habitats composed of trees and shrubs, where they live in burrows dug into the soil.
  • Rabbits eat grasses and vegetables with leafy tops, such as carrots.
  • Baby rabbits, called kits or kittens, conversely, are born hairless, blind, and helpless – and they need the attentions of their mothers for about eight weeks.
  • Rabbits are more sociable than hares.
  • With Rabbits, there may be some color variation between molts, but it’s much less noticeable.
  • Most rabbits live in groups of up to 20 individuals in what is known as a colony.
  • Hares have not been domesticated, while rabbits are often kept as house pets.
  • Bears four to eight litters at a time.

What you need to know about Hare

  • Hares are larger in size when compared to Rabbits.
  • They are born fully developed with fur and open eyes after a gestation period lasting about 42 days. 
  • Hares are runners; they run fast and prefer to bolt away from their predators.
  • They prefer open-area habitats such as prairies, where they make their nests in small open depressions.
  • In general, hares have longer ears and longer hind feet than rabbits.
  • While the tail is relatively short, it is longer than that of rabbits.
  • Hares eat harder substances like plant shoots, twigs and bark.
  • Baby hares, called leverets, are born looking like miniature version of their parents – fully furred, eyes open, and pretty much ready to begin hopping around.
  • Hares generally have much more dramatic seasonal color changes than rabbits. For example, the snowshoe hare, for instance, goes from a brown to a brilliant white come winter in order to provide camouflage appropriate to the season. 
  • Hares are generally solitary creatures but may come together during late winter and for courting purposes. 
  • They can give birth to up to five young at one time. 
  • They feed at night and at dawn. 

Also Read: Difference Between Bunny And Rabbit

Key Points

The names hare and rabbit are frequently misapplied to particular species. Jackrabbit d of North America, for example, are actually hares while the hispid hare of Nepal and India is a rabbit, and the mouse hare is another name for the pika. A young hare is called a leveret and a young rabbit is called a kitten, kit, or, least correct but very commonly, a bunny.


  • Both rabbits and hares have short tails.
  • Rabbits and hares both molt and then grow new hair. This happens in both spring and in fall.
  • Both rabbits and hares are herbivores.
  • Both animals are members of the Leporidae family, so they are already relatives. 


There are of course many other differences between rabbits and hares such as skull shape, the length and configuration of bones, etc. but for the casual observer of the two who wants to know the main non-scientific differences, this article is a good attempt in this regard.