Are you thinking of adopting a rex rabbit? These rabbits are great for families thanks to their docile nature, intelligence and affectionate behaviour. Just like other rabbits, they are also very playful and will enjoy spending time outside and with their caregivers.
In this AnimalWised breed sheet we're going to go through their origin, characteristics, character and how to care for them. Continue reading to learn more about caring for a rex rabbits as a pet.
Origin of the rex rabbit
The first litter of the rex rabbit breed was born in the 1920s in France. It didn't take them long to arrive to the United States, where it triumphed for their characteristic velvety-touch fur. Although these rabbit were first bred for the fur industry, this is fortunately no longer the case. Nowadays, these rabbits are known as a great pet companion.
Physical characteristics of the rex rabbit
Rex rabbits usually weigh between 3 - 4.5kg. The European variant is smaller and doesn't exceed 3.5kg, while the American is usually within the range of 3.5-4.5kg. In all these cases, rex rabbits are considered to be one of the many large-sized rabbits breeds.
These rabbits have flat backs and a very long and rounded body. Their legs are very strong. Their head is wide and presents sexual dimorphism, since males have longer and more robust heads than females. Rex rabbits also have curly or wavy hair, something uncommon among rabbits. Their hair is soft and velvety. It's about 1.25cm long.
There are 17 colors and patterns accepted from this breed, including cinnamon, white, red, blue, mottles, etc. There is an immense variety of color combinations and patterns.
Rex rabbit character
These rabbits are known for being friendly and affectionate. They are especially loving towards their caregivers. In addition, these rabbits are calm, peaceful and patient. This is why they are also thought of as good pets for children.
What's interesting about this rabbit breed is that they are actually very intelligent rabbits too. In fact, they can be trained to do tricks by using the clicker method and positive reinforcement. This way, they are also being mentally stimulated as they do exercise and play with you. Learn more in our article about training a rabbit.
Rex rabbit care
As with all rabbits, rex rabbits will need a healthy and balanced diet to maintain a healthy life. The base of this diet is high quality hay and also a wide variety of vegetables. As a treat you can give them a small piece of fruit, but stay away from commercial treats as they often lead to obesity and other health issues.
Rabbits are usually happier when they are accompanied by another rabbit. This is why it's recommended to adopt them in pairs. Make sure their cage or cages are big enough for them and that they are clean. Another important factor is play. Rex rabbits are very playful and will need plenty of rabbit toys and time to play with their rabbit companion and caregiver. You must also remember to allow them enough time outside of their cage. This way, you can reinforce physical activities, as well as avoid certain health issues, such as anxiety or aggression.
When it comes to their hygiene, you will need to brush their coat once per week and a bath whenever they truly need them. Other times, you can simply use a damp cloth and gently stroke them with it to clean any dirt they may have.
Lastly, you must remember to take them to the veterinarian for regular check-ups so as to detect any possible health issues early on.
Rex rabbit health
Rex rabbits aren't prone to many illnesses however they do easily get wounds if their legs are in contact with a hard surface for a long time. This is easily avoidable by getting them a good quality cage with substrate and making sure they get enough time outside of their cage that they need.
Like other rabbits, rex rabbits are sensitive to low temperatures and high humidity. Make sure their home is well-ventilated and the correct temperature. As we've mentioned before, it's important to take your rabbit to the veterinarian for regular check-ups so as to detect any illnesses early-on. You will also need to keep up with their vaccination and deworming schedule.
We also encourage you to read our article on how to know if your rabbit is sick.