The Rex rabbit is a popular choice of rabbit breed. First appearing in the early 1900’s, the breed was born when breeding rabbits for domestic pets was booming. Wild rabbits were spotted with a more dense and softer coat to the touch, and this gene was sought after for house pets.
The difference in the coat was that the fur grows outwards, opposed to the flat fur on wild bunnies. To describe the fur, it’s like that of a chinchilla if you have ever stroked one. Dense and soft, a nice glide to the strokes.
Rex Rabbit Information
As mentioned briefly in the opening notes, some rabbits were born with a mutated gene that gave them a more dense coat. Basically, the outer and inner coats were the same length, and this gives the overall coat a much thicker and denser feel.
Breeders were quick to capitalize on this new mutation and breeding began to populate more of these rabbits – know as Rex rabbits. The breed began in France, and started to be shown at shows. Soon finding it’s way across Europe and to the rest of the world.
Today the Rex is commonly kept as pets, shown at rabbit shows and used for its meat and fur.
Rex Rabbit Colors
The main colors that you can expect to see are:
Rex Rabbit Fur
Being as the Rex is named so after the gene that gives its fur the look and feel that makes this breed unique, you should know what you’re looking for when looking at these rabbits.
Their fur should be around half an inch long and incredibly dense and thick. Almost like a velvet feel when stroking your hand across and fussing them. Typically the fur will be straight, but sometimes it can curl where it’s longer.
Another interesting feature that’s unique to this breed is that they often have shorter than average whiskers, or none at all sometimes. This is nothing to be worried about, it’s perfectly normal.
Rex Rabbit Size
The average weight of an adult bunny is 3.5 – 4.5 kg.
Rex Rabbit Behaviour
The behaviour and temperaments of Rex bunnies is very interesting. Firstly, they are great when kept in pairs and will often get along very well. This is largely due to their intelligent, passive and caring nature.
They are used as foster mothers for babies that have been rejected or orphaned and will take them on and care for them. They have maternal instincts and are intelligent compared to a lot of other breeds.
Something to be aware of is that they are basically nocturnal animals. They make a lot of noise at night and are most active during twilight hours. So house rabbit owners beware, if you don’t want to be disturbed they need to be far enough away.
They make great pets for children and adults. They have a soft and patient temperament, so handling them is fine and they do enjoy the company of humans. You can also litter train them, which is an important part of rabbit ownership. Especially if they spend a lot of time indoors.
Due to their higher than average intelligence you can also train them to do tricks and come to you when called. They are fun and interesting pets. With the correct supervision and training, children can learn a lot about responsibility and caring for animals with these as pets.
Rex Rabbit Lifespan
The major drawback is that a Rex has a shorter lifespan than a lot of other breeds. Generally speaking, they are expected to live around 5-6 years if not neutered, a neutered rabbit can have its life extended to around 10 years.
Looking After a Rex Rabbit
As mentioned above, they make great pets and especially house pets. You can train them to use a litter tray to help keep your home clean. They will still chew on things as it’s a natural behaviour, but if you bunny-proof your home you’ll be fine. A little indoor cage gives them somewhere to sleep and rest.
You can also keep them outdoors in a hutch. The bigger the better for this breed, so know your cage sizes and add a little extra. Follow all the usual rules when keeping bunnies outdoors. Make sure they are safe, warm, and have everything they need.
Feed them high-quality hay and pellets to make up the bulk of their diet. Greens and vegetables are welcome along with the other usual treats in moderation. They are not difficult or needy bunnies by any means.