The Rex, as its name suggests, is often called the King of Rabbits.
These beautiful rabbits spend most of their time grazing peacefully, waiting for their masters to show them such signs of affection.
A Rex rabbit that senses a need to get away, however, can jump about a meter (3 feet) in the air.
But what did these rabbits do to get their name?
Actually, the term rex, with a lowercase r, refers to this rabbit’s rexed hair. Rex hair lacks the long, coarse guard hair that is found in the coats of most short-haired rabbits.
Each hair in a Rex rabbit’s coat is short, and they are all the same length. The result is naturally pettable. Petting your Rex rabbit feels like caressing the finest velvet.
What Makes Rex Rabbits a Good Pet?
Originating in France after the discovery of a litter of wild gray rabbits in 1919, the Rex rabbit is known for its exceptional fur and gentle temperament.
As soft as velvet, the Rex’s fur sets it apart from other rabbit breeds, making it a popular choice for both pet owners and breeders.
You might be wondering what makes Rex rabbits such great pets. Not only do they have a friendly and docile nature, but they are also known to be playful and intelligent creatures.
They are quite versatile and can adapt to various living situations, whether it’s an apartment, house, or an outdoor environment.
With a lifespan of around 5 to 6 years and a weight ranging from 7.5 to 10.5 pounds, this large breed can be an excellent addition to families, singles, seniors, and even first-time rabbit owners.
In the world of rabbits, the Rex truly stands out due to its unique characteristics, which include pristine fur, interesting history, and wonderful disposition.
Essential Facts About Rex Rabbits
Size: 7.5 to 10.5 pounds (3.4 to 4.8 kilograms).
Colors: Black, blue, brown, chocolate, gray, lilac, red, white, and variations thereof. .
Longevity: 6 to 8 years.
Age at sexual maturity: 3.5 to 6 months.
Gestation period: 31 days.
Litter size: 6 to 8 kits (bunnies).
Diet: Mostly timothy (not alfalfa) hay, and pellets made from timothy hay.
Housing: Best kept in a two-story hutch with a companion rabbit. Be sure to have at least one of the rabbits spayed or neutered unless you want to deal with 20 or more rabbits in less than a year.
History of the Rex Rabbit
The Rex is an illustrious little bunny with a rich history.
The first Rex rabbit was bred around 1919 in the French village of Louché-Pringé.
The village priest was so impressed by its rich, velvety coat that he decided to breed rabbits for an exhibition in Paris in 1924.
In 1924, the Rex rabbit made its public debut at the Paris International Rabbit Show. Its unique fur texture and friendly disposition caught the attention of many, and it was recognized as a standard breed in parts of Europe by 1925.
The plush, soft coat of the Rex rabbit became immediately popular with rabbitry owners who were raising rabbits for their fur.
So many Rex rabbit pelts appeared on the market that enormous numbers of Rex rabbits were bred.
So many Rex rabbits were being raised for their coats that another mutation that canceled out the benefits of the breed appeared in Europe.
Breeders interested in ensuring that the rex genes appeared in every generation was left to American rabbit breeders extraordinaire John C. Fehr and Alfred Zimmerman.
In the twenty-first century, Rex rabbits are popular as pet rabbits and show rabbits.
Appearance of the Rex Rabbit
Rexes are great-looking rabbits. They have the full-figured commercial body type.
They are classified as medium-sized rabbits because they can weigh anywhere from 7.5 to 10.5 pounds (3.4 to 4.8 kilograms) as adults.
The ideal weight for a fully-grown Rex rabbit is 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) for males and 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms) for females.,
A Rex rabbit’s head and set close to its body. The ears are erect and medium-thick, covered with short, thick fur. Their legs are short and straight.
The standard Rex rabbit’s dense, velvety fur was once very popular in the fur trade.
In the twenty-first century, it is very rare for Rex rabbits to be sacrificed for their fur.
What is it about the Rex rabbit that gains it the title of the King of Rabbits?
Compared to other rabbits, Rexes have a larger, more “regal” head. Their ears are proportionate to the rest of their bodies and stand erect.
Females have a dewlap beneath their chins in which they can keep their babies safe and warm.
And the Rex has a nose flap that seems to make it stand out more despite its actually diminutive size.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes 16 colors in Rex rabbits, amber, blue, black, broken, castor, California, chinchilla, chocolate, lilac, lynx, opal, otter, sable, seal, red, and white.
The British Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes 32 colors for this breed:
- Black, ermine, blue, lilac, Havana, lilac, and nutria are in the self category.
- Sable Siamese, smoke shell Siamese, seal Siamese, and tortoiseshell in the shaded category.
- Fawn, smoke pearl marten, fox, sable marten, seal marten, otter, orange, and tan in the tan pattern category.
- Castor, lynx, chinchilla, cinnamon, and opal in the agouti pattern category.
- Other colors, including silver seal, Dalmatian, harlequin/magpie, opossum, Himalayan, and broken.
Eyes and toenails usually match the body color.
Temperament and Behavior of the Rex Rabbit
Rex rabbits are larger than many other breeds, and they have fewer anxieties about interacting with cats and smaller dogs. They don’t mind being picked up to be petted.
Like any other pet, they will grow attached to the human family member who spends the most time with them and feeds them.
But generally, Rex rabbits will be friendly with anyone who approaches them slowly to pick them up and pet them.
The gentle nature of Rex rabbits makes them great pets for seniors and singles, and good first pets for children.
Here are some key points to help you understand their behavior:
- Playful nature: Rex rabbits are quite playful and intelligent. They can learn concepts if you take the time to work with them. This characteristic makes them engaging pets to interact with.
- Affectionate personality: These rabbits are affectionate and often form strong bonds with their human caretakers. They appreciate cuddles and gentle petting, which makes them an excellent choice for families.
- Mothering instincts: Rex rabbits have strong mothering instincts and can even act as surrogate mothers for abandoned kits. This nurturing nature further adds to their appeal.
They aren’t well-suited to apartment life, however. Ideally, they should be kept in the backyard in a two-story hutch with a protected play space.
That’s because Rex rabbits love to explore.
Almost any Rex rabbit will enjoy toys. You don’t need to get them anything elaborate.
Even the cardboard roll from inside a roll of toilet paper can keep them occupied for hours.
Chew toys from the pet store, however, will also amuse your Rex rabbits, and keep them from chewing on electric cords or gnawing on your wooden furniture.
As an owner, it’s essential to be mindful of your rabbit’s needs, especially their need for mental and physical stimulation. Here are some tips to help you provide that stimulation:
- Provide toys: Rex rabbits enjoy playing with toys like chew toys, tunnels, or puzzle toys. These toys will keep your rabbit entertained and help prevent boredom.
- Daily exercise: Make sure you give your rabbit enough space and time to run around and exercise. Daily exercise is essential for their overall health and happiness.
- Social interaction: Spend quality time interacting with your Rex rabbit. This not only strengthens your bond but also helps prevent loneliness and boredom.
Taking Care of Your Rex Rabbit
If you are planning to keep your rabbit indoors, keep in mind that its enclosure needs to be large enough for it to stretch out in, play a little, and use its litter box.
And if you are providing your Rex with a companion rabbit to keep it company (something we recommend), then you need twice as much space.
A two-story hutch with 24 inches by 36 inches (60 cm by 90 cm) floor space, plus 15 inches (38 cm) overhead clearance on both floors, is large enough for two rabbits.
The floor needs to be solid, not made of wire. That’s because rabbits can break their toes on bare wire.
The hutch needs to be raised off the ground to keep out predators and well-ventilated, to keep your rabbits from overheating. In subfreezing weather, bring your Rex rabbits inside.
Don’t forget your rabbit’s play space.
Your Rex rabbit needs to hop around at least 3 hours a day in a protected area of at least 8 feet by 4 feet (about 4 square meters) to stay healthy and happy.
If you want a sweet, affectionate bunny, you need to interact with your Rex rabbit at least an hour a day.
Two hours a day is better. By interaction, we mean fun time outside the hutch or the cage that is your rabbit’s nighttime home.
It is OK for your pet to share this time with another rabbit, but you won’t bond very well with your rabbit if it has to share its playtime and its playspace with a pet of another species.
A well-balanced diet is essential for the health and happiness of your Rex rabbit.
Let’s discuss the crucial components of their diet and how to feed them properly.
First and foremost, hay should make up the majority of your Rex rabbit’s diet, around 70 to 80%.
It provides the necessary fiber needed for their digestive systems, and it’s essential for keeping their teeth healthy.
The best hay options for adult rabbits are timothy hay or meadow hay, while young rabbits can benefit from alfalfa hay.
In addition to hay, fresh produce should be included in their meals. Aim to give your Rex rabbit:
- 80% leafy greens: such as kale, romaine lettuce, arugula, and parsley.
- 20% vegetables and fruits: like carrot tops, bell peppers, and small portions of apple or strawberries.
Keep portion sizes appropriate for your rabbit’s size.
Overfeeding them could lead to health issues. It is important to always provide clean water for your Rex rabbit, as staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining their overall health.
Feeding your rabbit involves a few best practices:
- Offer hay freely: Make sure hay is available at all times, and replenish it as needed.
- Provide fresh produce daily: Add leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits to your rabbit’s diet on a daily basis.
- Provide fresh water: Ensure that your rabbit always has access to clean water, using either a water bowl or a water bottle.
Be mindful of your rabbit’s preferences and adjust their diet accordingly. Some rabbits may prefer certain types of hay or produce over others, so try different varieties to find what your Rex rabbit enjoys.
Remember to introduce new foods gradually to avoid upsetting their delicate digestive system.
By following these guidelines, you’ll provide your Rex rabbit with a nutritious and balanced diet that supports their health and well-being.
Managing Health Concerns of Rex Rabbits
Rex rabbits don’t get sick very often if they are given good care.
Failure to provide your Rex with the right diet, unfortunately, can cause a painful condition called malocclusion.
Your rabbit’s teeth continue growing throughout its life. If they are not worn down by chewing high-fiber plant foods, they can grow so long that your rabbit can no longer occlude its jaws.
Rabbit teeth can even grow into the nose and face, causing your rabbit severe pain. At this point in the condition, veterinary care is the only remedy.
The first symptom of overgrown teeth is often drooling.
Rex rabbits also need fiber for their digestive health. Rabbits keep themselves very clean, and they ingest a lot of their own hair as they groom themselves.
This excess hair can accumulate in the pit of the rabbit’s stomach as a bezoar, a hairball.
Unlike a cat, a rabbit cannot cough up a ball of hair. The hair will block the passage of food down the digestive tract, causing lumps of semi-digested food to accumulate in the stomach.
Sometimes, these lumps in the digestive tract are visible on the rabbit’s belly. Prompt veterinary intervention is necessary to prevent this potentially fatal form of rabbit constipation.
Grooming of Rex Rabbits
Taking care of a Rex Rabbit involves keeping an eye on their grooming needs, as well as ensuring they have a proper diet and exercise.
Here are some essential grooming and care tips for your Rex Rabbit:
Rex Rabbits have a unique coat that is velvety and dense. This means they don’t require extensive grooming like other rabbit breeds.
However, it’s still important to brush your rabbit’s fur during shedding season. You can do this using a soft brush to remove any loose hair and prevent hairballs.
Grooming during the shedding season is crucial for maintaining the health of your Rex Rabbit.
Popular Bunny Names for Rex Rabbits
Here’s a table with popular Rex Rabbit names, reflecting their breed characteristics.
The Rex Rabbit is known for its medium size, soft plush-like fur, and sociable personality.
Many of these names are inspired by their unique appearance and friendly nature.
Boy Bunny Names for Rex Rabbits Girl Bunny Names for Rex Rabbits Velvet Daisy Plush Bella Muffin Velvet Buddy Lily Cuddles Cookie Paws Rosie Snuggles Honey Fuzzy Petal Softie Pippin Teddy Buttercup
These names emphasize the soft plush-like fur, medium size, and friendly temperament of the Rex Rabbit breed, making them fitting choices for your rabbit.
Also read: Pet Rabbits Names
Frequently Asked Questions About Rex Rabbits
Where can I find a Rex rabbit?
The best way to find a Rex rabbit is to visit the Rex Rabbits for Sale Near Me page of Rabbit Breeders US.
How much will a Rex rabbit cost?
In the United States, a Rex rabbit will usually cost $20 to $60. Show-quality Rex rabbits can cost much more.
Why are Rex rabbits so soft when you pet them?
Their fur does not contain any stiff guard hairs. These are long hairs that guide moisture away from your rabbit’s coat.
Do Rex rabbits shed?
Rex rabbits do shed, but they produce a lot less dander than other breeds of rabbits.
Since it is the dander that causes allergies, Rex rabbits are as close to hypoallergenic as any breed of rabbit can be.
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