Satin Rabbit (Size, Color, Temperament, Behavior)

You won’t be surprised that any rabbit named after a luxurious fabric is something special. Satin rabbits get their name from their luxurious fur.

These rabbits have become extremely popular for breeding experiments. Rabbit breeders are constantly seeking to make other breeds “satinized.”

These medium to large-sized rabbits have a commercial body type and are often sought after as pets or exhibition animals. Their eye-catching fur is not only soft to the touch, but it also glistens in the sunlight, making them quite attractive to rabbit enthusiasts.

But you may want to keep Satin rabbits because they are great pets, and fun to have around.

Essential Facts About Satin Rabbits

Color choices: Shimmering argent, black, blue, broken, brown, Californian, chinchilla, castor, chocolate, cinnamon, copper, fawn, fox, golden red, gray, Havana, Himalayan, ivory, lilac, lynx, opal, orange, otter, sable, Siamese, silver, seal, smoke pearl, sooty-fawn, squirrel, and white.

Adult size: Up to 11 pounds (5 kilograms). Healthy males may weigh just 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms).

Life expectancy: 5 to 8 years.

Litter size: 2 to 6 kits.

Body type: Commercial (wide and muscular, full rather than arched).

Temperament: Gentle and like to play. Particularly active around dawn and sunset.

Housing needs: Needs a 24-inch by 24-inch (60 cm by 60 cm) area of its own, with 18 inches (45 cm) overhead clearance for its ears. Cages, crates, and hutches are all acceptable but must be protected against predators.

Diet: Mostly timothy hay. Does well with pellets made from flax seed and high-fiber hay for up to 10% of its diet. Avoid giving too many carrots and berries. Needs fresh water available at all times.

Does not need a special diet to keep the sheen of its coat. Ordinary hay and vegetables are enough.

History of the Satin Rabbit

Satin rabbits came into existence by accident.

The first Satin rabbits appeared in 1932 in a litter of Havana rabbits bred by Walter Huey in Pendleton, Indiana.

He was attempting to inbreed his Havana rabbits to create a softer and plusher fur.

Through selective inbreeding, Huey noticed that some of the offspring had a unique satin-like texture and sheen to their fur.

Huey sent some of his rabbits to Harvard University for genetic testing. Scientists at Harvard confirmed that they carried a mutation that made guard hairs shiny and translucent, and that their offspring would continue to carry the gene.

The Indiana rabbit breeder had hoped he was creating a new fur rabbit.

It turned out that the makers of rabbit skin coats did not want the new Satin rabbits because their hair was too fine. But Huey realized that Satins would make great show rabbits.

His competitors disagreed. They protested that Huey’s rabbits, still known as Havanas, did not meet the accepted standards for the breed.

So, Huey and a breeder with the last name of Price in Arizona continued working on the breed.

Price crossed Huey’s satin Havanas with New Zealand rabbits to produce ivory-colored rabbits with translucent guard hairs in 1938.

He exported these rabbits to the United Kingdom in 1948, and British breeders immediately started developing new colors.

The process of refining the Satin Rabbit breed continued over the years. Eventually, the breed expanded to include Mini Satins.

The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognized Satins as a new breed in 1956.

This smaller variety was developed by Mr. Krahulec in the spring of 1994, using underweight Satin bucks in his breeding program. By the autumn of that year, normal Satins were no longer used in the program, and Mini Satin bucks became the primary focus.

Although Satins at one time were popular in the United States as meat rabbits and popular in the UK as fur rabbits, they are now enormously popular pets and show animals.

Appearance of the Satin Rabbit

In addition to their distinctive fur, Satin rabbits can be recognized by:

  • Broad, arched body with strong legs.
  • Broad faces.
  • Upright ears.
  • Medium-length hair.

The satin sheen of the hair results from the presence of two recessive genes.

All of the offspring of two Satin rabbits will be Satin rabbits, but the offspring of a Satin rabbit mated with a non-Satin rabbit never will be.

If you are entering a Satin rabbit in a show in the United States, it must have fur of black, blue, chinchilla, chocolate, copper, red, broken, Californian, Siamese, or otter.

The color on the belly must be separated from the color of the rest of the body by a distinct border.

The ARBA standard of perfection offers much more specific information on the required coat and eye color for champion rabbits.

Varieties and Colors

Satin Rabbits are known for their shiny and silky fur, giving them a unique appearance among rabbit breeds.

They come in a wide variety of colors to suit different tastes.

Here’s a list of some of the most common color varieties you’ll find in Satin Rabbits:

  • Black: This classic color gives the Satin Rabbit a sleek and elegant look. The eyes of black Satin Rabbits are usually brown.
  • Blue: Blue Satin Rabbits have a beautiful blue-gray coat. Their eyes are blue-gray as well.
  • White: A pure, snow-white coat is characteristic of these Satin Rabbits. They usually have red or blue eyes.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate Satin Rabbits have a rich, deep brown coat and brown eyes.
  • Chinchilla: These Satin Rabbits have a coat that looks similar to a chinchilla’s fur, with a blend of black, white, and gray.
  • Copper: Copper Satin Rabbits have a stunning reddish-brown coat that shines like a new penny.
  • Opal: Opal Satin Rabbits have a light gray coat with a bluish hue, giving them a gentle and elegant appearance.

In addition to the color variations listed above, the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) also recognizes several other patterns, such as Siamese, Otter, and Himalayan. These patterns combine different colors and shades, creating unique and eye-catching combinations.

When choosing your Satin Rabbit, keep in mind that its color is just one of the factors that contribute to its overall appearance and personality. Regardless of the color variety you choose, all Satin Rabbits share the same smooth and shiny coat that makes this breed truly special.

Temperament of the Satin Rabbit

Satin rabbits are a good choice for first-time rabbit owners, seniors, singles, and families with children of all ages.

Here are a few tips on how to ensure you maintain your Satin Rabbit’s friendly and docile nature:

  • Start by handling your rabbit regularly from a young age to help them get used to human touch and interaction.
  • Make sure you introduce your Satin Rabbit to other rabbits and pets at an early age to encourage their social skills.
  • Give your rabbit plenty of time to play and explore outside their cage, but always supervise their interactions to ensure their safety and well-being.
  • Provide mental stimulation with toys and activities to keep them engaged.

They are too large to keep as an indoor pet in an apartment. They need a protected area for foraging grass and play.

If you must keep your Satin rabbit indoors, provide it with a circular rabbit tunnel where it can run and a hay house, it can use for hiding. Be aware that your rabbit will eventually eat its house!

Satin rabbits need regular handling to feel comfortable around people.

The adults are safe for children to pick up, although they may try to kick away from you if they are held too tightly.

Satin rabbits can share space with cats and small dogs as adults, but it is better to give your Satin rabbit a companion rabbit than it is to keep it with another pet.

Taking Care of Your Satin Rabbit

It’s not hard to take care of Satin rabbits/

  • Diet. Unlimited access to fresh, dry, clean timothy hay. No alfalfa cubes, molasses cubes, or lawn clippings. Don’t let rabbits graze in your backyard if you use lawn chemicals. Offer carrots only as a special treat or for training your rabbit to come when called.
  • Water. Rabbits need access to fresh, liquid water at all times.
  • Temperature control. Rabbits are prone to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke at temperatures over 85° F (29° C). If you cannot keep them in an air conditioned space, give each rabbit a bottle of frozen water in its cage that it can use for cooling. Protect from wind, rain, and snow in the winter.
  • Grooming. Brush your rabbit twice a week to prevent woolblock (see below).
  • Companionship. Rabbits are social animals. If you cannot give your rabbit another rabbit to keep it company, it will bond with you as its “companion.”
  • Exercise. All Satin rabbits need approximately 3 hours a day outside their cages for vigorous play. Make sure their playspace is free of aggressive dogs or cats, electrical cords they may try to chew, or furniture that can be damaged by chewing. Rabbit toys keep Satins busy and happy.

Health Concerns of Satin Rabbits

Most health problems of Satin rabbits can be prevented by feeding your rabbit mostly hay, and grooming it twice a week.


Rabbits keep clean by licking themselves. They will inevitably swallow their own hair.

These hairs can collect in the rabbit’s stomach to form a bezoar, better known as a hairball, much like a hairball in a cat.

Unlike cats, however, rabbits cannot cough up hairballs, and their digestive tracts can be blocked by wool.

This condition can kill your rabbit.

Prevent woolblock by giving your rabbit high-fiber hay for most of its diet. Groom your rabbit to remove loose hair.


Rabbits always need “dry cleaning.” Remove feces or dirt with a warm, moist washcloth. Do not attempt to give your rabbit a bath.


Rabbits can pick up intestinal parasites by eating the feces of other animals. (It is normal for your rabbit to eat its own soft feces.

This is just part of the way it digests fiber foods.) Raccoon droppings are especially dangerous.

You should also make sure that your rabbit does not hop onto grass where a dog or cat has urinated.


Wild rabbits often carry a viral disease known as rabbit hemorrhagic disease, or RHD.

Sometimes, a rabbit’s immune system will defeat the infection, but in other cases, the rabbit will suddenly drop dead due to internal bleeding.

Prevent RHD by making sure your rabbits do not have contact with wild rabbits, and by buying your rabbits from a breeder.

Popular Bunny Names for Satin Rabbits

Here’s a table with popular Satin Rabbit names, reflecting their breed characteristics.

The Satin Rabbit is known for its unique fur, which has a glossy, satin-like sheen that comes in a variety of colors. They are usually calm, good-natured, and friendly.

These names are inspired by their lustrous coat and calm disposition.

Boy Bunny Names for Satin RabbitsGirl Bunny Names for Satin Rabbits

These names highlight the Satin Rabbit’s distinct shiny and silky coat, as well as their gentle and friendly temperament, making them perfect choices for your rabbit.

Also read: Popular Pet Rabbit (Bunny) Names (Girl/Boy)

Frequently Asked Questions About Satin Rabbits

Where can I find a Satin rabbit?

You can get a show-ready pedigreed Satin rabbit from vendors listed on the Satin Rabbits for Sale Near Me page on

Also, check the American Satin Rabbit Breeders Association Breeder Directory page.

What is a rabbit pedigree? What is required for a rabbit to be registered, and what is a leg?

A pedigree documents a rabbit’s parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

It includes the name, variety and color, ear number, grand champion number (if any), and weight of all 14 rabbits.

ARBA will allow a rabbit to be registered if it has a pedigree showing it has been purebred for at least three generations.
A leg is a win in a rabbit show in which 3 or more rabbit breeders have entered 5 or more rabbits.

Can I train my Satin rabbit?

Satin rabbits can be clicker-trained, just like dogs.

You can also train them to walk on a leash and harness (the harness prevents choking if they try to run away), and teach them to come when you call their name. All Satin rabbits are easy to potty train.

I raise both Satin rabbits and Mini-Satin rabbits. Sometimes my Mini Satins grow larger than my Satins. Why is that?

Rabbits can carry one, two, or no genes for dwarfism.
A Satin or Mini Satin rabbit that inherits one gene for dwarfism from both of its parents will not survive more than a few weeks. (These Satin rabbits are called “peanuts.”)

A Satin rabbit that inherits one dwarf gene and one gene for normal size will become a Satin. A rabbit with no dwarf genes will grow to full size.

The offspring of two Mini Satin rabbits will be one-quarter “peanuts,” one half Minis, and one-quarter full-sized Satin rabbits. The full-size Satin rabbit still makes a great pet.

What distinguishes Satin Rabbits from other breeds?

Satin Rabbits are unique due to their beautiful, shiny, and satin-like fur. Their coat has a distinct sheen that sets them apart from other breeds. Additionally, they have a calm and docile temperament, making them great pets for families and first-time rabbit owners.

Are Satin Rabbits easy to care for?

Yes, Satin Rabbits are relatively easy to care for. They have a gentle temperament and enjoy being handled. Regular grooming is necessary to keep their fur healthy and free from mats. Provide them with a clean, spacious living environment along with fresh food and water to ensure their health and happiness.

Can Satin Rabbits be kept with other rabbit breeds?

Yes, Satin Rabbits can be kept with other rabbit breeds as long as they are properly introduced and socialized. Be cautious and monitor their interactions, especially initially, to ensure there are no signs of aggression. Having rabbits of similar sizes and temperaments will create a harmonious living environment.

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