Silver Rabbit (Size, Color, Temperament, Behavior)

Silver rabbits make playful, affectionate, active pets. They have a uniquely dense, non-shedding fur with a silver tone that makes them stand out at rabbit shows.

And they make great pets for seniors, singles, families, and children of all ages.

In this article, we will give you the essential facts about the Silver rabbit. Then we will tell you everything you need to know about the history, appearance, temperament, and care needs of this beautiful breed.

We will finish with answers to the most frequently asked questions about Silver rabbits. But first, let’s clear up some potential confusion about the names of silver rabbit breeds.

Silver Rabbit, Silver Fox Rabbit, and Silver Marten Rabbit: What Are the Differences?

There are three well-known breeds of rabbit that have the term “silver” in their name, but each breed is very different.

How can you tell the “Silvers” apart?

The first thing to understand about the use of the term silver in a rabbit’s name just refers to the color of its fur.

There is a “silvering” gene that increases the number of guard hairs in a rabbit’s coat, but it may or may not make the rabbit look silvery.

Let’s start with the breed that is easiest to identify. Silver Marten rabbits have a single silvery color on top and white fur at the bottom of their bodies.

The differences between Silver rabbits and Silver Fox rabbits are more subtle.

  • Silver rabbits and Silver Fox rabbits both have silver coats. but the Silver Fox’s coat is more “silvery.”
  • The base color of a Silver rabbit is black, chestnut, or fawn. The base color of a Silver Fox rabbit is black or blue (although breeders are working on a Silver Fox rabbit with a base coat of chocolate).
  • Silver rabbits look like the show rabbits of the 1800s. They only weigh 4 to 7 pounds (1.8 to 3 kilograms) as adults. Silver Fox rabbits are considerably larger and longer. They weigh 9 to 12 pounds (4.5 to 5.5 kilograms) when they are fully grown.
  • Silver rabbits have fur with short hairs that snap back into position when you pet your rabbit. The Silver Fox is the only breed that has fur that will stand up when you stroke it.
  • Silver rabbits are active and playful, although they are not aggressive. Silver Fox rabbits are the “lazy teddy bears” of the rabbit world.
  • Silver Fox rabbits were accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1929, but Silver rabbits have been around since the early 1600s.

Essential Facts About Silver Rabbits

Colors: Silver fur on a black, brown (chestnut), or fawn base.

Adult size: 4 to 7 pounds (1.8 to 3 kilograms).

Longevity: 5 to 8 years, although some Silver rabbits live to be 10.

Litter size: 3 to 6 kits.

Diet: Mostly dry, clean, fresh timothy (not alfalfa) hay, roughly the same volume of hay as the size of the rabbit. It is OK to supplement hay with 1 cup (100 grams) of kale, spinach, cabbage leaves, carrot tops, radish tops, Romaine lettuce, arugula, or mustard green daily, along with an occasional carrot. You can give your rabbit half a cup (50 grams) of high-fiber hay-based rabbit pellets every day. Do not give rabbits dog or cat food.

All rabbits need clean, fresh water on demand.

Housing: Silver rabbits thrive in hutches. Make sure the hutch has a solid (not wire) floor to protect their toes. You will need to have a ramp to the living quarters of the hutch, so your rabbits can go down it to use their litter box beneath their living space. Change the litter box frequently.

Special care needs (compared to other rabbits): None.

History of the Silver Rabbit

Silver rabbits are a unique and historic breed that has its roots in the ancient domestic rabbit breeds.

These rabbits were first discovered in large numbers in Siam, present-day Thailand.

Sailors then brought them to Portugal, where they quickly spread throughout England and Europe. The widespread presence of Silver rabbits can be traced back to the 1500s, making them one of the oldest breeds we know of today.

One of the key figures in the history of the Silver rabbit is Sir Walter Raleigh, an English explorer who is believed to have introduced the breed to England from Portugal.

Sir Walter Raleigh lived from 1552 to 1618 and is known for keeping Silver Grey rabbits in the Nappa warren at Askrigg in North Yorkshire. Thanks to his efforts, the breed spread throughout England and eventually reached the United States in the early 1900s.

Understanding the history and origins of the Silver rabbit is essential to appreciate the uniqueness of this breed.

From their ancient roots in Siam to their widespread presence in Europe and their association with Sir Walter Raleigh, the Silver rabbit has an interesting and storied past.

Their distinctive silver-tipped fur and hardy nature have solidified their place in rabbit history and made them a prized breed among rabbit enthusiasts worldwide.

The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognized the breed in 1920. 

Today, Silver rabbits are an endangered breed. There are just 500 Silvers, almost all of them in the US, UK, or Canada. The National Silver Rabbit Club reports that just 50 Silver rabbits are registered annually worldwide.

Appearance of the Silver Rabbit

Silver rabbits are beautiful animals. They have silver hairs interspersed on an otherwise solid coat of black, a shade of chestnut brown that is almost red, or fawn.

Silver rabbits with fawn coats have agouti coloration, with each hair showing alternating bands of lighter and darker color.

Some rabbit aficionados will be disappointed that they can’t find a Silver rabbit that makes people exclaim “Wow! That rabbit is really silver.” A blue Silver Fox rabbit has a very definitely silvery coat.

But Silver rabbits have subtle silver colors in beautiful coats of short, flyback fur.

The Silver rabbit’s short fur means it doesn’t shed.

It also reduces the risk of a potentially fatal digestive condition called gastrointestinal stasis, in which a hairball at the base of the rabbit’s stomach causes sometimes-fatal constipation and dehydration.

You won’t be able to make a rabbit fur coat from a warren full of bunnies, but you wouldn’t want to sacrifice these beautiful rabbits for their fur, would you?

Silver rabbits have the stocky “compact: body type. You won’t see light showing beneath their bodies when they sit down.

Their ears stand erect, pointing outward in a V shape. If you are raising your Silver rabbit as a show animal, make sure the color of the coat is consistent all over the rabbit, even the belly, and don’t show your rabbit within two weeks of its semi-annual shedding season.

Temperament of the Silver Rabbit

Silver rabbits make great pets!

These bouncing bunnies love to play. They are intelligent enough to learn how to use a litter box and to come when you call their name.

You will have a better experience with your rabbit if you spend time, at least an hour,. interacting with it every day.

The earlier you start socializing your rabbit to all kinds of people, the more relaxed it will be around people when it gets older.

There are just two stages of life when Silver rabbits can be hard to manage.

All Silvers will be temperamental when they have an urge to mate.

You can tell a rabbit is in heat when it rubs its chin on its water dish and wants to be with other rabbits.

Inexperienced rabbits may be indiscriminate about exactly what they try to mate with. Parents with small children should be prepared to explain this behavior when kids raise questions.

Female Silvers are aggressive about food and defensive of their territory when they are pregnant and just after they have given birth to their kits.

You may need to give them their space until their babies are weaned.

But if you are keeping your Silver as a pet, you may have a better experience if it is spayed or neutered when the vet says it is time.

Some characteristics of their temperament and behavior are:

  • Friendly: These rabbits get along well with humans and enjoy being petted and cuddled.
  • Docile: They have a calm and gentle nature, which is ideal for families with children.
  • Energetic: Silver Rabbits require ample opportunities for exercise and play to stay happy.
  • Laid-Back: When not playing, Silver Rabbits enjoy relaxing and lounging in their comfortable spaces.
  • Intelligence: They are intelligent animals that can learn simple tricks and respond to their names.
  • Good Pets: Overall, Silver Rabbits make excellent pets for families and individuals due to their lovable nature and adaptability to various living situations.

Taking Care of Your Silver Rabbit

Because Silvers have short hair, they are less prone to digestive problems and shedding than other rabbits.

If you give your Silver a high-fiber diet along with chewing sticks and play toys, it will keep its constantly-growing teeth short enough to avoid dental problems.


When it comes to feeding your Silver Rabbit, it’s essential to provide a balanced and healthy diet.

This diet should consist of hay, pellets, fresh vegetables, and water. Let’s break down the importance of each component in their diet:

  • Hay: The most crucial part of your Silver Rabbit’s diet is high-quality grass hay. Offer them unlimited amounts of Timothy, orchard, or brome hay. Hay is essential for maintaining healthy digestion and provides the necessary fiber your rabbit needs.
  • Pellets: In addition to hay, provide a limited number of pellets daily. Look for pellets that are high in fiber and low in protein. Make sure to choose pellets specifically formulated for rabbits.
  • Fresh Vegetables: Fresh veggies are an integral part of your Silver Rabbit’s diet. Offer them a variety of leafy greens, such as romaine lettuce, spinach, and kale. You can also include non-leafy vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli. Remember to wash these vegetables thoroughly before feeding them to your bunny.
  • Water: Always ensure your rabbit has access to fresh water daily. A clean and full water bottle or a shallow dish is ideal. Fresh water helps prevent dehydration and keeps your rabbit in optimal health.

While feeding your Silver Rabbit, keep these tips in mind to ensure their diet meets their nutritional needs:

  • Gradually introduce new vegetables one at a time to avoid upsetting their digestive system.
  • Avoid giving too many sugary fruits or treats, as they can lead to obesity or other health issues.
  • Regularly check hay supplies and promptly replace any moldy or spoiled hay.

By providing a balanced diet that includes ample hay, pellets, fresh vegetables, and water, you’re ensuring your Silver Rabbit receives the nutrition they need to stay healthy and happy.


More space is always better for rabbits.

Make sure your rabbit has enough room to stretch out and move around in its cage.

Keep your rabbit in its cage or hutch only to protect it. As much as possible, allow your rabbit to hop around foraging and playing in a protected play space of at least 100 square feet (10 square meters).

Your Silver rabbit will be happier if it has a hiding place both inside its hutch and in its playscape.


Chewing keeps rabbits healthy. Rabbits love toys they can chew, such as:

  • Willow sticks.
  • Houses made of hay. Your rabbit will eventually eat it, but it will be inexpensive to replace.
  • Cardboard cylinders, such as the inside of a roll of toilet paper or paper towels.
  • Willow balls you fill with hay. These are similar to puzzles for cats and dogs, except you fill them with hay.
  • Digging platforms.

Silver Rabbits and Other Pets

When introducing your Silver Rabbit to other household pets, keep in mind that compatibility will vary depending on the personalities of each animal involved.

Generally, Silver Rabbits can coexist peacefully with other rabbits, guinea pigs, or even cats and dogs, provided that:

  • Proper introductions are made, allowing gradual and supervised interactions.
  • The other pets do not show aggression or view rabbits as prey.
  • Each pet has its own designated space and is not forced to share resources or territory.

Remember, while Silver Rabbits are adaptable and friendly, the safety and well-being of all pets involved should always be your top priority.

Health Concerns for Silver Rabbits

Silver rabbits don’t get many of the health conditions that plague other breeds but they are susceptible to infections carried by wild rabbits and other wild animals.

If you let your rabbit play in your backyard, make sure it does not step in or eat urine or feces from other pets or wild animals, especially raccoons, which may contain parasites.

Pricing and Breeder Information

Silver Rabbits, being a rare breed, can be a bit more expensive than other rabbit breeds.

Prices for a Silver Rabbit may vary depending on factors such as age, sex, quality, and the reputation of the breeder.

On average, you can expect to pay between $50 and $100 for a Silver Rabbit. Keep in mind that costs associated with housing, feeding, and medical care should also be taken into consideration.

Finding a Reputable Breeder

When looking for a Silver Rabbit, it is important to find a reputable breeder who genuinely cares about the health and well-being of their rabbits.

Here are some tips to help you find a trustworthy breeder:

  • Do your research: Look for breeders who specialize in Silver Rabbits and have a good reputation within the rabbit community. You can find breeder listings in rabbit-related websites, and social media groups, or join rabbit clubs to get recommendations from fellow rabbit enthusiasts.
  • Ask questions: When contacting a breeder, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the rabbit’s health, lineage, and genetic background. A reputable breeder will be transparent and willing to provide you with all the necessary information.
  • Visit the breeder: If possible, visit the breeder’s facility. This will give you an opportunity to see the rabbits’ living conditions and assess the level of care they receive. Ensure the environment is clean, spacious, and well-maintained.
  • Check for signs of good health: A healthy Silver Rabbit should have bright eyes, clean ears, and a shiny coat. Make sure to observe the rabbit’s behavior and ask the breeder about any health issues or medical history.

By following these guidelines and doing thorough research, you can make an informed decision when choosing a Silver Rabbit breeder and start your journey with your new pet.

Remember, investing time and effort in finding the right breeder will ultimately benefit both you and your Silver Rabbit.

Recognition and Mention in Literature

In Gervaise Markham’s book, “A way to wealth – the English Hus-Wife“, silver rabbits are discussed as they were quite popular during this time.

Markham’s book, published in the early 17th century, offers tips on various aspects of household management, including raising rabbits.

He described how Silver rabbits were often raised in warrens, which are enclosures designed to house and breed rabbits for both their meat and fur.

Warrens were usually owned by wealthy individuals who saw value in rabbit breeding, as the European Wild Rabbit was a highly sought-after source of meat.

Nappa Warren, for example, was a famous warren where many Silver rabbits were bred and raised successfully.

In Markham’s book, he emphasized the importance of proper management of the rabbit warrens, as neglect could lead to an overpopulation of rabbits, causing damage to the surrounding habitat.

Popular Bunny Names for Silver Rabbits

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

The Silver Rabbit is known for its silver-flecked fur, which comes in a variety of colors like black, brown, or fawn.

These names are inspired by their unique, shimmering coat and calm temperament.

Boy Bunny Names for Silver RabbitsGirl Bunny Names for Silver Rabbits
Argent (silver in French)Bijou (a jewel in French)

These names emphasize the silver-flecked fur and gentle nature of the Silver Rabbit breed, making them fitting choices for your rabbit.

Also read: Popular Rabbit Names (Girl/Boy)

Frequently Asked Questions About Silver Rabbits

Q. Where can I find a Silver rabbit?

A. The best place to start looking for a Silver rabbit is the National Silver Rabbit Club. They will direct you to registered breeders who can give you tips and pointers for raising your Silver rabbit for entry into rabbit shows. You can also find sellers of Silver rabbits through the National Silver Rabbit Club.

Q. How much will I have to pay for a Silver rabbit?

A. Expect to pay around US $50 for a Silver rabbit you will keep as a pet, more for a show-quality rabbit.

Q. Can anything go wrong with Silver rabbits?

Don’t let your Silver rabbits escape into nature.

In 1778, Captain Arthur Philip commanded a fleet of 11 ships sailing from England to colonize Australia.
The ships carried five Silver rabbits with them. The rabbits did so well on the new continent that they became a major pest.

Today, the world’s longest fence has been constructed to confine them to the eastern half of the continent.

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