Rabbits, like many other pets, tend to shed a lot during the spring season a lot.
So, rabbits’ fur coats thicken before and during the winter to keep them warm. After that, they shed them to reduce the hair on their bodies to regulate their temperature.
This process is called molting.
That said, there may be some instances that could lead to shedding outside of molting.
This shedding could be the result of poor health or high stress. So, this article discusses molting and other causes of shedding.
How to Identify Molting
Molting is specifically referred to as the part in which rabbits experience seasonal hair loss.
Therefore, you’ll notice the hair fall when the spring starts.
Even Rabbits That Molt Twice Also Do So Seasonally
Excessive shedding out of season could be due to a reason other than molting. That said, there are some rabbits that molt twice a year.
So, some furry breeds such as Angoras tend to molt again during the fall. The purpose of this molting is to shed the light coat that it grew during the warm months.
The rabbit replaces the coat it sheds with another one that’s a lot thicker. This way, it can stay warm in the winter.
You should note that many rabbits don’t need to shed their coat to grow a thicker one.
Molting Has a Specific Hair Loss Pattern
You’ll notice that shedding starts from a rabbit’s head during molting.
The shedding then continues down your rabbit’s neck and back. Eventually, the hair fall will reach the stomach or tail.
Molting Won’t Result in Patches
Considering molting is a gradual process, you won’t find bald patches on your rabbit’s body.
Clumps of fur missing from your rabbit’s body could be due to other reasons.
So pay close attention to identify any potential problems your rabbit may be facing.
Molting Lasts for a Few Weeks
Molting can last anywhere between 2 and 6 weeks.
The amount of time will depend on where you live, the type of rabbit you have, and other conditions.
How to Make Molting a Comfortable Process for Your Rabbit
You can make molting more comfortable for your rabbit by grooming it regularly during the process. Here’s what you should do.
- Get your hands wet with clean water.
- Next, you should rub your rabbit’s body gently. Start from the front and take your hands to the end of their bodies. After that, switch the direction to get more loose hair to fall off.
- Grab the loose fur and dump it in the trash. Wash your hands so that you can remove fur that may be clinging onto them.
- Repeat the process so that you can help remove the fur. However, make sure not to apply too much pressure. You don’t want to force any fur off. You can stop once much fur is not coming off your rabbit.
Groom your rabbit once every day. Also, continue to monitor the pattern of fur loss to identify any underlying conditions that may be causing it.
Also read: Which Rabbit Breed Sheds the Least?
Why Grooming Is Important
The purpose of grooming is to help your rabbit feel cool by helping it get the excess fur off faster.
In addition to that, it can help keep the loose fur away from them.
Rabbits tend to eat their own loose fur. If they continue to do that without any restrictions, they can develop digestive problems.
Your Rabbits’ Age Can Affect How Much They Shed
Other than molting, your rabbit may shed more than usual due to its age.
So, rabbits that are still under a year old tend to shed their coat about 3 times while they grow and mature.
Typically, a rabbit will molt for the first time when it’s about 4 or 5 months old. This molting will remove the baby fur present on its body.
This molt won’t grow the adult fur. Instead, it will grow an intermediate coat that’ll last about 3 months.
After that, it’ll shed and regrow a coat—one with the adult fur.
The purpose of this shedding is to grow a healthy coat that will keep them warm and comfortable.
Thus, after the first year, the shedding is relatively less than before.
Potential Causes of Excessive Shedding
It’s not normal for your rabbit to shed its fur all year round. So, you should take it to the vet immediately to have it examined.
A rabbit’s fur helps regulate its temperature and keep disease away. So, leaving excessive shedding untreated could be disastrous for your pet.
If you’ve noticed that your rabbit sheds too much, here are some potential causes.
High Levels of Stress
Your rabbit may inflict self-harm and try to remove its fur if it’s highly stressed.
Rabbits stress easily, and it’s vital to provide them with a safe and comfortable environment.
Your rabbit may feel stressed or frightened if there are abrupt changes in its environment.
Other causes of stress or anxiety may be loneliness or fear of larger pets.
If you have a cat or dog in your home, you must make sure that they don’t pose a risk to your rabbit’s health.
Larger pets may chase your rabbits, making them afraid.
Rabbits are energetic and active pets. So, they like to jump around and play a lot.
Now, you may not be able to see to that due to a busy schedule. Therefore, you should buy ample toys to keep them busy.
Rabbits can start to pull out their fur when they aren’t getting stimulated enough by play.
At the same time, make sure that you let them exercise outside of their hutch too. However, make sure you supervise those sessions, especially if you’re taking them outdoors.
They can easily fall prey to predators.
There are some illnesses that can be responsible for excessive shedding in your bunny.
Your rabbit may have a urinary tract problem if it sheds a lot on its hindquarters.
On the other hand, it may have a dental problem if there are patches on the front of its chest and around its chin.
Moreover, a parasitic infection could lead to an overall increase in the amount of fur loss.
In this case, there won’t be any specific areas where there’s more fur loss than in others.
Such infections by mange or lice will also result in flaky skin. So, examine your rabbit to look for any crusty spots that look inflamed or sore.
Have your vet check your rabbit if you suspect a physical illness.
Control Your Rabbit’s Shedding
You can control your rabbit’s shedding by ensuring that it’s physically and mentally healthy.
So, for the latter, you should not let it get bored by giving it enough play and exercise.
You could also supplement that by getting a companion. Having two rabbits can prevent it from feeling lonely.
For its physical health, feed your rabbit a nutritious and balanced diet. Other than hay, make sure to treat it to some fresh vegetables occasionally.
Also, when grooming your rabbit, clean up all loose fur that you can find.
You can further limit furballs from developing by providing it fresh water and hay. Moreover, take your rabbit to the vet for regular checkups.
Other articles you may also find useful: