The Rex rabbit was developed around 1919 in the French village of Louché-Pringé, by breeders who were impressed by the wild rabbit’s beautiful, luscious fur. They were developed into a domestic breed and shown in an international rabbit show in Paris in 1924, where there was great interest among breeders because of the recessive rex breed. Following its first showing in Paris, the breed was introduced to the United States that same year and was shown by American rabbit breeder John C. Fehr and his partner Alfred Zimmerman. The breed was accepted by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association (ARBA) soon after.
The Rex rabbit has short, soft fur that points out instead of against their bodies, making this breed super plushy.
Rex rabbits are broader has than other breeds, have medium-length ears and proportionally smaller feet than other breeds. The Rex rabbit has a commercial-sized body type and can weigh anywhere between 7.5-10.5 lbs. once fully grown.
The Rex rabbit has unique gene which gives its coat a velvety texture. It has short, soft fur that points out instead of against their bodies like most rabbits, making this breed super plushy. Despite its unique coat, it requires even less grooming than other rabbit varieties. Breeders/owners should try to groom this rabbit as little as possible, as over-grooming can damage its coats. If there’s excess dirt on your rabbit’s coat, simply clean it with a damp cloth. Never bathe your bunny, as this causes great stress and can cause cardiac problems and even result in death.
Rex rabbits can come in a variety of colors including castor, seal, chinchilla, opal, black, white, Californian, amber, as well as Broken (which is any color mixed with white).
Rex rabbits are great pets for seniors and first-time pet parents as well as singles or couples.
Like other rabbits, the Rex rabbit requires a diet that consist of 70 percent high-quality hay (such as orchard hay) with the rest being a good mix of leafy greens, fruits, pellets and vegetables. Hay such as alfalfa should only be given in moderation and fruits/vegetables which contain high levels of sugar should be used mostly as treats. Always research what kind of food you are giving to your rabbit, as there are some that are safe and others that can make them sick.
In order to become a socialized, well-rounded rabbit, pets need to be taken out of its enclosures as often as possible and allowed to roam free in a bunny-safe room. The longer they interact with their human families, the sweeter and more docile (and playful!) they will become. Indoor rooms should be free of dangers (such as live wires) and when taking your rabbit outdoors, always be vigilant or, if possible, install a wrap-around fence.
Enclosures need to be larger enough for your rabbit to comfortably stretch out in, have enough room to play, do its business and eat. Indoor cages should be made of wire and have a solid bottom while outdoor enclosures can be made of wood or stronger material to withstand the elements. Both enclosures need to be lined with bedding (horse bedding is acceptable), spot-cleaned everyday and completely replaced at the end of every week.
Unlike most animals, rabbit teeth never stop growing. Thankfully, they are also constantly being worn down by everyday activities such as chewing their food (mostly hay). If your rabbit’s teeth are not being worn down, its teeth may start growing into its jaw and face, causing severe pain. Signs of overgrown teeth or an infection due to overgrown teeth include loss of appetite, slugging activity or drooling around the mouth. Be sure to check your rabbit’s mouth weekly for signs of overgrown teeth and bring them to the vet if you suspect they have an infection, as it can be treated with antibiotics, and veterinarians can also fix their overgrown teeth problem. Ears should also regularly be checked for ear mites, as this is a common condition in rabbits, especially outdoor rabbits.
If you decide to spay or neuter your rabbit, some owners notice that their rabbit tends to be less aggressive, however this breed of rabbit is not known to be hostile, so neutering your Rex may do nothing to its personality but make them calmer. Does can be spayed once they are 4-6 months old while bucks can be neutered as young as 3 and a half months old.
Breeders/owners should try to groom Rex rabbits as little as possible, as over-grooming can damage their coats.
Rex rabbits are generally docile rabbits who won’t mind being picked up and petted, especially if it’s by a family who frequently lets them out of their cage to explore their surroundings. Like any domesticated animal, it will grow attached to the family member who spends the most time with them and feeds them the most often, but it will generally be unafraid of any person who picked them up with care and pets them. Its low maintenance makes them great pets for seniors and first-time pet parents as well as singles or couples who would like to try pet ownership. This rabbit breed is suitable for children so long as they understand how to pick up and care for rabbits, as it is a fragile animal and requires a different care than cats or dogs.
In terms of toys, each rabbit has its own personality and may enjoy some toys to chew and entertain itself with. It may be as simple as a toilet paper roll to an elaborate pet toy from your local pet store.
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