The Rex rabbit is a unique type of domestic rabbit that has a luscious and soft velvety coat. While the breed started out as the result of random genetic mutation, the Rex rabbit is now one of the best-known and most popular pet rabbits.
But do Rex rabbits make good pets? Rex rabbits make amazing pets due to their playful, affectionate, and calm natures. Unlike other breeds, the Rex bunny likes to be picked up and petted which makes them ideal for people who like to interact with their pets. This breed is also suitable for kids who know how to care for a rabbit.
Keep on reading if you’re thinking of adding this cute and fluffy bunny to your family! By the end of this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the Rex breed before you welcome a new bunny into your home!
What Is a Rex Rabbit?
The Rex rabbit is a breed of domestic rabbit, best known for its soft, plush fur that has a velvety texture. Unlike other rabbit breeds, Rex bunnies don’t have the long guard hairs and their coat is extremely dense and of equal length across the entire body.
Rex Rabbit History and Origin
The Rex rabbit has been around for quite some time. In fact, this breed originated in 1919 in the French village of Louché-Pringé.
This beautiful breed was developed from a litter of wild gray rabbits which had a genetic mutation that caused their coats to be short and velvety. These wild rabbits were selectively bred with a domestic rabbit breed.
The Rex rabbit was first shown in 1924 at the Paris International Rabbit Show and instantly caught the attention of many breeders due to the recessive rex gene.
This rex gene causes changes in keratin production. This in turn causes the rabbit’s fur to grow outwards instead of lying down and lacks the longer guard hairs typical for other rabbit breeds.
After its first showing in Paris, the Rex rabbit made its way to the United States where it was introduced by the American rabbit breeder John C. Fehr and his partner Alfred Zimmerman.
The Rex rabbit breed is recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association and the British Rabbit Council.
Types of Rex Rabbit
When it comes to size, you’ll find that there are two distinct breeds of Rex rabbit – the Standard and the Mini.
The Standard Rex rabbit is larger than the two rex breeds and typically weighs from 7.5 to 10.5 pounds. They are medium-sized rabbits with rounded bodies and distinctive plush and soft rex fur.
Mini Rex rabbits were created in 1984 in Texas and were officially recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1988.
Usually weighing between 3.5 and 4.5 pounds, the Mini Rex rabbits are short and close-coupled. This breed also carries the rex gene which gives their fur a luscious appearance and a plush-like effect.
For show purposes, the Mini Rex rabbit should have a well-rounded back, and well-developed midsection, shoulders, and hindquarters. Their heads should be broad and set on short necks, with upright ears measuring no more than 3.5 inches (source).
Rex Rabbit Characteristics
Although there are other rex rabbit breeds, you’ll hardly mix a Rex rabbit with any other breed of rabbit.
Size, Weight, Shape
The Rex rabbit is a medium-sized breed with a commercial, round body. They usually weigh from 7.5 to 10.5 pounds with does being heavier than bucks.
This breed has a unique rex gene that gives their coat a soft velvety texture. The coat is very dense and the hair’s length is equal and uniform across the rabbit’s body. Hairs are short, but shouldn’t be shorter than half an inch or longer than 7/8 of an inch.
Unlike most other rabbit breeds, the Rex rabbit’s coat points out instead of lying against their bodies which makes this breed super soft and plush to the touch.
In the United States, the Rex rabbit is accepted in 16 different colors. Some of the colors seen in this breed are black, white, castor, chinchilla, seal, opal, amber, and broken.
The Rex rabbit has an average lifespan of five to six years. Spayed and neutered Rex rabbits tend to live longer, so consider altering your pet when they become old enough for the procedure (source).
The Rex rabbit is one of the most popular rabbit breeds kept as pets. Not only are they magnificent to look at due to their velvety coats, but these rabbits also have amazing temperaments.
Unlike most other rabbits that are not very outgoing, the Rex rabbit is a social butterfly that likes to spend time and interact with its people.
What’s more, the Rex rabbit won’t mind being picked up and petted! Especially if that’s done by a person that frequently interacts with the rabbit and lets it out of its cage.
Friendly, docile, and loving, Rex rabbits develop bonds with their families, but will grow particularly attached to the family member that spends the most time with them.
If you end up being your Rex rabbit’s primary caregiver, know that your fluffy pet will allow you to pick them up and snuggle with them.
Their calm and docile nature makes them perfect pets for first-time owners, seniors, singles, or families with children who are looking for a cute and fluffy rabbit that likes to be petted.
The Rex rabbit is a suitable pet for children that know how to interact and pick a rabbit without injuring it. But no matter how gentle your kids are with the bunny, don’t leave them playing unsupervised to prevent injuries to both parties.
Like many other breeds, the Rex rabbit can be litter trained to use the litter box instead of leaving droppings all over the place.
Litter training a rabbit takes time and consistency! But with the right approach and lots of treats, your bunny will learn to do its business in a litter box.
Rex Rabbit Care
Like all other rabbits, the Rex rabbit requires adequate care and attention to stay happy and thrive. If you decide to welcome this plush bunny into your home, be prepared to provide proper rabbit housing.
Whether you decide to keep your Rex rabbit outdoors or indoors, the enclosure should be large enough to allow your rabbit to move and stretch out freely. To fulfill your bunny’s basic needs they need to have at least 12 feet of cage space and 32 square feet of play space.
If you decide to keep your Rex rabbit indoors, avoid cages with wire bottoms since they can lead to sore hocks and serious health problems. Instead, opt for a cage with a solid bottom that won’t injure your rabbit’s feet or make it feel uncomfortable.
For your Rex rabbit to become socialized and friendly, you’ll need to get them out of the cage and allow them to roam freely. However, before you let your bunny explore every corner of your home, don’t forget about rabbit-proofing everything.
Rabbits have strong teeth and an urge to chew everything and anything in sight. Therefore, it would be a good idea to supervise your Rex bunny while they are out exploring your home and make sure that there are no electrical wires or toxic plants your pet can chew on.
In terms of diet, Rex rabbits have the same needs as all other rabbits and their diet should consist of 70% hay. The remaining 30% should include equal parts high-quality pellets, fruits, and vegetables to ensure that your bunny is getting all the essential nutrients.
Besides food make sure that your bunny has access to fresh and clean water at all times.
Rex Rabbit Price
The Rex rabbit on average costs from $20 to $100. The exact price will depend on the breeder and the rabbit’s coat quality.
Keep in mind, pet quality rabbits are generally cheaper and much easier to find. Show-quality bunnies, on the other hand, come with a higher price tag that depends on the breeder and the rabbit’s pedigree.
Best known for its dense, short, and velvety coat, the Rex rabbit was the result of a genetic mutation. Friendly and docile, this plush bunny likes to interact with people and won’t mind being picked up, petted, or snuggled, unlike many other rabbit breeds.
The friendly and calm nature makes Rex rabbits suitable for families with children, singles, seniors, or young couples that are looking for a furry family member. These plush bunnies form strong bonds with their families and will get extremely attached to the person that feeds and lets them out of their cage.