How to Care for Rex Rabbits
Rex rabbits are coveted for their plush, short fur, which sets them apart from other rabbit breeds. Rex rabbits come in many different colors, such as pure white, amber, chocolate, lilac, and black.If you have a Rex rabbit, then you will need to take good care of your rabbit’s health, housing, and nutritional needs.
Protecting Your Rex Rabbit’s Health
Take your Rex rabbit to see a veterinarian.Try to find a veterinarian who has an interest in rabbits and who is comfortable providing veterinary care for rabbits as well. You might need to seek out an exotics veterinarian or at least find a veterinarian who has done some ongoing professional development on rabbits. Take your Rex rabbit for annual checkups and watch for any signs of a problem. If your Rex rabbit seems like he is sick, then take him to see a veterinarian right away. Signs that your Rex might be sick include:
- losing lots of fur
- not going to the bathroom
- not using back legs or not hopping
- producing dark red urine or no urine
- seeming extra tired and not moving or reacting normally
- having loose stools
- having a fever of 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- having runny eyes and/or nose
- drooling (wet chin)
Get your Rex spayed or neutered.Spaying and neutering your rabbit helps to prevent unwanted litters and it can also protect your rabbit’s health in certain ways. If you do not plan on breeding your Rex rabbit, then get your rabbit spayed or neutered.
- Not spaying and neutering predisposes your rabbit to hormonal behaviors, like urine spraying, food guarding, and fighting. Female rabbits also have a higher risk of uterine cancer if they are not spayed.
Play with your Rex rabbit.Your Rex will need to get plenty of exercise to stay healthy. Try to allow your Rex at least two hours of exercise outside of his cage every day. When you exercise your Rex, make sure that you:
- Do not let your rabbit play outside. Your rabbit will be in danger from predators and parasites if you let her play outside. Inside of your home is the safest place for your Rex rabbit.
- Confine your Rex to one or two rooms. You can use baby gates to keep your rabbit from getting lost in your house and to make it easier to supervise her as well.
Stop your Rex from chewing on off-limits items.A Rex rabbit will chew on almost anything, including door edges, wall trim, chairs, table legs, area rugs, loose carpeting, or loose wallpaper.That is why it is so important to monitor your rabbit closely when she is playing outside of her cage.
- If you notice your Rex rabbit chewing on something that she shouldn’t, don’t get mad or punish your rabbit. Just gently pick up her up, place her somewhere else, and then give her something else to chew on, such as a cardboard box, cotton cloth, or an apple slice.
Cover up electrical cords.Your Rex rabbit will also chew on electrical cords, which can harm her and damage your electronics. Cover up electrical cords with hard plastic tubing or some spiral wrap. If you don’t have something to cover your electrical cords, then just lift them off of the ground so your rabbit can’t access them.
Brush your Rex rabbit as needed.Your Rex rabbit will need a quick brushing about once per week to keep him from shedding as much and to keep his fur soft. Run a natural bristle brush or comb over your rabbit’s fur about once per week.
- Don’t let your Rex rabbit get wet and do not bathe him. Rabbits are not fond of water and they can also develop hypothermia if they get wet.
Housing Your Rex Rabbit
Keep your Rex rabbit indoors.Keeping your Rex rabbit outside is a bad idea because rabbits are prone to attacks from predators, overheating, hypothermia, and loneliness. Your Rex rabbit will be at a higher risk of an early death if you keep her outside instead of inside your home.
- Even if your Rex rabbit is safe inside of her cage, rabbits frighten easily and she may have a heart attack from just seeing a predator.
- Your Rex rabbit may also develop some antisocial behavior if you keep her outside. For example, she may start to fear people or become aggressive.
Choose your Rex rabbit’s cage.There are lots of different rabbit enclosures to choose from. You can keep your Rex in a single room of your home that has been rabbit-proofed, house your rabbit in a puppy playpen, get a rabbit condo, or select a standard cage.When selecting an enclosure for your rabbit, make sure that you consider:
- Size. Your rabbit’s cage should be four or five feet long and about two feet wide. The cage should be high enough for your Rex rabbit to stand up on her hind legs without her ears touching the top of the cage.
- Floor. Avoid wire bottom cages because they can hurt your Rex rabbit’s feet. Try to find a solid metal bottom cage. If you cannot find a solid metal bottom cage, then you can cover the bottom of the cage in a piece of plywood that covers the entire floor of the cage.
- Bedding. Cover the floor of your Rex rabbit’s cage with at least two to three inches of bedding. You can use straw, paper pulp, or shredded cardboard.Do not use cedar or pine shavings as your Rex rabbit’s bedding or as litter. Your Rex rabbit may develop respiratory and liver problems from these materials.
Provide a hiding spot for your Rex rabbit.Rabbits like to hide to when they feel scared or stressed, so it is important to provide your Rex with a hiding place. A cardboard box or a wooden box that has a hole cut out of it makes a good hiding spot.
- Provide a hiding spot for each rabbit that you have, otherwise they may fight over the spot.
Place a litter box in your rabbit’s cage.Rabbits will use a litter box if one is provided for them. Put a small litter box in one corner of your rabbit’s enclosure and fill it with some newspaper and hay. Make sure that you change the litter box every day to prevent it from smelling.
- Pay attention to where your rabbit likes to go potty and then place the litter box in that corner.
- Keep a litter box or two in your house so that your rabbit will have somewhere to go when she is playing outside of her cage.
Feeding Your Rabbit
Feed your rabbit lots of hay.Hay is an ideal food for Rex rabbits because it provides nutrition and it also wears down your Rex rabbit’s teeth, which are always growing.Make sure that your Rex rabbit has a large supply of fresh hay at all times.
- Refill your Rex rabbit’s hay at least once per day.
- Timothy hay is a good variety for your Rex.
- Try stuffing an empty paper towel roll or a cardboard box with hay for your Rex rabbit.
Give your Rex some rabbit kibble.Rabbit kibble is a nice nutritional supplement for your rex, but you do not need to give him a lot of it. You can give your Rex about ¼ cup of kibble every day unless your veterinarian says to do otherwise. Make sure that you get the plain kibble and not the mixed kind because some rabbits will pick out the tastiest parts and leave the more nutritious ones behind.
- An overweight rabbit may only need 1/8 of a cup of kibble. If you your rabbit is not gaining weight properly, then he may need more than 1/8 of a cup. Ask your veterinarian if you are not sure how much kibble to give your rabbit.
Offer your Rex some veggies and fruits.Rex rabbits enjoy munching on dark leafy greens, carrots, and some fruits. Try to give your Rex rabbit a few leaves of dark leafy greens each day as well as something crunchy, like carrot slices or apple slices. Some healthy veggie and fruit treats for your rabbit include:
- broccoli stems
- collard greens
- bok choy
- carrot slices
- apple slices
- banana slices
Keep your Rex hydrated.Rex rabbits need plenty of fresh, clean water. Although Rex rabbits enjoy drinking out of a ceramic dish, these can tip over and make a mess in the cage. If you do go with a dish, make sure that it is heavy and check it often. Another option is to use a sipper bottle for your rabbit’s water. Sipper bottles will not tip and your rabbit will not be able to kick hay or feces into the water either.
- Refill your rabbit’s water often and clean the dish or bottle out daily.
Feed certain foods to your Rex only in small amounts.Some foods can give your Rex rabbit gas, bloating or diarrhea, so feed them to her sparingly. These foods to give in moderation include:
- brussel sprouts
QuestionCan I give him romaine lettuce?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSure, but in moderation. Large amounts of romaine lettuce can cause digestive problems.Thanks!
QuestionIs a Rex a good pet in an apartment?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNot really. They would be more suitable in a bigger environment, since they grow to be quite large.Thanks!
QuestionWhat does it mean when I walk by the cage and they get scared and suddenly stop? Is that good or bad for my mini Rex rabbit?Community AnswerThat is normal for rabbits that are not used to their surroundings. Try handling your rabbit more often, and limit sudden movements when you around his cage, as rabbits are shy animals.Thanks!
QuestionIs it okay for them to eat melon? How about cucumber?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but in moderation, as it is really high in sugar and bad for their health. They can have cucumber, melon, tomatoes, any salad except lettuce.Thanks!
QuestionCan I feed my mini Rex celery?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, all rabbits love a good bit of celery, it's perfect for them and very healthy.Thanks!
QuestionCan I raise my rabbit outdoors?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you can. Make sure your rabbit is not too hot or too cold. Also create a boundary for your rabbit to stay inside if you do not want him running off.Thanks!
QuestionHow big do Rex rabbits get?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThey usually get up to about 7.5–10.5 pounds. However, females can weigh as much as 10.5 pounds (4.8 kg).Thanks!
QuestionCan mini Rex rabbits eat lettuce?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThey cannot eat iceberg lettuce, but you can feed them honeysuckle lettuce. You can always feed him/her other things, like apple, twigs, or leaves.Thanks!
QuestionCan Rex rabbits eat cucumber, or only in moderation?Community AnswerRex rabbits can eat cucumber, as long as it is not their main source of food.Thanks!
QuestionAre they suitable pets for kids aged 10-15?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, as long as they are responsible with the rabbits. If they are not fully capable of taking care of the rabbits on their own, they should be supervised at all times when they are around the rabbits.Thanks!
- Never pick up your Rex rabbit (or any rabbit) by the ears or with your hands around its chest only. Holding your Rex this way will cause pain and stress. It also offers no support for the rabbit’s bottom and the rabbit may hurt himself as a result.
Video: Mini Rex Rabbits
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