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January 22, 2020 PetGuide
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Mini Rex Rabbit

 
  • Size: Small/Mini
  • Weight: 3.5- 4.5 lb
  • Lifespan: 7-10 years
  • Body Shape: Compact
  • Best Suited For: Rabbits for Singles, Rabbit for Seniors, House/Apartment Rabbits, Families with children, First-time owners, Indoor Rabbits
  • Temperament: Calm, curious, friendly
  • Comparable Breeds: Mini Lop, Mini Satin Rabbit

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When seeking out a rabbit, most people will merely get whatever is available. This is a mistake. Like any other popular pet, there are a variety of rabbits out there with a variety of qualities. Not every rabbit is the right choice for every home. So how will you be able to spot the all-star rabbits from the bargain basement bunnies? Well, fortunately you’ve come to the right place. We’ve been taking a look at the finest rabbits out there, breed by breed. To day we explore the qualities of the Mini Rex Rabbit. Is this the right rabbit to bring into your family? Keep your eyeballs glued to this page and scroll on to find out.

The Rex fur gene in rabbits was first discovered in 1900s France. Soon after that, these types of rabbits were being bred all over the world. Their popularity exploded. You might even say that they bred like rabbits (please excuse the pun, it was irresistible). The ARBA recognized the original Rex Rabbit breed- these bunnies weigh about 9 lbs, but demand grew for a smaller version. As a result, the Mini Rex Rabbit was born. A rabbit that crammed all of the beloved qualities of the Rex into a tiny little furball. 

The Mini Rex breed was first developed by Monna R. Berryhill of Texas, who bred a black Dwarf Rex buck and a undersized Lynx Red doe. The litter produced seven kits, marking the first of the new breed.  In 1986, Berryhill introduced the Mini Rex Rabbit, and the American Rabbit Breeders’ Association (ARBA) recognized it as a new breed of rabbit. Every since then, the Mini Rex has been a favourite pet of rabbit lovers everywhere.

The Mini Rex might be the pet that finally proves once and for all that size doesn’t matter. The diminutive size of these bunnies didn’t diminish their beauty. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! Rex rabbits are known for their well-proportioned physique, luxurious coat, and overall charming appearance. The miniature size of The Mini Rex rabbit only increases their appeal. It’s everything that everyone loves about the Rex packed into a tiny package that is even more adorable in every conceivable way. 

At half the size of the standard Rex, these rabbits weigh between 3 and 4.5 pounds when fully mature. The does (females) are bigger than the bucks (males). The Mini Rex Rabbit has a compact body type. Their backs are rounded, with well-developed shoulders, hindquarters, and midsection. The body is well-filled, the depth and width of it in balance. Legs are straight and rather short. When it comes to the head, it should be relatively close to to the shoulders, with a short neck, giving these bunnies an ever more compact appearance. The ears are thick and upright- their maximum length is 3.5 inches. A gorgeous physique that can only be described as a mini masterpiece of rabbit design. 

The Mini Rex rabbit has a rounded back with well-developed shoulders, hindquarters and midsection.The Mini Rex rabbit has a distinct kind of fur that is different than the long, soft wool of the English Angora, for example. The Mini Rex rabbit does not have any long guard hairs protecting its underfur. Ontop of that the secondary guard hairs are the same length as the undercoat, which means that all you can feel is the fine hairs that have a texture reminiscent of velvet. Petting the Mini Rex Rabbit is a luxurious treat that everyone deserves to experience at least once in their lives. This breed’s fur is short (ideally 5/8 inch in length), smooth and springy, and not too soft or silky. The fur should also be extremely dense, straight, and upright.

The good news is that maintaining that beautiful coat doesn’t require much effort. Their short fur does not need much maintenance. In fact, owners should try not to brush this rabbit breed’s coat too often, as it may actually damage its texture. Groom only when necessary, but no more than once every other week. Should its coat get dirty, simply spot-clean it with a damp cloth. So, be very careful with your Mini Rex’s coat if you want to enjoy those velvety pleasures.

Mini Rex rabbits comes in a rainbow of colors and markings, far too many to mention here, but we’ll try. These include sable, castor, blue, himalayan, lilac, lynx, opal, broken (any accepted variety with white), tricolour (white with colors such as black and orange, chocolate and orange, blue and fawn, etc.), and pattern (a broken pattern with nose makings, eye markings, colors ears, and tail and body spots). There is a Mini Rex Rabbit out there to suit any colour preference. It’s just a matter of putting in the effort to find the rabbit of your dreams. It’s out there somewhere. Search away!

Don’t brush the Mini Rex’s coat too often, as it may actually damage the fur’s texture.

The first thing you should get for your new pet is a home of their own. Rabbits need to have a safe space to sleep in, eat in, and of course, do their business in. There are a few options available when purchasing a proper rabbit enclosure. Apartment dwellers may opt to have an indoor rabbit cage as a primary residence for their pet (or as a safe nook for them to retreat too after spending most of their time hopping freely around the apartment). Whatever the case is with your bunny, their safety and comfort should be your primary concern. You are making a home for your rabbit, after all. Not just any enclosure will do if you truly love your rabbit. Needless to say, not all rabbit hutches, cages, and enclosures are made alike. They certainly are not all meant to be considered equal. 

Indoor rabbit enclosures should be made of bunny-safe wire with a plastic bottom in order to place rabbit-friendly bedding at the base. The wire should be strong and durable, as bunnies like to chew everything and could easily gnaw their way through a week cage. Regardless of the material that you choose, it should be on the bottom of the cage. Wire bottoms are hard on rabbit’s feet and will cause discomfort and injury (even sore hocks are a common side effect of standing on wire, so choose your base wisely). As for the bedding, choose rabbit friendly options such as shredded paper or cardboard, wood pellets, straw or hay. The bedding will need to be spot-cleaned every day and completely replaced every week. Nobody said that taking care of a rabbit was easy. Like any type of pet ownership, there are significant responsibilities involved. You have to be prepared to deliver if you intend to treat your rabbit right. 

If you have a fenced backyard, you can also purchase or build your own rabbit hutch. You could even construct your own a rabbit shed if you are really committed. However if you have an outdoor enclosure for your rabbit, always be aware of outdoor temperatures, how much sun your rabbit is exposed to, and if there are any local predators you should be wary of (racoons, birds, coyotes, etc.). These little furballs need to be looked out for. Rabbits kept in this manner are often more susceptible to illness, they are much less friendly and social around humans, and, for all intents and purposes, they won’t be a cuddly pet whose company you get to enjoy when you live with them. So, while your rabbit may appreciate an outdoor lifestyle, it may not foster the type of relationship that you hope to have with your pet. 

In addition to proper housing, you should provide a well-balanced, healthy diet to your Mini Rex Rabbit. All rabbits need a diet composed mostly of pellets and hay (about 70 percent). Adult rabbits will eat about 1/4 cup of high-fiber pellets everyday for every 5 pounds they weigh (Mini Rex rabbits, for instance, would not need more than 1/4 a day since they are typically small). They will also enjoy fresh fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables including carrots, watercress, red or green lettuce, celery, mango, pear, peach, and more. Remember to research what you’re feeding your rabbit before giving it to them. Some foods may be dangerous to its health (apples are great, but their seeds contain tiny amounts of cyanide). Never consider your rabbit a means of disposing of any extra produce taking up space in your fridge. Just because rabbits will eat just about anything, doesn’t mean they should. Be careful about what food you put in your rabbit’s cage.

Don't brush the Mini Rex's coat too often, as it may actually damage the fur's texture.With good basic care and living conditions, your Mini Rex Rabbit probably won’t be raking up vet bills. Rabbits are fairly healthy animals when they are living in a healthy environment and have all of their needs met. However, there are a few potential issues you should be aware of. For instance, bunnies are prone to teeth problems. Yep, those iconic rabbit chompers can quickly turn into a health hazard if you aren’t careful. 

You see, 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 at the right rate, its teeth may start growing into its  jaw and face. Obviously, this sort of overgrowth can cause your rabbit severe pain. Signs of overgrown teeth or an infection due to overgrown teeth may include loss of appetite, sluggish activity, and drooling. Be sure to check your rabbit’s mouth weekly for signs of overgrown teeth. If you suspect an infection, bring your pet to the vet right away.

Another issue that all rabbits deal with is snuffles. This is a respiratory disease whose symptoms are watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose. Unfortunately, it’s not as benign as it sounds. This is no common cold that rabbits can shake off. The condition is caused by pasteurellosis bacteria, which causes sores, abscesses and even blindness in rabbits. However, you can solve this with good hygiene in the rabbit’s enclosure and timely treatment with antibiotics. So keep an eye out for any of those symptoms and take your rabbit to the vet promptly if any of these symptoms pop up. 

Should you decide to spay or neuter your rabbit, does can be spayed once they are 4-6 months old while bucks can be neutered as young as 3.5 months old. Fixing your rabbit is recommended unless you plan on breeding them, as it will eliminate the possibility of some behavioral issues (marking in males) and minimize health risks (uterine cancer in females).

The Mini Rex rabbit has a rounded back with well-developed shoulders, hindquarters and midsection.

The Mini Rex rabbit is a popular rabbit breed for families looking for a first-time pet for their children. Because of its quiet, calm nature, these bunnies are also wonderful choices for couples, singles or retirees looking for a little bundle of joy. Kits (baby rabbits) shouldn’t be alone with children without supervision. Rabbits often squirm and may fall if the child is not holding securely enough. Should your child be holding the rabbit, make sure they are siting on the ground to minimize risk of falling.

Rabbits are harder to train than other pets, but it definitely isn’t impossible. Training rabbits to stay, come, or even potty train comes with lots of time, patience and rewards (preferably a piece of food). Owners must approach rabbits with an extremely patient mindset in order to train. Never yell or shout at your rabbit when you become frustrated. Rabbits may become aggressive or refuse to participate in any further training.

When it comes to toys, rabbits do benefit from having some entertainment. Your rabbit may even enjoy simple DIY toys like stuffed toilet paper rolls or store-purchased items. It’s all up to your rabbit’s individual personality!

Photo credit: Tjflex2/Flickr; Gary McNair/Flickr; Life on White/Bigstock


Comparable Breeds

Go to Mini Lop

Mini Lop

  • Size: Medium
  • Weight: 4.5-6 lb
  • Lifespan: 5-10 years
  • Body Shape: Compact
  • Best Suited For: Singles, Seniors, House or Apartment, Families with children, First-time owners, Indoor/Outdoor rabbits
  • Temperament: Friendly, playful, affectionate
  • Comparable Breeds: German Lop, American Chinchilla Rabbit
Go to Mini Satin Rabbit

Mini Satin Rabbit

  • Size: Mini
  • Weight: 3-4.5 lb
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Body Shape: Compact
  • Best Suited For: Rabbits for Singles, Rabbit for Seniors, Apartment/House Rabbits, Families with children, First-time owners, Indoor Rabbits
  • Temperament: Docile, calm, sweet
  • Comparable Breeds: Havana Rabbit, Netherland Dwarf Rabbit