If you’re a fan of the cute and cuddly but prefer not to have larger animals or gargantuan bunnies hopping about the place we have formed a handy guide to provide you with everything you need to know about the Mini Rex Rabbit. The name ‘ may sound intimidating but the Mini Rex breed is just as cute and fluffy as other rabbit breeds.
What is a Mini Rex Rabbit?
The Mini Rex Rabbit, or simply “Mini Rex”, is an official breed of bunny recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. It is a small/mini-sized relative of the Rex Rabbit which originated from France in 1919.
The Mini Rex is popular for its calm and friendly temperament and velvety fur all of which was inherited from its standard Rex relative. Everything about this breed of bunny has made them a well-loved and favored house pet. Their increasing popularity has been attributed to the development of Mini Rex Rabbit shows.
Where Did Mini Rex Rabbits Come From?
The Mini Rex is a surprisingly new breed having only been around since 1984 and originally bred in America. In 1983 Monna Berryhill was the proud winner of a pair of Dwarf Rex rabbits one of which was undersized Lynx Rex doe. She successfully bred the doe with the black Dwarf Rex which resulted in a litter of, what is now known as, Mini Rex Rabbits.
Initially, these baby rabbits were not accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association however, unsurprisingly, the association was won over in 1986.
Fun Fact: The first Mini Rex rabbit presented was a castor Mini Rex. In recent years the Mini Rex is now one of the most popular rabbit breeds to use in shows thanks to their small size and plush coat.
Mini Rex Rabbit Appearance
The Mini Rex is categorized as a dwarf rabbit, so it’s little in size and may appear smaller than other domesticated rabbits. It is often compared to the Mini Lop and the Mini Satin Rabbit and has a well-rounded and proportionate shape.
Their compact, adorable appearance comes with short and straight legs with a balanced length and width. Mini Rex rabbits also have upright, thick ears and notable soft fur which has an overcoat the same length as its undercoat.
The ‘Rex’ Mutation/Gene
Like all rabbit breeds, the Rex Rabbit will have a double coat however the guard hairs will be the same length as their undercoat. The overcoat of a Rex Rabbit doesn’t push down the lower layer which means that their entire fur is standing on end. Rather than lying flat, like most rabbits’ fur, the coat stands upright giving it its plushy feel and appearance.
How Big do Mini Rex Rabbits Get?
A healthy adult Mini Rex will grow to be between three and 4.5 pounds with a Mini Rex doe usually weighing a little more when reaching maturity. To compare: A Standard Rex Rabbit will grow to weigh up to 10.5 pounds.
Colorings and Markings
There are numerous shades and tones of the Mini Rex. Colors recognized and accepted are listed below and the volume of which will surprise you. These hues, and their intensities, will also blend into other shades which have been noted in the list, however, some others may include a lilac shade, slate blue, medium blue, and even a rich chestnut color.
These colors include:
- Blue-eyed White
- Black (Composing of a rich black that blends into a dark blue)
- Seal (Primarily brown but have a particularly dark brown body)
- Silver Marten
- Tortoise (This rex fur will be a rich orange that will dissolve into a sepia)
- Sable Point (These coats have brown eyes with lighter brown, colored ears, feet, tail, and nose)
Mini Rex standard also includes patterns involving broken arrangements, tricolors, and colors appearing on specific areas of the Mini Rex bunny. Head, tail, ear, and eye markings are all commonly accepted as part of the Mini Rex’s appearance. In addition to this, new shades and colors have been recognized in recent years including Smoke Pearl in 2012 and the Sable Mini Rex shade in 2017.
Mini Rex Personality and Temperament
The Mini Rex rabbit is an excellent choice of pet for owners in all kinds of living situations. Including those who live alone or with families. Despite being a tiny little furball, a Mini Rex can be somewhat livelier than your normal pet rabbit due to its playful nature. Yet, some owners often comment that they can be a docile rabbit once playtime is over.
Are Mini Rex Rabbits Social?
When people contemplate getting a pet, a rabbit may not be at the top of the list if a person is looking for a companion to bond socially with. It may surprise you to know that these rabbit breeds are known for connecting emotionally with those in their household, particularly the person who cares for them and spends the most time with them.
Mini Rex rabbits enjoy the company of humans and can suffer if they’re left alone too long. This small rabbit thrives on company and attention and even enjoys being picked up, unlike other rabbits. So make sure to give them lots of love and consideration.
Do Mini Rex Bunnies Bite?
Mini Rex Rabbits are not aggressive or territorial animals so their tendency to bite is very low. However, like any other domesticated rabbit breed, if the Mini Rex is provoked, they will bite out of self-defense.
If a Mini Rex feels uneasy or scared they can use their teeth and claws as a way of defending themselves, especially if they are new to the home. Therefore, if you have children you must teach them to be gentle with their new pet Mini Rex and supervise their interactions. To add to this, as your bunny adjusts to their new home, it’s always a good idea to approach them with caution and make no sudden movements.
Can You Train a Mini Rex Rabbit?
It is possible to train a Mini Rex rabbit due to their high intelligence although, if you do decide to train one, it will require a lot of time and patience. If you want your Mini Rex bunny to have free reign of your home but worry about them making messes, it is entirely possible that you can potty train them so they learn to use a litter box. You can also train a Mini Rex to come when you call their name, teach them small tricks, and maybe even teach them to give kisses.
Like other animals, you train a Mini Rex with treats. You must remain calm and patient when training this breed and be willing to accept if the training doesn’t stick. If you become impatient and resort to yelling, this can cause them to bite in self-defense as they will feel threatened.
Caring For A Mini Rex Rabbit
Caring for your bunny is not as difficult as taking care of larger animals such as dogs although there are a few things you should know to make sure they are healthy and happy at home. By understanding how to look after a Mini Rex you can prevent them from suffering with health conditions and allow them to live out their life to the full.
A Mini Rex rabbit’s diet should mainly consist of hay, with this making up around 80% of the diet overall. In addition to this, you should include pellets that are specifically designed for rabbits. These will provide them with additional nutrients and vitamins to benefit their long-term health. An important note to add is that hay should be accessible to your bunny at all times as this is the main source of food that can prevent digestive tract issues and will keep their system regular.
Besides hay and pellets, you can also add fresh vegetables into your rabbit’s diet as long as they’re safe for them. Bunnies are notorious nibblers and love crunchy vegetables such as carrots and lettuce but this is something to keep an eye on. Your Mini Rex’s food should mostly consist of hay so don’t allow your bunny to overindulge on veggies, pellets, and treats as these don’t provide them with as much benefit.
Who doesn’t love a treat? You can add treats into their diet if you’re training them, or just want to give them a little something extra, but these should be given in moderation to avoid any potential health issues.
Your Mini Rex should have constant access to freshwater whether that’s in a convenient bottle attached to your rabbit’s cage or in an accessible heavy dish. If you decide on the latter, the reason the weight of the dish is important is that some pet rabbits have been known to enjoy a nice refreshing splash in their bowl which ultimately knocks them over.
A Mini Rex rabbit’s coat is particularly low maintenance but you must provide some care by brushing their fur with a small, soft brush at least once a week. During times when they can molt heavily, they may require an extra brush to reduce the risk of invading mites and pests.
By brushing your bunny’s coat you can also prevent them from unhealthy fur balls. When a Mini Rex rabbit molts and grooms, excess fur can be ingested causing blocks in their digestive tracts and other health issues.
It is not necessary to bathe a Mini Rex and by doing so you can cause them deep stress resulting in biting, scratching, and anxiety. It can also reduce the natural oils produced in their coat. If your Mini Rex rabbit somehow gets messy, they will do what they can to groom themselves, although you can always use a damp cloth or towel to clean them down.
Constant access to hay and even wooden toys can prevent your rabbit’s teeth from overgrowing. Teeth are important to keep an eye on as they grow constantly, so nibbling can help to wear them down. So you should always consult your vet on the condition of their teeth during visits.
It may be a difficult task but you must help your Mini Rex rabbit maintain their nails by trimming them when necessary. Having said that, you can always enlist the help of a groomer or vet to help to trim your rabbit’s nails.
Rabbits in general require a moderate amount of exercise a day to keep themselves healthy. You should always allow your bunny to get a few hours of free-range time for them to stretch their legs. Mini Rex rabbits are not hyperactive animals but they thrive on socializing and playing with toys to keep them amused and happy.
Rabbit hutches come in all shapes and sizes so you may wonder what is the most suitable for a Mini Rex rabbit. Size is important regardless of the rabbit so always consider a hutch that has plenty of room for them to run around in. It should be big enough so that they can stand without their ears brushing the ceiling and so that they can stretch without scratching the walls.
Health Concerns And Mini Rex Rabbit Lifespan
Another wonderful fact to learn about the Mini Rex rabbit breed is that they are generally healthy with minimal conditions or risks. Regardless of this, they are not immune to health conditions and there are a few things that you should look out for when caring for a Mini Rex.
Although the Mini Rex is not vulnerable to exclusive breed conditions, below are some concerns that you should look out for that can affect the rabbit species overall.
Mites and Pests
Rabbits, like other animals, can be prone to worms, fleas, ticks, and mites. This can usually be prevented by grooming and regular vet visits but the lack of care can lead to skin and ear infections as well as sore hocks.
This condition is where the obstruction occurs in the bowel due to the movement slowing down. Due to rabbits’ sensitive digestive systems, a poor diet can result in Gastrointestinal Stasis. Dehydration, dental problems, and stress can also cause this condition which can have dire consequences.
Symptoms of GI:
- Teeth grinding
- Lack of appetite
- Small/no fecal movement
As mentioned previously, a rabbit’s teeth grow constantly so they need plenty of ways they can wear them down. If the size of their teeth is not monitored and controlled this can lead to them cutting their tongues, cheeks, and gums as they will grow sharply. Giving them wooden toys and occasionally veggies can prevent them from harm in the future.
How Long do Mini Rex Rabbits Live?
The average lifespan of a Mini Rex rabbit can be between 8-10 years as dwarf breeds tend to live longer. With proper care and attention, there is the possibility that they can live a little longer.
Where Can I find a Mini Rex Rabbit?
Browsing the internet is a great way to find local breeders and rescues when looking for a Mini Rex. The House Rabbit Society and National Mini Rex Club are a great source to find bunnies to adopt, others caring for Mini Rexs’ and even a way to enter your bunny into a rabbit show.