Havana Rabbit

The Havana rabbit is a very pretty small rabbit breed, with a lustrous coat.

Size and weight of the Havana rabbit

A small rabbit weighing on average around 2-2.9 kgs

Colour varieties of the Havana rabbit

The breed comes in a select few colours including:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Broken colours (where the available colours are mixed with white)
  • Lilac - in the process of being considered for recognition.

Country of origin

Holland

Time of original development

The late 19th century.

Havana rabbit breed introduction and overview

Developed in Holland in the late 19th century. In spite of its name, allegedly named after the dark brown of the famous cigar. The breed arrived in Britain at the beginning of the 20th century. Originally only the chocolate was recognised, before the other colours were gradually allowed as the 20th century wore on.

The body is short and well rounded. From back to front, the body narrows gradually towards the neck. Upright ears and prettily shaped eyes. Known as ‘the mink of the rabbit family’

Habitat and feeding requirements of the Havana rabbit

Like all rabbits this breed needs plenty of space to move around and exercise and a hutch that is large enough for it to stretch to its full height and length in all directions. Even a house New Havana rabbit should have time to have a good run and explore in a safe place outside.

Feed a standard rabbit diet to ensure good digestion, avoid obesity and give proper wear on the rabbit’s continually growing teeth.

Does the Havana rabbit make a good pet for smaller children?

Despite their ‘cute’ appearance rabbits are not ideal for very small children to handle unless they are closely supervised together. Rabbits should be socialised young to human company and young people
should be told how to hold a rabbit properly, so that it feels secure.

If any rabbit becomes frightened, the rabbit’s desire to escape means that its powerful back legs can injure the human handler and can cause the rabbit to be dropped and injure itself.

Generally relaxed and friendly, but do talk to the breeder you buy from as there have been cases of more bad tempered lines being present in the breed. Not a rabbit for very small children owing to its small size, but OK with older children who will handle it carefully. This breed makes a good house rabbit, though a crate or other safe place should be supplied for the rabbit to relax in. Also hide all cabling, this is a smallish rabbit so can creep into narrow gaps. Your rabbit will need plenty of toys and stimulation and regular access to run outdoors in a run.

Always keep your rabbits safe from dogs and cats who may harm them. Even where pets ‘get on’, they should be supervised when together and you must ensure that your rabbit is not stressed by being exposed to other animals or people.

Grooming requirements of the Havana rabbit

The rich sumptuous coat, needs a good brush at least once a week more during moulting. Additionally, as rabbits’ teeth keep growing throughout their lives, eating the right food will help to keep the teeth properly ground down, but you do need to check, on a frequent basis that this is happening properly, or your pet may need to have its teeth ground down by the vet.

Health issues in the Havana rabbit

This rabbit is a reasonably healthy breed being not to large nor too tiny and with average length fur. As with all rabbits, however, check that its bottom is clean of any debris and is kept dry to avoid the danger of flystrike.  Keep your rabbit at the correct weight so that it can move easily to groom itself.

Teeth and also toe nails should be checked frequently to ensure they are not growing too long.

Female rabbits should be neutered if you do not intend to breed from them to avoid cancers in later life. Males will become less aggressive if neutered too.

As with all pedigree pets, it is very important to obtain a young rabbit or rabbit kit from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding any inherent problems found in the breed.

Average lifespan of the Havana rabbit

A healthy Havana rabbit can expect to live between 7 – 10 years and sometimes longer.

Estimating how much it will cost to keep your Havana rabbit

A pedigree Havana rabbit will cost around £30, but they are not to easy to come buy as pets in the UK, though are increasing in popularity.

While the initial cost of a pedigree rabbit may seem very low compared to pure bred dogs or even cats, the costs of the following items and procedures make the cost of owning a rabbit mount up:

  • buying a sufficiently large hutch and run
  • specialised feeding and bedding
  • annual inoculations
  • neutering
  • on-going dental care
  • insurance

Rabbits should also be kept in pairs. It is estimated that two rabbits together could cost around £1800 a year throughout their lives (including the initial outlay). See our article on working out the cost of keeping a pet rabbit.