Rex Rabbit

The Rex Rabbit has a luxurious velvety coat and comes in both standard and mini sizes.

Size and weight of the Rex rabbit

The Standard Rex weighs on average between  2.7 - 4.5 kgs

The Mini Rex weighs on average between 1.4 - 1.8 kgs

Colour varieties of the Rex rabbit

The Rex rabbit comes in a wide variety of colours including:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Castor (Chestnut)
  • Chinchilla (Chin Rex)
  • Amber
  • Chocolate
  • Llilac
  • Otter
  • Lynx
  • Opal
  • Sable
  • Seal
  • White

Country of origin

The original Standard Rex was developed in France in the early 20th century. The mini, Astrex and Opossum have been developed in the UK subsequently.

Rex rabbit breed introduction and overview

The original Rex rabbits were bred from those rabbits with the gene that causes the animal’s hair to protrude straight out rather than lying flat and where the guard hairs are the same length as the rest of the coat. The result is a sumptuous, velvet and plush coat about 2 centimetres in length. The mutation was observed in wild grey rabbits and then deliberately bred. The variations; the Mini, Astrex and Opossum have been developed in Britain subsequently. In all versions the rabbit has a rich velvety coat, which appears to shimmer as the animal moves curly in places and sometimes curly or no whiskers are a characteristic. A rounded body, upright ears on its quite large head and toe nails that match its fur colour. It has smaller paws than many breeds. The female is larger than the male with a dewlap (fold of fur) under her chin.

Habitat and feeding requirements of the Rex rabbit

All versions of this rabbit needs plenty of space to move around and exercise and a hutch that is large enough for the rabbit it to stretch to its full height and length in all directions. Even a house Rex 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, (see our article on feeding your rabbit). In the case of the Rex note that too much protein in the diet will cause the rabbit to moult excessively.

Note additionally that the Rex does not enjoy being hot and in any case does not enjoy extremes of temperature.

The nature of the fur means that sometimes the rabbit gets sore hocks and some sort of softening matt should be offered to prevent this.

Does the Rex 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.

Intelligent, playful and relaxed (for a rabbit), the activity level is low to moderate. It is a gentle creature so ideal for families with children who are old enough to know how to handle the rabbit properly. This breed makes a good house rabbit and can be trained to use a litter tray. 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 Rex rabbit

The rich velvety sumptuous coat, with its thick undercoat, 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 Rex rabbit

This rabbit in both its two sizes 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.

Note additionally that the Rex does not enjoy being hot and in any case does not enjoy extremes of temperature.

The nature of the fur means that sometimes the rabbit gets sore hocks and some sort of softening matt should be offered to prevent this. Too much protein in the diet will cause the rabbit to moult excessively.

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. See our article on Neutering Your Rabbit.

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 Rex rabbit

A healthy Rex rabbit can expect to enjoy a life expectancy of 7–10 years.

Estimating how much it will cost to keep your Rex rabbit

Expect to pay around £30 for a  pedigree Rex rabbit.

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.