The Mini Rex rabbit is a small breed known for their calm, friendly, temperament and plush velvety coat.
Mini Rexs’ weigh 3.5 to 4.5 lbs, making them larger than most true dwarf rabbits. They come in a wide range of colors.
These lively bunnies are popular pets for families, but require careful supervision when handled by younger children. They need a moderate amount of care and attention, and love to play.
So is the Mini Rex Bunny the perfect pet for your family? Let’s take a look at exactly where this breed comes from, what makes it special, and how to properly care for your Mini Rex.
Mini Rex Rabbit FAQs
Our readers’ most popular and frequently asked questions about the Mini Rex rabbit.
- Are Mini Rex rabbits good pets?
- What is the average Mini Rex rabbit size?
- How long to Mini Rex rabbits live?
- What colors are Mini Rex rabbits?
What’s In This Guide To Mini Rex Rabbits
- Where does the Mini Rex rabbit come from
- Mini Rex rabbit appearance
- Mini Rex rabbit temperament
- Miniature Rex rabbit health
- Mini Rex rabbit lifespan
- Mini Rex rabbit care
- Similar breeds to the Mini Rex rabbit
- Is a Mini Rex rabbit right for me?
What Is A Mini Rex Rabbit?
The plush and velvety fur of the Mini Rex bunny and its small size have made them one of the most popular rabbit breeds in the US.
They also have a gentle and sociable personality. Most likely because they were bred from domesticated rabbits.
Where Does The Mini Rex Rabbit Come From
The first Mini Rex was bred by Monna R. Berryhill after she won a pair of black dwarf rex rabbits at a convention in 1983.
Two years later, Berryhill showed the Mini Rex Rabbit to the American Rabbit Breeders’ Association, and the rabbits were recognized as a distinctive breed.
Mini Rex Rabbit Appearance
The Mini Rex Rabbit has a compact and smooth body. Their shoulders, middle, and hindquarters should be well rounded.
Mini Rex’s ears are upright, close together, and thick. Their ears are also relatively short – the breed standard specifies not more than 3.5 inches long.
Mini Rex Rabbit Fur
The distinctive feature that makes “Rexed” fur so plush is that all the hairs are the same length. They also stand up instead of lying flat. The fur can grow up to ⅝ inches long.
How Big Do Mini Rex Rabbits Get?
Mini Rex bunnies usually weigh somewhere between 3.5 to 4.5 lbs.
This is larger than many “true” dwarf breeds, which weigh at maximum 3.5 pounds. The British Rabbit Council only considers rabbits “true” dwarf rabbits if they remain under 2.5 lbs.
Mini Rex Colors
The Mini Rex rabbit comes in a lot of different and exciting colors and patterns. This is because breeders are constantly trying for new exotic combinations.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association currently recognizes nineteen different colors. There are many more commonly seen color combinations and patterns as well.
ARBA descriptions of the recognized colors often specify patterns, such as tricolor or broken. Also the colors of specific parts of the bunny.
For example, the black Mini Rex rabbit must be black all over with dark brown eyes. Whereas a blue Mini Rex rabbit must have a rich dark blue coat and blue-gray eyes.
Mini Rex Rabbit Facts
The Mini Rex bunny is a good choice if you are interested in showing. According to ARBA a Mini Rex is very often voted as the top or 2nd best entry at conventions.
The Mini Rex is a truly domesticated rabbit breed that has always lived with people. You won’t find them in the wild – unless it’s an escaped bunny.
Besides the standard size Rex rabbit, many other rabbit breeds have been bred into the Mini Rex. This has been done to improve their quality and general health. Also to breed different color combinations.
Mini Rex Rabbit Temperament
Mini Rex Rabbits make excellent pets for families or individuals.
They have a gentle, easygoing, curious and sociable temperament. Although, of course, they do each have their own distinct personality.
Mini Rexs’ are more lively than larger rabbits and love to play. They have bouts of energy, usually in the late afternoon and evenings.
They also enjoy spending time with humans once you win their trust.
Do Mini Rex Rabbits Bite?
Mini Rex rabbits aren’t known for a tendency to bite. But even the most docile rabbit can bite or scratch if they get a fright or feel threatened.
So you need to be calm and avoid sudden movements or grabbing them from above. Always supervise and guide small children while they are playing with your rabbit.
Males can become aggressive during the mating season. But mostly with other males to establish their hierarchy.
Taming Mini Rex Rabbits
Mini Rex bunnies are very clever. The can be trained to use a litter box which is useful if you allow them to hop around the house.
You can even teach them tricks like coming when you call or to give kisses when you ask them to.
Training any rabbit takes time. First win their trust by sitting down and letting them come to you. Use a trail of food until they take it from your hand. Never lose patience while training and use treats as rewards.
Mini Rex Rabbit Health
Mini Rex rabbits are a hardy breed without any breed specific health problems. But they can suffer from common rabbit disorders.
Proper housing, hygiene and diet minimize most of the risks.
Always be attentive to even minor changes in your rabbit’s usual appearance or behavior. This might be an early indication of a health problem needing a visit to your vet.
Regular veterinary check-ups could also identify health problems early before they become serious.
General Health Problems
Rabbits are prone to environmental pests like any other pet. This includes mites, ticks, fleas and worms. Infestation can cause other common health problems like sore hocks or skin and ear infections.
Dental problems from teeth not wearing down are more common in dwarf rabbits. It is caused mostly by an incorrect diet.
So is gastrointestinal stasis, a condition where bowel movements slow down, causing an obstruction. This is often caused by and incorrect diet.
Unspayed female rabbits are at high risk of developing uterine cancer after three years of age.
Your Mini-Rex bunny can also contract the infectious diseases that affect rabbits.
Serious viral infections in rabbits, which are often fatal, are myxomatosis and rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease (RVHD). Vaccines for these conditions are available in many countries but have not been approved by the FDA.
An outbreak of RHDV has occurred in a number of US states during 2021. Veterinarians in affected states may now apply for special permits to import the vaccine.
Another common infection in rabbits is Pasteurella Multocida, commonly known as snuffels. This is a bacterial infection and can be treated by your vet with antibiotics.
Mini Rex Rabbit Lifespan
Smaller rabbits tend to live longer. A Mini Rex Rabbit’s lifespan is usually between 8-10 years. They may even live as long as 15 years.
You can prolong your Mini Rex bunny’s lifespan by providing them with the best care possible. This includes keeping them safe, a healthy diet, neutering or spaying, and a stimulating environment.
Do Mini Rex Rabbits Smell?
Rabbits are clean pets. Their fur is odorless and they spend a lot of time grooming themselves. A health problem could sometimes cause a bunny to develop an unpleasant smell.
Rabbits have two types of poop. The dry type doesn’t smell. The softer type smells but the bunny usually eats it right away. But when you feed your bunny incorrectly, maybe too much fruit and veg, they could develop diarrhea. And this can smell.
Mini Rex Rabbit Care
Rabbits are not difficult to look after. But you must give attention to proper housing, hygiene, grooming and diet. Also exercise and stimulation.
Rabbits need a cage large enough to live in comfortably. With the correct bedding, water bottle, feeding bowl and litter tray.
Rabbits chew constantly to wear down their teeth. So make sure they have plenty of chewable objects available, including toys.
You should spot clean their living area or litter box daily and do a full cage clean every week.
Many Mini Rex rabbits do well as “house rabbits,” allowed to roam homes at will. But you will need to train them to use a litterbox first.
You will also have to bunny-proof your home. Like making sure they can’t chew on electrical wires or your valuables.
Like all bunnies, Mini Rex rabbits require constant access to hay. This should make up about 80% of their diet.
In addition you can feed them rabbit-specific pellets in accordance with their size. Rabbits love green leafy vegetables so you can give them some once in a while as a treat.
Rabbits are constantly grooming themselves. But you need to brush them once or twice a week to keep their coats smooth and pest-free.
This is most important during molting to prevent hairballs.
Never bath your Mini Rex bunny. It stresses them and reduces the natural oils that keep their coats healthy.
Because they are in captivity, you will need to trim your rabbit’s nails. Or have it done by a groomer or your vet.
Exercise And Stimulation
Mini Rex rabbits need a moderate amount of exercise. This means that they should be let out of their hutch for several hours a day to stretch their legs.
Mini Rex’s are also curious, bright and sociable. Without safe toys, play, and interaction they can become bored and depressed.
Your Mini Rex bunny will love attention. So, if you want them to be happy, spend plenty of time with them!
Keeping Mini Rex Rabbits Together
Most rabbits, including the Mini Rex are social animals. Without companionship they can become very lonely.
Besides, they love to cuddle up together at night for warmth.
You should however separate mating rabbits. Babies and their mom should also have their own cage.
So, if you are considering a Mini Rex it’s best to plan for at least two or three.
Caring For A Baby Mini Rex Bunny
As mentioned, baby rabbits should be kept in a separate enclosure with their mother. They should have a warm and comfortable place to sleep. But usually mom will have prepared a cozy nest.
And don’t worry if the mother doesn’t spend a lot of time with the babies. Rabbits don’t lie with their babies or check on them constantly like most other pets. They suckle them about twice a day. And usually when no-one is watching.
The babies are born with no fur and closed eyes. After two weeks their eyes are open and they are ready to leave their nest.
By 8 weeks baby rabbits are weaned and males and females should be separated.
Showing Your Mini Rex Rabbit
Mini Rex Rabbits are very popular for showing. You can find guidance and the criteria your bunny has to meet on the ARBA website and on those of Mini Rex speciality organizations.
The Mini Rex does not need much show preparation if you look after their coat and nails regularly. Excessive brushing before the show is not recommended.
You need to make sure that your rabbit has a permanent number marked in their left ear. Also that it is correctly sexed and aged of the various classes. And that your bunny is quite comfortable with being flipped and handled.
Rescuing A Mini Rex Rabbit
So you’re convinced a Mini Rex Rabbit is the right pet for you. You may want to consider adopting one of the many rabbits that are abandoned every year.
You can enquire at your local animal shelter. Or, you can search social media and the web for advertisements by people who need to find a new home for their pet.
There are also organizations specializing in finding homes for rabbits.
- FUR – Friends of Unwanted Rabbits is an organization in the US
- Rabbit Rehome is based in the UK.
What if you don’t manage to find a Mini Rex rabbit in your area?
You might be drawn to the distinctive plush Rex fur, or the small size of the dwarf rabbit. You could consider one of the following breeds:
Mini Rex Rabbit Products And Accessories
Is A Mini Rex Rabbit Right For Me
There is no doubt about it – Mini Rex rabbits have the looks and a temperament to match. Their small size, plush coat, and sociable nature make them a great pet for any household. And a great contender in the showring.
Mini Rex rabbits don’t have any breed-specific health issues. But dwarf rabbits are more prone to some health problems than average sized rabbits.
You do need to consider that you will need to care for your Mini Rex rabbit for up to ten years or more. And that you should ideally get at least two.
Once you’ve made up your mind that a Mini Rex rabbit is right for you, breeders are easy to find. But because they are so popular, purebred Mini Rex’s can be quite pricey.
Do You Have A Mini Rex Rabbit
Do you have a Mini Rex rabbit living at home with you? We’d love to hear all about them in the comments below.
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References And Resources
- American Rabbit Breeders Association (2019). ARBA Official Breed ID Guide.
- Berninger, M. and House, C (1995). Serologic comparison of four isolates of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus. Veterinary Microbiology, 47.
- House Rabbit Society. (2021) Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV). Rabbit.org.
- Krempels, Dana (2014). Head Tilt (torticollis) in Rabbits: Don’t Give Up. University of Miami.
- Kunstryr, I. and Naumann, S. (1985). Head tilt in rabbits caused by pasteurellosis and encephalitozoonosis. Laboratory Animals, 19.
- Spibey, N. (2012). Novel bivalent vectored vaccine for control of myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease. Veterinary Record, 170.
- The National Mini Rex Club, History of the Club.
- Yorston, M. (2013). Gastrointestinal stasis in Rabbits. The New Zealand Veterinary Nurse.