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Mini Rex Rabbit

Nicole Cosgrove

May 21, 2021

Most rabbit pet fanciers focus mainly on a rabbit’s size and type of coat, ignoring that these animals come in various shapes, colors, looks, sizes, and personalities. One of the rabbit breeds that are people’s favorite is the Mini Rex Rabbit.

It is everything you need for a decidedly good pet – cute with a plush and dense fur that makes it look like a small puff of bubbles. However, before introducing it to your family, it would be best to have in-depth information about these bunnies. Is the Mini Rex the right pet rabbit to take home?

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Quick Facts About Mini Rex Rabbit

Species Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
Family: Leporidae
Care Level: Intermediate, require medium attention
Temperature: Not too hot, below 80 degrees Fahrenheit
Temperament: Calm, Inquisitive, friendly
Color Form: Black, blue, blue-eyed white, broken colors, castor, Himalayan, lilac, opal, lynx, otter, white, seal sable, red, smoke pearl, tort, silver marten, chocolate.
Lifespan: 7 to 8 years
Size: 5 pounds, small/mini
Diet: 70% pellets and hay, plenty of water, avoid grains and seeds, veggies like carrots, kales, and lettuce should be occasional
Minimum Tank Size: 30 inches by 30 inches, 5 or 6 times its size
Tank Set-up: Indoors, under natural light
Compatibility: Mini Lop, Mini Satin Rabbit

Overview

The Mini Rex rabbit’s fur gene was discovered in France in the 1900s. The recognition and popularity led to the cross-breeding of Rex rabbits with the Netherland Dwarf rabbits to add to the dwarf gene, producing the first “Mini” Rex rabbit versions known as Dwarf Rex.

And as the demand for even smaller bunnies rose, Mona R. Berryhill developed the first Mini Rex breed by breeding a black Dwarf Rex bunny and an undersized Lynx Red making the tiny little furball. The first creation of the Mini Rex rabbit was castor colored.

It was later accepted as a breed after Berryhill introduced the Mini Rex Rabbit creation to the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association (ARBA) in 1986. This bunny’s fancy fur and the small-sized package that makes it cuddly is what cements this rabbit’s appeal as a family pet. It is easy to see why the Mini Rex is a people’s favorite and a therapy bunny after you combine their appearance with their sweet disposition.

Today, the Mini Rex rabbit has made appearances on the national exhibition scene. Their fur and an array of colors make them a common sight in the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association (ARBA) sponsored rabbit shows and the county fair.

mini rex rabbit side view
Image Credit: Padaguan, Wikimedia Commons

How Much Do Mini Rex Rabbits Cost?

Mini Rex bunnies are a valuable commodity, thanks to their history of multipurpose use. From their purpose as pets, therapy rabbits, and their recent adoption as show animals, they are no surprise that they are sold for soaring prices. Characterized by their various colors and luxurious and fancy fur, the prices for this bunny can start from $10-50. But if it has unique colors or disctinct markings, the prices can go through the roof.

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Typical Behavior & Temperament

These bunnies make the ideal pets for new parents, kids, the elderly, couples, and singles, thanks to their quiet and gentle temperament. They are motherly, friendly, docile, and thrive in human affection.

Although they are friendly, you shouldn’t leave them with children without supervision. These bunnies have fragile backs that can easily break upon rough handling by a kid. For this reason, they retaliate and develop aggression as a defense mechanism if they sense improper handling.

This breed is also hard to train and requires patience and time to potty train, understand boundaries, and learn signs. And, they are playful and benefit from companionship, toys, and entertainment.

patterned mini rex rabbit
Image Credit: Daliam44, Wikimedia Commons

Appearance & Varieties

Looks

The Mini Rex is a dwarf rabbit, so small—a fact that adds on their cuteness. Generally, it looks like a regular rabbit but smaller.

The Mini Rex has a well-rounded back and compact body type. Its shoulders, hind legs, and midsection are well-developed, well-fitted, and balanced with the rest of the body. The legs are straight and short but not as short as other dwarf bunnies.

It also has a short neck that’s almost invisible because the head is usually close to the shoulders, giving the rabbit a compact physique. You can’t mention a Mini Rex without pointing out its straight, thick ears that make it seem alert and on the lookout at all times.

Coat

This bunny has distinct fur that lacks long guard hairs protecting it and a same-length short coat. It means that you can feel the fine, velvety underfur whenever you pet it.

The fur is short, smooth, and but not too silky, dense, straight, upright, and offers a springy resistance to touch, making it look a tiny, puffy ball of hair. Understandably, the coat may appear like it requires a lot of grooming effort. However, it needs just a little maintenance and occasional grooming.

Avoid brushing it day-in-day-out as you can damage its soft feel. Only clean the coat with a damp cloth if it is too dirty.

Color

Mini Rex bunnies come in a plethora of colors and markings, the reason it’s used for exhibitions and shows. The American Rabbit Breeder’s Association recognizes nearly 20 Mini Rex colors, with the most common being; Sable, black, blue, castor, chocolate, lilac, lynx, opal, blue-eyed white, otter, red, tort, white, Himalayan, smoke-pearl, seal, silver marten, and other broken patterns.

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How to Take Care of Mini Rex Rabbit

Like other rabbit breeds, Mini Rex bunnies deserve good food, excellent care, and a safe home. More importantly, parents should try to emulate and provide the conditions they would have if they were in the wild as much as possible. For instance:

Enclosure/Cage

The good thing is that owners have a few enclosure options to choose from for their pets. For instance, if you stay in an apartment, an indoor cage would be the best retreat place for your Mini Rex bunny.

You can use a wire cage for accommodation. However, the enclosure should be bunny-proof to prevent it from chewing on electrical wires gnawing itself out of the chamber.

The minimum enclosure size for one small bunny should be 30 inches by 30 inches-four or five times its size. The golden rule of thumb is that the enclosure should be tall and broad enough for the rabbit to sit upright on their hind legs and 5 feet wide for moving freely.

As a rabbit, the Mini Rex rabbits love to burrow. Therefore, the cage should have at least two rooms in it, one of which they can retreat for privacy.

mini rex rabbit in a cage
Image Credit: Keraj1976, Wikimedia Commons

Bedding

Ensure that your enclosure has a solid floor, preferably a plywood bottom, to place rabbit-friendly bedding. You can cover the base with rabbit-worth beddings such as shredded cardboard or paper, wood pellets, dry straw, or hay.

These beddings will help prevent your pet from suffering from pododermatitis, a condition where it develops sores on the hind legs from sitting on a hard floor or wet bedding. For this reason, you’ll need to spot-clean daily and change the bedding at least weekly.

Temperature

You should set up your pet’s enclosure in a well-ventilated place to ensure that it doesn’t get too hot or too cold. The ideal conditions should be below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Avoid exposing it to too much heat that could ruin its coat. Although they can withstand cold temperatures thanks to their thick fur, try to keep them warm at all times.

Lighting

Mini Rex rabbits require lighting. Therefore, ensure the cage can access natural light. However, avoid exposing it to direct sunlight as the heat can make them miserable.

Do Mini Rex Rabbits Get Along with Other Pets?

The good thing is, they thrive in rabbit groups, are motherly to other bunnies, and can get along well with other household animals like cats as long as they are docile and gentle like them. The company provides enrichment and entertainment for the bunnies and prevents them from dying of loneliness.

But, like other rabbits, Mini Rex breeds have natural prey instincts. Therefore, they might live in fear for quite some time if they are around other animals with conflicting temperaments.

It’s most likely that you’ll need to give it time to adjust to other animals. You’ll also need to train animals like dogs that tend to be over-excited around new animals on how to treat your Mini Rex rabbit.

Rabbits also need to be trained on how to interact with other animals. The reason is, their vibrant personality might interfere with other pets that are loners and hate to be chased after, such as Guinea pigs.

However, do not pair your bunny with ferrets because they are carnivorous and may prey on your bunny. Although rabbits and birds can co-exist, avoid pairing them with noisy bird species that can damage your pet’s delicate eardrums.

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What to Feed Your Mini Rex Rabbit

Your bunny’s diet is equally vital besides its proper accommodation. Ensure that you provide a healthy and well-balanced diet to your rabbit.  Most of its diet (70%) should consist of pellets and grass hay.

Adult Mini Rex bunnies require about a quarter a cup of pellet for every pound they weigh. Apart from that, provide them fresh fruits, leafy greens, and crunchy veggies like carrots, mango, pear, lettuce, and celery occasionally and in small amounts.

Avoid feeding it dry seeds and provide a limited number of grains. Water should be plenty and available 24-hours a day. You can use water bowls or sipper bottles.

Most importantly, Mini Rex rabbits are nibblers. For this reason, food should always be available. Or, you can provide hard, chewy toys to help maintain healthy teeth and keep them busy.

Keeping Your Mini Rex Rabbit Healthy

You won’t need frequent vet visits if your bunny has a well-balanced diet and a clean enclosure. It would be best if you thoroughly clean its cage at least once a week and clean its litter box, food bowls, and water sippers every day.

Ensure it sleeps on dry bedding and change it every couple of days to prevent dampness that can create fumes that damage your pet’s delicate lungs. Stay aware of the temperatures and the weather as a change in temperature could lead to fatalities.

Interestingly, a bunny’s front teeth never stop growing and may extend into its jaw and face if you don’t control the growth. Hard and chew toys and hay can help the teeth to wear out. An ideal example of a toy you can get for your bunny is the Kaytee Carrot Patch. However, have a vet check their gnashers checked once in a while to ensure the teeth are growing right and there are no infections.

It is equally vital to always stay on the lookout for any symptoms and unusual behaviors that can signify an illness. A runny nose, lack of appetite, and a decline in activities are hints that you should seek medical help for your rabbit as soon as possible.

Breeding

During mating, the doe must go to the buck’s cage to minimize the male Mini Rex’s distraction when moving to a new location. When together, the pair may choose to play.

The buck can also chase the doe around the enclosure as it sniffs at her and the doe may stay lay still. The male will then mount the doe from behind as it makes quick pelvic thrusts. The female will give in by raising her hindquarters in response and allow the buck to violently thrust his hindquarters forth, raise his front limbs and throw himself off the female.

Mating will only have occurred after the buck throws itself off the female. You can then take the doe back to its cage and return it later. Re-mating six to twelve hours after the main act will multiply the conception rate and the litter size.

Ensure that the temperatures in the cage are suitable to ensure breeding success. Do not expose the male Mini Rex to more than 85 degrees Fahrenheit for at least five consecutive days before mating to prevent sterility. It would also be best if you trim the fur around the scrotal area.

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Are Mini Rex Rabbits Suitable for You?

Mini Rex rabbits are America’s favorite rabbit breeds thanks to their delightful fluff appearance, docile temperaments, and cuddly size. These rabbits are ideal for beginner parents, children, and the elderly as long as you handle them gently.

It would be best to take care of your pet’s overall health, housing, and diet needs. Have regular outdoor play dates with your pet to keep it active. However, it should only be under your supervision to protect it from predators.

The good thing is that these pets are intermediate maintenance and do not even require regular grooming. Therefore, you only have to show it affection, and you may live with the fluffy furball for up to 10 years!


Featured Image: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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