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Miniature Lion Lop Rabbit

Nicole Cosgrove

Rabbits make a great addition to a household. Their oodles of personalities, iconic ears, twitchy noses, and hoppy legs are pretty much why most pet owners want them for pets. However, rabbits come in various breeds and sizes and one of the most adorable breeds is the miniature lion lop.

The rabbit’s delightful woolly mane, small stature, and cute appearance have won over many hearts since its production. But before you think of keeping one for yourself, it would help if you arm yourself with knowledge regarding this smallest rabbit breed.

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Quick Facts About Miniature Lion Lop

Species Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
Family: Leporidae
Care Level: Enjoy gentle attention, require play, need freedom
Temperature: Slightly cool
Temperament: Friendly, social, even-tempered, lively, active
Color Form: Steel, opal, iron-gray, agouti, black, orange, chocolate, beige, seal point, blue point, smoke, fawn, sooty fawn, smoke fawn
Lifespan: Up to 17 years
Size: Small
Diet: Fresh grass, fresh hay, raw vegetables, grains, plenty of clean water
Minimum Tank Size 4
Tank Set-up: Indoor quarters and can access natural light
Compatibility: Cats

Miniature Lion Lop Overview

The Miniature Lion Lop rabbit breed was developed in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s. This beautiful breed was developed by crossbreeding Lionhead rabbit with small-eared Mini Lop rabbit by a breeder known as Jane Bramley.

The Lionhead gene, which is the dominant gene, is responsible for giving the Miniature Lion Lop its long lovely mane of hair around its head. You can produce the Mini Lion Lop by selectively crossing the Lionhead with a Mini Lop, Lionhead/Mini Lop hybrid, or Dwarf Lops.

The British Rabbit Council (BRC) officially recognized this breed in 2006, and Jane Bramley actively championed it. Although it has been imported to the US since the early 2000s, the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) is yet to recognize it.

This mini version of the Lionhead Rabbit has a well-built, chiseled, broad, small, and short body. It is also friendly and affectionate and loves human interaction.

Arguably, a Miniature Lion Lop Rabbit was born to be a pet, thanks to its teddy-bear look and social tendencies. However, it requires near-constant grooming because of its mane.

How Much Do Miniature Lion Lops Cost?

Miniature Lion Lops demand exorbitant prices because they are relatively a new breed.

In the U.S, their prices vary from state to state; you can pay from $30 up to $200 for one. However, the real expenses come after the purchase. For instance, its cage home, food, bedding, treats, and toys can cost up to $50 a month. In the UK, price of a miniature lion lop ranges between £30 to £100.

Since it is an exotic pet, it requires insurance covers and other health costs that can add up to $25 a month. Not to forget, miniature lion lops require grooming expenses. And, you may realize that you may have to replace things around your home if it gets too scratchy and chewy.

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Typical Behavior and Temperament

A Mini Lion Lop is an extremely friendly, social, and curious rabbit that hates enclosures with restrictive interplay. Although it is an attention-seeking creature that thrives on human attention, this rabbit breed is good-natured and intelligent. It likes to wander and play with toys and requires little holes and crates to fuss with because they are athletic.

Mini Lion Lops also require free-range exercise and enjoy hanging around other rabbits. It’s no surprise to find them playing and grooming each other.

Appearance & Varieties

Appearance

The Mini Lion Lop breed is among the smallest rabbit breeds and weighs around (1.5 kg) 3 to 3.5 pounds. It is a tiny version of Lionhead Rabbit, with robust, stocky, and short hind limbs that fit its tiny frame.

Its front limbs are also short and straight, as the back is short and plump. This rabbit’s chest is broad, deep, and curved, where they connect to the firm and broad shoulders.

It also has an outstandingly furry and straight tail. Although the neck is almost invisible, its head is broad, with full cheeks, large, sparkling, and bold eyes. But the most outstanding feature is its broad ears that are woolly, thick, rounded at the tips, and flop down on the head’s surfaces.

Coat

A Mini Lion Lop’s coat is usually average in length, soft and thick with rollback and dense guard hairs. It also has an abundant fur that is approximately 2-3 inches long all around the head.

The mane forms a V-shaped pattern behind the pet’s head when it falls over the head between its ears. The woolly fur also covers the rabbit’s paws and limbs and a bit of the extending fur surrounding the thighs.

Colors

Mini Lion Lops were initially produced in several distinct colors. However, enthusiasts are still working on getting all the colors standardized because the Breeds Standard Committee still restricts some colors on Miniature Lion Lop breeds.

The good thing is, you can get your pet rabbit in any color as long as it is breeder-accepted. The UK’s recognized colors include White (red or blue-eyed), agouti, black, orange, opal, seal point, beige, butterfly, sooty fawn, smoke, blue point, chocolate, iron-gray, steel, smoke, Siamese sable (light, medium, and dark), black otter, fawn, and black fox.

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How to Take Care of Miniature Lion Lops

Although Mini Lion Lops are fantastic pets, they are a little needy and require great care. Since they love to show off and attention, it would be best to think over getting one if you can’t devote your time to give it the best care. Suppose you should have it, here’s what to consider.

Cage/Enclosure

Although Mini Lion Lops are small, they are super jumpy, requiring loads of space to play, bounce and exercise. Therefore, build an enclosure or a cage specifically meant for rabbits.

The Mini Lion Lop’s indoor quarters should measure 3 to 4 feet in width, 2 feet in depth with a height of about 3 feet. For good air circulation, build the base with and surfaces with cables and not glass.

The enclosure should assure your pet’s security and keep predators away. It is equally vital to house the male and female Mini Lion Lops in separate cages.

Bedding

Provide your rabbit with a comfortable home by putting a board above the cables to protect the paws from going under it. Ensure that it sleeps on rabbit-recommended grass and covers. Avoid using hay and grass from unknown sources and if you use wood shavings, avoid the scented pinewood and cedar bedding because they create smog that harms the rabbits’ glands.

Temperature

Consider building a cage in the shade to avoid the summer heat and blisters and place them away from extreme heat. Mini Lion Lops wear furry coats. For this reason, they require slightly cooler temperatures. However, consider heating the cage during the winter fall to prevent it from freezing.

Lighting

Mini Lion Lops require sunlight for their wellbeing. Therefore, ensure that you expose it to enough natural light for Vitamin D, which is crucial for forming strong bones and healthy teeth. So, if you are keeping it in a dim cage, ensure that you get it out of the enclosure and allow them access light daily.

Do Miniature Lion Lops Get Along with Other Pets?

Mini Lion Lops are curious and free-spirited. They get along well with fellow bunnies and are happiest when they are in trios and couples in the cages. They also get along well with your family members and are welcoming to house guests.

Miniature Lion Lops can be best friends with other family pets such as cats, especially if they are mild, calm, and gentle. However, since some kitties and dogs can bully them, the rabbits require training, time, and patience to build trust and feel comfortable around the other pets.

It is also vital to gradually introduce the bunny to the pets and monitor their activities, especially dogs. Dogs can get over-excited and get a little too forceful around your bunny.

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What to Feed Your Miniature Lion Loop

It is crucial that they eat more than just carrots and lettuce. You should feed them veggies, grains, grass, fresh hay, fruits, and a few pellets.

Grass helps in their dental and digestive health. However, it would be best to gradually introduce fresh hay such as oat, orchard, and timothy to allow the bunny’s gut to adjust to these foods because they have a sensitive digestive system.

On the other hand, grains should be in their daily diet. Raw foods such as leafy spinach, kale, lettuce, and spring greens are vital elements in a Mini Lion Lop’s nutrition and should make up 75% of the veggies you provide them.

The remaining 25% can include veggies like broccoli, bell pepper, cauliflower, summer squash, and plenty of fresh water. Restrict starchy vegetables and fruits and only serve as once in a while treats. Apart from that, avoid feeding them nuts and seeds as they affect their sensitive digestive system.

Keeping Your Miniature Lion Lop Healthy

Check your bunny’s dental hygiene regularly, and ensure that dental issues like overgrown teeth are not a concern. Gnaw toys such as KAYTEE Carousel Carrot Chew Toy and a fibrous diet can help maintain their strong teeth.

Overfeeding your Mini Lion Lop will make it obese, have a hard time grooming itself as well as develop flystrike. Another thing for concern is its enclosure’s hygiene.

Remove the former bedding and wash the cage regularly with warm, clean water and replace the bedding with fresh bedding. Although bunnies can groom themselves and do not require frequent baths, brush the Lop’s coat with a soft-bristled brush as often as you can.

Ensure that your pet is vaccinated, treated against pests and parasites, and sprayed by a vet. Since these pets are exotic, you might need to “outsource” veterinary services as most vets deal with felines and dogs.

Breeding

Mini Lion Lop’s ovulation is induced by reproductive provocation. Young Mini Lion Lops reach sexual maturity at 4 to 5 months. Males usually demand more time to mature and enter adult sperm count within 6 to 7 months.

Female Mini Lion Lops are territorial and require owners to be taken to a male’s enclosure for mating. The male immediately ascents on the female on seeing her, mounting her, and performing pelvic driving that ends in ejaculation before “dropping” off.

The sexual act lasts up to 30 seconds and goes on a few more times. You should separate the pair when they finish. However, some people allow more encounters to double the litter.

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Are Miniature Lion Lops Suitable for You?

If you have the time, keeping a Mini Lion Lop is worth it. Be careful though-it is not cultured to keep around young children. These bunnies require gentle handling, and they might feel unsafe around kids, leading to scratching.

Although your Mini Lion Lop will take time to warm up to you at first, it can turn into the most adorable rabbit if you give it freedom, strike it gently, and love it. With a loving and healthy home, good food, attention, and vet check-ups, a Miniature Lion Lop can live with you for 5 to 10 years. Some can even live longer, perhaps for 12 years!


Featured Image Credit: Zashion Stud, Barrow Bunnies, Wikimedia Commons

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.