The White Vienna Rabbit is laid-back and makes a great indoor or outdoor rabbit pet. It is considered suitable for older kids, as well as adults, and is recognizable for its beautiful white coat and blue eyes.
Medium to large
Hulstlander, American White
Novice to experienced owners that want a docile, beautiful rabbit
Laid back, docile, friendly
Although it is not recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, this medium to large breed is recognized by the British Rabbit Council. It is of several variants of the Vienna Rabbit, which can also come in blue, black, and agouti colors.
White Vienna Rabbit Breed Characteristics
How Much Do These Rabbits Cost?
The White Vienna Rabbit is popular in its home country of Austria and because it is a recognized breed by the British Rabbit Council, it is somewhat popular in the UK, too. However, it is not recognized in the US and, partially because of this, it is not yet a popular species. However, it may be possible to pick one up from a pet store, where it may simply be described as a white rabbit with blue eyes, and where the breed is available, it will generally cost between $50 to $100. From a specialist breeder, you can expect to pay around $100.
You may also be able to find one of these breeds in rescues or shelters. They live approximately 10 years, and some owners are not prepared for that long a commitment when they buy them. Owners may also give them up following accidental mating or because rabbits take more care than a lot of first-time owners expect. Adoption fees vary from shelter to shelter but can cost anywhere from $0 to $50. There are a few white rabbit breeds, so if you are looking specifically for a White Vienna, you may have to look for specific breeders.
The White Vienna is a medium to large breed with white fur and, unusually for white breeds, blue eyes.
Temperament & Intelligence of the White Vienna Rabbit
The White Vienna Rabbit is one of several Vienna breeds. It has a beautiful white coat and stunning blue eyes and is said to be docile and laid back. It can make an excellent pet for the right person.
Do These Rabbits Make Good Pets? 👪
White Vienna Rabbits are docile and laid back. With careful and regular handling, they will develop a bond with their humans and enjoy being picked up, or at least spending time with family members. They are good for older children, but they are still rabbits and can get hurt if handled too roughly or dropped, so young children must always be supervised when spending time with them.
Does This Rabbit Get Along With Other Pets?
Rabbits are sociable animals that do better when kept with at least one other rabbit. A solitary rabbit can become depressed and get ill. Although rabbits will usually get along with other animals, they are prey animals which means that they can be very wary of cats, dogs, and larger animals. They are prone to running away from bigger animals which, in turn, means that animals with any kind of predatory instinct might give chase.
Things to Know When Owning a White Vienna Rabbit:
The White Vienna Rabbit is one of several Vienna Rabbit variants, all of which are considered good pets thanks to their docile nature and laid-back attitude. They can be potty trained quite easily and they are not known to be especially prone to any major health problems. They also do not require too much in the way of grooming or special care, although rabbits do require more attention and care than a lot of first-time owners consider. If you are thinking of getting one, you need to consider the following factors before buying.
Food & Diet Requirements 🥕
The White Vienna Rabbit has similar dietary requirements to any rabbit breed, which means there is nothing too complicated or prohibitively expensive. Good quality hay or grass should make up the majority of the rabbit’s diet. You can also feed a small amount of rabbit pellets, although this isn’t necessary for smaller breeds, and you should give a small handful of fresh, leafy greens twice a day.
Although once very popular, you should avoid giving muesli-style foods to rabbits because it can cause dental problems and lead to poor stomach health. Always ensure your rabbit has access to a plentiful supply of fresh water, either in a bowl or bottle.
Habitat & Hutch Requirements 🏠
White Vienna Rabbits can be kept as indoor or outdoor rabbits, but indoor rabbits tend to lead longer lives and be healthier. This also helps them build a bond with you and the rest of the family and will help ensure that they integrate into your family.
The hutch or cage you provide should be an absolute minimum of 6 x 2 x 2 feet. It should have a darker, enclosed area where the rabbit can sleep and enjoy some peace and solitude. Wood shavings or straw can be used as bedding. Pick up any solids and soiled bedding you see daily and completely change the bedding weekly.
Your rabbit also needs daily exercise, out of its cage. This can mean providing it with the run of a rabbit-proofed room, or the provision of an exercise pen or run. This should measure at least 8 x 4 feet and will give your rabbit a chance to get physical exercise and potentially enjoy some time outdoors.
Rabbit-proofing a room means ensuring there are no wires that your rabbit can reach and removing or covering anything that they might chew. Rabbits need to chew, and if they see something wooden or otherwise easy to chew, they will use the opportunity to maintain their teeth.
Exercise & Sleeping Needs 🐇
You should provide your rabbit with at least 2 hours of exercise daily, when it will be allowed to run outside its cage, either in its exercise run or in a rabbit-proofed room. Rabbits can sleep anywhere from 8 to 12 hours a day. They usually sleep in short bursts, may sleep with their eyes open, and they will sleep during the daytime and nighttime. They are crepuscular animals which means they are most active at dawn and dusk, and you may see them hopping around at various other times of the night and day.
The White Vienna Rabbit can be trained, with patience and perseverance. Many owners choose to litter train their rabbits and this is certainly possible with this breed.
Litter training a rabbit is largely about habit forming and taking advantage of the rabbit’s desire to go to the toilet in the same spot every time. Watch where your rabbit poops most frequently. Place a piece of paper in this spot. You should find the rabbit continues to pee and poop in the area. After a few days, put the paper in a litter tray and leave it in the same spot. After a day or so, add a small amount of litter on top of the paper and keep increasing the amount of litter until it is fully covered. Assuming your rabbit continues to pee and poop in the tray, you can stop adding the paper.
With a silky smooth, short to medium coat, the White Vienna is easily groomed. Use a rabbit brush and groom once or twice a week. It should only take a few minutes at a time, and the hair shouldn’t be knotted or messy so it should be a very easy process. Brushing will help prevent molting and it will ensure their coat continues to look its best. You can also take the opportunity to check the rabbit’s physical condition and ensure that it doesn’t have any visible injuries or signs of illness.
Check teeth length and consult a vet if the teeth are getting too long: it can be a sign of illness or that you aren’t providing enough hay in the rabbit’s diet. You may need to help trim your rabbit’s claws every couple of months when they get long. You can buy nail clippers to do this yourself but be careful not to cut too far down.
Rabbits do not need routine bathing. Regular washing and shampooing can cause damage to the rabbit’s coat, and its natural oils should be ample to maintain overall health. If they do get poop caught in the fur, you can remove it and spot clean gently with a damp cloth.
Lifespan and Health Conditions 🏥
The White Vienna Rabbit is a hardy rabbit with a lifespan of approximately 10 years. Some may live a little longer while others may not reach 10 years. However, there are certain conditions that all rabbits are prone to, including this breed.
Male vs Female
Although it does depend on the individual more than the breed, female rabbits can be more adventurous and prone to adventuring. Males tend to be more cuddly and more likely to enjoy being held and pampered.
3 Little-Known Facts About White Vienna Rabbits
1. They Were Bred for Their Blue Eyes
This breed is over 100 years old. Austrian, Willhelm Mucke, spent 15 years trying to breed a pure white rabbit that had blue eyes, rather than the red or pink eyes that are common in white animals. He crossed Dutch rabbits with the Holland Lop and Flemish Giant. After 15 years, he perfected the breed, which has light blue irises and dark pupils.
2. They Have Furred Ears
The white fur and blue eyes of the White Vienna give it a very distinctive look, but another feature that is fairly uncommon in rabbits but present in the White Vienna Rabbit is that they have furred ears. Most rabbit breeds have thinned fur on their ears, but the White Vienna has full fur.
3. They Are a Recognized Breed in the UK
The White Vienna Rabbit is not an officially recognized breed in the US, but it is in the UK where it is formally recognized by the British Rabbit Council. This means that White Vienna Rabbits can be difficult to find in the US and that, if they are available in pet stores, they are more likely to be given a generic name.
The White Vienna Rabbit is a beautiful rabbit with a pure white coat and, unusually for white rabbit breeds, blue eyes. Because it is not officially recognized by ARBA, it is a rare breed in the US, but it is considered laid back and docile, and can make a great first rabbit because of these characteristics and because it is not believed to be prone to any breed-specific illnesses or conditions.
Like any breed, the White Vienna does need adequate housing and care to ensure that it remains healthy and can live as long a life as possible.
Featured Image Credit: shipic, Shutterstock