Mini Rex Rabbits are the adorable and a miniature version of the already-established Rex rabbit breed, with all the intelligence and antics of its larger counterparts compressed into a velvety little furball. But of the 49 different breeds of rabbit, how do you know a Mini Rex is the right one to choose?
If you’re a mature and somewhat experienced pet owner or couple looking to add a lovable furry companion into your household, a Mini Rex Rabbit may be a unique and still relatively inexpensive choice of pet for you.
Despite having officially been recognized as a breed so recently in the 80s, so many traits of the rabbit have caused it to rapidly grow in demand in the pet market. Read on to further learn about the habits and characteristics of the Mini Rex that distinguish itself as the most popular breed of rabbit pet today!
What’s a Mini Rex Rabbit’s Size?
As the breed’s name implies, the Mini Rex rabbit is quite a small species of rabbit (though still larger than most dwarf species of rabbits) usually weighing on average between 3.5 to 4.5 lbs (1.6 to 2kg), almost six pounds lighter than their regular Rex counterparts.
As a dwarf version of their ancestors, Mini Rexes are described as having a medium build, having a round body and broad head. Their ears can measure up to 3.5 inches long, and their whiskers stand out from other rabbit species by being curled up.
The novel size of a Mini Rex rabbit is one of the contributing factors to owners purchasing their new pet, which is often only slightly larger than an average sow guinea pig. Surprisingly, the female rabbits can reach a slightly heavier weight by half a pound than the bucks at adulthood.
About Mini Rex Rabbit Fur
A Mini Rex Rabbit’s fur coat is one of its salient features (a huge reason for its popularity), and is described as having soft and short hairs, albeit dense and smoothly firm in their coating and having a plushie-like, velvety texture.
For many initiates, it is love at first touch upon the Mini Rex’s uniquely soft fur, and a truly unforgettable first experience.
You or a fellow loved one may also be delighted to learn that Mini Rexes have one of the most hypoallergenic furs of any pet, meaning that their fur is least likely to agitate allergies compared to say, dogs and cats.
Because of their uniquely-textured, soft fur, of which they are continuously shedding (albeit producing less dander than most rabbit breeds) it’s important to not overgroom Mini Rexes, which on top of stressing them will also damage their delicate fur.
Mini Rex Colors
In addition to its pleasant fur is the fact that the breed boasts nearly 20 different colors officially recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. These include: black, blue, blue-eyed white, broken group, castor, chinchilla, chocolate, Himalayan, lilac, lynx, opal, otter, red, sable point, seal, silver marten, smoke pearl, tortoise, and white.
This isn’t even taking in the broken or mixed patterns into account, for which there are truly an endless rainbow of combinations for a Mini Rex to appear in!
Experienced owners and breeders can join Mini Rex associations and clubs for which contests can be held judging their specimens for quality and colors of their coating.
How Much Does a Mini Rex Rabbit Cost?
Mini Rex Rabbits can be bought and sold up to anywhere from $10 to about $50 USD in the world, depending on the rarity of its fur coat, any distinguishing markings, and the seller. You can easily bypass this fee by adopting a Mini Rex from your local animal adoption center or the House Rabbit Society, which lists rabbits up for adoption state-by-state (US only).
Everything else, including living expenses, will depend on how much effort the owner invests into the pet. For example, if the rabbit is to live outside, a hutch can easily cost over $100. A small cage for residing in the family living room, however, can cost as little as around 35 dollars.
Rabbits that live indoors will require bedding, which need to be changed bi-monthly, depending on the size of the cage and time spent within it. Buy bedding and food in bulk. Other rabbit accessories, from chewing toys to litter boxes shouldn’t rack up more than 20$ in expenses.
Bear in mind that the initial purchasing price of pets of any species or breed will depend on where you live.
How High Can Mini Rex Rabbits Jump?
Mini Rex Rabbits have been reported to jump as high as three feet, just short of an average classroom desk (although some would claim they can jump over a 4 ft pen easily). Pets that are situated in outdoor living quarters can be observed occasionally hopping atop their hutch during playtime.
However, it’s unlikely that your Mini Rex will find reason to jump more than two feet in a safe and enclosed environment. Frequency of jumping will also depend on the activity level as well as emotional disposition of the pet, for which Mini Rexes are described as having “low to moderate” levels and being sweet respectively.
How Long Do Rex Rabbits Live as Pets?
The life span of Mini Rex Rabbits range from 7 to 10 years, although it is likely that your pet can live even longer than a decade, as the extent of care and diet will always affect the life span of any living creature.
At What Age is a Mini Rex Full Grown?
A Mini Rex Rabbit will reach its full grown body size typically by the 8th or 9th month of age.
Are Mini Rex Rabbits Friendly?
Mini Rex Rabbits have a friendly disposition to their owners, and have sudden bursts of energy while still being moderately active. They are quite docile and friendly around other rodents and small children (however, they are easily stressed and not easy pets for children to start with).
Their personality can be said to be their second greatest asset after their velvety fur coating, as they are calm, and affectionate when necessary. Free-roaming Mini Rexes can even greet guests at the door!
Just like humans, Mini Rexs will get bored really easily and will need toys and socializing, either with companion rabbits or their owners.
Individual dispositions and temperaments of a rabbit will show through, but Mini Rex rabbits are unlikely to be aggressive. You might get the rare slightly irate bunny that likes to bite, but this can be determined before adoption with careful screening and evaluation of the pet-to-be.
Are Mini Rex Rabbits Nocturnal?
While some rabbit species are nocturnal, most pet breeds have understandably been bred to be diurnal. Nevertheless, several Mini Rex Rabbit owners have taken to the web to complain that their furred ones appear to be nocturnal, from bouncing around to burrowing like mad at sleeptime.
Rabbits aren’t exactly black and white when it comes to classifying as nocturnal or diurnal. Rather, they are crepuscular animals, meaning that they are more active during the dawn or dusk.
Being smaller animals with faster metabolisms and life spans, rodents are heavily routine-driven in their activities. This means preventative measures for rabbit night play involve pinpointing those routines for correction.
Are Mini Rex Rabbits Smart?
Mini Rex Rabbits are quite an intelligent species of rabbit, having the capacity to play with objects and even be potty-trained. They can even be taught to learn verbal commands such as “stay,” or “sit” like a dog!
Potty-training will require patience and much repetition on behalf of the owner, which in a gist entails handling of the rabbit’s waste by placing gathered poop within the litter box and gently coaxing the rabbit with verbal praise and petting.
While not exactly the easiest small animal to train, once sufficient effort has been invested in training, a Mini Rex Rabbit can roam freely with minimal enclosure around the house having learned its boundaries.
What Do Mini Rex Rabbits Eat?
As vegetarians, approximately 90% of Mini Rex Rabbits’ diets should consist of hay, while the rest may be satisfied by food pellets and fresh fruit and vegetables. Their palette is virtually identical to other species of rabbits or guinea pigs, save that they should not eat too many treats.
Choice of hay can be dried grass hay like Timothy hay, which is vital for helping the rabbits wear down their perpetually-growing teeth and regulating their digestive tracts. Mini Rexes eat at least a quarter pound of pellets for every pound they themselves weigh daily.
Make sure to do your own research as to what certain vegetables or parts of fruits to avoid giving to your bunny. For example, while the flesh of the apple is great, their cores should be avoided because the seeds within them contain tiny amounts of cyanide that can hurt your pet.
Always be sure to provide clean, fresh water in availability at all times for your Mini Rex rabbit.
Can Mini Rex Rabbits Eat Strawberries?
Yes, they can eat strawberries, as no part of the fruit or the plant itself is toxic to Mini Rex Rabbits.
However, large quantities of feeding any fruit to them can cause gastrointestinal problems such as obesity or diarrhea.
Are Mini Rex Rabbits a Good Pet for Children?
Many parents make the mistake of getting a rabbit of any breed for their children, assuming that it would be an easy entry level pet to teach them responsibility and care for another animal, and that the lovely Mini Rexes at 4H fairs would be a cinch for their kids to take care of at home.
On the contrary, most rabbits make a terrible choice for beginner pet owners. Mini Rexes themselves can be considered mostly for intermediate or experienced owners, as they require patient daily maintenance that consists of socializing, feeding, and grooming.
Mini Rexes, like most rabbit breeds, shed constantly and abundantly. It can be a hard skill for kids to grasp a happy medium between adequate care and overgrooming of the Mini Rex’s delicate short fur, as well as cleaning after its wake. Unlike Guinea Pigs, Mini Rexes can’t really be left alone in a cage.
Mini rexes make it really obvious when they are bored by thumping and even growling in a small rabbit grunt during agitation, and yet will resist attempts at being held often. Because of their inability to “play,” children may quickly tire of the novelty of a cute rabbit pet and subsequently neglect care.
In the short 30-plus years since its inception into the purebred world of rabbits, the Mini Rex quickly became the most popular breed of rabbit pet, having all the qualities of a Rex compressed into a tiny, cute package.
However, with popularity comes unforeseen consequences such as many families realizing all too late that they couldn’t afford the time or effort required to take care of these pets, accounting for the reason of animal shelters flooded by abandoned rabbits yearly.
What Size Cage Does a Mini Rex Rabbit Need?
While there are no official minimum requirements for the dimensions of a Mini Rex Rabbit cage (some say 16 square inches, some pet owners think 2 by 4 inches would suffice), an individual Mini Rex rabbit will still require a cage around 24 x 24 inches in order to not shut down and grow depressed from being limited in movement space.
The general rule for selecting a cage for a Mini Rex Rabbit is, the more time spent within the cage, the bigger it should be. A good owner will provide a separate area for sleeping, a litter tray and enough room for toys and play after they have constructed or selected a cage.
An individual Mini Rex rabbit may inhabit a cage as little as 2 x 2, albeit temporarily (say, for transportation or cleaning its main cage). Be sure to always lay the floor of the cage with bedding, as wired cages can cause splits in rabbits’ delicate feet.
How Many Babies Do Mini Rex Rabbits Have?
Rabbits tend to have sizable litters after they give birth, and Mini Rexes are reported to be great mothers. The quantity of babies can range from 2 to 9!
Can Mini Rex Rabbits Live Outside?
Mini Rex Rabbits can live outside the house, provided that the yard they’re living in is fenced, has little threat of wild predators and the climate suits their needs. If they’re wandering on the lawn the grass must absolutely be cleared of pesticide treatment.
While it is possible to build a rabbit hutch and take great pains to warding off predators through preventative and defensive measures, it is not recommended for you to have your mini rex rabbit live outside, as they are more susceptible to illnesses this way.
If you live in an area where the climate is regularly above 90 degrees F (32.2 Celcius), you should not keep your Mini Rexes outside. Conversely, it’s not a good idea to keep them outside when cold weather is regular as well, which may exclude Northern regions like Canada or Scandinavia.
Rabbits who spend the majority of their day outside will be less friendly and receptive to cuddling from their human owners afterwards. Being very social animals, if not tended to regularly throughout the day or within the company of its owners or companion animals a Mini Rex may also fall into depression from being lonely.
If you don’t want to restrict your pet within a cage, you’ll have to rabbit-proof objects like low-hanging outlets and fence certain areas off the house to make an enclosure for it to wander freely and safely.
How Long is a Mini Rex Rabbit Pregnant?
Mini Rexes are easy to breed, and the average gestation period for all rabbits is about a month, at most 36 days reported for this species (though some pet owners have reported their Mini Rexes safely giving birth seven days late with healthy babies!).
If the period lasts longer than it can either be a false pregnancy or the baby has died within the doe.
Newborn Mini Rex Rabbits can be spayed or neutered as early as 3 and half months.
How Much Space do Mini Rex Rabbits Need?
Mini Rex Rabbits, as mentioned previously, require much space if they are to be living within their cages most of the time. They are moderately active and thus will need plenty of cage height to jump and run around in during playtime (see how high Mini Rexes can jump in a previous question).
The height of enclosures or the cage should at minimum be 3 or 4 ft high to accomodate for the height of their jumping.
If you have the means, lack of predatorial pets or overactive children, using bunny-safe wires around your house can provide a huge enclosure and plenty of space for your Mini Rex to prance and frolic in their artificial environment.
Provide separate areas of shelter such as caves and hiding spaces. Since Mini Rexes need their own form of enrichment, plenty of space is necessary for them to come out and play with their toys and owners as well.
Do Mini Rex Rabbits Like to be Held?
Mini Rexes, like most rabbit breeds, do not enjoy being held, and may kick and struggle if they are held in the wrong manner or for too long. Children who hold particularly vigorous protesting rabbits can drop them, resulting in injury.
However, Mini Rex rabbits can still be petted and cuddly when placed in the lap or situated at the right angle. Bunnies who especially trust and love their owners can either be trained or directly run up to them and bow in a submissive pose for petting of their own accord.
What Diseases Do Mini Rabbits Rexes Potentially Have?
Most rabbits don’t have much to worry about in regards to pathogens, save the common disease that may afflict your Mini Rex: a condition called “Snuffles,” which, from external symptoms appear to be something like a simple Rabbit cold (runny nose, sneezing and watering eyes).
However, it is a bacterial infection that if left untreated for a long time can even lead to sores, abscesses and blindness of the animal.
Mini Rexes as a whole are judged to be a healthy and well-toned breed of small rabbits. Other things such as mites, fleas and hairballs come from environmental influences and hygiene issues.