The Mini Rex rabbit is a miniature version of the original Rex that can weigh more than 10 pounds! These bunnies are known for their fluffy coat that feels like velvet to touch and are popular both as companion pets and as show rabbits. Cute and cuddly, the Mini Rex has a wonderful temperament and can make the perfect family rabbit.
The Mini Rex is favored because it holds the same temperament and wonderful coat as the standard Rex, yet is so much smaller. This means it is perfect for those who have less space and don’t have room for a 10 lbs rabbit hopping around!
If you’re interested in learning more about the Mini Rex rabbit and seeing whether they might be the bunny for you, keep reading below.
History Of The Mini Rex Rabbit
As we have mentioned above, the Mini Rex rabbit is the smaller version of the original Rex rabbit. These bunnies are known for their wonderful velvet coat. The Mini Rex is currently one of the most popular show rabbits, again thanks to their small size and their coat.
The Rex rabbit, both miniature and standard, posses the “rex gene”. This rex gene causes changes in keratin production, changing the fur of the animals. These genes are recessive and so to create a full Rex rabbit, two Rex rabbits must be crossed.
The rex gene presents two characteristics. The first is that the hair grows outwards instead of laying down. The second is that the guard hairs, which are usually long and thick, are the same length as the undercoat, which is also shortened.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognized the Mini Rex in 1988, many years after the standard Rex was recognized.
To understand where the Mini Rex rabbit came from, we can first look at where the original Rex rabbit originated.
The Rex rabbit was developed around 1919 in the French village of Louché-Pringé. The breeders were impressed with the rabbit’s coat and the Rex was created from a litter of wild gray rabbits.
They were then selectively bred and shown at a rabbit show in Paris in 1924. Many breeders at this rabbit show were interested in the recessive rex gene. Soon after, this breed was introduced to the United States and has been popular ever since.
The Mini Rex rabbit was first bred in the early 1980s by breeder Monna Berryhill. She bred a Dwarf Rex buck, with an undersized Lynx Rex doe and thus the Mini Rex was born! She first presented these rabbits at an ARBA convention in 1985, where their popularity exploded due to their small size and rex gene.
Characteristics Of The Mini Rex Rabbit
The Mini Rex rabbit has many of the same characteristics as the Standard Rex, with the main difference being their size! This is what makes them so popular as pets and show rabbits today.
The average littler size of the Mini Rex rabbit is between 2 and 4 kits. A Mini Rex can cost between $10 and $50, although you could end up paying a lot more for a show quality Rex. Rabbits with unusual colors and distinct markings will cost the most. Always make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder.
The Standard Rex can weigh up to 10 lbs, but the Mini Rex is much smaller. Normally, these pets weigh less than 5lbs in weight, with the average being between 3 and 4.5 lbs.
The Rex rabbit breed, whether standard or mini, is a well-proportioned rabbit. Their head is broad and set close to the body and their body is medium in length in comparison to their size. The ears are erect and medium-thick and their legs are short and straight.
The Rex rabbit’s coat is one of it’s most famous features. As we established above, the coat is the result of the rabbit possessing the recessive rex gene that means the hair grows outwards instead of laying down and the undercoat and overcoat are the same length.
This unique gene gives it a velvety texture and it is very dense. Fortunately, despite their wonderful coat, they do not require a lot of grooming. We will go into more detail about this later on.
The Mini Rex rabbit can be found in an assortment of colors! Current recognized colors include black, blue, blue-eyed white, broken, castor, chinchilla, chocolate, Himalayan, lilac, lynx, opal, otter, red, sable point, seal, silver marten, smoke pearl, tortoise and ruby-eyed white. Sable and tan are also popular colors, although they are not recognized by ARBA yet.
The Mini Rex rabbit has a wonderful temperament. They are both calm and playful and love their owners, choosing to be near them when they can be! They love attention too and are very sociable, enjoying the company of other people and other rabbits.
The Rex likes to be picked up, which is something some other rabbits don’t enjoy. They will bond closest to the person in the house who feeds them and spends most time with them, but they will happily let anyone who they trust pick them up.
You should always respect your rabbit’s personal space, especially when they are new to your home. If they are afraid or frightened, then they might try to bite.
The Mini Rex has an average life expectancy of between 8 and 10 years.
Known Health Issues
The health problems that the Mini Rex is faced with are many of the same problems other breeds are faced with. Some of these concerns are also due to their small size.
– Malocclusion — this is when the upper and lower teeth are misaligned so that the normal process of chewing doesn’t wear down your rabbit’s teeth. This is more severe in smaller rabbits because of their small mouths. Regular dental checkups are very important.
– GI Stasis — this is a potentially deadly condition in which the digestive system slows down or stops completely. Symptoms include loss of appetite, small or no fecal pellets and lethargy. It can be treated if caught quickly.
– Ear Mites — this is a common parasite of pet rabbits. You may see your rabbit shaking their head a lot if they are affected. Your vet will be able to treat them.
Thanks to their small size and short coats, the Mini Rex is also very vulnerable to the cold. You should always make sure they are warm enough and keep them inside during the winter months. Like all rabbits, they can also suffer from back issues if they are mishandled or accidentally dropped.
Regular vet checkups will ensure that you catch any health problems before them become too serious. You should also make sure that you are buying from a reputable breeder.
Now we know all about the appearance and traits and the Mini Rex rabbit and how they differ from the Standard Rex, it is time to take a look at what living with one of these small rabbits on a day to day basis is like. We will cover their food and diet, their exercise needs, their grooming needs and their living requirements.
Food And Diet
The exact amount you feed your Mini Rex rabbit should be based on their size, age and activity level. They should be eating a portion of hay that is at least as their body size every day, alongside pellets and fresh vegetables. Fresh water should also always be available to them.
Hay is very important as it helps to keep your Mini Rex’s digestive system moving, as well as helping to wear down their teeth so they are less prone to dental issues. At least 70% of your rabbit’s diet should be hay.
High-quality supplementary pellets help to provide extra vitamins and minerals that keep your rabbit healthy. Take a look at a supplementary pellet food we recommend below.
Best Food For The Mini Rex RabbitBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the Sunseed Company Vita Sunscription food for your Mini Rex. This is a timothy hay based diet that provides a nutritional and balanced food for young to adult bunnies. Pellet based, so no chance of your rabbit picking out the best bits, this food is fortified with vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy and active.
The timothy hay provides high fiber for better digestion and there is also beneficial bacteria that works probiotically. Ingredients include carrots, potatoes, parsley, celery and red bell peppers to keep your rabbit interested and there is no alfalfa or added sugar in this recipe.
In the wild, rabbits run around three miles a day. Therefore, it is very important that you give your pet rabbit enough exercise every day to keep them active and entertained. They should have at least three hours of free-range time, whether this is out of their hutch in the garden or just around the house.
Exercise is very important for the well-being of your rabbit. It helps to keep their joints moving, keeps them entertained and ensures they stay at a healthy weight.
The Mini Rex rabbit will enjoy playing with toys, especially if they are interactive ones that you can join in on too. You can also purchase a secure enclosure outside so they can run around safely, although you may want to supervise them just to be safe.
Family Compatibility and Trainability
The Mini Rex rabbit makes a fantastic family rabbit because they are very gentle and sociable. Their small size also makes them a great pet to have around children as they will be able to hold them comfortably. These rabbits are adaptable and easy to care for, also making them a wonderful bunny for first-time pet owners and seniors.
This rabbit is easy to train thanks to their intelligence. They can be trained to use a litter box so there is less mess to clean up and they can also be trained to come when their name is called!
Choosing to house your Rex indoors or outdoors is up to you, but you should think about the climate that you live in. Their coat is not thick and they are prone to feeling cold, so you may want to keep them inside for the majority of the year. Their size also means they can be vulnerable to predators if left outside, so keeping them as a house rabbit is safer.
Because the Mini Rex rabbit is small, they don’t need a lot of space but their hutch should be large enough that they can easily move around inside. Try to stay away from hutches with wire floors as these can cause sore hocks within rabbits. Take a look at the hutch we recommend below.
Best Hutch For The Mini Rex RabbitBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the the Petsfit indoor rabbit hutch for the Mini Rex. This hutch will provide the Mini Rex with enough space to move around and there are two levels and ramps that allow them to easily move between. The top and side entrances and exits also provide easy access in and out of the hutch for your bun as well as easy access for you to clean.
Even better, there are side wall guards that stop hay and bedding from falling out and a removable bottom tray that is not only waterproof but also easy to clean and replace after cleaning. There is also a “hideaway” feature of this hutch, giving your Rex a space to sleep or just to spend some quiet time in!
Despite their coat being one of the features they are famous for, the Mini Rex rabbit does not require a lot of grooming. In fact, you should try to groom this rabbit as little as possible, as over-grooming can damage the coat.
You should very rarely bathe your rabbit. It is not really necessary, unless they are really dirty. Bathing can also be a traumatic experience for them. You should also trim their nails as and when is needed.
Mini Rex Rabbit FAQ’s
What is the difference between a Mini Rex rabbit and a Standard Rex?
The biggest difference between the Mini Rex and the Standard Rex is their size! The Standard can be over 10 lbs in weight, while the Mini Rex normally weighs between 3 and 4.5 lbs.
Most other traits of these rabbits are the same. They have the same coat and colors and have similar temperaments. Of course, they exercise and food needs are going to be different, again based on their size.
How big should my rabbit’s cage be?
The rule with rabbits is: the bigger the better! If you have the space for a big hutch then your rabbit will always appreciate the extra room to roam and exercise. No one wants to be stuck in a cramped space!
If you do not have a lot of space, then the cage should be at least 4 times the size of the rabbit. A guide is 24″ by 36″ for smaller rabbits (less than 8 lbs) or 30″ by 36″ for larger rabbits. Hutches with multiple stories are also popular as they give your bun more space.
The Mini Rex rabbit is the smaller version of the Standard Rex rabbit, but this breed still holds the same wonderful characteristics. Most prominent is it’s velvet-like coat that makes this bunny a popular show rabbit as well as a cute and cuddly companion! The small size of the Mini Rex rabbit makes them the perfect pet for those with minimal space and, with low care needs, they won’t take up too much of your time, either.
Make sure you can put aside a few hours for playing and cuddles and this little bunny will become your best friend. Do you think the Mini Rex rabbit could be your new family member?