Rex Rabbits

About Rabbits - Breeds ~ Breeds Chart ~ Types of Rabbit ~ Rex Rabbit

Rex Rabbits

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All of the Rex varieties are recognised by the BRC (British Rabbit Council) but the ARBA, (American Rabbit Breeders Association) currently only has a 'breed standard' for the Standard Rex and the Mini Rex.

The ARBA sub-divides the Rex in to colours and does not define each variety as a breed.

Breed Name
of Origin
Rex Standard
Self Rex -
Black, Blue, Ermine, Havana, Lilac, Nutria
Shaded Rex -
Sable Siamese, Seal Siamese, Smoke Pearl, Smoke Pearl Marten, Tortoiseshell
Tan Rex -
Fawn, Fox, Sable Marten, Seal Marten, Orange, Otter, Tan
Agouti Rex -
Castor, Chinchilla Rex, Cinnamon Rex, Lynx, Opal

Other Rex -
Dalmatian, Harlequin Rex, Himalayan Rex, Silver Seal, Satin Rex

Rough Coated Astrex
Rough Coated Opossum
Mini Rex
Mini Broken Rex

BRC Standard of Perfection



Colour and/or Markings...40

Total Points....100

ARBA Schedule of Points

General Type...(45)

  • Body...35
  • Head...3
  • Ears...3
  • Eyes...1
  • Feet & Legs...2
  • Tail...1




Total Points....100

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The Rex rabbit is a breed of rabbit developed in France in 1919.

Their unique, dense, plush, velvet-like fur, was caused by a mutation seen in wild rabbits in France in the late 19th century.

The Rex mutation is recessive and causes the hair to protrude outwards from the body, instead of lying flat, and the guard hairs to be shortened to the length of the undercoat.

After development of the Mini Rex, some people began to refer to the Rex rabbit as the standard Rex rabbit.

The official breed name used by ARBA and BRC is the Rex rabbit.

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  • Rex Standard
  • Rex Self: (Black, Blue, Ermine, Havana, Lilac, Nutria)
  • Rex Shaded: (Sable Siamese, Seal Siamese, Smoke Pearl,
    Smoke Pearl Marten, Tortoiseshell)
  • Rex Tan: (Fawn, Fox, Sable Marten, Seal Marten, Orange, Otter, Tan)
  • Rex Agouti: (Castor, Chinchilla, Cinnamon, Lynx, Opal)
  • Rex Other: (Dalmatian, Harlequin, Himalayan, Silver Seal, Satin Rex)
  • Rex Rough Coated: Astrex & Opossum
  • Rex Mini & Rex Mini Broken

Learn more on Rex rabbit colours here...

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Size, Weight, Shape & Ears

The Rex is a medium sized rabbit. (Ring Size E)

An ideal weight range is 7.5-10.5 pounds (3.4-4.76 kilograms), although females can weigh as much as 10.5 pounds.

Commercial, round body.


General Appearance:
The Rex has a slightly broader head than other breeds of rabbit, proportionate and upright ears as well as toe nails that match the colour of its fur on proportionally smaller feet. As with most larger breeds, the female (doe) has a dewlap, a large flap of skin under the chin.

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The Rex is available in many different colours:

  • Amber
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Broken
  • Californian
  • Castor
  • Chinchilla
  • Chocolate
  • White
  • Lilac
  • Lynx
  • Opal
  • Otter (Black, Blue, Chocolate, and Lilac)
  • Red
  • Sable
  • Seal

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Fur Type / Coat

The fur of the Rex should be between 1/2 and 7/8 an inch in length (1.3-2.2 centimeters) and have a dense and plush texture that is often described as “velvety.”

The fur is often very dense and plush because of its short guard hairs and stands almost perpendicular to the skin.

The Rex mutation also causes the fur to curl in certain areas, but this curling is rarely visible with the exception of areas where the fur is longer, such as behind the ears.

Additionally, the mutation causes the whiskers to shorten and curl or not appear.

Average Lifespan

The lifespan of a Rex is quite short in comparison to other breeds, being about 5 to 6 years. However, neutering can lengthen the life expectancy of Rex rabbits to about 8 to 11 years.

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Rex rabbits are claimed to be one of the most intelligent breeds of rabbits and can easily be litter trained, but owners should not use clay or cedar-based litters as they are a health hazard to the animal.

A Rex can also be trained to do a variety of other tricks, such as coming when called and standing on command. However, rabbits often only do this with good motivation, such as a favorite treat.

The Rex is often used as a foster mother due to their excellent parenting skills.

This breed has a low to moderate activity level and can jump as high as 3 feet. Like most rabbits, the Rex is most active in the evening and early morning hours and prefers to rest during the day. Due to its playful, intelligent and relaxed nature, this breed is often described as being "cat-like".

Rexes are one of the gentler breeds and an excellent choice for families with children, so long as the children are educated on proper handling.

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Currently, the Rex is usually kept as a pet or a show rabbit. A few are still bred for fur and meat production. Two of the most popular for fur production are the standard Rex and the American Chinchilla.

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Breed Status

Astrex rabbits are the curly, wavy Rexes, and are nearly completely extinct, with only a few rare 'sport' mutations still occurring.

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Care & Handling

Feeding and Housing
The Rex can be housed outdoors year-round in warmer climates as well as in cooler climates if the correct accommodations are made. Generally, Rex Rabbits are better accustomed to living in the cold than the heat, but they cannot tolerate extremes of either kind. For rabbits kept outdoors in colder environments, it is necessary to provide a shelter from wind and drafts. Many outdoor rabbits live in barns or covered hutches in the winter.

A second option is to house the Rex indoors, which is recommended in some climates. The Rex can be litter box trained and does very well as a house rabbit. Rex rabbits with thin foot fur and housed in wire cages should be provided with some type of wooden flooring or a mat to prevent the development of sore hocks on their feet.

The Rex Rabbit can be fed a combination of commercial rabbit pellets and timothy hay. Rabbit pellets should be high in fiber, low in fat and carbohydrates and moderate in protein.

The Rex tends to be a hardy breed with few health issues. Some lines of Rex are prone to sore hock. Feed with an excessively high protein percentage can result in persistent molting.

Breeds Derived from the Rex:

  • Mini Rex
  • Plush Lop (UK Standard)

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Here is a list of resources to help you care for your rabbits…

  • The Ultimate New Rabbit Checklist - The best place to start if you are thinking about raising any breed of rabbit.
  • How to Raise Rabbits – information and resources on the subject of raising pet rabbits.
  • Breeding Rabbits – more about how to successfully breed rabbits for fun, showing, or profit.
  • Rabbit Supplies – find rabbit supplies and equipment at astounding value.
  • Rabbit Health – up to date information & resources for ensuring your rabbit is in the best health.
  • Rabbits Diet - Extensive info about hay, water, safe foods, treats, weight management & FAQs on diet.

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Breeders, Clubs & Organizations

The National Rex Rabbit Club - Dedicated to the promotion, development and improvement of the Rex rabbit breed.

British Mini Rex Club - An enthusiastic group of dedicated Mini Rex breeders who wish only to promote, improve and offer every encouragement to anyone interested in this wonderful breed.

NMRRC (American) - The National Mini Rex Rabbit Club features history, list of officers and directors, show results, photos, articles, and message forum.

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