CALIFORNIAN RABBIT - Origins, characteristics and photos!

Californian rabbit: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. In addition to being a charming animal, the rabbit is an excellent companion...

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In addition to being a charming animal, the rabbit is an excellent companion for people of all ages and with different personalities, thanks to its friendly nature and its great intelligence. If you are considering the possibility of adopting a lagomorph as a pet, on PlanèteAnimal we introduce you to the Californian Rabbit, a breed of American origin that is distinguished by its soft coat and very affectionate temperament towards its loved ones.

In this PlanetAnimal page, we will tell you all about the origin, physical characteristics and character of the Californian Rabbit.You will also be able to learn about the basic care that is necessary to ensure a he althy and happy life for your lagomorph companion. Don't forget that you can discover many other breeds of rabbits in our files!


  • America
  • United States

Origin of the Californian Rabbit

As its name suggests, the Californian Rabbit is a breed developed in California, United States, in the 1920s. Its development is attributed to George West, who selectively crossed Himalayan rabbits with American chinchilla rabbits to obtain a new breed that stands out for its dense coat and, at the same time, for its softness and delicacy. On the other hand, some theories claim that the first offspring obtained from these crosses could have been crossed with rabbits from New Zealand to obtain the appearance that currently characterizes the Californian rabbit.

Originally, the breed was developed and "promoted" thinking of the exploitation not only of its coat but also of its meat, the consumption of which was quite popular at the beginning of the 20th century. But from the second half of this century, California Rabbits also began to gain popularity as pets.

Physical Characteristics of the Californian Rabbit

The most distinctive trait of the California Rabbit is its abundant two-layered coat which, although dense and thick, should be soft and pleasant to the touch. Regarding coat color, ARBA only recognizes the standard pattern which consists of a white base with black pigmentation in the nose, tail, legs and ears. However, the UK's British Rabbit Council (BRC) also recognizes California rabbits with dark brown, chocolate, lilac and blue pigmentation, in addition to the traditional standard variety.

These lagomorphs also have a sturdy body with well-developed musculature and usually weigh between 3.5 and 4 kg when fully grown. Their ears are long, measuring up to 3 cm, with rounded tips and usually erect, a sign that the lagomorph is attentive to its surroundings. Also, he has red eyes and average size.

An interesting curiosity about the metabolism of the Californian Rabbit is that the pigmentation of its coat can react in different ways depending on the climate of the place where it lives. When they live in cold cities, these rabbits tend to show darker parts of their body, whereas the coat of Californians who live in warmer regions, the white base clearly predominates with the classic pigmented areas.

California Rabbit Character

As famous as the particular pigmentation of its coat, is the friendly and affectionate character that characterizes the Californian Rabbit, which makes it one of the best breeds of rabbits for families with children.These lagomorphs are distinguished by their great curiosity, their pleasure in getting lost and freely exploring their environment. But we must be careful that they do not hide in dangerous places, as well as having a safe and properly delimited environment to prevent our rabbit from escaping.

Despite their great curiosity, California Rabbits can be a little shy when they arrive in their new home or when they meet an unfamiliar person or animal for the first time. Fortunately, these adorable animals are usually very easy to socialize. Thus, thanks to positive reinforcement and a favorable environment, they quickly adapt to their environment and are predisposed to interact with their new family. Logically, like any other pet, the Californian Rabbit also needs its moments of tranquility to be respected, especially when it comes to resting and feeding.

In addition, the Californian Rabbit has a high intelligence and, when well stimulated, tends to be very predisposed to learn.That's why when adopting a rabbit, it's important to engage in their education and mental stimulation, introducing them to different obedience commands, tricks, tasks, and varied activities.

How to take care of a Californian Rabbit?

One of the main concerns of the Californian Rabbit is the maintenance of its delicate coat. The ideal is to brush it at least three times a week, always using an appropriate brush to avoid breaking the fiber of its soft hair. Your rabbit will need to get used to this whole new experience for him and for this reason you need to be patient and act calm to calm him down before you start brushing him. Remember that lagomorphs are very sensitive and are always alert and can easily get spooked. The idea is to get your rabbit to equate grooming sessions as times of relaxation, pampering and mutual trust.

As we have already mentioned in the previous section, it will be very important to stimulate the mind of your rabbit, both to educate him and to prevent symptoms of stress or boredom. To teach him new tasks, activities or tricks, we advise you to use the clicker, the same device that we usually use to facilitate the training of dogs and cats. In addition, you can use small pieces of he althy fruits and vegetables as positive reinforcement, to reward him and encourage him to keep learning.

In addition to working on their intelligence, California Rabbits also need physical activity to strengthen their bodies and expend energy to maintain stable behavior. Ideally, they should be out of their cage at least 2-3 times a day and given an open, safe space where they can run, jump and explore their surroundings.It should be noted that physical exercise will also be essential for your rabbit to maintain a he althy weight, preventing complications related to obesity in rabbits.

Good hygiene is also one of the main cares given to rabbits in general, preventing them from coming into contact with potentially pathogenic microorganisms. The ideal is to clean the excrement, wet hay and food residues from the cage daily. Drinkers and feeders should be washed at least three times a week, and your lagomorph's entire cage should be disinfected at least once a week.

California Rabbit Food

California Rabbits will need a complete and balanced diet to fully develop their physical, cognitive, emotional and social abilities. The rabbit's diet must fully meet the specific nutritional needs of each stage of its life, avoiding the negative consequences of possible nutritional deficiencies.Hay will be the most important element in the diet of adult rabbits, thanks to its high fiber content which stimulates intestinal transit and facilitates digestion, thus preventing gastrointestinal problems.

Your rabbit should always have fresh, good quality hay available in its cage, but you should check it regularly so that it does not get wet with water or come into contact with urine. Humidity promotes the proliferation of bacteria, fungi and other pathogens that can compromise the he alth of your California Rabbit. You can also offer him vegetables and fruits, always in appropriate quantities according to his height, weight, age and lifestyle. It is also fundamental to provide your rabbit with optimal hydration, always leaving fresh and clean water in its cage.

Finally, we must not forget that rabbits need to wear down their teeth because they constantly grow throughout their lives.In specialized stores, you can find wood and organic fruit branches that should be offered to your rabbit. But make sure they come from sustainable sources so they don't contain chemicals that could harm your lagomorph's body.

California Rabbit He alth

The Californian rabbit, like all rabbits, is best adapted to temperate climates, and generally suffers a lot from high temperatures. This is why it is fundamental to properly condition your rabbit's environment during the hottest days in order to prevent excessive heat and the sun's rays from causing heatstroke, burns or other risks for him. his well-being. In addition to leaving him with fresh, clean water at all times, remember to place his cage in a cool, shaded and well-ventilated room or environment.

However, rabbits are also sensitive to cold and sudden temperature changes.Even though his coat is dense, which helps him retain heat, your rabbit will need your help to protect him from low temperatures, avoiding burns, colds and even hypothermia. So remember to provide your rabbit with a well-conditioned shelter during the winter and never leave it out in the open in bad weather.

In addition to suffering from climatic hazards, the Californian Rabbit can also develop certain common rabbit diseases, such as rabies, turalemia, infections of viral, bacterial or fungal origin, skin problems such as scabies or ringworm, among others. In order to preserve its good he alth and enjoy daily life in its home, your rabbit will need to have adequate preventive medicine. For this reason, remember to take him to a specialized veterinarian every 6 months for a preventive consultation and always keep his vaccinations and dewormers up to date.

Photos of Californian Rabbit

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