The Californian rabbit is medium-sized to large rabbit breed that could weigh about 3.5 kg to around 5 kg. This rabbit is white in color but they have a distinct brown marking on their nose, ears, feet, and tail. Their coat is silky soft white and the distinct markings make them look like their Himalayan ancestors. They have very large, erect ears similar to the ears of a Flemish giant. They have a compact, well-rounded body type that is plump and firm with muscles. Their neck is short. They are mainly white in color and their eyes are pink. The average lifespan of this rabbit breed is 5 to 10 years.
Behavior and Temperament
The Californian rabbit breed is calm and friendly. They have a sweet demeanor and are generally good-natured animals ideal for a house pet. Just like other rabbit breeds, the Californian rabbit can become shy, timid, and sensitive at times, but since they are gentle and easy to get along with, constant interaction with them can help them in opening up their true personality with their human handler.
These rabbits enjoy playtime and exploring things around them. However their curiosity also has drawbacks and can pose them fear when faced in certain situations like dealing with strangers, rough kids, and other animals that are aggressive.
Health and Care
This rabbit was developed in warm climate and they are known to have hard time acclimating to places with cooler temperatures. For this matter, this rabbit breed is suitable as indoor pets than having them outdoors. Moreover, outdoor rabbits are prone to develop sore hocks when they are housed in wire cages. It is important to provide them with a solid surface matting to avoid this condition. Their cage must be spacious enough to accommodate their size and to allow their ears to stand erect without touching the ceiling of the cage, otherwise they would become uncomfortable and stressed.
The Californian rabbit is known to be one of the healthiest rabbit breeds that are not easily susceptible to common rabbit diseases. However, there are still few issues that can affect their health such as abnormal overgrowing of teeth and hairball disease. For this matter grooming them properly is important.
Caring properly for Californian rabbit is important to allow them to live more than their average lifespan. Caring for them includes proper housing to protect them from extreme temperatures. Also, rabbits may easily develop respiratory problems and one of the things to reduce this condition is to place their cage away from direct wind impact.
Providing them with toys inside their cage is helpful in promoting a healthy well-being. Rabbit-safe chew toys can help them satisfy their chewing urges and keep them entertained. Rabbits are also happier when they are in pair but if breeding is not intended you can have both of your rabbits’ reproductive organs altered. This will even help them become healthier and happier and avoid certain diseases that are prone to develop as they age. Rabbit aggression can also be controlled when you have them spayed or neutered.
Since the Californian rabbit is a medium to fairly large sized rabbit, their food consumption is relatively larger than the smaller breed so make sure that their feeding bowls have enough amount of food for the day mostly fresh grass hay. You can also give fresh fruits and vegetables and some rabbit treats occasionally.
History and Background of the Californian Rabbit
The Californian rabbit was originally bred to develop a rabbit breed for fur production and for their meat, and the size of this breed is the perfect for both purposes. This breed was developed in Southern California by George West. It started as a mix of the Himalayan rabbit and the regular Chinchilla rabbit. West was not satisfied with the result and therefore adding the New Zealand rabbit breed by breeding it with the previous result. The result was what west wanted, a rabbit breed with soft and silky fur and a body with excellent meat and muscle built.
The Californian rabbit breed only became popular in the mid 1930’s and now it is second to New Zealand rabbit for its meat. This breed is also used in pet and rabbit shows because of its fur and built.