How To Care for a Rex Rabbit (Food, Housing, Entertainment + Health)

Do you dream of welcoming an energetic, velvety-furred Rex rabbit into your home? Owning one of these charmingly floppy-eared rabbits can be an incredibly rewarding experience. But the Rex breed has some very specific care needs. Are you ready to make the commitment these active pets require? From housing and diet to healthcare and enrichment, this comprehensive 10,000 word guide will reveal everything you need to know about properly caring for a Rex rabbit. You’ll learn their unique personality, how to bunny-proof your home, tips for litter training, what to feed them, and much more. Get ready to dive into the world of Rex rabbit companionship!

Taking Care of a Rex Rabbit

Caring for a Rex rabbit requires commitment and knowledge about their specific needs. As rabbits are prey animals, gaining their trust takes time and patience. Developing a daily care routine and ensuring their habitat meets their natural behaviors helps them thrive as pets. Monitoring their health and providing proper veterinary care also contributes to their wellbeing. With dedication to their happiness, Rex rabbits can be very rewarding companions.

Some key considerations for caring for a Rex rabbit include:

  • Providing adequate space – At least 4'x2' for single rabbits or more for pairs. Rabbits are active and need room to hop and play.

  • Rabbit-proofing your home – Block access to electrical cables, baseboards, plants, etc. that could be chewed.

  • Litter training – Spayed/neutered rabbits can be litter trained like cats. Use boxes with rabbit-safe litters.

  • Enriching their habitat – Add toys, tunnels, grass mats and more to encourage natural behaviors.

  • Grooming regularly – Brush at least weekly to prevent GI blockages from excess hair ingestion.

  • Feed a balanced diet – Offer a mix of hay, leafy greens and a limited amount of pellets daily.

  • Give access to clean, fresh water – Provide a bowl that cannot be tipped over.

  • Provide daily exercise – Let them run in bunny-proofed rooms or outdoor enclosures.

  • Socialize appropriately – Gradually allow supervised interaction with trusted humans and other pets.

  • Schedule annual vet exams – Establish care with an experienced rabbit vet for checkups and illness.

With attentive daily care and a rabbit-friendly home, Rex rabbits can thrive and bond closely with their owners. Consistency, patience and education about their needs leads to happy, healthy rabbits.

Spaying/Neutering Your Rex Rabbit

Spaying or neutering your Rex rabbit is highly recommended for health and behavior reasons. Here’s what you need to know about this important procedure:

  • Ideal Age: Vets recommend spaying/neutering rabbits around 4-6 months old once they reach sexual maturity.

  • Health Benefits: Fixed rabbits have a very low risk of reproductive cancers and infections later in life. Females especially benefit.

  • Behavioral Benefits: Neutered rabbits are calmer, less territorial and easier litter train. Less hormonal behaviors like lunging or spraying.

  • Surgical Procedure: A same-day surgery at the vet clinic. Rabbits recover quickly with post-op monitoring and pain medication.

  • Risks: As with any surgery, there are minor risks of bleeding or infection. Overall complications are uncommon in healthy rabbits.

  • Recovery: Limit activity and monitor incision site for 1-2 weeks after. Pain medication will ease discomfort. Appetite should return to normal in a few days.

  • Costs: $150-$500+ depending on the vet clinic. Many low-cost spay/neuter programs are available in most communities.

  • Identifying Gender: Only a vet can reliably identify a rabbit's gender at a young age by visual examination of genitalia.

While the procedure does require a short recovery, the long-term payoff for your rabbit's health is worth it. Work with your vet to schedule a spay or neuter soon after adopting your Rex rabbit.

Dental Care

Caring for your Rex rabbit's teeth is essential to their health. Here's a guide on providing proper dental care:

  • Diet – Feed unlimited timothy or other grass hays. The fibrous content naturally grinds down teeth.

  • Annual Exams – Have your vet inspect for overgrown teeth or points during wellness exams.

  • Signs of Issues – Look for drooling, weight loss or difficulty eating. Get prompt vet attention.

  • Malocclusion – Rex rabbits are prone to misaligned teeth requiring filing or removal.

  • Tooth Trimming – Vets can safely trim overgrown teeth under anesthesia if needed.

  • Molar Extraction – Back teeth may need removal if severely misaligned and unable to grind.

  • Oral Medications – Antibiotics or pain meds may be prescribed for dental infections.

  • Home Care – Provide chew toys but avoid hard treats or foods. Brush teeth gently if tolerated.

  • Lifelong Condition – Once a rabbit has dental disease, they'll need ongoing monitoring and care.

With a proper diet, annual exams and attention to changes in eating, you can help keep your Rex rabbit's teeth healthy. Seek veterinary care as soon as an issue is spotted for the best outcome.

Ear Health

Rex rabbits have erect, upright ears that require some special care and attention. Here are tips for keeping your rabbit's ears healthy:

  • Cleaning – Gently wipe inside ears weekly with unscented baby wipes to remove dirt and wax buildup.

  • Plucking – Pluck loose hairs inside ears monthly to prevent blockages and mites.

  • Parasites – Check for ear mites if your rabbit shakes head or scratches ears often. Vet can prescribe medication.

  • Infections – Look for signs of discharge or odor indicating possible ear infection. Requires vet antibiotics.

  • Foreign Objects – Ensure nothing gets lodged in ears during playtime or exploration.

  • Pat Dry – Gently dry inner ears after swimming or bathing to prevent moisture buildup.

  • Spray Avoidance – Carefully apply grooming products to avoid getting inside ears.

  • Injury Prevention – Trim nails to avoid ear scratches. Handle ears gently.

  • Examine Regularly – Frequently look in ears for redness, discharge and other abnormalities.

  • Tilting Head – Have your vet evaluate possible ear infection if your rabbit tilts head to one side.

By developing a routine and staying attentive to changes, you can detect and address ear problems early to protect your Rex rabbit's hearing and comfort.


Providing proper housing for a Rex rabbit helps support their health and behavior. Consider these tips for setting up their habitat:

  • Enclosure Size – A minimum of 4' x 2' floorspace for a single rabbit, but bigger is ideal. Can allow supervised roaming.

  • Cage Type – Wire cages with a solid floor pan for containment. Or a puppy exercise pen for more space.

  • Litterbox – Provide a box with rabbit-safe litter in one corner for trained rabbits. Change often.

  • Hideaway – Include a nesting box or enclosed hideout for security. Especially important for shy rabbits.

  • Substrate – Use paper-based bedding, aspen shavings, straw or hay. Avoid pine/cedar, clay and clumping litters.

  • Environment – House rabbits indoors to protect from temperature extremes, predators and parasites.

  • Exercise Space – Bunny-proof a room, hallway or pen to allow running and playing daily.

  • Socialization – Paired/group housing recommended if rabbits are bonded. Separate fighting pairs.

  • Toys – Rotate a variety of safe toys and chews to engage natural behaviors in pen.

  • Hay Rack – Provide unlimited hay in a wall-mounted rack to encourage grazing.

  • Water – Use a heavy ceramic bowl to supply fresh water daily. Refill often.

Properly housing your Rex rabbit takes some preparation but pays off through their increased health and happiness as pets. Offer spaces that encourage their natural behaviors.

Diet And Nutrition

Good nutrition is vital to the health of Rex rabbits. Here are the dietary guidelines to follow:

  • Hay – Provide unlimited grass hay. Timothy or orchard grasses are preferable. Hay aids digestion and wears down teeth.

  • Greens – Feed at least 1 packed cup daily of leafy greens like kale, parsley, cilantro, mint, etc. Introduce new veggies slowly.

  • Pellets – Feed a 1/4 cup high-fiber rabbit pellets daily. Choose a plain variety without seeds, nuts or sugary mixes.

  • Treats – Avoid sweet fruits and starchy veggies. Sparingly offer healthy treats like herbs, rose petals or carrot tops.

  • Water – Supply fresh, clean water daily in a tip-proof ceramic bowl. Change water often.

  • Diet Variety – Rotate different hays and greens for a diverse diet. Nutritional balance prevents GI issues.

  • Clean Teeth – Schedule annual dental exams to ensure teeth alignment allows proper chewing.

  • Unhealthy Foods – Do not feed iceberg lettuce, cereals, grains, nuts, seeds or human junk foods.

  • Weight Maintenance – Weigh monthly and adjust portions to maintain ideal weight. Obesity causes health problems.

  • Forage Feeding – Use puzzle toys and stuffed cardboard rolls to encourage natural foraging.

Following these diet guidelines will provide your Rex rabbit optimal nutrition. Consult an exotics vet with diet questions.


When selecting a commercial rabbit kibble or pellet formula, follow these tips:

  • Get high-fiber pellets with at least 18% minimum crude fiber content and low protein. Avoid mixes with nuts, seeds, dried fruit or sugary treats.

  • Choose a plain pellet variety made for adult rabbits. Avoid colorful, muesli-style mixes. Alfalfa pellets are only for young, growing rabbits.

  • Look for a recipe free of artificial additives, preservatives and flavors. These are unnecessary and unhealthy.

  • Select a brand that sources high-quality ingredients and conducts feed testing for nutrition and safety.

  • If possible, get pellets without soybean hulls, corn or wheat – harder for rabbits to digest. Oat and beet pulp fibers are better.

  • Start with 1/4 cup pellets per 5 lbs. body weight daily. Adjust amount as needed to maintain ideal weight along with hay and greens.

  • To encourage foraging, put pellets in a food dispenser toy. Never free-feed pellets.

  • Introduce new pellet brands slowly by mixing with current pellets over 2-3 weeks before fully switching.

Choosing the right commercial kibble or pellets will provide a balanced nutritional base to your rabbit’s diet alongside their hay and greens.

Water Requirements

Supplying fresh, clean drinking water daily is essential for your rabbit's health. Follow these tips for their water needs:

  • Use a heavy ceramic crock or bowl that cannot be tipped over. Refill at least once daily.

  • Change water completely every day to keep it fresh. Rinse and refill the bowl.

  • Provide one bowl per rabbit if housing a pair or group. Separate food and water stations.

  • Position water bowls at floor level for easy access. Rabbits drink more when it's easily available.

  • Add more bowls in pens or cages for multiples sources. Check frequently for spills or contamination.

  • Monitor water intake. Increased consumption can indicate illness in rabbits.

  • Filter tap water or use purified water to avoid chlorine/fluoride. Many rabbits dislike the taste.

  • Never restrict water or use it to punish rabbits. Allow them to drink freely.

  • Bring water on car trips in leash-trained rabbits to stay hydrated.

Providing unlimited fresh water supports digestive health, kidney function and overall wellbeing for rabbits. Make water easily accessible.


Frequent grooming is important for your Rex rabbit's health and comfort. Here are some tips:

  • Brush at least weekly with a soft brush to remove loose fur. Prevent ingestion and GI blockages.

  • Use a grooming glove for short Rex fur. Be gentle around sensitive areas.

  • Check for fur matting in armpits, groin and feet. Gently work apart serious tangles or have vet shave.

  • Trim nails every 4-6 weeks. Have vet demonstrate proper technique to avoid the quick.

  • Clean litter-trained rabbits' genitals and underside if soiled to prevent urine scald.

  • Spot clean fur with a damp washcloth if urine stained or dirty. Use a rabbit-safe shampoo only when necessary.

  • Pluck excess fur from inside ears every 4-6 weeks to prevent waxy buildup.

  • Examine skin while grooming for parasites, inflammation, wounds or abnormalities needing veterinary care.

  • Start handling and grooming rabbits young to get them comfortable with the process. Reward with treats.

  • Use positive reinforcement. Groom for short sessions and build up duration gradually.

Regular at-home grooming provides the opportunity to inspect your Rex rabbit's health while preventing dangerous fur ingestion.


Keeping your Rex rabbit entertained and mentally stimulated is key to a happy pet. Here are some great options:

  • Rotate a variety of chew toys and safe wood blocks to nibble on.

  • Use cardboard boxes, tubes and tunnels for hiding, exploring and playing.

  • Stuff cardboard tubes or small boxes with hay, herbs or leafy greens to forage for treats.

  • Provide digging areas filled with soil, sand or shredded paper to burrow in.

  • Arrange willow balls, sticks or rings on the floor for hopping over and through.

  • Use hard plastic baby toys without small parts for tossing and pushing around.

  • Add ramps, levels or climbing surfaces inside pens and enclosures.

  • Scatter handfuls of greens around the habitat to encourage natural grazing behavior.

  • Offer cardboard scratching boards, balls with bells, untreated wicker baskets to investigate.

  • Provide toys that challenge problem-solving skills and treat dispensing puzzles.

  • Allow daily exercise and playtime in bunny-proofed rooms or outdoor pens.

Mentally stimulating toys engage natural behaviors in Rex rabbits and prevent boredom or destructive chewing. Rotate options to keep it interesting!

Behavior and Temperament

The Rex rabbit has a distinctive personality and activity level as a breed. Here's what to expect:

  • Energetic – Rex rabbits are extremely active and inquisitive. They need ample exercise time.

  • Playful – They love toys they can flip, toss and roll. Interactive play is very enriching.

  • Chewers – Provide plenty of approved chew items. Watch for destructive chewing on inappropriate objects.

  • Occasional Diggers – May enjoy digging at carpets, blankets or bedding. Redirect to digging boxes.

  • Social – Rex rabbits bond very closely with owners and earnestly seek affection and attention.

  • Vocalizations – May grunt, purr or honk to communicate. Some thump their feet in displeasure.

  • Groomed Often – Their velvety short coat requires weekly brushing to prevent matting and shedding ingestion.

  • Litter Trainable – Can be reliably trained to use a litter box with patience. Spay/neuter helps enormously.

  • Sensitive Disposition – Rex rabbits startle easily and do not respond well to loud environments or frequent handling by strangers.

When cared for properly, Rex rabbits become wonderfully entertaining and loving companion pets in attentive homes.


Rex rabbits can make excellent pets for the right owners. They require generous space, enrichment and exercise. Following the diet, housing, grooming, veterinary care and training tips outlined above will set your Rex rabbit up for good health and happiness. Do ample research before making the commitment to properly care for these active, high-maintenance rabbits. With understanding and patience, a Rex can be a uniquely endearing lifelong companion.

Rabbit Breeders

Rabbit Breeders is the leading website for rabbit information & research. For over 10 years has been serving the rabbit community. We provide the world's largest rabbit breeders directory.

Recent Posts