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The Californian Rabbit – A Complete Care Guide

The Californian rabbit is an attractive domestic rabbit breed. In the early 1920s, George West in Southern California created this breed. He made the Californian rabbit by combining Himalayan and Standard Chinchilla rabbits, then breeding the descendants with New Zealand Whites. It is now a popular rabbit breed in the United States. 

Is it difficult to care for Californian rabbits?

In this article, we discuss the dietary needs and housing options for a Californian Rabbit. We consider who would be a suitable fit for this rabbit as a pet. Furthermore, we have the answers to your questions.

The Californian Rabbit - A Complete Care Guide

Overall Description

  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 8-10.5 pounds
  • Lifespan: 5-10 years

The body type of this rabbit breed is commercial, and it should weigh between eight and ten and a half pounds. They also have a strong frame with broad shoulders and deep hindquarters. Their coat is often entirely white, with Himalayan-like patterns. Their ears should be large and medium in length, pointing straight up.



Because the coat of the Californian rabbit breed is dense, coarse, and not soft, petting them is probably better for the rabbit than for a human. It has a short fur coat with a deep undercoat. You may notice that they lose their coat more in the spring than in other seasons. 

When it comes to Californian rabbits, the American Rabbit Breeding Association (ARBA) only accepts white with a black marking as feasible. They have black/near-black patterns on their snout, paws, ears, and tail, and they must have albino rabbit-like pink eyes.

The color of the Californian rabbit’s coat may react differently depending on the environment of the location where it inhabits, which is an intriguing detail about its metabolism. Bunnies in warmer climates have whiter fur with a consistent pigmentation pattern, but those in colder climates have darker spots across their body; however, their hair will come back white if they molt.



Because of their calm, friendly, and loving demeanor, Californian rabbits are one of the ideal rabbit breeds for families with children. They’re also incredibly curious and playful, and they want to explore their environment at their leisure.

Despite their curiosity, Californian rabbits can be shy and reluctant when they first arrive at their new home or meet someone or an unusual species for the first time. 

They can easily adjust to their new surroundings due to their amiable attitude and superior intelligence.

These rabbits are social and kind, and they like being around other animals. It is a good idea to bring them a companion if you can afford it.


How to Care For a Californian Rabbit 

Taking care of Californian rabbits is similar to that of other rabbit breeds. Ensure it gets the proper diet, housing, and companionship, and take it to a veterinarian for proper care.

Diet and Nutrition

Adult rabbits eat hay as their primary source of nutrition. Hay improves intestinal movement and assists digestion, avoiding digestive diseases, thanks to its high fiber content. 

Fresh, high-quality hay should be accessible in your rabbit’s cage at all times. If the hay becomes wet or comes into touch with urine, replace it immediately since moisture stimulates the growth of bacteria, fungus, and other infectious agents, all of which can be harmful to your rabbit’s health.

Consider feeding your rabbits high-quality pellets with high fiber content, as little fat as possible, and a moderate amount of protein. Animal-derived components should never be used in rabbit pellets. Their major constituents should be forage plants like alfalfa, and they should never contain any cereals, flours, or vegetable by-products.

You should limit the number of fruits and green vegetables you offer since too much sugar, and carbohydrates might cause intestinal disorders and obesity.

It is essential to keep their enclosure stocked with fresh, clean water at all times.


Californian Rabbit




The Californian rabbit requires a significant amount of time outside its habitat to explore and build long-term bonds with human families. Despite being primarily utilized as a show or meat rabbit, they are social animals who make excellent companions. 

Because their coat is dense enough to endure freezing temperatures (including snow), the Californian rabbit breed does well in indoor and outdoor cages, as long as their outdoor enclosures are sheltered from the weather (sun, rain, snow). 

Outdoor cages should also be covered on three sides to protect rabbits from chilly drafts in the winter while also providing ventilation and shade in the summer.

Indoor cages should be constructed of wire, have a plastic bottom, and be spacious enough for them to spread out in. The base should be covered with good-quality bedding (some owners choose to use tiny amounts of horse bedding, which is OK), spot-cleaned every day, and replaced once a week.



Depending on the kind, Californians have short white fur. However, no matter what sort of fur a Californian has, it will need to be groomed regularly. Remember to brush the coat to maintain it clean, lustrous, and pest-free. Weekly grooming with a tiny brush is required.

During their molting cycle, grooming should often avoid wool blockages and protect the rabbit from ingesting hair. Fur is not digestible and will thus linger in the stomach, creating obstruction and further difficulties. This is why you should never forget to groom your rabbit.


Californian Rabbit Health

Californians are a healthy breed; however, they are not immune to common rabbit diseases. 


Hairballs and Wool Block

Californian bunnies, like other rabbits, groom themselves continuously, especially while shedding. Because rabbits can’t throw up, the fur they eat when grooming develops dry hairballs in their stomachs.

Hairballs can cause constipation and other health problems by slowing down the digestive system. Groom your Californian rabbits at least once a week to remove stray hair and avoid wool block.


Digestive Issues

Because some rabbits have delicate digestive systems, they may be impacted by digestive health issues such as enteritis, bloat, and gastrointestinal stasis. These disorders may affect rabbits under the age of two months.



Always keep an eye out for ear or hair parasites like mites, fleas, and ticks. Rabbits infected with these parasites have poor hygiene and are maintained in unsanitary environments and cages. 

In addition, look for indicators of disease in your pet, such as a loss of appetite, lack of activity, nose and ocular discharges, diarrhea, and vomiting. Unsteady stride, grinding teeth, and napping all day might all be symptoms of severe disease.

Californian Rabbits





Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Keep Two or More Californians in One Cage?

Yes, you may keep two or more rabbits in a single cage as long as the pen is large enough to accommodate your pets. It would be best if you did everything possible to create a big, comfortable, and secure environment for your pet rabbits to live in.

Is It Necessary To Have a Heater in My Californian Rabbit’s Cage? 

A heat lamp may be used to give heat in chilly places. However, if the weather is particularly cold, use a portable heater and set it near the rabbit cage to provide a lovely and cozy environment for your pet to dwell in. This is crucial, especially when it comes to incubating newborn rabbits.

Are Californian Rabbits Territorial? 

Californians, according to experts, could become territorial when housed in a restricted area. During the mating season, males may become violent against other males. To establish a hierarchy in the group, they may bite and kick their opponents.

Are Californians Endangered Species? 

The Californian rabbit is a growing breed thanks to breeders’ efforts, and it can be found at trade shows, pet stores, farms, and loving homes. It is not a threatened species.


Is the Californian Rabbit for You?

Californian rabbits may live up to ten years, so keep that in mind if you want to keep one as a pet.

They also require yearly veterinary examinations, vaccines and worming, and parasite treatments regularly.

You must also be able to give ample indoor or outdoor space for your Californian rabbits, as they cannot endure the cold. Californian rabbits require a lot of room to exercise to avoid growing overweight.

Despite their short hair, Californian rabbits require grooming once a week. When they are shedding, they will need more regular grooming.

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