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Harlequin Rabbits – A Complete Care Guide

The Harlequin rabbit is a unique breed with distinct coat colors. Because of their unusual colors and patterns, these rabbits are commonly referred to as the “clown of rabbits.” The Harlequin is one of the oldest breeds, having been established in France in the 1880s. Because of their beautiful coat, these rabbits are generally bred as show rabbits, but they are also popular as companion pets.

They have become common household pets. What is the best way to care for a Harlequin rabbit?

The dietary and shelter requirements of the harlequin rabbit are discussed in this article. We’ll also go over grooming tips and address any questions you might have about the breed.


Harlequin Rabbits A Complete Care Guide


Overall Description

  • Size: Medium/Large
  • Weight: 5 – 9.5 pounds
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years

Harlequin rabbits come in two varieties: the Magpie and the Japanese. Japanese Harlequin rabbits are often orange with lilac, chocolate, black, or blue markings.

Magpie Harlequin rabbits are often white with blue, black, chocolate, or lilac markings. Bands, bars, or a mix of the two make up their body marks.

Coat and Colors

Harlequin rabbits have short, smooth hair that requires little upkeep to stay clean. Shedding is modest, but if you’re concerned about the amount of hair that can end up on your clothes and furnishings.

Harlequin rabbits must have a three-part frontal alteration to meet the American Rabbit Breeders Association’s Standard of Perfection. This implies that the ears must be of various colors and the face, which must alternate with the ears. The colors for the chest and rearfoot of Harlequin rabbits should also be varied.

The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) and the British Rabbits Council (BRC) recognize the Harlequin.


The Harlequin rabbit is an outgoing bunny who enjoys hopping around and exploring every inch of his home. With their brightly colored bodies and personality, they are indeed the clowns of the bunny world.

They’re friendly rabbits who will welcome a scratch on the head and a back scratch now and again. Although this is not a little or small rabbit, it gets along nicely with kids as long as the smaller ones are supervised when playing with your Harlequin. Their beautiful coat tempts them, and much more so when they learn how active they are.

The Harlequin is an extroverted bunny that enjoys going on adventures. They are also curious by nature and can be pretty independent, content to do their own thing, smelling and inspecting their surroundings. They are the bunny world’s clowns, and they will make you chuckle while keeping you on your toes!

Though, they are loving and will accept a touch or a back scratch from individuals they care about. They’re laid-back and don’t mind being in the company of others. You should always respect the personal space of your rabbit, especially if they are new to your household. They may try to bite if they are anxious or frightened.

How to Care For Harlequin Rabbits

Harlequin Rabbit care is similar to that of other breeds. You must ensure that it gets the necessary feed and shelter and take it to a veterinarian for medical and dental treatment.


The quantity you feed your Harlequin rabbit should be determined by their size, age, and degree of activity. Every day, they should consume a piece of hay equal to their body weight, as well as pellets, leafy greens, and fresh vegetables. They should also have access to fresh water at all times.

Hay is essential because it keeps your Harlequin’s digestive system running smoothly and it wears down their teeth, making them less prone to dental problems. Hay should make up at least 80% of your rabbit’s diet.


Cages or enclosures with a sturdy frame should be used. Remember that Harlequin rabbits are a large breed and if it tries to escape, he may easily knock the fence down.

A detachable plastic pan or tray must be present at the bottom, where the droppings may readily fall. It would be best if you placed soft bedding on the cage’s floor to keep your pet comfy and warm.

Install a rabbit hay feeder on the enclosure’s side so that your rabbit may eat hay whenever it wants. You can use hay or aspen, wood pellets, or horse bedding as bedding.

Once or twice a week, ensure that the cage is cleaned. Remove your pet and clean the area with a safe cleanser or natural cleaners such as baking soda, white vinegar, or lemon juice.

NOTE: Avoid using ordinary home cleansers since they may contain hazardous substances harmful to your pet.


Harlequin Rabbits have medium-length fur that may require brushing and combing regularly. However, no matter what color Harlequin Rabbit you have, it will need grooming regularly. Brush its coat to keep it clean, lustrous, and pest-free.

Grooming should be done more often to minimize wool blockages and fur ingestion, especially during the molting stage. If you don’t groom your rabbit’s coat, the hair is not digested and can build up in the digestive tract, creating obstruction and potentially serious issues.

Rabbits should get their nails trimmed or filed once a month. If you don’t feel comfortable cutting, have the vet do it for you.


Harlequins, like other rabbits, are susceptible to common health issues.

Here are a few issues you should be aware of:

Malocclusion — when the upper and lower teeth are misaligned, the regular chewing process does not wear down the teeth of your rabbit. Dental checks should be done regularly. Make sure your rabbit gets enough hay as well.

Gastrointestinal Stasis (GI Stasis) is a potentially fatal disorder in which the digestive system slows or stops entirely. Loss of appetite, tiny or no fecal pellets, and lethargy are all symptoms. If found early enough, it can be cured.

Ear mites are a frequent parasite seen in pet rabbits. If your rabbit is afflicted, you may notice them tossing their heads a lot. Your veterinarian will be able to help you.

Harlequin Rabbits


Frequently Asked Questions

Can Harlequin Rabbits Live Outside?

Yes, you may keep a Harlequin Rabbit as a pet outdoors, but you must first rabbit-proof your yard before releasing it. To limit the area where the rabbit may travel freely, use a perimeter fence. To prevent escape, make sure the fence poles are appropriately buried.

Are Harlequin Rabbits Endangered?

Harlequin rabbits are not a threatened breed. It is a show, fur, and meat rabbit that is commercially accessible. Harlequin rabbits can be found in abundance on many farms and breeding grounds across the world.

Are Harlequin Rabbits Territorial?

When housed in a tiny enclosure, Harlequin Rabbits, like other rabbits, can become territorial. During the mating season, males may become violent against other males. To establish hierarchy and claim territory, they may bite, scratch, or kick their opponents.

Are Harlequin Rabbits for You?

The Harlequin rabbit is a one-of-a-kind breed recognized for its stunning coat. These bunnies, often bred as show rabbits, are fantastic pets and can indeed offer some fun to a home. They are energetic and exceptionally curious, and they are frequently found exploring their environment and amusing their owners.

The Harlequin is excellent for families with children, first-time rabbit owners and thrives both indoors and outdoors.  Why not add a Harlequin rabbit to your household if you have the space for one of these bunnies?






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