Californian Rabbit: Appearance, Lifespan, Temperament, Care Sheet

If people are talking about rabbits, best believe they will be covering a lot of ground. When it comes to rabbits, there are so many breeds to discover. Perhaps one of the most popular options is the Californian Rabbit. If they catch your fancy, then you should get to know them a little better!

The Origin Of The Californian Rabbit

The Origin Of The Californian Rabbit

If you are on the lookout for a domestic breed, then consider the Californian Rabbit. This specific rabbit breed came about in the early 1920s. A man named George West from California crossbred two different breeds – the Standard Chinchilla and The Himalayan.

The offspring produced by this cross-breeding effort was then paired up with another breed – the New Zealand Whites. The product of this union is what we now know as the Californian Rabbit.  When the Californian Rabbit was first introduced, it did not gain popularity overnight. It took a while, roughly around 15 years before the Californian Rabbit gained popularity.

Whenever breeders come up with new breeds, there are always motivations behind the thought. For the Californian Rabbit, George West wanted a breed that produced both good meat and good fur. West was fortunate with his breeding program because he was able to get both benefits.

Apart from the meat and fur they offer, Californian Rabbits are also good pets and show rabbits. Given all these, it seems that this breed, duly recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, has got it all!

Californian Rabbit Info Chart

Californian Rabbits Info Chart

There are over 300 rabbit breeds around the world. While some might exhibit similar features, each breed is unique. And this applies to the Californian Rabbit. If you want to know more about it, here’s a chart that can help you out. If you happen to see them in person, you already have an idea of how they look.




8-10.5 lb


White coat with black markings on ears, feet, nose, and tail


 5 to 10 years


Easygoing, mild, gentle, shy at the start but becomes active and playful



Similar Breeds

 New Zealand White

Best For

Meat, Fur, Pet

The Look

The Californian Rabbit has a large, often compact, strong, and muscular body. Their size is reflected in their weight as well. Californian Rabbits weigh between 8-10.5 lb. The female Californian Rabbits can weigh more than their male counterparts.

Upon seeing a Californian Rabbit, you will first notice its white coating with dark markings. They also have medium-length ears that point straight up and a short neck. Californian Rabbits also have pink eyes.

You can find the marks in certain parts like the ears, feet, nose, and tail. The markings can either be black, blue, chocolate, charcoal, or lilac. The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) only accepts Californian Rabbits with dark markings.

Since the fur of a Californian Rabbit is in demand, it’s important to know what it’s like. Contrary to popular belief, not all rabbits have soft furs. And this is particularly true with the Californian Rabbit. Its fur is short and a  little coarser and denser. However, this has not stopped the Californian Rabbits from being good producers of fur! Come springtime, the Californian Rabbit will be shedding more fur than usual.

What The Californian Rabbit Is Like

What The Californian Rabbit Is Like

Every Rabbit breed has its personality and temperament. Knowing these two factors would help you understand the Californian Rabbit well, especially if you consider them as pets. If you know what they are like, it would be easier to make adjustments

At first, Californian Rabbits might appear shy and quiet. Perhaps it’s due to their mild and gentle temperament. However, the more it interacts with you and others, they will develop more active and playful personalities.

If you want your Californian Rabbit to be more open, you can try exposing them to more people. You should let them out of their enclosure more as well. By doing these things, your Californian Rabbit will be able to adapt to its new environment.

Health Concerns And Treatments

Health Concerns And Treatments

There’s a saying out there about health and wealth. And well the same thing can apply to Californian Rabbits. Just like human beings, Californian Rabbits also go through some health issues and concerns. Whether you are a breeder or a pet owner, you need to know about these because the health and wellness of your Californian Rabbit are on the line.


If you want your Californian Rabbit to be healthy, it needs a well-balanced diet. If you are not careful with their diet, it can cause your Californian Rabbit to become obese. If the rabbit is overweight, this can lead to more complicated health issues.

It’s best to monitor their food intake. You, as the rabbit owner, should be aware of the kinds of food your rabbit eats. One of the things that you should avoid is giving them food with a high sugar intake. If you want to give them fruit, consider it as a treat only.

It shouldn’t be part of their regular food intake. If you aren’t sure of what kinds of fruits and vegetables are suitable for rabbits, it’s better to do some research and get some important insights.

Sore Hocks

A cage with floor wiring could pose a problem for the Californian Rabbits. As this breed is on the larger and heavier side, there is a possibility of developing sore hocks. For flooring, there are other alternatives that you can look into. One option is to get a solid bottom cage for your Californian Rabbit.

Wool Blockage

It’s perfectly natural for rabbits to shed their fur, especially during the spring and winter. However, there might be instances when they ingest their fur during the shedding process. It would cause dry hairballs to get stuck in the Californian Rabbit’s intestines.

The hairballs can cause a slowdown in the movement of their guts. Various health issues can arise if the gut slows down, including constipation. One of the most effective preventive measures that you can do is to groom your Californian Rabbit at least once a week. You can do it more often during the shedding seasons.

Fly Strike

Due to their size and weight, some Californian Rabbits might find it difficult to clean and groom themselves. It leaves them susceptible to Fly Strike. This is a condition caused by Lucilia Sericata or the green bottle fly.

The green bottle fly would latch onto the soiled fur of the Californian Rabbits. The former would then lay eggs on the Californian Rabbit’s rear area, eventually developing into larvae or maggots.

Once the maggots start indulging in the rabbit’s body, it can cause discomfort. If it intensifies, it can even cause toxic shock. If ever you spot maggots on your Californian Rabbits, you should take them to a veterinarian or animal hospital as soon as possible.

TLC For The Californian Rabbit

TLC For The Californian Rabbit

If you want to show how much you care for your Californian Rabbits, you can start by taking care of them well. While this takes some time and energy, it would be well worth it in the end.


Dehydration can be fatal for Californian Rabbits. If you want to avoid this, make sure that your Californian Rabbits have access to water at all times. You should check their water supply from time to time. Don’t forget to watch out for leaks and spillages as well. If they are running low on water, replenish it quickly.

Oral Health

Did you know that the rabbit’s teeth never stop growing? As interesting as that sounds, it can also be troublesome for the Californian Rabbits. There are a couple of things you can do to help the rabbit with wearing their teeth down. You should give them food with high fiber content. You can also get chew toys for them.

If their teeth continue to grow, it can lead to malocclusion. If this happens, their jaws might get infected. It can also make eating difficult for them. It can even cause them pain as it progresses.

Comfortable Home

Whether you intend to keep the Californian Rabbits indoors or outdoors, they need to have the right cages. The cage should be big enough for them, given their size. There are other things you can add to spruce up the cage.

You can line it with straw and make that as their bedding. When procuring their cage, you should always think about their comfort, safety, and welfare. Make sure you clean the cage at least once a week. Doing so helps keep the Californian Rabbits clean.

Take A Californian Rabbit Home

Before deciding to take a Californian Rabbit home, make sure that you are ready. You should have the space and time to take care of them. Once you are all set, you should look for reputable breeders near you who can help you with anything related to the Californian Rabbits!

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