Similar to the rex breed, a velveteen lop rabbit has an extremely soft and short coat but also has big, floppy ears. This breed is popular among lop rabbit lovers and because it doesn't get as large as some lop breeds, it is a more manageable option for pet owners. Knowing the special care this breed needs can help you keep yours healthy and happy for years to come.
Common Name: Velveteen lop rabbit
Scientific Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
Adult Size: 5-7 pounds
Lifespan: About five to eight years but can live up to 12 years
Velveteen Lop Rabbit Behavior and Temperament
A velveteen lop rabbit can make a great pet for someone looking for an alternative to a cat or guinea pig. Rabbits are easygoing animals and are known to be playful and smart. Rabbits are not aggressive creatures and are more likely to run away than to try and nip if they are scared or threatened. That means they make great pets for adults and children alike. They are most active at dawn and dusk but can often be found lounging around and napping during the day and evening.
Considered to be a medium sized rabbit, the velveteen lop rabbit maxes out around 7 pounds but their ears can grow to be over 1 foot long. As their name implies, their floppy ears are pretty big but the rest of their body is pretty proportional.
All rabbits, including velveteen lops, need a lot of space to run and play, but when they aren't hopping around, they also need a secure place to sleep. If your adult velveteen lop rabbit is an indoor rabbit, a minimum cage size of 3 feet by 3 feet should be provided. Store-bought cages are available, but many people create their own rabbit enclosures using exercise pens, dog crates, and other items. Outdoor rabbit hutches can also be bought or made but should be especially secure to prevent your rabbit from escaping or being injured or killed by a predator.
Specific Substrate Needs
If you choose to use a substrate in your velveteen lop rabbit's house, avoid cedar and pine shavings. These can be aromatic and contain oils that cause respiratory and skin issues. Opt for aspen, timothy hay, or recycled paper materials instead if you want to provide your lop with some bedding to sleep in. Litter boxes can also contain this substrate or you can use hay or unscented, dust-free cat litter.
What Do Velveteen Lop Rabbits Eat and Drink?
Like other rabbits, velveteen lop rabbits need to eat a variety of vegetables and hay to stay healthy. Depending on the size of your lop, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of rabbit pellets without seeds or colored pieces can be provided (base this off their weight and what your food recommends for that size of rabbit), but the majority of their meal should be composed of grass hay and dark, leafy greens. You can also give them occasional treats of sugar-free cereals, crackers, fruits, and vegetables that aren't green. Remember, if your rabbits' diets aren't appropriate, they're more likely to develop ileus.
Common Health Problems
Velveteen lop rabbits can, unfortunately, develop a variety of health problems. Some of the most common issues seen in rabbits include:
- Dental issues
- Ear mites and infections
- Skin mites and infections
- Eye problems
- Respiratory issues
- Reproductive organ issues
All of these health problems and many others will require the help of a veterinarian experienced in rabbit care.
Training Your Velveteen Lop Rabbit
Velveteen lop rabbits are very smart and can be trained to do simple tricks, come when called, and use a litter box. Some people even teach them to walk on a harness and leash or fetch toys.
If you want to train your rabbit to walk on a leash, be sure to attach the lead to a harness that is designed for your size of rabbit. Verbal coaxing, as well as treats, can help encourage your rabbit to walk toward you while getting used to being attached to a leash.
With a little patience and consistency, you can train your lop rabbit to use a litter box. This will make you more likely to let your rabbit roam around in a rabbit-proofed environment because you won't have to worry about cleaning up any accidents.
Exercise is vital to your velveteen lop rabbit's mental and physical health. Your rabbits needs space to run and play so they can forage for food, be mentally stimulated, find things to chew on, maintain muscle mass, and keep digestive tracts moving. Gastrointestinal motility can decrease or stop because of stress and a lack of physical mobility.
Velveteen lop rabbits have very short and soft hair but that doesn't mean they don't have grooming needs. Nail trims, ear cleanings, baths, and perhaps even tooth trims may be necessary depending on your specific rabbit and their lifestyle. Keeping a lop rabbit's ears clean is especially important because they are so large and can easily collect debris and hold in moisture.
Rabbits shed on a regular basis but major molts or sheds occur twice a year in the spring and fall. During these major sheds, your rabbit will lose more fur than normal.
While velveteen lop rabbits don't have very long hair, you may still need to occasionally brush them. Brushing can help decrease the amount of fur you find around the house and on your clothes. Some breeders recommend weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush.
Rabbits are typically very clean animals so bathing them may not be necessary, but if they get messy, a quick cleaning in the soiled area is a good idea. Don't submerge your rabbit in water for baths—only clean the areas needed as bunnies can get cold during bathes and develop ileus. Use dish soap and lukewarm water while carefully cleaning your velveteen lop rabbit and towel-dry them thoroughly. Be extra careful with their delicate ears and be sure to avoid spraying water into them.
Velveteen lop rabbits may cost more than you expect to care for. This is due to needing to provide fresh vegetables, hay, and pellets on a daily basis. Expect to spend around $50 a month just for food and another $10-$20 on toys and bedding. Additionally, you'll want to budget for routine and emergency vet visits for when your rabbit requires medical attention.
Pros & Cons of Keeping a Velveteen Lop Rabbit as a Pet
Rabbits require a lot more space and attention than many people think, but they're also very personable pets. They require fresh vegetables to eat each day but can be cuddly and sometimes even live to be 12 years of age.
Similar Pets to the Velveteen Lop Rabbit
If you’re interested in pet velveteen lop rabbits, check out:
Otherwise, check out other types of rabbits that can be your new pet!
Purchasing or Adopting Your Velveteen Lop Rabbit
Velveteen lop rabbits are not as common of a breed as some other lop breeds so they aren't usually found in pet stores. You will most likely need to purchase your velveteen lop rabbit from a breeder online or at a rabbit show, but you may occasionally find one through a rabbit rescue group. Expect to pay around $60-$100 for a velveteen lop rabbit from a breeder. If you are looking to rescue a velveteen lop rabbit, you can contact your local House Rabbit Society chapter to see if they have recommendations for rabbit rescues or contact local rabbit rescues directly.
If you decide to get more than one rabbit and they are of opposite sexes, you'll want to get your female spayed to prevent unwanted litters. Fun fact, this procedure prolongs her lifespan, too! Alternatively, you can get two females if you want two rabbits but if you want to get two males, you'll need to get them neutered if you want to keep them from fighting with each other.
Does a velveteen lop rabbit make a good pet for kids?
Yes! Velveteen lop rabbits are very soft and gentle, qualities that kids will enjoy from a pet.
How much does it cost to buy a velveteen lop rabbit?
Because velveteen lop rabbits are not as common as some other breeds, expect to pay a little more for one. Breeders typically charge $60-$100 for their lops.
Is a velveteen lop rabbit hard to take care of?
Velveteen lop rabbits require the same level of care that other rabbits require. Additional ear care may be needed but it is not hard to care for them.
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