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Rabbit Breeds
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Breed Organizations

American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA)
The British Rabbit Council (BRC)
The House Rabbit Society

Native Country
United States of America
Other Names
Fur Type
ARBA Registry Accepted:
Ear Type
BRC Registry Accepted:

Breed Appearance
The Californian rabbit has big ears (although not as large as the ears of Flemish Giants) and is large in size, weighing around 7 to 12 pounds. The original coloration of this breed was very similar to the Himalayan rabbit, with a predominantly white body and are black on the feet, nose, ears and tail. They have pink or red eyes due to a lack of pigmentation.

Breed Description
Body: The body shall be of medium length, with depth of body to approximately equal width. It shall have good depth of hindquarters, well developed shoulders and be plump and firm fleshed.
Head: Broad, carried erect on a short neck and set close to body. Bucks head to be broader than the does.
Ears: Length to be in proportion to size of body, they are to be well set on head, strong at base and carried in an upright position.
Eyes: To be bright and bold, pink in color.
Feet & Legs: Medium sized bone, rather short preferred. Toe nails to show pigmentation and be as dark as possible.
Tail: Straight and carried erect, length and size in proportion to body.
Fur: The coat should be coarse enough in guard hair to offer resistance when stroked towards the head, should roll back to it’s natural position and lie smooth over the entire body. There should be a dense undercoat, interspersed thickly with decidedly heavier or thicker guard hairs. The same quality fur should carry down the sides and under the stomach. The stomach fur will be shorter but should be dense, avoiding a soft woolly type fur on the stomach and groin area.
Markings & Color
Normal - Colored nose, ears, feet and tail. Points to be dark sepia. Colored spot on dewlap permissible but confined to dewlap only. Body color to be pure white.
Chocolate - Standard as normals, except points to be milk chocolate extending to skin.
Blue - Standard as normals, except points to be a clear shade of slate blue extending to skin.
Lilac - Standard as normals, except points to be an even pink shade of dove extending to the skin.

The Californian breed of domestic rabbit was developed in the early 1920s by George West in Southern California. He crossed Himalayan breeds and the Standard Chinchilla rabbit breed and then crossed the offspring with New Zealand Whites. The purpose of this breed was to have a good meat breed that also had a good quality pelt. The breed did not become popular for at least 15 years after development. Today, the Californian rabbit is the second most popular meat-producing breed in the world after the New Zealand rabbit. The fur quality allows this rabbit to also be classified as a fancy breed.

As with other rabbits, Californians do not do well in high or low temperatures. They are prone to hairball obstructions and matted coats if not cared for properly. When the rabbit is molting, dead hair can be removed with a slicker brush. Other health concerns include ear mites, Pasteurella, respiratory disease, dental problems, urinary bladder stones and fractured backs. Be quick to notice any changes in diet or litter box habits and contact a rabbit veterinarian immediately. The average life span of a breeding Californian rabbit is 5 to 10 years.Rabbits can make good pets for younger children when proper parental supervision is provided. As prey animals, rabbits are alert, timid creatures that startle fairly easily. They have fragile bones, especially in their backs, that require support on the belly and bottom when picked up. Older children and teenagers usually have the maturity required to care for a rabbit. Rabbits may grunt, lunge and even bite or scratch. Usually they do not bite hard enough to break skin. Rabbits become aggressive when they feel threatened or are cornered.