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Lionhead Rabbit (Looks, Behavior, & How to Care for Them)

Lionhead Rabbits look amazing. They have a mane of fur around their heads, which gives them a lion-like appearance with an abundance of cuteness thrown in.

The origin story of this rabbit is not completely clear, but it is believed to have come from crossing either an Angora or Belgian Dwarf with a Swiss Fox. However it came about, we are just glad that it did.

When the lion-like appearance first started to show, breeders began to lock in those genes to pass the cute mutation to future rabbits.

Now, the Lionhead rabbit is one of the most recognizable and unique bunnies out there.

They come in various colors, and you will find them with single and double manes. They are very popular as pets, cute, sociable, and friendly.

Also Check: Fun Facts About Mini Dutch Rabbit

Lionhead Rabbit Color & Looks

The Lionhead rabbit has a small and compact body with medium length legs.

This compactness contrasts with the giant head and bold mane. With a well-developed muzzle, you cannot help but fall in love with this furry creature when you first see it.

a lionhead rabbit

Some Lionhead rabbits [1] have a single mane.

The parents can pass on one or two mane genes, which dictates whether the offspring will have a single or double mane.

The mane is usually around the head, ears, and chin and is sometimes found as far down as the chest and rump.

Double manes occur when two mane genes are passed on. This will result in a thick mane of fur around the head, ears, and chin.

A double-mane Lionhead is easily told apart from a single mane by the amount of fur in the mane.

Lionhead rabbits most commonly come in one solid color, though that color can have a variety of shades.

Simple colors like black, chocolate, and blue are joined by more exotic colors such as smoke pearl and Siamese sable.

Take a look at the video for additional information.

How Do I Care for a Lionhead Rabbit?

As you may expect from a rabbit with a large furry mane, Lionhead bunnies require a little more grooming than other breeds.

The long hair and thick mane require brushing out at least once a week. If your bunny is molting, you can expect to groom them more frequently.

The great thing about grooming, other than getting rid of the excess hair (which can result in fur-block if not taken care of), is that they generally like it.

It gives you a chance to spend time with your bunny and bond with it.

Check your bunny’s nails every month and trim them if you are comfortable doing it, or take them to the vet to have it done.

Lionhead Rabbit cages should be made from wire.

They may chew on the bars, so make sure that they are not coated with anything toxic to bunnies or can be chewed off and ingested.

 The cage should be large enough for them to fully stretch out when they are in it.

A plastic bottom will be comfortable for your bunny, and you should make sure that there is some good-quality padding on the bottom to protect their feet and lots of bedding for them to flop down on when they are tired.

Clean out your bunny’s cage every week at a minimum, and spot clean the cage as often as you can.

READ MORE: Everything About the Holland Lops

How Active Are Lionhead Rabbits?

A 24”x24” cage is the smallest you should go with a Lionhead Rabbit but the larger the cage (or area they can run around in), the better.

Lionheads are active bunnies and need the space to play in. If they are going to be in a cage, you should have a large run for them to play in, or they should be allowed to run around in part of your home.

Lionheads like to be outside as long as the weather is nice but ensure that you are always outside with them.

Make sure to remove anything which could harm your bunny and anything which you do not want to be chewed

a lionhead rabbit at park

If you are letting your bunny out of its cage and into your home, you should make sure that the area is safe.

Bunnies like to chew. Wires are perfect for chewing on.

Put the two together, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Ensure to remove anything that could harm your bunny and anything you do not want to be chewed (this would most often be food, fabrics, and the wires we mentioned).

Lionhead Rabbits are very energetic. Give them enough space to burn off that energy, and they will love you for it.

What Should I Feed My Lionhead Rabbit?

a lionhead rabbit eating hay

A Lionhead Rabbit eats much the same food as any other bunny when it comes to feeding.

You should feed your bunny mostly hay, around 70% timothy hay (for adult bunnies) [2].

The remainder of their diet should mainly be pellets, supplemented with fruits, vegetables, and greens.

Fruits and vegetables are a treat for your bunny (especially fruits), so should be given sparingly.

Around 1/2 cup of pellets is all you need for every 5 pounds of bunny. Lots of freshwater should also be given.

To keep your bunny’s coat in optimum condition, they also benefit from a small piece of pineapple or papaya every couple of days.

Look for organic fruit if you can, and the fresher, the better.

If you cannot find fresh, then canned can be used but always make sure that the fruit is unsweetened.

READ MORE: Facts About Giant Continental Rabbit

Healthcare for a Lionhead Rabbit

Lionhead Rabbits are relatively easy to take care of, but there are some health concerns that you should be aware of. Some are more specific to Lionheads while others are common to all bunnies.

It is a good idea to check their teeth from time to time or have a vet check them for you.

One of the most common things to look out for is teeth that are not adequately filed down.

By feeding your rabbit with a diet rich in timothy hay, they will naturally take care of their own teeth without you having to do anything.

It is a good idea to check their teeth from time to time or have a vet check them for you.

Mites can grow in the ears of your Lionhead [3].

They are not common, but they can happen. If you notice your bunny scratching more at one of their ears or both of them, then they may have ear mites.

A vet will be able to treat them easily.

Other than that, regular check-ups will ensure that your bunny is in good health.

Lionhead Rabbits as Pets

a lionhead rabbit in hand

Lionheads make wonderful pets.

They are energetic little bunnies who love to play and interact with you and the world around them.

They also like to be held, picked up, and petted, making them great around children of all ages.

When they are let out of their cages, they will chase you around. This is why we recommend having a large pen for them to run in (and for you to be in that pen with them), or to let them run around your home.

Once a Lionhead gets to know you, they will almost act like dogs, running to you

Being so small, Lionhead Rabbits also do great in small spaces, such as apartments.

They will still need space to run around in but not as much as some larger breeds. Just make sure that you interact with them a lot to bond with them and provide company as they are very social creatures.

Once a Lionhead gets to know you, they will almost act like dogs, running to you when you get home after a hard day at work, and sitting on your lap for you to pet.

They are sweet and friendly enough to be perfect companions for any size of a family.

As they are so energetic, any toy which they can interact with will be beneficial for them. Look for toys that roll, such as balls, or any toys which you can hide food and treats inside.

Play structures are also ideal as they will love to jump on top of them and run around underneath.

Lionheads are wonderfully playful pets.

brown Lionhead Rabbit

Resources

  • 1. Lionhead [Internet]. www.pdsa.org.uk. [cited 2022 Jan 24]. Available from: https://www.pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/looking-after-your-pet/rabbits/lionhead
  • 2. Hay & Grass for Optimum Rabbit Health [Internet]. Available from: https://www.vrra.org/wp-beta1/wp-content/uploads/bunphotos/Types-of-Rabbit-Hay.pdf
  • 3. FS1183: Common Mites of Your Rabbit and Small Animal Part I: Fur Mites (Rutgers NJAES) [Internet]. njaes.rutgers.edu. [cited 2022 Jan 24]. Available from: https://njaes.rutgers.edu/fs1183/

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Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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