Most rabbits come in a variety of fur colors, coat patterns, color hues, and different locations of color bands. The majority of rabbits have the color of agouti. The normal agouti is the color of the wild rabbit, which is a kind of brownish or grayish color, while the pet rabbit, on the other hand, has a lot of color variety. Pet rabbit or domesticated rabbit is a species of European rabbits and considered as a pocket pet. If you have rabbit as a pet, then we all agree that we want the best for our little furry friend. From providing the best food and nutrition, the best home and environment, and obviously, the best health care.
So here’s some insight for you about the correlation between rabbit health care and the rabbit color!
Does the Rabbit Care Depend on the Rabbit Color Itself?
You might already know this, but, fun fact for the new owner: your rabbit can change its fur color. Yes, you read it right. Rabbits, somehow, appear to have the ability to change its color entirely several times a year! Well, this is actually a rabbit’s survival mechanism as it is a prey animal. A rabbit may molt several times and grow its fur back with a different shade as protection from its predators. This is applied to all rabbits but commonly happens to the wild rabbits rather than the domesticated one. For example, it happens to wild snowshoe rabbits. They change their fur color into darker color in summer and become completely white in winter when the days get shorter. However, this natural reaction unlikely happen to the domesticated ones because they spend a lot of their time living in a room so they cannot tell the right day length because they usually only get the light from the artificial one.
You don’t really have to worry about the changing color of your rabbit, but you probably want to take some notes from this addition below
1. Lighter fur color
Remember than the basic reason for this changing color is due to rabbits’ natural reaction as a way to protect themselves from predators in the wild, but it still may happen to your pet rabbit. The less sunlight exposure a rabbit has, the lighter its fur will grow after molting. Managing the amount of sunlight exposure that your rabbit has, especially during winter, might be a little bit tricky. Pet rabbit is already lack of sunlight, compared to the wild rabbit. But allowing your pet rabbit to exercise or roam outside freely during winter is not safe and wise at all, because your pet rabbit is prone to a health problem like pneumonia if it gets damp and cold for a long time.
2. Darker fur color
During spring or summer, rabbit gets a darker color of fur because its body reacting to the sunshine. Before that, another thing that worth to know is that during winter, not only the fur color is getting lighter, but it is also getting thicker as it is used to warm the body. So during the warmer season like summer, the coat fur is getting thinner again. Your rabbit will likely shed a lot of furs which makes it vulnerable to cold, so you may want to keep your eye on its body temperatures during this period.
The conclusion after these two cases, lighter or darker fur color, is that sunlight is essential for your rabbit. Make sure you give enough sunlight to your pet rabbit. If you want to keep your pet rabbit roam outside, make sure it is done safely so it will not get cold and sick.
3. Yellow fur color
If your pet rabbit changes its color into yellow, you may want to be cautious because it probably tells you that your rabbit is not in healthy condition. Basically, yellow fur color can happen because of these two reasons:
- Too much sunlight
If you keep your pet rabbit outside and let it exposed to the sunlight for a long time, your pet rabbit’s darker fur coat may rust in the light. To prevent this from happening, you can provide a shaded area where it can rest for a while from the sunlight.
- Urine stained fur
The yellow color of your pet rabbit’s fur may come from its urine stains. Somehow, rabbit likes to spend its time in its little box, so if you don’t regularly clean the litter box, your rabbit’s fur may become yellow from the urine. This is obviously not hygiene at all and may risk your rabbit into other serious illnesses.
4. Gray fur color
Generally, the lifespan of pet rabbit can be up to 14 years, and a rabbit is considered as an elderly once it reaches the age of 5 human years. Interestingly, just like us, rabbit’s fur also turns gray as its age. You can also notice that your pet rabbit is getting older by some behaviors, such as your rabbit is getting less active and prefer to spend its time with napping, don’t enjoy grooming anymore, having a hard time climbing up to its litter box so your rabbit usually eliminates outside.
If you start to notice the changes, you may want to take care of your graying rabbit more by replanning its diet plan, providing a low-lipped litter box, and starting to have a regular check-up to the vet. For short, love them more!
Rabbit molting and changing color might seem odd and frightening, but you can calm down because this is all a natural reaction. There is no need to rush your pet rabbit to the vet if it starts molting or changing its shade, as long as it is not changing into yellow or the bald patches last longer than two days. While it is molting, you need to regularly brush your rabbit at least twice a day. So, good luck!