Keeping Your Rabbit Healthy

Keeping Your Rabbit Healthy

As a bunny owner, you should be aware of the potential threats and diseases that could harm the wellness of your rabbit. We’ve developed this Guide to Keeping Your Rabbit Healthy to help you become aware of problems to look out for, and what you need to do to keep your bunny in good health.

Just like human beings, you need to have knowledge on these diseases so that you can prevent them from happening in the first place. You will find tons of information on the most common problems that may affect your rabbit including their causes, signs and symptoms, remedies and prevention.

While you may not be able to prevent your rabbit from getting sick in certain situations, you can be responsible in educating yourself about the diseases that could affect your rabbit. The more you know about these potential health problems, the better you will be able to identify them and to seek immediate veterinary care when needed. 

Common Health Problems Affecting Rabbits

Pet rabbits can be affected by a number of different health problems and they are generally not specific to any particular breed. Feeding your rabbit a nutritious diet will go a long way in securing his total health and well-being, but sometimes rabbits get sick anyway. If you want to make sure that your rabbit gets the treatment he needs as quickly as possible you need to learn how to identify the symptoms of disease. These symptoms are not always obvious, either – your rabbit may not show any outward signs of illness except for a subtle change in behavior.

The more time you spend with your rabbit, the more you will come to understand his behavior – this is the key to catching health problems early.

At the first sign that something is wrong with your rabbit you should take inventory of his symptoms – both physical and behavioral – so you can relay them to your veterinarian who will then make a diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment. The sooner you identify these symptoms, the sooner your vet can take action and the more likely your rabbit will be to make a full recovery.

Rabbits are prone to a wide variety of different diseases, though some are more common than others. For the benefit your rabbit’s long-term health, take the time to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for some of the most common health problems.

Below are some of the most common health problems that can occur to lionhead rabbits. You will learn some guidelines on how these diseases can be prevented and treated as well as its signs and symptoms.


Urine Burn

Also known as urine scald, urine burn occurs when urine soaks into the rabbit’s fur and causes severe inflammation and hair loss.


This condition is common when strict sanitation practices are not followed. If you do not clean your rabbit’s cage often enough or if you fail to keep his litter box fresh, your rabbit may be forced to sit in his own urine which can lead to this painful condition.

This problem can also develop from a rabbit’s inability to control his bladder due to some underlying medical condition or a physical inability to assume the right stance for urination.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common sign of urine burn in rabbits is inflammation and redness around the private area.

Prevention and Treatment

The best treatment for this is to apply a soothing ointment. You should also take steps to improve the sanitation in your rabbit’s cage to prevent a recurrence of the problem. The key is to keep your rabbit’s cage clean and dry at all times.


In the U.S. this disease is most commonly seen along the Pacific coast, though there are different strains that occur in other parts of the country. This viral disease has also been introduced into Australia, Belgium, and other countries where it has become a major problem.


This is a viral infection known to affect rabbits and it is caused by a virus in the Poxvirus family. This disease is generally transmitted through insects and, in many cases, it is fatal. Myxomatosis is spread through blood-sucking insects like mosquitoes, ticks, and lice, though direct transmission is possible.

Signs and Symptoms

Clinical signs may vary depending on the strain but may include lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, swelling around the eyes, and swelling or drooping of the ears.  

Prevention and Treatment

The best way to prevent this disease from occurring is to protect your rabbit against external parasites.

Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for myxomatosis and it is usually fatal.

If your rabbit does catch the disease, you need to employ careful sanitation practices to prevent spread. This virus is extremely resistant to inactivation – it takes a lot to kill the virus. Rabbits exposed to myxomatosis must be quarantined for 14 days to confirm infection.


An abscess is a pocket of fluid and pus generally cause by a bacterial infection. These are fairly common in domestic rabbits and they can form anywhere on the rabbit?s body.


The cause of an abscess could be any number of things including a bite, a cut, or some other kind of wound – they may also be caused by foreign bodies becoming embedded in the rabbit’s skin or mouth. They can also be the result of wounds in the mouth caused by dental disease.

Signs and Symptoms

A mouth abscess can be very painful for your lionhead rabbit and it may cause him to stop eating – he may also drool and drop bits of food when he does eat. Abscesses on the skin usually appear as hard lumps.

Prevention and Treatment

The best treatment for an abscess is to drain the fluid and pus which is usually performed under general anesthesia. Following the drainage, the wound must be kept clean and the rabbit should take antibiotics to prevent infection. Painkillers may also be prescribed by veterinarian.


Also known as viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD), rabbit calcivirus disease is a viral disease that is highly infectious, particularly among wild rabbits.


This disease causes severe fever accompanied by inflammation of the intestines, damage to the lymph nodes, and even liver damage. It may be detected through medical check-up by your vet or through blood tests and other other medical examination.

If left untreated, calcivirus can lead to a condition affecting the blood which prevents it from coagulating. It can also lead to massive ruptures of blood vessels in various organs.  

Signs and Symptoms

Unfortunately, most rabbits affected by calcivirus do not show any outward signs and many die within 24 hours of the onset of fever.

Some of the symptoms that your rabbit may show include difficulty breathing, weight loss, lethargy, paralysis, and convulsions. This disease is spread through direct contact or through contact with contaminated food, water or bedding.

Prevention and Treatment

To prevent the spread of virus, it is highly recommended that you always keep your rabbit’s cage clean and sanitized. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for this disease and it is usually fatal.


This disease is incredibly common in rabbits all over the world and it is caused by a protozoa, called Eimeria protozoa. This disease is transmitted through contaminated feed or water and, even if a rabbit recovers, he may remain a carrier of the disease and can pass it to others.

2 Types of Coccidiosis:

  • Hepatic Coccidiosis

Hepatic coccidiosis affects the liver and it is commonly seen in young rabbits

  • Intestinal Coccidiosis

This other type affects the intestines and can occur in any rabbit.

Signs and Symptoms

Rabbits with hepatic coccidiosis generally exhibit reduced appetite and poor coat condition. In most cases, the rabbit dies shortly after symptoms appear. Rabbits with intestinal coccidiosis usually have a mild case with few to no symptoms which can be dangerous, certain laboratory tests may be needed to make a diagnosis.

Prevention and Treatment

Improving sanitation in the rabbit’s cage is effective in eliminating hepatic coccidiosis, though it may not be as effective for intestinal coccidiosis. For proper treatment, consult your veterinarian.

Encephalitozoon Cuniculi

This disease is caused by a small protozoan parasite called Encephalitozoon Cuniculi. This parasite can be absorbed into the rabbit’s body through the intestines and it generally causes lesions on the kidneys, brain, and other organs. Researchers estimate that as many as 50% of domestic rabbits carry this parasite in their bodies but only a small percentage actually develops into problems. This parasite can even be passed down from mother to baby or through direct contact with an infected rabbit.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptoms of E. Cuniculi include loss of balance, head tilt, tremors, convulsions, blindness, partial paralysis, and coma or death.

Prevention and Treatment

The treatment most commonly prescribed for this disease is Panacur – it can be administered in a 28-day course to destroy the parasite, though some veterinarians recommend retreatment four times a year to prevent reinfection. It is important to note, however, that this treatment is only effective in killing the parasite before symptoms appear. Plus, even if your rabbit responds to treatment he may be left with a permanent disability such as head tilt.


Also known as sniffles, pasteurellosis is a common disease in rabbits. When caught early, pasteurella can be treated but, if left untreated, it can quickly become chronic or even fatal.


This disease is a respiratory infection caused by the bacteria Pasteurellamultocida and it is highly infectious. There are several different strains of the bacteria which can affect the rabbit’s eyes, ears, and various other organs.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs of pasteurella can vary depending on the strain and the progression of the disease but generally include a watery nasal discharge, sneezing, and a loud snuffling or snoring sound. This disease can also travel to the eyes, causing conjunctivitis, and to the ears, causing head shaking, head tilt, disorientation, and a loss of balance.

It is also possible for this disease to affect the rabbit’s reproductive tract and it may also result in the formation of abscesses (or pus-filled sores).

Prevention and Treatment

This disease is so contagious and dangerous, prevention through strict sanitation and quarantine procedures is a must.

The most common treatment for pasteurella is a 14 to 30-day course of antibiotics and supplementary probiotics.


Pneumonia is fairly common in domestic rabbits and it is generally caused by some kind of infection – bacterial or viral in most cases – which leads to inflammation in the lungs.


Pneumonia can result from four different types of infections. It can either be bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic.

It is also possible for environmental factors such as chemicals, smoke, or dental disease to cause inflammation which leads to pneumonia.

Signs and Symptoms

There are four main types of pneumonia all of which exhibit similar symptoms such as anorexia, weight loss, fever, sneezing, drooling, nasal discharge, eye discharge, abscesses, and difficulty breathing.

Prevention and Treatment

The type of infection will determine the severity of the disease as well as the proper course of treatment. Rabbits suffering from fever, anorexia, weight loss, or lethargy may require fluid and electrolyte therapy.

Your vet may also prescribe antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, or antibiotic medications depending on the type of infection causing your rabbit’s pneumonia. During treatment, your rabbit’s movement should be restricted.


Though the name might suggest otherwise, ringworm is not a disease caused by a worm or any other parasite. It is a fungal infection common in rabbits and other small mammals.


There are several different types of fungus which can cause ringworm in rabbits and it can actually be transmitted to humans as well. In many cases, a rabbit is infected with the fungus by another rabbit or by another household pet who is a carrier but remains asymptomatic.

Poor sanitation, stress, high humidity, overcrowding, and malnutrition can all increase your lionhead rabbit’s risk for succumbing to this infection.

Signs and Symptoms

The first sign of ringworm in most cases is the development of patchy areas of hair loss that are dry and flaky. Rabbits generally development lesions on their head, legs and feet first which can then spread to other parts of the body.

Prevention and Treatment

Most rabbits recover from ringworm without treatment if sanitation in their cage improves. In some cases, however, treatment with anti-fungal medications may be necessary. During treatment you also need to thoroughly clean and disinfect everything in the cage to prevent reinfection.

Skin Mites

Skin mites are also sometimes called mange mites and they represent one of the most common skin problems in domestic rabbits. The most common mites to cause problems in rabbits are Cheyletiella mites which are invisible to the naked eye and can be easily spread through contaminated hay and bedding.


The cause of skin mite infestations is still unknown, but it is likely that some rabbits carry the mites unknowingly and problems only develop when the rabbit is weakened by stress, illness, or injury. Skin mites feed on keratin which leads to poor coat condition and quality.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common sign of skin mites in rabbits is patches of dandruff appearing on the coat, usually at the base of the tail and the nape of the neck. In cases of severe infection, the patch may actually look like it is moving because it is so heavily covered in mites.

Prevention and Treatment

Treatment for skin mites generally involves ivermectin injection as well as a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the rabbit’s habitat. Regular grooming will also help prevent reinfection by removing dead hairs that mites could eat.

Preventing Illness

In addition to learning about the different diseases to which your lionhead rabbit may be prone, there are some other simple things you can do to keep your rabbit healthy.

For one thing, you need to keep your rabbit’s cage clean. Not only will cleaning your rabbit’s cage help to prevent the spread of parasites, bacteria, and other harmful pathogens but it will also help to keep your rabbit’s stress level low. If your rabbit becomes stressed, it could compromise his immune system and he may be more likely to get sick if he is exposed to some kind of illness.

It is important to note that you should also be mindful of making sure that your rabbit gets the right vaccinations and you should take steps to protect your lionhead rabbit against parasites.

In this section you will find guidelines on how you can prevent unwanted illnesses that could endanger your rabbit’s life.

Sanitize Your Rabbits Cage

When it comes to cleaning your lionhead rabbit’s cage, there are two main goals you want to accomplish; removing debris and disinfecting everything.

Start by emptying everything out of your rabbit’s cage – that includes bedding, food bowls, toys, and, of course, your rabbit. After cleaning out your rabbit’s cage, disinfect it with a rabbit-friendly cleaner. Distilled white vinegar is a natural disinfectant that won’t harm your rabbit or leave any residues.

If you want something stronger you can mix chlorine bleach at a ratio of 1 part bleach to 5 parts water – just be sure to thoroughly rinse everything after disinfecting it.

After cleaning and disinfecting your rabbit’s cage you need to do the same for his food and water equipment as well as any toys or cage accessories. Again, you can prepare a bleach solution by mixing 1 part bleach to 5 parts water and soak everything in it before rinsing well. Make sure everything is completely dry before putting it back in the cage.

When you are done cleaning and disinfecting, add some fresh bedding to the cage and put everything back. As long as you keep to a regular schedule, you shouldn’t have to clean your rabbit’s cage more than once a week.

Preventing Parasites

Just like your rabbit or cat needs to be protected against fleas and other parasites, so does your lionhead rabbit. Rabbit can attract the same kind of fleas that rabbits attract, so consider protecting your rabbit with a topical flea control preventive. You can ask your veterinarian for recommendations on which brand to use and follow the dosing instructions very carefully.

You should also be mindful of your rabbit’s risk for mites and lice. Fur mites can cause dry, flakey patches of irritation on your rabbit’s skin and ear mites can cause your rabbit’s ears to become itchy and covered with wax and debris. Talk to your veterinarian if you notice any of these problems happening to your rabbit.

Recommended Vaccinations

Rabbits are not like dogs and cats in that they need to be vaccinated against a half dozen different diseases.      

There is really only one that is commonly given to rabbits – calcivirus. Your rabbit should be vaccinated for calcivirus between 10 and 12 weeks of age and then every 12 years after to maintain your rabbit’s immunity.

Signs your Rabbit is sick

Look for any changes in your rabbits body or behavior. Things that may indicate illness include:

  • Eating Disorder- does your rabbit show signs of appetite loss or drooling and dropping of food?
  • Coat – does its coat and skin still feel soft, firm and rejuvenated? If your rabbit is sick sometimes, it appears physically on its body and can have a poor coat condition or hair loss.
  • Mobility – does your rabbit look like it is out of balance? It may be a sign of paralysis or convulsions.
  • Eyes – are there any discharge in the eyes? Are they swelling?
  • Ears – does the ear of your rabbit swell or droop?
  • Respiratory – does your rabbit have difficulty in breathing?
  • Nose – does your rabbit have a watery nasal discharge? Does it snore loudly?
  • Overall Physique – does your rabbit stays active or are there any signs of weakness and deterioration?

Need more?

Book - Lionhead Rabbits: The Ultimate Guide for Lionhead RabbitsIf you’re still looking for more detail on keeping your rabbit healthy, I’d recommend reading “Lionhead Rabbits: The Ultimate Guide for Lionhead Rabbits”. You can find it on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.

We hope you’ve found this Guide to Keeping Your Rabbit Healthy educational and helpful. Good on you for being a responsible pet owner and learning what to look out for with your rabbits health, and what you need to do to keep your bunny in good health. Remember, that if your rabbit is showing signs of illness the best thing to do is to get it to a vet fast!


Grooming Your Lionhead Rabbit

Grooming Your Lionhead Rabbit

Different lionhead rabbit breeds have different coat lengths and textures so take the time to explore your rabbit’s coat in order to determine what his grooming needs might be.

Grooming your lionhead rabbit helps to distribute its natural body oils to keep his skin healthy, shiny, and soft. No matter what kind of coat your lionhead rabbit has, it is your job to groom it properly so it remains in good health.

In here you will learn the basics about grooming your lionhead rabbit – this includes brushing and bathing your rabbit as well as trimming his nails, cleaning his ears, and brushing his teeth.

Recommended Tools for Grooming a Rabbit

In order to keep your rabbit’s coat clean and in good condition you will need to have a few grooming tools on hand.

The most important thing you are going to need is a good brush. The type of brush you need will depend on which kind of lionhead rabbit you have and which type of coat he has either single mane or double mane.

Slicker brush for small animals
Slicker brush for small animals

Here are some of the grooming tools that may come in handy when it comes to grooming your lionhead rabbit. Click on the links to see our best picks currently available from Amazon.

Learning how to groom your rabbit effectively is a task that takes time to learn. If you have no idea where to start, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to talk to a fellow rabbit owner or take your rabbit to a professional groomer so they can show you what to do.

Tips for Bathing and Grooming Lionhead Rabbits

Most rabbits shed every three months and many rabbits go through a light shed alternating with a heavier shed. Rabbits are clean animals that groom themselves, but they will need your help to keep shedding under control and to remove mats and tangles.

In addition to brushing your lionhead rabbit on a regular basis, there are some other simple grooming tasks you should be prepared to perform fairly often. These include trimming your rabbit’s nails, cleaning his ears, and taking care of his teeth.

Grooming sessions are a great way for you to bond with your furry pet so make it fun for you and your pet!

Brushing your rabbit

Lionhead rabbits need to be groomed regularly or else their wooly fur can become matted. Another reason why you need to regularly brush them is because rabbits can swallow their own fur which will cause wool blocks in their intestines. With the right kind of brush, you will reduce the risk by removing excessive hairs.

Plan to brush your lionhead rabbit at least once a week – this is sufficient for short-coated breeds, though lionhead rabbits with longer coats may need to be brushed daily or at least a few times a week. You will get a feel for how often to brush your rabbit as you see how much he sheds on a regular basis.

Dealing with tangles

If your rabbit’s fur gets matted or tangled, you might need to cut out the knot.

Use scissors with rounded tips to prevent injuries to your pet. This is important as your rabbit might squirm and wiggle while you are grooming it and won’t necessarily sit still. So you need to prevent injuries by avoiding sharp tipped scissors.

Should You Wash a Rabbit?

While brushing your lionhead rabbit is highly recommended, bathing him is not.

You may be surprised to learn that most rabbits hate getting wet and giving your rabbit a bath could actually be extremely stressful for him. The only time where a bath could be beneficial for your rabbit is if he has a high fever and your vet recommends a coo

ling bath to bring down his body temperature.

It takes a rabbit a very long time to dry, so bathing could actually put your rabbit at risk for pneumonia. You are better off spot-cleaning his coat as needed with a damp cloth.

If for some reason your rabbit really needs a bathe, do so very gently, and use a shampoo that is pH balanced for rabbits.

Trimming Your Rabbit’s Nails

When trimming your rabbit’s nails you need to be very careful.

Your rabbit’s nails each contain a quick – that is the pink part at the base of the nail that contains the blood vessel and nerves for that nail.

If your clip your rabbit’s nails too short, you could sever the quick – not only will that be painful for your rabbit, but it could lead to profuse bleeding as well.

When trimming your rabbit’s nails, use a pair of nail trimmers suitable for small animals, and remember it is best to just trim off the sharp tip.

Always keep some styptic powder handy to stop the bleeding in case you cut the nail too short.


Cleaning Your Rabbit’s Ears

Since lionhead rabbits naturally have erect ears, he may not be prone to ear infections than rabbits with low-lying ears. If your rabbit’s ears get wet, they could harbor bacteria growth which could lead to an infection. Rabbits with erect ears have a lower risk for infection because their ears are open and get plenty of air flow.

If you need to clean your rabbit’s ears, dip a cotton ball in a mild antiseptic solution, or use antiseptic wipes, and squeeze out any excess liquid. Use the cotton ball to wipe any ear wax or debris from your rabbit’s ears then let them air dry.


Caring for Your Rabbit’s Teeth

Many rabbit owners do not realize that their rabbit’s teeth grow continuously. It is entirely possible for your rabbit’s teeth to become overgrown which could cause him difficulty with eating.

Your rabbit has four large incisors at the front of his mouth which are used to slice through vegetation – there are two upper and two lower. There is also a pair of smaller incisors called peg teeth which are located just behind the upper incisors. Your rabbit also has eight cheek teeth further back in his mouth which is used to grind food into smaller pieces.

Your rabbit’s teeth grow continuously, that’s why you need to make sure he gets the right kind of food that will wear his teeth down, preventing overgrowth. If you feed your rabbit a pellet-only diet, you shouldn’t be surprised if he your pet developed dental problems such as malocclusion.

Malocclusion is when the teeth don’t meet properly. Making sure your rabbit gets plenty of dietary fiber is the key to keeping his teeth properly worn down. You should also have your rabbit’s teeth checked by a veterinarian twice a year – he can trim your rabbit’s teeth if necessary.

What else?

Grooming your lionhead rabbit is part of keeping it clean and healthy. Keeping its enclosure clean and well maintained will contribute to keeping your rabbit clean too.

Also remember, to look it’s best any animal needs to be healthy! Feeding your rabbit healthy food to meet its nutritional needs will also help to keep it looking good. Follow the tips above for general grooming, and remember to also take your pet to the vet for regular checkups.

Book - Lionhead Rabbits: The Ultimate Guide for Lionhead RabbitsIf you’re still looking for more detail on grooming your lionhood rabbit, I’d recommend reading “Lionhead Rabbits: The Ultimate Guide for Lionhead Rabbits”. You can find it on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.


Meeting Your Lionhead Rabbit’s Nutritional Needs

Meeting Your Lionhead Rabbit’s Nutritional Needs

To keep your rabbit healthy, happy and looking its best you want to make sure you’re meeting your rabbit’s nutritional needs.

Feeding your lionhead rabbit is not that complicated. However, its level of activity should be taken into consideration to meet its nutritional diet. Rabbits, like many other pets, should be given the right amount of recommended food for a balanced nutrition because proper diet can lengthen the life expectancy of your rabbit.

In this section, you’ll learn the majority of your pet’s nutritional needs as well as feeding tips and foods that are good and harmful.

The Nutritional Needs of Rabbits

Rabbits are herbivores which mean that the entirety of their diet should be made up of plant products.

It is also important to realize that rabbits have very high needs for fiber in their diet.

Making sure that your rabbit’s nutritional needs are met is actually quite simple – a balanced diet for rabbits should be made up of high-quality commercial pellets, fresh timothy hay, oat hay, and fresh vegetables.

Your rabbit also needs constant access to fresh water because this too plays a role in your rabbit’s digestion.

What should you feed a rabbit?

Commercial Pellets

When choosing a high-quality commercial pellet to use as your rabbit’s staple diet, there are a few things you should look for.

First of all, the pellets should contain at least 18% fiber – the more the better.

Secondly, make sure that the pellets you are buying are fresh. Do not purchase more than your rabbit can eat in 6 weeks- time because that is about as long as the pellets will remain fresh. After that point, they will lose some of their nutritional value and they won’t provide your rabbit with the nutrients he needs.

Different Types of Grass Hay

Aside from choosing a quality pellet for your rabbit you should also stock up on fresh grass hay.

Grass hay is loaded with calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D and other nutrients plus, the process of eating hay helps to keep your rabbit’s digestive tract healthy and also helps to wear down his teeth.

Your rabbit needs at least one type of grass hay – timothy hay is generally the easiest and most cost-effective option to find. Ideally you would give your rabbit a variety of other hays too, as they all have slightly different nutritional content. Another good type is oat hay.

4 types of hay for rabbits

This sampler box contains 4 different types of hay so you can let your rabbit have variety and see which types it likes.

Alfalfa hay is okay for young rabbits because it contains more protein than other hays but it should only be offered occasionally for adult rabbits because fiber is more important for them than protein.

As with the pellets, you want to make sure that your hay stays fresh. 

Fresh Vegetables

Last but definitely not least is fresh vegetables.

You should aim to feed your rabbit about 1 cup of leafy greens per 2 pounds of bodyweight per day with a small amount of other vegetables – leafy greens are nutrient-dense and should comprise about 75% of your rabbit’s fresh vegetable intake. Leafy greens include things like spinach, parsley, mustard greens, swiss chard, arugula, lettuce, dandelion greens, cilantro, and more.

Here is a list of non-leafy green vegetables that are also safe for rabbits:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Edible flowers
  • Celery
  • Bell peppers
  • Snow peas 
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage (any type)
  • Broccolini
  • Summer squash
  • Zucchini
  • Wheat grass
  • Fresh Fruits

In addition to fresh vegetables, you can also feed your rabbit small amounts of fresh fruit – these should comprise no more than 10% of your rabbit’s fresh diet. Feed your rabbit no more than 1 teaspoon per 2 pounds of bodyweight on a daily basis.

Below are the list of fruits that are safe for lionhead rabbits:

  • Banana
  • Melons
  • Star Fruit
  • Apricot
  • Currants
  • Nectarines
  • Apple
  • Cherries
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Berries
  • Pineapple

Important Reminder

When feeding your lionhead rabbit fresh fruits and vegetables, make sure you don’t go overboard with the portions and make sure to introduce new foods slowly. Always keep an eye on your rabbit’s digestion to make sure he tolerates the new foods well.

Consult your veterinarian if he your pet develops any kind of digestive problems after feeding him a new food.

Toxic Foods to Avoid

It might be tempting to give in to your rabbit when he is at the table, but certain “people foods” can actually be toxic for your pet. As a general rule, you should never feed your rabbit anything unless you are 100% sure that it is safe.

In this section you will find a list of foods that can be toxic to rabbits and should therefore be avoided.

  • Avocado
  • Beets
  • Bread
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Citrus peels
  • Corn
  • Fresh peas
  • Grains
  • Green beans
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Seeds
  • Sugar

If your rabbit eats any of these foods, contact the ASPCA Pet Poison Control hotline right away at (888) 426-4435.


Tips for Feeding Lionhead Rabbits

Now that you know what to feed your lionhead rabbit you may be wondering when and how much to feed him.

To make sure that your rabbit gets the nutrients he needs, you need to adjust his diet based on his age. For example, baby rabbits that have just been weaned can benefit from higher protein content in their diet while adult rabbits need more fiber than protein.

Here’s an overview of the ideal composition of a lionhead rabbit’s diet as determined by his or her age:

Kaytee Juvenile rabbit pellets
Juvenile or baby rabbit pellets have a higher protein content

Baby Rabbits (Birth to 7 months)

  • From birth to 3 weeks – mother’s milk only.
  • From 3 to 4 weeks mother’s milk, small portions of pellets and alfalfa hay.
  • From 4 to 7 weeks – mother’s milk, free access to pellets and alfalfa hay.
  • From 7 weeks to 12 weeks – unlimited access to pellets and alfalfa hay.
  • From 12 weeks to 7 months – introduce veggies one at a time, unlimited access to pellets and alfalfa hay.

Young Adult Rabbits (7 months to 12 months)

  • Introduce timothy hay, grass hay, oat hay, and other hays while decreasing alfalfa hay.
  • Decrease pellet consumption to ½ cup per 6 pounds of bodyweight.
  • Increase daily consumption of vegetables to 1 cup per 6 pounds of bodyweight.
  • Introduce fruit in small quantities – no more than 1 to 2 ounces per 6 pounds bodyweight.

Mature Adult Rabbits (1 year to 5 years)

  • Unlimited daily access to timothy hay, oat hay, and other grass hays.
  • Decrease to ¼ to ½ cup pellets per 6 pounds bodyweight.
  • At least 2 cups fresh veggies per 6 pounds bodyweight daily.
  • Fruit ration no more than 2 ounces (about 2 tbsp.) per 6 pounds bodyweight daily.

Senior Rabbits (6 years and older)

  • Continue adult diet as long as healthy weight is maintained.
  • Offer unlimited access to pellets if needed to keep weight up.
  • Offer alfalfa hay to underweight rabbits as long as calcium levels are within the normal range.

Follow this guide to make sure you’re meeting your rabbit’s nutritional needs, and if you want to learn other ways to keep your rabbit healthy, read more here.

Need more? Read the Ultimate Guide for Lionhead Rabbits

Book - Lionhead Rabbits: The Ultimate Guide for Lionhead RabbitsIf you’re still looking for more detail on meeting your lionhood rabbits nutritional needs, I’d recommend reading “Lionhead Rabbits: The Ultimate Guide for Lionhead Rabbits”. You can find it on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.

Caring for Your Lionhead Rabbit

Caring for Your Lionhead Rabbit

The lionhead rabbit makes a wonderful pet largely because of his docile yet affectionate personality, but these rabbits are also very adaptable to different types of living situations.

In here you will learn the basics about caring for your lionhead rabbit, including your rabbit’s habitat requirements and exercise requirements. You will also receive tips for litter training and for taming and handling your rabbit.

Habitat Requirements for Lionhead Rabbits

The great thing about rabbits is that they don’t take up too much space and they don’t necessarily need a cage! Aside from space, the main thing your rabbit needs in terms of its habitat is lots of love and affection from his human companions and adequate exercise.

Rabbits are a cuddly and loving pet that bond closely with family, so you should make an effort to spend some quality time with your lionhead each and every day. If your pet doesn’t get enough attention he may be more likely to develop problem behaviors like chewing house furniture and potential aggression as well as separation anxiety.

In addition to playing with your rabbit and spending time with him every day, you also need to make sure that his needs for exercise are met. Rabbits are a very active creature that’s why it’s important for you to also make sure your pet gets plenty of mental stimulation from interactive toys and games.

Keep reading to learn the basics about your rabbit’s habitat requirements. You will also learn about recommended cage accessories and receive tips for choosing the right bedding for your rabbit as well as some guidelines on how to handle and tame your pet.

Ideal Rabbit Cage

When it comes to choosing a cage for your rabbit there are several things to consider.

Double story rabbit cage
Find this double story rabbit cage on Amazon

Cage Size

First thing you need to prioritize is the size of the cage.

Rabbits are active animals so even if you let your rabbit out of the cage sometimes his cage should still be large enough so that he can move around with ease.

At the least, your rabbit cage should be 4 to 6 times the length of your rabbit when he is fully stretched out. Get out a ruler or tape measure or simple estimate the measurement of your rabbit’s body because its size may also depend on their age or breed.

Cage Materials

Indoor rabbit cage available from Amazon
Find this indoor rabbit cage on Amazon

Another factor you need to consider with your rabbit’s cage is the materials from which it is made.

You want to choose a cage that is easy to clean and can be durable.

Generally speaking, plastic cages and metal cages are usually the best choice.

Wooden cages are not advisable because it absorbs moisture and harbor bacteria. They do look beautiful though, so if you prefer this look remember to keep it clean by washing it down periodically.

Avoid cages with wire flooring because these can irritate your rabbit’s feet. If you have to choose a cage with a wire floor, cover a portion of it with a square of carpet or a mat – otherwise your rabbit will probably just hang out in his litter box. 

Click here to browse many more styles of rabbit cage available on Amazon.

Play Space or Pen Space

Exercise pen for rabbitsIf you don’t want to let your rabbit run loose in the house, you should provide an exercise pen in addition to a large cage.

The cage itself should provide at least 8 square feet of space for 1 to 2 rabbits and the exercise space should provide at least 24 square feet of space. Your rabbit should get at least 5 hours a day in the exercise pen or, if you are handy, you can connect the pen to his cage so he can come and go as he pleases.

Click here to browse many more styles of rabbit exercise pens available on Amazon.

Indoor Cages vs. Outdoor Hutches 

Indoor rabbit cage
Indoor rabbit cage Find now on Amazon

Indoor cages are safest and most comfortable for your rabbit.

Keeping rabbits outdoors may expose them to parasites and other dangerous diseases – especially if they come into contact with wild rabbits. If your rabbits are kept outdoors, they may not receive as much attention and human interaction as they might if they were kept inside.

Keeping your rabbits outdoors puts them at risk for predation and they could also be exposed to extreme temperatures and inclement weather which could make them sick.

It is not wise to keep your rabbits outdoors. Although many rabbit owners think that rabbits are best kept in outdoor hutches, this may not necessarily be the case. In areas prone to certain diseases, these can be transmitted by mosquitoes and your rabbit may be at greater risk outdoors.

There are, however, some important pros and cons to consider for outdoor rabbits. For example, it is easier to find space for a very large cage to house multiple rabbits outdoors – you also don’t have to worry about noise or odors if you keep your rabbits outdoors.

If you provide your rabbits with an outdoor run, they will be able to eat grass and other plants to supplement their diet without costing you any extra money. Plus, clean-up is easier for outdoor cages than for indoor cages.


Double story outdoor rabbit hutch
Double story outdoor rabbit hutch

Recommended Cage Accessories

In addition to providing your rabbit with a cage, you also need to stock it with certain accessories. Here are a few things your rabbit needs for its cage:

Water bottle

Food dispenser for pets
Automatic rabbit feeder. Find now on Amazon.

When it comes to your rabbit’s water bottle, it is worth it to spend a few extra dollars for a non-drip model – this will keep you from having to change your bedding as frequently. 

Food Bowl

Stainless steel food bowl for pets
Stainless steel food bowl for pets. Find now on Amazon.

Food and water dishes for rabbits come in all shapes and sizes but you should choose a set that suits your pet’s needs.

Lionhead rabbits are a relatively medium sized-breed, so don’t choose anything too small or too big. As mentioned in the previous, stainless steel and ceramic bowls do not harbor bacteria like plastic can and they are easy to clean. 

Hay Rack

Hay rack
Hay rack. Find now on Amazon.

It is recommended that you buy a hay rack to keep your rabbit’s hay fresh by raising it up off the floor of the cage where it could be soiled.

Litter Pan

Rabbits litter tray
Rabbits litter tray. Find now on Amazon.

Your rabbit’s litter pan does not need to be anything fancy – it just needs to be large enough for your rabbit to turn around in and deep enough to contain the litter without making it hard for your rabbit to get into the pan.


Grass play ball toy for rabbits
Grass play ball. Find now on Amazon.

As mentioned earlier your rabbit also needs toys to prevent it from getting bored plus it also a form of exercise. You may want to buy chew toys and other types to provide mental and physical stimulation. It is ideal that you buy an assortment of toys at first and give your rabbit time to play with them so you can learn which type of toys he prefers.


Grass bed with brown rabbit inside
Grass bed for rabbits. Find now on Amazon.

Your rabbit also needs a hiding place or shelter and of course a bedding. You may need to consider the type of litter you want to use for your rabbit’s bedding – if you choose to use any at all. The best litter to use in a rabbit cage is fresh hay – ideally edible hay like meadow hay or timothy hay. You can also use a blanket made from some kind of natural fiber.

Straw bedding and shredded newspaper or cardboard is not recommended for rabbit cages because it absorbs moisture which can lead to urine burn and it can also harbor bacteria. The worst bedding for rabbits is wood shavings, sawdust, cat litter, or any kind of cedar or pine product.

Litter Training Your Rabbit

Rabbits litter tray
Rabbits litter tray. Find now on Amazon.

Once you have set up your rabbit’s cage, your next step is to litter train your rabbit.

Rabbits are naturally fairly clean animals and they tend to choose one or two places in their cage to urinate and defecate. This makes your job very easy. All you have to do is watch your rabbit for a few days to determine where he tends to relieve himself and then simply place a litter pan in that area. Some rabbits choose a single location and others choose two or more – they are usually located in the corners of cage.

After discovering where your rabbit likes to relieve himself, you need to determine which type of litter you want to use. Avoid cat litters because they are often dusty or scented – you also don’t want anything that clumps.

The best litter to use is something organic made from alfalfa or oat hay, even paper. You can also simply use fresh hay as your litter! You want to avoid wood shavings, sawdust, and shredded newspaper or cardboard because they can absorb moisture. You also want to avoid anything made with cedar or pine because the natural oils can irritate your rabbit.

Handling and Taming Your Rabbit

At some point in time, you and your pet will already get along and are comfortable in each other, strengthen your relationship by taming them through training. Training a rabbit is not that hard to do, in fact it can be a fun and rewarding bonding experience for both of you.

There are lots of pet owners out there who have properly trained and raised a well-behaved lionhead rabbit. They are easy to tame, that is why they can absorb information very quickly and easily as long as you do it right. Trust is the most important key in taming your rabbits. The first thing you need to do is to be able to establish a solid connection and rapport between you and your pet.

This section will provide some guidelines you can do to get your rabbit well-behaved and disciplined.

Rabbits make wonderful pets for a number of reasons but one of those reasons is that they are easy to tame. The more time you spend with your rabbit, the more quickly he will get used to you and he will come to enjoy interacting with you. It is important to remember, however, that rabbits are fragile animals so you want to be careful about how you handle them. You must also remember that rabbits are prey animals so they dislike being picked up – if you do pick your rabbit up, hold him securely against your chest until you can sit down then place him on your lap.

If you are a new rabbit owner, it may take some practice to learn how to safely pick your rabbit up out of his cage. One thing you can do is use small treats to entice your rabbit to come to you. When he does, start gently petting him along the back until he seems calm enough for you to pick him up. When you do, make sure to support his body from underneath and then hold him securely against your chest to make sure he doesn’t fall.

Once you have all the gear you need, caring for your lionhead rabbit is an ongoing process of giving your pet food, water, cleanliness and companionship.


Need more? Read the Ultimate Guide for Lionhead Rabbits

Book - Lionhead Rabbits: The Ultimate Guide for Lionhead RabbitsIf you’re still looking for more detail on caring for your lionhood rabbit, I’d recommend reading “Lionhead Rabbits: The Ultimate Guide for Lionhead Rabbits”. You can find it on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.