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Bunny Care Guide: Short Haired Rabbits vs Long Haired Rabbits

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There is a lot to take into consideration when getting any new pet, and that includes buying a bunny. Other sections of this guide deal with what sort of size might be best for you, but size is not the only consideration that one has.

A major consideration is coat length. There are many bunny breeds with short, easy care coats that will only need a brushing every once in a while, and even then, the brushing will probably be more for fun that any real need, though it is nice to remove the loose hair and stimulate the skin.

A long haired bunny is a completely different consideration however. There are many kinds of long haired bunnies, but they all share one thing in common: an almost endless need for grooming. Most of these rabbits will need daily grooming in order to look good and stay healthy.

This is not an exaggeration. Without daily care, a long haired rabbit's coat can quickly become matted and tangled. If this occurs, then it is best to cut the mats and tangles out rather than try to brush them free. Bunnies have pretty sensitive skin, and tugging and pulling at the hair can really hurt them.

Long haired bunnies can also have problems with night droppings (the soft fecal matter) attaching itself to the coat. This can occur if the bunny has an upset tummy, change of location or food, and can be quite messy and nasty. Some long haired bunny owners trim the hair around the anal region, but it can still be an issue, and is something that has to be monitored. The same can happen with short haired bunnies of course, but in their cases it is often a lot more obvious, and a lot easier to clean up.

Long haired rabbits may also have additional issues with hairballs due to the longer, fluffier nature of their fur. Some rabbit seems to be almost constantly moulting, which means you will almost always be brushing out the fine downy fur that sticks to everything, is hard to get off carpets, and catches the wind to merrily travel to other parts of your home or garden.

In short, a long haired bunny may be pretty, but do not underestimate the work it takes to maintain the bunny. Just a few days of neglect can turn into an unholy mess. Do you have time to spend half an hour or so daily, carefully grooming your bunny and looking for mats and tangled knots in the fur, and possibly even cleaning up a mess when the bunny has an upset tummy? If not, then a long haired rabbit is probably not the best choice for you.


:) on January 27, 2015:

I don't know what's so different about my lionhead (long haired) bunny, but even when I do decide to brush nothing changes. It rarely sheds and it's fur never tangles. Does it maybe groom itself?

:) on October 31, 2011:

I have short and a long haired rabbits but my long haired rabbit is so cute I wouldn't give it up for just a few less hours of hair brushing

catherine on September 19, 2011:

thank you all i was going to get a long haired bunny just because it is cute but gromming my guinea pigs hair is a challenge for me lol thank you now im going to get a cute white short haired bunny. you guys save a bunny.

88 on March 04, 2011:

Well, first, I just got a SATIN rabbits and it has a mat in it. We think it is from sitting in the poop on a piece of wood we put in the cage. If you get a rabbit, doesn't matter long or short haired, make sure you keep the cages cleaned and don't put WOOD pieces in the cage. I acutally need help figuring out a way to get a mat out!

n_voght on January 10, 2011:

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new babbies 4 days old think mom is not feeding how can i help her.plese e mail me at

babe 5 on March 14, 2009:

ahhhhhhh that bunnie is sooooooooooooo cute

ruthy on November 24, 2008:

oooo that bunny is sooo cuit!!!!!!!!!!!!1

redneck on October 26, 2008:

party like a rock star baby

Bunniez (author) on January 21, 2008:

They are adorable, but remember that for the long haired bunny you get, there will be several others in the same litter who may not go to such good homes. I believe that there is more than just a responsibility to the pet you get, you have to think about where it came from. If people irresponsibly breed long haired rabbits because they are adorable, then a great deal of those bunnies end up tangled, matted messes suffering in pain.

I have neutered my own long haired rabbit, and on a personal level I would not recommend getting a long hair, nor will I get another in the future, unless of course it is a rescue.

Shawna on January 21, 2008:

i have a short hair bunny, a short hair dog, two hamsters, and a bird. i also have three children.The bunny is my pet. Sad to say, I had a neighbor with a long hair dog, I spent two hours a day brushing his hair. I enjoyed every minute, although MY dog was quite jealous. My point, I am getting a long hair bunny as well. They are so adorable. i end up making sure all of our animals are taken care of (and yes, my children too!)

Krista 07 from Europe on December 20, 2007:

Oh really! wow, that is an awfully long time to brush hair! I think they are very pretty though.I'm sorry I didn't get to you sooner. Thumbs up again!

Bunniez (author) on December 14, 2007:

Yes, I got a long haired bunny, but I have spent a huge amount of time on grooming and even that isn't enough. I've actually ended up trimming much of the belly fur due to the problems with tangling and matting. Short haired rabbits do make better pets for almost everyone except those who are seriously willing to spend half an hour or more a day grooming their bunny.

Krista 07 from Europe on November 15, 2007:

Wow! I think next time I'll get a a short -haired bunny. :) I'm giving this a thumbs up!

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