As rabbit breeds go, the Himalayan rabbit is considered one of the oldest breeds there is. It’s not even 100 percent certain whether they hail from their namesake, the Himalayan mountains spanning across India, Nepal, and Tibet. We do know that they began to be spotted in the United States at the turn of the 20th Century, and are known to be one of the first recognized breeds noted by ARBA (The American Rabbit Breeds Association).
They are hugely popular as pets and are much sought after thanks to their calm and placid temperament. Plus, we can continue safe in the knowledge that these bundles of cuteness were probably never raised for meat, considering their slender and slightly scrawny size!
So, we’re going to explore more information on these beloved and ancient rabbits. So, while we may never know the exact origins of this (maybe) mountain-dwelling bunny rabbit, we can certainly brush up on what we do know!
What Do Himalayans Look Like?
While their weight and size are relatively unremarkable, Himalayan bunnies do in fact hold a unique accolade: They are the only known rabbit breed to have a cylindrical body shape.
By this, we mean their body shape is quite even from head to tail. Their small hips and shoulders are roughly the same widths, sitting on a lean and slender body type with elongated legs. This serves to give the rabbit a snake-like shape (fur, ears, and cuteness notwithstanding, of course).
Plus, Himalayans have small, perky ears and an elongated face, which works magic in making them stand out from the crowd!
How big do Himalayans get?
A Himalayan rabbit will typically grow to roughly 2.5lb to 4.5lb when he reaches adulthood. These meager measurements make the Himalayan rabbit one of the smaller of breeds, with an ideal weight of 3.5lb.
What Colors Are They?
Yet another fascinating fact about the Himalayans is that their fur actually changes color with the temperature! Weird, right? Well, when you think about it, human hair gets lighter and darker with sun exposure (or lack thereof), and it’s very much the same with the Himalayan bunny, except the deciding factor is the temperature rather than sun exposure. Simply put, they’ll get lighter in the warm, and darker in the cold!
Himalayans possess a gorgeous coat of fur. They have white bodies with colored ‘points’—usually their ears, nose, tails, and feet. The officially recognized colors for these points are black, blue, chocolate, and lilac. The most common shade of Himalayan rabbit is all-white, with a black nose, tail, feet, and ears.
They’ll sometimes have markings on their bodies, too. This mostly happens when the bunny nest gets too cold or a baby topples out, which may lead to the kit producing dark markings on their white bodies. Whichever color you end up with, we’re sure you’ll adore this calm and collected rabbit breed.
What About Their Fur?
Himalayans have short, soft coats that require very little maintenance (further strengthening their position as the best pets!). While they will still need a good brush roughly once a week, it only takes a few minutes and it’s a great way of bonding and spending some quality time with your rabbit.
You’ll find they shed a little more in Springtime, too. So, when this happens, simply up the ante with your brushing routines, increasing from once a week to two or three times. No dramas!
How much do Himalayan rabbits cost?
Although their ‘Himalayan’ namesake alludes to a certain rareness when it comes to this rabbit breed, they’re actually a super common breed. You should be able to find a local breeder, and they’ll likely ask for around $15 to $30. As always, with any new pet, you must consider the long terms costs alongside the initial expenditure.
Food, vet bills, bedding, and toys do add up, so make sure you can financially sustain the extra costs of having a fluffy friend.
How long do Himalayan rabbits live?
While the Himalayan rabbit is as susceptible to the usual rabbit health issues as much as the next breed (think overgrown teeth, fleas, and worms), they normally go through their years without any major health issues. Hurrah! So, if looked after properly with the correct diet and regular veterinarian care, your Himalayan breed should live for around five to six years!
Why do Himalayan rabbits have red eyes?
While they’re not necessarily albino bunnies, Himalayans do all have red eyes. When they’re born, Himalayans cannot produce pheomelanin (which is responsible for eye color pigment) and can only produce pheomelanin under very specific temperatures. So, the color of the Himalayan rabbit’s eyes will always be red, although they are mostly not carrying the albino gene (henceforth skipping the health issues that poor albino bunnies encounter!). Many times, if you’re introduced to a ‘Himalayan’ that doesn’t have red eye color, it has most likely been misidentified. It could be a Point Sable that has been wrongly identified, as they’re a similar shape, size, and color.
Are You In Love Yet?
We find the more we learn about the Himalayan rabbit, the more we simply adore them. Hopefully, you feel a little more knowledgeable about this special pet, too!