American Rabbit: What Makes This All-American Bunny Special

Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by

Let’s get the most obvious fact out of the way, American Rabbits are from – surprise, surprise – America! But these bunnies are not originally from the US. We’ll get to that a little later.

American Rabbits used to be the premier fur and meat rabbits. They can be seen at rabbit shows but not as often as before. Instead, they’re more popularly kept as pets or grown in rabbitries in recent years.

They have many special characteristics that set them apart from other types of rabbits.

These bunnies can be either one color or multi-colored, and they may have “thumb marks” on their feet which is their unique identifying characteristic.

There are many behavioral patterns that American bunnies exhibit as well including being very social with humans and having an affinity for water.

The article will go into more detail about these qualities, so keep reading!

What are American Rabbits?

American Rabbits are typically American breeds that are used for their meat and fur. They vary in size, shape, color patterning, and ear length.

The American Rabbit breed was developed by breeding rabbits imported from Europe with local American Rabbits. This particular breed was created sometime around the 1900s. The goal was to have a new rabbit for the United States that would thrive well on this continent’s diverse climate conditions.

Breeding American bunnies have become more popular over the years when it became clear there were many favorable traits worth preserving through selective breeding.

American Rabbits personality and behavior

American Rabbits have a wide variety of behavioral patterns. They can be either active or docile, and they tend to take on the personality traits of their owners.

American rabbit breed
Source: Stephanie (Flickr)

American Rabbits that are raised by humans from birth will form bonds with those people.

When American bunnies are first born (or even taken away from their mother right after being born), it’s important for human caretakers to make time each day to interact with these young animals.

This way, they don’t become withdrawn or anxious due to a lack of socialization during infancy.

Average size of American Rabbit

American Rabbit bucks can grow to weigh up to 12 pounds and does can range between 10-12 pounds, which is double that of many European breeds.

These bunnies have a Mandolin type body, they are low and long in the shoulders and their body rises up in the rear. They’re very long bodied and large rabbits.

Because they’re larger than other breeds, they need more space both inside and outside.

American Rabbits lifespan

American rabbits have an unusually long life span, with some living as long as 8 years old. It’s not uncommon for those who live indoors or outdoors to live between 6 – 7 years.

American Rabbits colors

American Rabbits typically have a wide variety of colors including:

  • White
  • Blue
Blue American Rabbit
Source: Caroline Guske (Flickr)

If you’re unfamiliar with blue-colored bunnies, do know that most rabbits that are of this particular hue often carry a dark uniform slate blue. Which is in simple terms – very dark blue.

How to care for American bunnies? 

If you are planning to raise an American Rabbit, there are a few things you should consider.

American Rabbits have different needs than other rabbits, so make sure to research what they require before getting started. They require more space for their cages and housing too.

American bunny owners usually find that the most suitable enclosure is one with at least six square feet of living area per rabbit.

This includes three-foot by two-foot flooring as well as nine inches high on each side with an opening large enough for them to get in and out easily.

American Rabbits typically like company, though it may depend upon their personality or breed type.

If your American bunny does not enjoy being alone, try introducing him or her to another bunny friend when possible.

How good are American Rabbits as pets?

The American Rabbit is a popular pet animal in the United States.

American bunnies are often kept as pets because they can be handled easily, have very few needs (they don’t need to go for walks), and live about ten years on average.

A rabbit’s most distinguishing characteristic is its long upright ears, which allow it to listen carefully for potential predators or prey even while asleep.

They also sport an impressively strong back leg that enables them to kick powerfully when threatened by another animal such as a fox or coyote.

When chased by one of these animals, they will run away from it rather than fight back like other types of domesticated mammals might do.

What do American Rabbits eat?

American Rabbits usually eat hay and a variety of vegetables. They can also eat some fruits, but they should not be given too much fruit because it has more sugar content than hay does.

They typically need about one cup of food each day for adults or a couple of cups if the rabbit is pregnant or nursing offspring.

Ensure your American Rabbit’s diet consists only of healthy vegetables (i.e., carrots, celery) and fruits as these will provide them with the necessary vitamins they might lack from other food sources.

But most importantly, you’ll need to make sure your American bunny’s diet consists of at least 70% hay.

Get Only the Yummiest Hay for Your American Bunny

If all hays look the same, they must be the same quality, right? Not at all! Get the best for your rabbit. Here is the list of the best hay we’ve found for 2021.

Health and hygiene of American Rabbits

American Rabbits require a clean and healthy environment to thrive.

They can be susceptible to a variety of illnesses, which are often caused by their need for fresh water that is not contaminated or dirty food sources. You should get your bunny a deep water bowl in order to drink clean drinking water.

It’s good for them to have at least four hours of exercise per day in order to remain healthy and happy with their lives.

American Rabbits will usually go through an hour-long “playtime” period by running around on the floor while hopping from place to place, jumping up onto objects like furniture, grazing on plants, and many more.

Do American Rabbits need cages?

American rabbits don’t specifically need cages, but they require outdoor time.

With enough exercise, rabbits may not need to be stuck in an enclosure 24/7.

However, if the rabbit is living in a situation where it’s unlikely to be given enough daily exercise, then a cage is probably a good idea for safety purposes.

Moreover, American bunnies who live with other members of the population (either bunnies or people) should have their own space to roam. They shouldn’t be fearful of being picked on by the dominant bunny (yes, rabbits have a hierarchical structure!) or pesky humans.

If you’re worried about your rabbit getting into mischief while you’re outside and away from your bunny, having a comfortable rabbit hutch or cage could really help you.

Find Quality Large Hutches or Cages for Your American Rabbit

American Rabbits need a lot of space since they’re big and long bodied. Click here to get the latest list of recommended rabbit hutches for 2021.


We hope that this article has helped you make an informed decision on the best pet for your lifestyle. Remember, rabbits are not difficult animals to care for and they can be great companions if you give them the time of day!