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Why does a rabbit loose hair from their coat

Updated on February 14, 2015

Bunny Rabbit Shedding

Rabbits shed their coat too like cats and dogs.
Rabbits shed their coat too like cats and dogs. | Source

Hair loss in bunny rabbit


Molting In Your Rabbit

Molting is the technical term the vets use to describe this process where your bunny rabbit loses hair each season.

The first time you see your rabbit shedding, you'll wonder where it's all coming from.

You don't realise exactly how much hair your bunny rabbit actually has until you see it in every location of your house.

Rabbits shed quite often. This is one thing you are not made aware of as a bunny rabbit owner. They shed at the beginning of summer and then again toward the end of summer. This timeframe might vary depending on rabbit breeds, but you need to groom your rabbit when the shed.

This process occurs so your bunny rabbit can grow in their new coat.

The breed of your bunny rabbit and the climate will determine the length of this process.

If you have a dwarf / lion head rabbit like I do, then it will be twice. The average shedding period is around two.

However, while this is a natural occurrence for your rabbit, for any pet owner it can be a nuisance.

But it's all part of being a bunny rabbit owner and just like the cat or the dog, they also shed.

When they start shedding their coat, you'll suddenly realise that this creature could quite suddenly end up bald. However, that is not the case, it's simple that the new coat is growing underneath the old coat.

Until you actually witness a bunny rabbit shedding you will be surprised and will wonder where is it all coming from.

It's Important To Groom Your Bunny Rabbit

Also the reason grooming bunny rabbits when they are shedding is important is that you don't want them to ingest any hair and get a hair ball. Hair balls can kill your bunny rabbit.

Tips for Bunny Rabbit Owners

TIP: Bunny rabbits hair has a tendency to fly around the room and get caught on the couch, under chairs and also on your clothes. So you will have to hoover a little bit more often.

TIP: This is where having a baby brush can come in handy. If you use this to brush their coat, you will collect all the loose hair from their body and at the same time not hurt them. Believe me there will be a lot of loose hair.

Shedding Process In Bunny Rabbits

Bunny rabbits starts shedding from their nose and then gradually the process works it way down their spine to the end of their tail.

  • The shedding will begin just in the front of the bunny rabbits ears and at the top of their nose. You will be rubbing your bunny rabbits head one day and when you take your hand away you will see loose hair flying around their head.

  • Gradually the shedding process will work it's way around the bunny rabbits head and in under their chin. If your bunny rabbit has hair around it's head like a lions mane then they will lose all this. All the same time that the hair is falling from their head, it will also be quite loose and flyaway from around other parts of their body. You will see that their back has lots of loose hair when you rub your hand down their body.

  • Next the shedding process will start moving down their body and it will be coming away in bits and pieces. At first it won't look like it a lot. It's only when a few days have passed that you will notice and think that your rabbit has literally being losing clumps of hair from their back. It can look like the coat has literally being pulled out. It's not pretty and your bunny rabbit won't be attending any beauty shows.

  • Once the process has started down the back this area seems to be a bit sensitive for your bunny rabbits. They won't want to be touched and when you pet them, it will seem like your petting their spine. There is a very thin coat of hair here.

Clumps of hair from bunny rabbit shedding


How to deal with rabbit hair

If your bunny rabbit is shedding, then their body will be sensitive to being touched.

This is why if you decide to groom them when they are shedding, it might be worthwhile investing in a soft brush.

You can even use a baby brush to groom their coat when they are shedding.

It will be softer than a normal pet brush and won't hurt them when you're grooming them.

If you wake up one morning and find this. → What is it?

It's a lump of rabbit hair. Seeing this will become quite a regular occurrence each day. Bunny rabbit hair is very fine which causes it to end up catching on everything that it comes in to contact with.

For the duration of the time your rabbit will be shedding hopefully no more than 21 days, you will see this on your clothes, your couch, and located in every corner of your kitchen floor. You will need to have your hoover handy to tidy up after your pet.

Rabbit behaviour when shedding

When a rabbit is shedding their coat, you might notice a behaviour change. Your once cute, friendly pet can change and now start behaving like an angry teenager. One day they like you, the next day they don't want to be bothered by you.

But don't let their behaviour put you off spending time with them. The shedding process is no fun for bunny rabbits, so try to ignore this behaviour. It won't last forever. So you might end up with more hair on you than the rabbit while petting them, but what's a little hair among friends.

Whatever is happening in their body due to the shedding effects is the reason they are now cranky all the time. They are just having a bad day and who knows how they feel when they see all this hair falling off their body.

Bunny Rabbit Poll

Do you think the shedding process would be something people know about bunny rabbits?

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Coping with the hair loss

If you do either of those tasks you will;

1. Remove loose hair on the rabbits body

2. Help them to avoid ingesting the loose hair which is deadly

3. Save time with the vacuuming

So if your rabbit is currently shedding or is due to shed, be prepared for it and remember that after they have shed they will look a whole lot better with their new coat.

Tips for dealing with bunny rabbit hair loss

  1. Try to brush your bunny rabbits coat once or twice a day.
  2. Dampen a cloth or paper towel and rub this over the body of your bunny rabbit to help remove loose hair. For some bunny rabbits who are feeling sensitive this process might be better than using a brush.
  3. Clean out their bedding at least twice a week, as loose hair will gather in their nest.
  4. Wash all food and water bowls. Loose hair will gather in their water dish and food dish. You do not want your bunny rabbit to be ingesting loose hair.
  5. If you use blankets in your bunny rabbit bedding area, you will need to either hover these regularly during the shedding process or throw them out. It's up to you.

Remember all animals shed and it's just a natural process. While all pets shed and you don't take any notice of it except when it comes to hoovering, because bunny rabbits shed their coat in one go for a period of time it's a lot more noticeable.

But it's something that you just have to accept and get on with and the whole process is over before you know it. Since it's only twice a year, it's not so bad and bunny rabbits are adorable creature who deserve some looking after during this period.

© 2012 Sp Greaney


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  • sangre profile image

    Sp Greaney 5 years ago from Ireland

    @ chrisin53, my lad loves been brushed too. He just sits there and purrrrs. :-).

    He doesn't enjoy shedding season and neither do I.

  • christin53 profile image

    Ann-Christin 5 years ago from UK

    I used to have Rabbits and in the spring they used to moult like crazy. They used to love being brushed but I did worry they would end up bald the amount of fur I got off them.

  • sangre profile image

    Sp Greaney 5 years ago from Ireland

    @ teachermum1967,

    The coat does grow back looking better.

    It's currently that time of the year for my fella and he looks terrible. It looks like someone took a shaver to his back, loads of patches everywhere.

  • teachermum1967 profile image

    teachermum1967 5 years ago

    I remember our rabbit Lucky losing fur in tufty patches last year, he had the 'designer molting' look for a while until the rest of the longer fur came away.

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