The American Sable Rabbit

The American Sable, scientifically known as Oryctolagus cuniculus, is a medium-sized rabbit that stands out from other variant breeds because of its coat’s unique coloring. The American Sable rabbits’ coat coloring resembles the Siamese cats’, making them quite popular as show bunnies.

If you love rabbits, you can find more answers to questions like why rabbits thump their feet, how long rabbits live, and what types of rabbits are used for pets by following these links.

The American Sable rabbit makes a good pet because of its affectionate, loving nature and low maintenance requirements. Keep reading if you are interested in learning about the American Sable or want to determine whether they are the right bunny for you.

The American Sable Rabbit: History

The American Sable rabbit’s origins make it closely resemble the American Chinchilla. However, they each have unique colorings that set them apart. Otto Brock developed the American Sable rabbit in the early 1900s in California, United States.

The rabbit got its coloring from breeding various types of chinchilla rabbits to produce an entirely new color with an unchanged body shape. The American Rabbit Breeders Association ARBA accepted the rabbits in 1929; however, they began to decline in popularity afterward. Fortunately, the American Sable’s popularity rose again in the 1980s, saving the breed.

The American Sable Rabbit: Characteristics

Most people see the American sable rabbit as a pet and a show rabbit because of their unique and beautiful appearance. Additionally, the rabbit has relatively low needs and a fantastic temperament, making owning one as a pet fun. You may have to spend more if you want a show-quality sable.


The American sable is a medium-sized rabbit that weighs about 8-10 pounds. Female American sable rabbits weigh more than males and have a commercial body type. The rabbit has dark eyes and erect ears standing on top of its rounded head.


The rabbit has a dense, fine, and soft coat. The rabbit may have thinner fur than other rabbit breeds. It requires more grooming than most average short-haired rabbits to keep it neat; however, not as much as Angora and other long-haired breeds.

You should brush your rabbit’s coat once a week during the non-shedding season. The American Sable shades often during their shedding season, and you should brush them thrice a week or more if they live indoors. Failure to do this will leave your home covered in fur.


This rabbit’s unique coat distinguishes it from other rabbit breeds. Only one of the rabbit’s coat colors is recognized by the ARBA. This includes a sepia brown color on the rabbit’s feet, ears, head, top of the tail, and back. Like Siamese cats, the rest of the rabbit’s coat fades into a lighter tan.


The American sable rabbits are energetic, affectionate, and friendly. The rabbit is a great breed of rabbit to own as a pet and brings lots of love to a home. American sables love exploring, playing, and keeping active outside their hutches. The rabbits can also hop onto your lap for some quiet time after a long day.

The American sable loves to be stroked, petted, and given attention. However, they are quite energetic and may not allow you to do so. The rabbits need to be entertained with toys and by playing with other family members. 

Otherwise, the rabbits will become bored and destructive. Ensure you respect the rabbit’s personal space, especially if they are new to your home. The rabbit could be frightened or afraid and may try to bite you.

American Sable Rabbit Lifespan

The American sable’s average lifespan is between 5 and 8 years.

Care requirements

American sable’s diet is similar to other rabbits’, consisting of 70% hay and healthy supplements like fruits, pellets, leafy greens, and vegetables. Ensure you provide them with low-sugar fruits and avoid iceberg lettuce because it has too little fiber and too much water.

Additionally, you shouldn’t feed them with yard clippings because it contains pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizer chemicals that may harm them. American sables can live outdoors and indoors. However, you should raise their outdoor enclosures to protect them from predators like coyotes, raccoons, and wolves.

Cover the top to protect them from the elements and provide comfortable beddings that are kept clean daily and replaced by the end of each week. You should also give them plenty of time and space to play outside their enclosures and take them to the vet to check their health.

American Sable Rabbit Health

The American rabbit doesn’t have any specific health issues. However, they can be affected by various health issues that affect all other rabbits, including the Dutch rabbit, flemish giant rabbit, and Holland lop rabbit. These include:


Occurs when a rabbit has misaligned upper and lower teeth leading to abnormal wear. You should take the rabbit for regular dental checkups and ensure the rabbit eats lots of hay.

GI Stasis

This condition is dangerous, and it causes the rabbit’s digestive system to stop working or slow down. Observable symptoms include small or no fecal pellets, loss of appetite, and lethargy. However, the condition is treatable.

Ear mites

Ear mites are a common parasite that affects pet rabbits. Affected rabbits shake their head a lot; however, the condition is treatable.

The rabbits can also suffer from back problems if accidentally dropped or mishandled. Ensure you do regular vet checkups to catch any issues before they become too hard to manage. Additionally, it’s good to ensure you buy your rabbit from a reputable breeder.


Wild rabbits run for about 3 miles each day. Thus, you must provide enough time and space for your rabbit to exercise daily. The American sable rabbit is extremely energetic and will get stressed and express destructive behavior if kept in their hutch for extended periods. Provide your rabbit with play toys to keep them mentally stimulated.

Trainability and family compatibility

American sables are perfect for elderly citizens and families with children. They have an affectionate and friendly nature and can live in homes and apartments if they get enough attention and exercise. Training rabbits is challenging; however, you can train your American sable to respond to their name and use the litter box.


Like the Netherland dwarf rabbit and Lionhead rabbit, the American sable is an energetic breed perfect for keeping as a pet. The rabbit’s grooming needs are slightly more demanding than other short-haired rabbits; however, it is easy to care for as long as you give it lots of attention and exercise. What do you think? Would you like to own the American sable rabbits as pets?

I have always loved rabbits. A rabbit was my very first pet. Since owning my first rabbit I have gone on to own many more. I look forward to being able to get my kids their very own pet rabbits.