The Californian rabbit is a beautiful domestic rabbit breed, also known as the Californian White rabbit. They have become increasingly popular as house pets like the Netherland dwarf rabbit, Lionhead rabbit Holland lop rabbit, Flemish giant rabbit, and Dutch rabbit.

The Californian White or Californian rabbit is a large and docile American rabbit breed that’s well-loved as livestock and pets because of its soft fur, calm temperament, distinct markings, and size. The rabbit gets its name from their origin (Southern California), where George West initially developed the rabbit breed in the 1920s.

The Californian White has become more popular ever since due to their friendly and easy-going nature. This article covers the origin and history of the Californian rabbit. Providing more information like how long do rabbits live and why rabbits thump their feet, plus hints and tips for people who own a rabbit or plan to keep one.

Origin and History of the Californian White

George West first bred the Californian rabbit in Lynnwood, California. The rabbits were bred by George West, an experienced New Zealand breeder who’d set out to breed a rabbit that didn’t have the woolly characteristics common with New Zealand white litter.

Thus, George West experimented with the standard chinchilla and Himalayan rabbits and created the Californian white rabbit. In 1939, the American Rabbit Breeders Association recognized the breed, and it became a popular option as a pet, and a show animal.

Californian Rabbit Body Type and general description

The Californian giant rabbit is twice the size of the Himalayan but displays similar characteristic markings. These include an all-white coat and dark markings on the ears, feet, nose, and tail. As such, they are plump and stocky with plush, dense fur. They are solid and well-muscled, even within breeds of their size.


The rabbits are easygoing and can get along well with other animals. They are good house pets; however, you should remember they love spending time outdoors. Take them outside at least once daily and allow them to play and run around. You can also let them loose inside your home if you can take them outside.


The California rabbit has plush coats and may require more brushing than other breeds. Brush their coat twice a week to keep them in optimal condition. You’ll want to increase the brushings to twice or thrice a week, depending on the amount of shedding.

Californian rabbit size

Typically, adult Californian bunnies weigh between 8 to 10 pounds. They are pretty sizeable and grow rapidly into adulthood. When cared for properly, the rabbits can reach half their adult weight within ten weeks.

Californian rabbit colors and eyes

Californian rabbits have soft, thick, and short flyback fur. The term ‘flyback fur’ means that the rabbit’s fur will return to its original position when you pet it. You can easily recognize the rabbits due to their distinct coloring. Most of their fur is white; however, they also have black or dark-brown points on their feet, nose, ears, and tail. They have red or vibrant pink eyes, a striking color from their albino gene.

Californian rabbit lifespan

Californian rabbits have a long lifespan; owning one is a lifetime commitment. The rabbits live for five to ten years.

Californian rabbit care

These rabbits are easy to care for. Most rabbits will require patient and gentle handling, good food to eat, and a safe and comfortable space. The rabbits can comfortably live indoors and outdoors. They require a secure enclosed space measuring a minimum of 36 inches long and 30 inches wide.

Providing the rabbits with a bigger place to jump around and exercise will make them happier and healthier. The rabbits tend to chew on anything around them, including their cages. Thus, you should choose or construct their cages from sturdy materials like metal and plastic. Ensure the bottom has a flat surface the rabbit can comfortably sit on. You should also add other objects with which the rabbit can interact and play.

Nutrition and health

The Californian white rabbit is an adaptable and hardy breed; however, it requires more than filtered water and ample Timothy hay to stay healthy. You can combine this with servings of leafy greens, daily exercise, and kibble for excellent health and long life.

The rabbits need a healthy diet of vitamins E, D, and A and fiber. They require moderate amounts of fat and protein. Pregnant, nursing, and young rabbits require more protein and nutritious foods than other rabbits. Be mindful to give the rabbits enough Timothy hay and fresh water.

You should also feed them half a cupful of rabbit pellets daily (adult rabbits). Additionally, you could feed them some low-carbohydrate treats and leafy green vegetables. Some fruits and vegetables you could feed them include:

  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Bok choi
  • Broccoli
  • Mustard greens
  • Endive
  • Kale
  • Pear
  • Green peppers
  • Radicchio

Don’t give your rabbit high-calorie foods like bread, grains, seeds, cookies, or nuts. Carrots are reasonable; however, you should feed them to your rabbit in small amounts since too many could make them sick.

How to handle Californian rabbits

Rabbits are social animals. They are active and need lots of attention and time to exercise. You should take care when handling your Californian rabbit in or out of their cages to avoid injury. The rabbit can scratch, kick, and try to get away when scared. Rabbits have fragile bones and backs that can easily break if they jump out of your arms or fall.

Californian rabbits are docile, making them easier to play with, pick up, or carry than other breeds. However, you should be careful and patient since different rabbits have varying personalities, and not all will enjoy being held. You should support their entire body when carrying them and keep one hand under their hind end and legs. Hold them firmly close to your body to make them feel secure, and they are less likely to scratch or struggle.


Often, Californian rabbits tend to be the kindest among rabbits used for pets. The rabbit has distinctive colorings and a great temperament, making it one of the best pet breeds you could ever choose. Is there any other rabbit breed better than the Californian rabbit?

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.