Despite its name and looks, the American Chinchilla Rabbit is not the same as the chinchilla you know of. In fact, the chinchilla rabbit is not related at all to the domestic chinchilla. The only reason they have the same name is that the American Chinchilla Rabbit has been bred to look like the domestic chinchilla.

Also called the ‘heavyweight chinchilla,’ the American Chinchilla Rabbit is larger than the standard chinchilla rabbit. They weigh in at nine to twelve pounds, and have a stocky build, mostly due to their history of being bred for their coat and meat.

The American Chinchilla originated in France and were introduced in the U.S. in 1919. Because of their wonderful coat, the fur trade industry soon became a fan favorite of this hardy rabbit. U.S. breeders then bred this chinchilla rabbit to become larger and stockier, delivering the breed to the weight it’s at today.

Coat

One reason for the American Chinchilla’s popularity is their coats. They have a short, soft, rollback coat that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Most American Chinchilla Rabbits shed their coats during fall and spring, and may require brushing once every two weeks.

Colors

There is only one color of the American Chinchilla Rabbit that is officially recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). This color is similar to the color of wild chinchillas. This shade appears on the American Chinchilla with a dark base, a darker top, and a light grey in the middle. If you’re not worried about pedigree, however, their colors can range from brown to blue-grey.

Temperament

The American Chinchilla Rabbit has long been bred by humans, which means that they are well acclimated to being handled by people. Other than their hardy nature, this makes the American chinchilla a great pet for nearly any age, as well as veteran pet owners and newbie owners alike.

Compared to the usual cat and dog, the American Chinchilla requires less maintenance. Unlike cats or dogs that need daily attention, the American Chinchilla Rabbit requires no more than hay, food, water, and a space to run around in.

Care Requirements

The American Chinchilla Rabbit, due to its history being bred for meat and fur, is a hardy breed. If you’re new at being a pet owner, the hardy nature of the American Chinchilla Rabbit may make them the perfect pet for you.

Habitat

They can do well in environments both indoors and outdoors, so long as they are not exposed to extreme temperatures.

If you choose to keep your American Chinchilla Rabbit outdoors, their habitats should be raised from the ground to keep them safe from predators. A ramp leading to the ground can provide them with ample exercise, as well as access to the grass below.

If you choose to keep them indoors, the American Chinchilla Rabbit should be given enough space to properly run, play, and exercise.

Diet

The common rabbit diet is good for the American Chinchilla Rabbit. They should be provided about 70% of hay in their meals, as well as pellets to supplement their nutritional needs. Leafy greens and vegetables are also excellent for digestion, and fruits should be given to provide added nutrition.

Health Issues

Unlike most small animals, the American Chinchilla Rabbit doesn’t have many issues related to their fur. Their biggest problem, however, is their teeth. Rabbit teeth grow throughout their lives; they need constant access to hay to keep them worn down. Overgrown teeth are painful and may lead to death.

Here are symptoms that you should watch out for, which may indicate an issue:

  • Lack of appetite.
  • Lethargy.
  • Drooling.
  • Weight loss.
  • Swellings on mouth.
  • Sounds of discomfort or pain.
  • Decrease in grooming.

Playtime

Giving your rabbit their own toys is a great idea. The perfect toy will depend on your pet rabbit, as some will prefer complicated puzzles, while others just like something to knock around. You can easily make your own rabbit toys out of common household materials. You may also prefer to buy a commercially available rabbit toy online or from pet shops. Whatever toy you choose, be sure it’s made from materials that aren’t toxic to rabbits and won’t lead to choking.

Rabbits will love playtime, so long as they have enough space to run around. Even inside-only rabbits will enjoy time being let loose indoors if you do not have a yard. Just make sure to keep an eye on them!

While they are perfectly content running around on their own, rabbits also love pats from their humans. You can safely pat rabbits on their heads, the back of their necks, and along their spines. Rabbits that are used to being handled will even love being pat while sitting on your lap, just like a small dog!

With enough love and care, the American Chinchilla Rabbit can make the perfect pet.