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What to Know About the American Fuzzy Lop Rabbit

Reviewed by Vanesa Farmer, DVM on November 24, 2022

The American fuzzy lop rabbit is an adorable breed of rabbit that was developed by crossing angora rabbits with Holland lop rabbits. The American fuzzy lop personality is friendly and sweet-tempered. They make great family pets. As one of the smaller rabbit breeds, they do well with children, and many children breed and show them as part of a 4-H project. 

American Fuzzy Lop Characteristics

The American fuzzy lop is one of five lop breeds. They're called lop rabbits because their long ears flop down instead of being held upright. Ideally, the American fuzzy lop should have a short, deep body with a wide head close to its shoulders. They have lop ears and are covered with at least two-inch long fur all over their bodies. 

The American fuzzy lop is about one to two years longer than a wild rabbit's lifespan. They have poor close-up vision, which is why they tilt their head to the side to see things near them. American fuzzy lops are curious and will stand on their hind legs to get a better view of what's going on.

American Fuzzy Lop Care

Taking care of your American fuzzy lop rabbit will require time and money. However, if you're prepared and willing to do the work, owning an American fuzzy lop is a fun and rewarding hobby. 

American fuzzy lop habitat. 

Your rabbit's home plays a significant role in its health and well-being. Rabbits are active and need plenty of room to run, play, and explore. Their cage or pen should be tall enough to stand on their hind legs without their ears touching the roof. They need a secure area that's safe from predators, gives them places to hide, and protects them from weather extremes. 

When evaluating rabbit hutches, look for options that will stay well-ventilated, dry, and free from drafts. Their setup should include a separate toilet area, such as a tray filled with shredded newspaper or non-clumping litter. They'll need bedding that's safe to eat and that will keep them warm. Dust-free straw or hay is a good option. 

American fuzzy lop diet

Rabbits are herbivorous, which means they eat plants. Their digestive system allows them to absorb nutrients from many plants that are indigestible to other animals. A part of this system is called coprophagy. Your rabbit will produce two types of fecal matter. One type is soft, small pellets called cecotropes. Your rabbit will eat these pellets to ingest nutrients so they can be absorbed by their digestive system. 

Your American fuzzy lop's diet should consist of feed that provides the carbohydrate, fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals needed for good health. To provide this, you should give your rabbit three types of feed: 

  • Concentrate feeds such as pellets which are low in fiber but high in nutrients
  • Dry roughage, such as hay and straw, which is high in fiber but low in digestible nutrients
  • Succulent feeds such as greens and vegetables, which should only be given as a treat because they can cause gas and diarrhea

Socializing Your American Fuzzy Lop Rabbit

American fuzzy lops have a sweet disposition, but they should be socialized correctly to be even more friendly. Rabbits who are neglected or not handled correctly will become frightened and withdrawn. Regular, gentle handling will help socialize your rabbit to see you as a friend and companion. Here are some tips for handling your rabbit: 

Avoid startling your rabbit. Talk quietly and move slowly around your rabbit. Rabbits are prey animals who will get very frightened. Being gentle and quiet around them reduces their stress response. You also don't want to scare them into overreacting. Rabbits have fragile spines, and if they struggle too frantically trying to escape, they can develop serious injuries. 

Handle your rabbit gently. Never pick your rabbit up by the ears. This can hurt your rabbit and cause serious injury. Hold your rabbit gently but firmly, using one hand to support their back and hindquarters at all times. Make sure they feel supported by letting all four feet rest against your body. You can cover their eyes with your arm or a towel to help them relax, but be sure you aren't obstructing their breathing by covering their nostrils.

Get down to rabbit level. If you bend over from standing to pick up your American lop rabbit, you're more likely to drop your rabbit. Even if you handle them securely, being far off the ground is scary for a rabbit. Instead, try to get as close to ground level as possible when handling your bunny. If you're down low, your rabbit is less likely to perceive you as a threat.

Taking Care of Your American Fuzzy Lop Rabbit When You Travel

Although each bunny will have its own personality, most are stressed by any significant changes in their environment or routine. Unlike a dog, your rabbit probably won't enjoy hopping in the car for a quick ride downtown. Here are some options for caring for your bunny while you're on vacation: 

Find a bunny sitter. One of the best options, especially for shorter trips, is leaving your American fuzzy lop at home and having a friend come in to look after your bunny. Ideally, this should be someone your pet already knows, but if not, introduce them to your bunny and go over their care and feeding routine before you leave. Having someone come in twice a day to feed and care for your rabbit will allow them to stay in a familiar environment and not have their routine disrupted.

Board your rabbit. Another option is to board your bunny, either with a veterinarian or with a knowledgeable professional. While your rabbit will be out of their home environment, they may receive more attention this way.

Take your bunny with you. If you're going to be gone for a long time and staying in a place where your rabbit is welcome, you can take your bunny with you. If you're doing this, take some time before your trip to acclimate your rabbit to traveling in a car in a pet carrier. You'll also want to make sure you take a familiar cage and all of their home comforts.

Show Sources

SOURCES: 
American Fuzzy Lop Rabbit Club: "Welcome."
House Rabbit Society: "Vacations and Travel."
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands: "4-H Rabbit Manual."
RSPCA: "Creating the right home for your rabbit," "Handling your rabbit."
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: "Rabbits: From the Animal's Point of View."

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