Rabbit Breeds Lionhead For Pets: Everything You Should Know

Have you ever considered petting something new? Well, Lionhead Rabbit is one of the rabbit breeds you would not want to miss out having. 

If you worry too much about not leaving a pet alone while working or running some errands outside, then have a choice of having a Lionhead Rabbit.

In this article, you will know more about lionhead rabbits’ best attributes and why it’s a great addition to your household. Well, keep on reading and you will discover more interesting things about them. 

Cute Reptiles as Pets x
Cute Reptiles as Pets

Overview About Rabbit Breeds Lionhead

The Lionhead rabbit originated in Belgium, a cross breed of Swiss Fox and a Netherland Dwarf rabbit. That’s why its genetic mutation is similar to a lion having manes around its head, flanks, and skirts. Lionhead Rabbit is famously known as the “mane gene”.

Lionhead  Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a breed of domestic rabbit that is recognized by both the British Rabbit Council and the American Rabbit Breeders Association. 

Lionhead Rabbits are naturally small. They weigh about 3 pounds when reaching adulthood. Their height ranges from 8 to 10 inches depending also on size as well as growing mane.

Life Expectancy

Compared with other rabbit breeds, Lionheads have a longer lifespan averaging between 8 and 10 years. But the more well-cared for, the longer they live. Sustaining their special needs as well as providing them with oozing love and care would make them live longer and healthier.

Behaviour and Temperament

Lionhead Rabbits have extraordinary temperament. They’re good-natured, affectionate, and extremely playful if already settled in their environment. However, owners should refrain from confining them into a dull and crowded place since they love to play around, very energetic, but also easily frightened. 

One of the best things of having a Lionhead Rabbit is when constantly given attention, it’d most likely want to be petted. Just be cautious of giving them personal space because they’re undeniably timid domestic pets. 

Colors and Mane Types

Rabbit Breeds Lionhead
Lionhead rabbit breeds come in many colors

Lionhead Rabbits have many color varieties, and the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognizes these following colors: Tortoise (Black, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac), Ruby Eyed White (REW), Blue Eyed White (BEW) Chocolate, Chestnut Agouti, Silver Marten, Pointed White, Sable Point, Seal and Siamese Sable. 

Moreover, there are actually two main types of Lionhead Rabbits: Single mane and double mane; which types depend on their genes inherited from their parents.

Single maned

Single-maned Lionhead Rabbits are just like an ordinary-looking rabbit. They only inherited one mane gene. Their mane can be seen around their head, ears, and sometimes on their chest. But as they get older, single-maned Lionhead Rabbits might lose its mane naturally. 

Double maned

Double-maned Lionhead Rabbits have two genes that produce their mane. They have regular mane around their head which covers a lot of it. They also have wool on their skirts. So, unlike a single-maned Lionhead Rabbit, their mane do not disappear after maturity. That also makes them more popular for pets. 

How To Raise Rabbit Breeds Lionhead?

You might be thinking of raising a rabbit with similar traits and needs from all other rabbit breeds. However, Lionhead Rabbits requires a lot of attention, care, and love from its fur parents. 

Lionhead Rabbits can be the most intimate type of domestic pet if greatly taken care of. As long as they have enough space to play, stuff or toys to munch, high-fiber food to feed, monitored health, then you are bound to get a breed like no other. 

Housing For Lionhead Rabbit

Although Lionhead Rabbit is small, it still needs more than enough space to live. Rabbits are naturally sociable, so you might need to acquire two Lionheads by creating or purchasing a hutch averaging in 6ft x 2ft. House sizes smaller than the aforementioned might restrict their natural way of behaving.  

Decide whether you put its shelter indoor or outdoor. You can either have a Do-It-Yourself hutch project or purchase a commercial product. If you DIY, you can check Rabbit Welfare Association Fund (RWAF)  or visit LionheadRabbit.com for some amazing offers and tips. 

Consider the weather conditions in your area for this kind of rabbit breeds should not be exposed to extreme temperatures and needs excessive humidity. Moreover, their thick fur keeps them warm. 

Pet owners should keep in mind that indoor and outdoor shelter for Lionhead rabbits is not a thing as long as they practice preparing the following: Lionhead Rabbits can adapt to local weather conditions from cool to moderate temperatures between 32 degrees and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (0-21 degrees Celsius). If the temperature exceeds 70 degrees Fahrenheit, they  would probably struggle to survive. 

Lionhead rabbits like to chew on stuff, so make sure to provide them with a good-munch. Overall, it still depends on the place they’re situated at. 

Due to their lively behaviour, they need a space where they can play and at the same time get bored all day long. Further, make sure that their home is five times bigger than their actual size, enough for them to live comfortably.  

Food and Water For Lionhead Rabbit

lionhead rabbit breed eating
What to feed your lionhead rabbit

Food intake of Lionhead Rabbit depends on its size, age, and activity level. Just like any other rabbits, Lionhead Rabbit needs an ample amount of high-fiber hay. A large part of its diet should not be limited to grass hay since this will keep their teeth from being overgrown which might cause health risks. 

Alongside with hay, are pellets and fresh vegetables and fruits to help them digest well. If the Lionhead Rabbit weighs 2 pounds, then feed it with 1 cup of greens. If it’s around 4 pounds, give 1/8 of a cup of pellets to it. 

Never forget that fresh water should be readily available. Fill its container with 50 to 150 milliliters of water. As much as possible, make hay as their staple food. Do not feed them with too many commercially made products. According to experts, they should be fed according to sizes but with a lot of hay. 

How to care for your lionhead rabbit breed [source: Dexter’s World]

Grooming Practices For Lionhead Rabbit

Lionhead Rabbits have high grooming needs since they have wool fur and large mane. Grooming or brushing their fur on a regular basis is recommendable. Frequent brushing  of their coats is necessary to prevent matting and knots. 

The thicker the hair, the more time you spend brushing it off. You can give them some treats after grooming as a reward for behaving well. 

Health Problems For Lionhead Rabbit

The common health problems of Lionhead Rabbits are dental issues, respiratory risks, and uterine cancer.  

A condition called Malocclusion, the misalignment of their lower and upper teeth, is a major health problem of a Lionhead rabbit. That’s why feeding them with hay is a vital process to prevent their teeth from overgrowing. 

Respiratory issues are most likely occurring to Lionhead Rabbits with flat faces as it increases the chance of them having breathing difficulties, though not all of them have flat faces. It’s necessary to put them in a place susceptible to their needs such as good temperature conditions. Also, they should not be overheated. 

Uterine cancer is the most common type of cancer in rabbits. This is mostly experienced by female Lionhead Rabbits. Treatment is available but prevention is always better than cure. Hence, neutering the male Lionhead Rabbit and spaying the female would help lessen the chance of them acquiring a deadly disease. 

Some health problems seem to be minimal such as having ear mites, eye infections, and vision difficulties. In order to avoid diseases from getting too serious, they need to get regular vet checkups and some bathing.

Dental Care For Lionhead Rabbit

Lionhead Rabbits with dental problems have become a norm in their breed. Besides being knowledgeable of their food diet, you should take into account that it’s also relevant to maintaining healthy teeth. 

Checking on your pet doesn’t cost much, better keep them alive and well rather than seeing them suffer. So, having regular checkups on your Lionhead Rabbits is one step ahead to preventing dental diseases. Help them have their teeth as healthy as possible through feeding enough hay and vegetables. 

Lionhead Rabbits exceed any other pets activity levels, so when checking their teeth, make sure you handle them with care as if they’re a glass that easily breaks when dropped. 

Who Rabbit Breeds Lionhead Are For

Lionhead Rabbits or rabbits in general are sociable animals. They have special needs that require lifelong care and patience. So, if you’re not always at home, better not to keep one. They may not be the best choice for first-time rabbit owners.

Lionheads are playful in nature, so before deciding to pet one, make sure you always make sure to add them to your timetable.  Making time doesn’t only mean during feeding time, but more so with playing, bathing, checkups, and anything they deserve. 

If you’re the kind of person who really cares and is willing to spend time with a pet, then a Lionhead Rabbit is a good choice. Be patient, considerate, logical, and empathic with this rabbit breed. Lionheads are not for everyone. Thus, cherish them! 

Purchasing Your Lionhead Rabbit

Before purchasing a Lionhead Rabbit, do have time for research. Know its historical background, how they can easily adapt to the human environment, their coping mechanism, their nature, and everything you need to know about it. 

Consulting experts like visiting rescue organizations and asking reputable breeders is highly recommended. Reconsider before purchasing Lionhead Rabbits from a pet store since it might have underlying conditions or diseases. 

Do not purchase this kind of rabbit breed if you just find it cute. Also, do consider that they need a companion or maybe a mate because they’d be stressed if left alone. 


Have you already spent too much time thinking about its cost and where to get a good Lionhead Rabbit? Rabbit breeds like lionhead are budget-friendly. Its cost ranges from 50$ to 100$. Although it’s inexpensive, you might want to anticipate a budgetary plan since its food will be the largest expense you must spend. 

Having a Lionhead Rabbit would cost you about 60$ monthly for food and 50$ to 200$ for its shelter. When you purchase this pet, it’s already a responsibility. May it be with your finances and stability, that’s the cost upon purchasing. 

In addition, Lionhead Rabbits are quite popular breeds, so a bunny costs about $20 to $125, depending on the quality. Nonetheless, they’re worth more than its cost. 

Where To Purchase

Purchasing a pet, especially a unique rabbit breed, a Lionhead would not be as easy as going to a pet store. There are some suitable options you might want to think of. You can purchase a Lionhead Rabbit at the following avenues: 

  1. Local Pet Stores
  2. Special Shelter for Pets
  3. Certified Lionhead Rabbit Breeder

Buying from a local pet store has disadvantages. Local pet store owners don’t have enough background information about the rabbit breed as well as the pet’s medical history. Also, the pets are shipped out from one place to another, so it might have some underlying health issues. 

Visit a special shelter for rabbits. Rabbit breeds like Lionhead are as fragile as a child, so acquiring them from a shelter needs few adjustments to cope with a new environment if adopted. Hope a companion will be purchased as well. 

Lastly, the best option is to visit a specialized and respectable lionhead rabbit breeder. A reputable organization of rabbit breeders can specify facts about Lionhead Rabbits. They’re masters of taking good care of this rabbit breed and willingly educates you with which Lionhead Rabbit purchase is best. 

Pros And Cons Of Lionhead Rabbit

A Lionhead Rabbit is a newly popular rabbit breed recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) last 2014. Pet owners have been importing this rabbit breed since the late 1990s, the reason why Lionhead Rabbits earned a spot as a famous domestic pet in the United Kingdom by 2002. 

Lionhead Rabbits do not only have remarkable appearance, they also have great behaviour and temperament which will surely make some pet lovers more interested to acquire one. Further, Lionhead Rabbits are small, so they don’t consume larger space at home. 

If you think Lionhead Rabbit can add joy to your household, you might want to consider the pros and cons of petting this rabbit breed. 

Pros Of Lionhead Rabbit

The purpose of a Lionhead Rabbit was originally created as a show breed. But nowadays, it has become one of the most popular rabbit breeds as well as domestic pets. The following are some perks to help you decide in owning a Lionhead Rabbit:

  • has a long lifespan.
  • does not grow large.
  • fairly affordable for most families.
  • friendly rabbits.
  • easy to train.

Cons Of Lionhead Rabbit

A lot of interesting facts about the Lionhead Rabbit might bump into your head. But then again, nothing lives off life, perfectly. Here are some major cons of Lionhead Rabbits. Have all the time you need to think and ponder whether or not to pet them. 

  • almost exclusively indoors.
  • The care and upkeep costs can be high.
  • can run into dental problems.
  • prone to fleas and ticks.
  • brush out the fur of the rabbit on a regular basis.
  • take the time to get to know their behavioral quirks.

Bonus: Similar Pets To Lionhead Rabbit

If you’re having second thoughts about petting a Lionhead Rabbit, try to consider other rabbit breeds. The following are rabbit breeds you might be interested in:

  • Angora Rabbits: They have four different types, and it’s also one of the oldest domestic rabbits. They are high maintenance rabbit breeds due to the danger of wool blocks. They have a so-called Angora wool that grows fastly and should be kept groomed to refrain them from ingesting it.
  • Colombian Pygmy: An interesting fact about the Colombian Pygmy is that it’s the smallest breed of the rabbit family. It weighs lighter than any other rabbit breeds, only about 1 pound. As much as it’s a fascinating pet to own, experts still provide ways for them to reproduce since it’s considered an endangered species. 
Angora Rabbits and Colombian Pygmy
Angora Rabbits and Colombian Pygmy
  • Volcano rabbits are mostly found in volcanic areas of Mexico. Thus, got the name Volcano. Just like Colombian Pygmies, they’re unfortunately considered endangered species. 

Other rabbit breeds usually have thicker fur or mane, but Volcano Rabbits have the exact opposite. They’re shorter, they have thin fur, and tiny ears. Still, onhold for petting due to its endangered condition. 


How Much Does A Lionhead Rabbit Cost?

A Lionhead Rabbit cost ranges from $50 to $100. This cost is only the initial payment; you have to pay at least $50 per month in food. You also need to prepare a budget to make a house for the lion-headed rabbit and the cost of seeing the vet when needed.

Do Lionhead Rabbits Like To Be Held?

Yes. Lionhead Rabbits are relatively fond of being held and petted. However, if you notice any stress in your pet, then you should stop. Although Lionhead Rabbits are pretty friendly, they are also shy and fearful.

Are Lionhead Rabbits Aggressive?

The behavior of the Lionhead Rabbits is not aggressive. They are aggressive only when scared and threatened. So handle it carefully.

Wrapping Up

Lionhead Rabbits are great domestic pets which appear to be cute, good-natured, and fragile. It’s pretty important to get to know keenly the background, environment, and routine of this kind of rabbit breed before purchasing. 

If you have plans on purchasing one, make sure you have given much thought about it; not only on raising it but more so with keeping it alive and well. 

If you want to get to know more about Lionhead Rabbits, make sure you keep in mind their health problems, special needs, food and diet, and even the pros and cons. Hence, there’s no trial and error in raising a pet, just raising and living along with it.