Why does a Rabbit’s Fur Change Color
Rabbits are soft, little, and perfect as a pet in every household. These shy, gentle creatures are just pure delight to hold and cuddle. People who have rabbits as pets sometime become worried when they realize that their rabbit’s fur is changing its color. Most people think that their rabbit is sick or is suffering from some medical condition. But the color change in rabbit’s fur is quite a natural process called molting.
In this article we will know why rabbit’s fur changes color.
A little introduction to rabbits
Earlier rabbits were thought to belong to the rodent family. But recent research have found that rabbits are actually lagomorphs, i.e. plant eating mammals who have fully furred feets and two pairs of upper incisors.
Rabbits shed their fur quite frequently and when the fur regrows back it is soft, clean and there might be slight or complete change in color. Rabbits that are living in their natural habitat instead of being a pet at a household often changes color according to season. The changed color of their fur acts as camouflage and saves them from predators.
Molting in rabbits
Molting in rabbits is the process of losing the fur coat so that a new coat grows back in its place. Molting in rabbits occurs regularly at several stages in its life. Molting in rabbits varies according to their breed and sometimes they can even vary for 2 rabbits of the same breed, depending on the conditions they are kept at home (for instance, colder or warmer temperatures). Usually the period of molting lasts from 2 weeks to 6 weeks.
When your rabbit is a baby of 4 – 5 months age it will shed its baby fur coat and grow an immediate coat. Then it will grow an adult fur coat and after that you can actually notice the change in color whenever they molt.
Usually a rabbit sheds its fur at an interval of every 3 months. Light molts may occur in between that period but they are barely noticeable. Heavy molt occurs when the rabbits molts seasonally. At the end of the winter season and at the end of the summer you will notice heavy molting.
Why do rabbits molt?
Rabbits molt due to two main reasons:
- Molting while growing up: The fur color of rabbits change every time they molt as they grow up. This is a natural process.
- Molting due to seasonal change: When a rabbit molts with every change in season, their fur color changes. They molt at every season change to regulate their body temperature.
How do rabbits molt?
In a rabbit, molting usually begins from the head. Then it progresses down the neck and the back. Then the molting occurs in stomach region. For some rabbits, the molting process is uniform throughout the body as molting patches appear throughout their bodies without any distinct pattern. In some rabbits naked skins are exposed when the fur from that region is shed completely during molting.
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- If your rabbit is losing fur or changing its color don't worry, is not a sign of any sickness, it is only a natural process of molting.