Rabbit Colors and Patterns
Most of the many breeds of rabbits come in a huge variety of colors. Some of the color names are self-explanatory, others are less so. The following are some of the more common rabbit colors and markings or patterns that you may come across, many of which may also be found on different coat types.
- Agouti - The hairs on an agouti are two toned in appearance with more than one color on each strand. The normal agouti is the color of the wild rabbit; a gray-brown color; but other colors may also be a version of the agouti.
- Beige - Rabbits of this color have the pigment all over their bodies except on the napes of their necks, which is lighter. They have a bluish white color on their bellies and eye circles of the same color. Their eyes are brown with a ruby glow.
- Black - Ideally the color should be very dense. The underfur of a black rabbit is usually a blue-gray color.
- Blue - This color should be an even blue-gray.
- Broken Marked - Like the butterfly but with varied markings on a white background.
- Butterfly - Rabbits with this pattern are white and have a butterfly-shaped color markings on the nose. They also have colored ears and patches around the eyes, a large colored patch on the back and variable amounts of spotting.
- Castor - A rich dark chestnut color, castor is sometimes also described as mahogany brown. Evenly distributed over the body, head and legs, castor fur is evenly tipped with black. The belly of a castor rabbit is white or tan, and its eyes are brown.
- Chocolate - A deep dark-brown, this coloration features a light gray undercoat. The eyes are brown with a red cast.
- Chinchilla - Like the animal of that name, chinchilla rabbits appear almost silver. This is a version of the agouti in which all the brown pigmentation is replaced with white. The undercolor is dark blue; the middle color is white and each hair is tipped with black.
- Fawn - Fawn-colored rabbits have a deep golden color over their backs, flanks and chests. The eye circles, inside of ears, underjaws, tails, and bellies are white. These rabbits have gray or brown eyes.
- Fox - A colored rabbit with a white belly.
- Lynx - The body and the top of a lynx-colored rabbit's tail are tinged with lilac and light orange, and a sharper orange color shows through from underneath. There are white areas underneath the tail, belly and jaw. The eye circles and inside of ears are also white; eyes are blue-gray.
- Lilac - This color is best described as dove gray.
- Opal - This is an agouti color in which each hair is slate blue at the base, gold in the center and blue at the tip.
- Otter - A black, blue, chocolate or lilac-colored rabbit with a pale beige belly with tan-colored borders.
- Sealpoint (Siamese) - Like Siamese cats (though without the blue eyes), these rabbits have a beige-gray body with a darker gray face, ears, legs, feet and tail. The amount of this dark shading can vary; some rabbits are dark-gray all over.
- Siamese Sable - This coloration, also known as Brown Sable, is the brown version of Siamese Smoke. The main shade is brown; from light to very dark; while the sides, face, ears, legs, feet and tail are very dark gray.
- Siamese Smoke - Also known as Smoke Pearl and Blue Sable, rabbits with these markings have blue-gray fur with darker gray coloration on the the sides, face, ears, legs, feet and tail.
- Sooty Fawn - Rabbits with this coloration, also known as Tortoiseshell or Madagascar, have an orange-brown top coat with an underfur that is blue in tone. The sides, face, ears, legs, feet and tail are dark gray in color.
- Squirrel - The hair shaft on a rabbit with the squirrel coloration consists of a bland of gray and white bands. The color extends from the rabbit's back down along its sides where it is met by white on the belly and on top of the hind feet. The nape of the neck, chest and eye circles are a lighter version of the original color. The eyes are gray.
- Steel - A much darker version of the agouti.
- White - White rabbits have either red or blue eyes. The coat should be pure white in color.
- Brindle - An intermingling of two colors, one dark and one light. The brindle pattern appears consistently throughout the body.
- Broken - There two different subdivisions within the broken pattern:bi-color and tri-color. A bi-color broken pattern consists of any normal rabbit color in combination with white. For example, a bi-color rabbit may be white with black spots. A tri-color rabbit, on the other hand, will have two other colors in addition to white.
- Marked - Marked pattern rabbits are usually white, and have one other color that appears in a distinct pattern over the entire body.
- Pointed White - This type of rabbit is all white with a darker color on its nose, ears, feet, and tail. These markings are much like those of a Siamese cat.
- Self - Rabbits whose coat consists of only one color solidly covering their entire bodies are said to carry a self pattern.
- Shaded - This pattern looks much like it sounds. Shaded rabbits show gradual shift in color, beginning with a darker color on their backs, heads, necks, ears, legs and tails. The sides of these rabbits are of a much more diluted shade of that same color.
- Solid - This pattern is similar to the self pattern, except that it may include agouti and other mixed-color fur, as long as the colors do not create a pattern or a distinct marking.
- Tan - This coloration features a solid color on the head, back, sides, outside of ears, back legs, front or forelegs and top of the tail. A lighter color will appear on the eye circles, nostrils, jaw, chest and underside of the rabbit's body.
- Ticked - This consists of a base color throughout the majority of the rabbit's fur, with the addition of contrasting solid or tipped guard hairs.
- Wide Band - Rabbits of this coloration have the same color on their bodies, heads, ears, tails and feet. Their eye circles, the underside of their tails, their jaws and bellies have a lighter coloration.
Breeds Grouped By Distinctive Feature
- Lop-eared Breeds: English Lop, French Lop, Mini Lop, Holland Lop, and American Fuzzy Lop
- Short-eared Breeds: Netherland Dwarf, Britannia Petite, Polish, and Dwarf Hotot
- Woolly (longhaired) Breeds: English Angora, French Angora, Giant Angora, Satin Angora, American Fuzzy Lop, Jersey Wooly
- Rex Coat: Rex and Mini Rex
- Satin Coat: Satin. Other breeds may feature satin coat as a variety.
- Spotted color Pattern: English Spot, Rhinelander, American Checkered Giand, and Rex
- Pointed Pattern: Himalayan and Californian. Other breeds feature the pattern as a variety.
- Checkered Pattern: Harlequin