Do you own a Lionhead Rabbit? Then you probably know how fluffy they are. Lionhead bunnies are really great at grooming themselves, however, you are the one who needs to make sure that they don’t get hairballs.
This blog on grooming and haircuts for Lionhead rabbits will help you keep your lionhead rabbits coat, mane and skirt in top shape.
How to Look After Lionhead Rabbits
Lionhead rabbits are beautiful creatures and you have to treat them as such. The reason for this is pretty simple – their fur can become matted very quickly due to the nature of their appearance, which also makes them incredibly challenging when it comes to grooming.
One way that parents can help make the grooming process easier on both themselves and their lionhead is by focusing on certain areas first before moving onto the rest of their rabbits body.
The Lionhead Rabbit’s Mane
Many owners of Lionhead rabbits believe that their manes need to be trimmed once a week. We agree with this! With approximately two inches of fur around their neck, self-grooming alone won’t be enough.
Owners of these rabbits can become somewhat anxious when they need to trim their rabbit’s mane. If you do not have confidence in doing it yourself, why not take your rabbit to a veterinarian-approved groomer? Better yet, get the groomer to teach you the art of mane trimming!
Lionhead rabbits groom themselves like all rabbits, especially because they have a shorter overall coat, excluding their mane. Therefore, giving them a good brush at least once a week will help them get rid of loose fur.
The Lionhead Rabbit’s Body and Skirt
You want to make sure that you remove as much fur as possible during each grooming session. Lionhead rabbits, because of the varying lengths of their coat, are predisposed to ingesting hair. The more hair they ingest, the greater the chance of them developing a hairball that can potentially block up their digestive system.
Removing all excess hair becomes paramount during the Spring season when most Lionhead rabbits will start to shed their coats.
For lionhead rabbits, grooming doesn’t only have an aesthetic value, it is important for their overall health. The videos further down this page will step you through how to groom a lionhead bunny and how to give a lionhead rabbit a haircut.
Benefits of Grooming a Lionhead Rabbit
Lionhead rabbits molt their fur in the Spring and Fall. If the mane gets too long, the rabbit will pull out his own fur to get to his undercoat and you’ll have bald spots. To prevent this, I recommend that you keep your rabbits mane short.
I have used a pair of scissors to trim the mane on my Lionhead rabbit. I start at the neck, trimming off the longer hairs by cutting vertically, then I move to the top of the burr, trimming off the longer hairs from the underside, then I finish off at the tail, trimming the longer hairs from the top of the tail. This method is not very pretty, but it works to keep her mane from matting.
How to Groom a Lionhead Bunny
A Lionhead rabbit’s grooming regimen requires brushing out their fur. Many find that a soft-bristled brush ensures no harm to their skin and effectively removes all loose hair.
By following a grooming routine, you will discover any developing knots or mats in their fur early on, which can become uncomfortable if not removed. This practice, coupled with a good nail trim now and then, will ensure your Lionhead bunny looks immaculate.
Giving a lionhead rabbit a haircut isn’t a difficult process but one that should be undertaken with care. Here are the steps:
6 Steps to Give Your Lionhead Rabbit a Haircut
Brush Their Hair
Give your lionhead rabbit a gentle brush, ensuring you always brush in the same direction as the hair growth. For the cheeks, stroke downwards, for the top of the mane and your bunny’s back brush up and backwards.
Trim the Ends of the Mane
Gently trim the ends of the mane, keeping in line with the shape of your rabbits face. It should look like a V. Continue to brush out the mane to see where it needs trimming as you move around all sides. Make sure you pet your rabbit to keep him or her calm during this process.
Comb and Trim the Hair On Their Head
Using a fine comb, gently give the hair on their head a brush. Trim over the top of their eyes (about 0.5-1cm above their eyes). Continue on the shorter hair on their head, and around towards the back of their head. Trim in the direction of the hair growth.
Trim the Top Hair
Brush the top hair in a vertical direction and trim, if desired. Many choose to leave this long to tie a ribbon in their hair, especially for female bunnies.
Trim the Under Beard
Cradle your bunny securely in your arms to trim the under beard. Always keep your rabbits head elevated above their bottom to ensure they are not tranced. Gently comb the under beard and trim the ends.
Trim the Skirt
Gently comb around the skirt and trim the ends. Be very careful not to cut close to the skin, and when trimming around your rabbit’s behind, try not to pull the fur too much. If she is twitching, it is a little distressing, work slowly and gently.
This short video steps you through the process visually, and the bunnies are super cute!
If your lionhead rabbit has a longer skirt around its rear legs and bottom, this video is a great additional tutorial. It covers how to give your lionhead rabbit a haircut in those areas:
Useful Tools for Giving Your Lionhead Rabbit a Haircut
Bathing a Lionhead Rabbit
There is quite some controversy about whether spot-washing should be used with Lionhead rabbits. In one of our previous articles, we discussed that you could potentially put them into shock by drastically changing a rabbit’s body temperature when giving them a bath.
So, if your rabbit is particularly grubby, think again if you feel they could do with a tub! Instead of a regular submersion bath, err on the side of caution and make spot-washing your go-to method for grooming your rabbit thoroughly.
When you spot clean a rabbit, use a damp washcloth to ease out any stains or dirt from your rabbit’s fur. You can also dip the cloth into a small amount of gentle bunny-safe soap if you find a stubborn spot to clean.
You also want to ensure that your Lionhead rabbit’s mane doesn’t become too long. Not only does long hair obstruct the rabbit’s vision, but the scratching sensation of the hair on their eyes is both not advisable and uncomfortable. So please make this a priority and regularly trim the mane to keep it at a manageable length.
Are Lionhead Rabbits Easy to Care For?
Many find that owning a Lionhead rabbit is a great first choice for rabbit species. They are generally calm in demeanor and have surges of playfulness that will keep any owner on their toes.
Because many Lionhead rabbits do not grow very large, they are the perfect animal for those introducing themselves into the pet rabbit fraternity. However, be extra careful if you already have dogs and cats in your house before introducing your new Lionhead rabbit to the family. Allowing dogs and cats to mingle unsupervised with rabbits could have disastrous outcomes.
It is also vital that whenever you introduce any additional pet to your home, they must be allowed to socialize with other household pets. This observation is a must for all Lionhead rabbits! Nevertheless, if you think your rabbit is showing signs of distress, or your dog or cat, for instance, hasn’t extended a warm paw of friendship, you will need to ensure your rabbit is always safe from potential conflict. If this means keeping your rabbit separate from your other pets, then so be it.
Are Lionhead Rabbits High Maintenance?
A rabbit’s dense fur can make them susceptible to overheating. This condition, also known as ‘hyperthermia’, is easier to prevent than treat. If we put ourselves into the shoes of our Lionhead rabbit, imagine not having someone cut your hair and needing to deal with the sweltering heat outside. It would be very uncomfortable!
Many Lionhead rabbits struggle with overheating. When their coats and manes are not groomed or become too long, you may find that their core body temperature starts to rise, and they begin to develop erratic behavior.
Not only can this erratic behavior be somewhat unsettling, but your Lionhead rabbit will start to show signs of not wanting to eat or drink and may require veterinarian intervention. So, keep a sharp eye out for these signs, and if you have any concerns, consult with your vet.
Another consideration is bacterial infections, known as pyoderma. Along with fungal infections, both skin conditions can occur when your rabbit lives in a warm and moist environment. So, in addition to hyperthermia concerns, heat can also be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungal infections and further predisposes your rabbit to a preventable visit to the veterinarian.
By being vigilant during regular grooming sessions with your Lionhead rabbit, you are more than likely to detect any skin infections. And don’t let your rabbit overheat!
Do You Have to Cut Lionhead Rabbits Hair?
Grooming your lionhead is an important part of the daily care routine. You should always groom your lionhead rabbit, which includes giving your bunny a haircut. These routine haircuts can help you keep your rabbit in tip-top shape and keep their pen area in a cleaner condition.
If you leave the hair alone and don’t remove matted, tangled fur, the fur will build up on your lionhead rabbit, causing pain and discomfort. It’s very important to remove all matted hair. If you fail to groom your lionhead regularly, the chances are that you will need to take your lionhead to a professional groomer.
Grooming your lionhead rabbit helps you to bond with your bunny and is a great way to show them that you love them.