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Adopting a Ruby Eyed White Rabbit: Red Eyes & Albinism in Rabbits

Animal welfare experts report that ruby-eyed white rabbits often get passed over at animal shelters and rabbit rescue organizations because of their red-toned eyes. It seems hard to believe since all bunnies are absolutely irresistible.

Like dogs and cats with black fur, the superficial physical appearance of these beautiful animals sometimes makes them harder to adopt.

Melanin Pigment And Red Eyes Explained

Ruby-eyed white rabbits result from a genetic condition known as albinism. This affects melanin production, a pigment responsible for the coloration of mammals' eyes and skin or fur.

In albinism, the gene responsible for melanin production is either absent or mutated, leading to a complete lack of melanin. This, in turn, results in white fur, pink skin, and red eyes.

Pure albino bunnies are bred by selectively mating rabbits carrying the albino gene to produce offspring with white fur and red eyes. They are then further selectively bred to intensify the ruby-red coloration of the eyes.

Having Red Eyes And White Fur

White albino rabbits generally have beautiful white fur. Their eye colors can vary from red to pink and may even have purple shades.

These red eyed rabbits are one of the most affectionate pet rabbit breeds. However, it's sad that these types of rabbits may not find an adoptive home because of their condition. 

Because of this, albino rabbits get euthanized at a higher rate in shelters than rabbits with normal-colored eyes.

Potential Health Concerns Of Albino Rabbit Breeds

Albinism has been associated with an increased risk of sunburns and skin damage, so your albino or ruby-eyed white rabbit will require extra protection from the sun's rays.

Your pet rabbit's eyes may also get infections due to its innate sensitivity. Look out for teary eyes, swelling, or bumps around the eyes. If you think your pet caught something, immediately take it to the vet.

Give your rabbit access to shade to help protect its delicate skin. You can also give them comfy clothing that won't hinder their movement. 

While albinism is uncommon in rabbits and may come with some health concerns, it doesn't necessarily mean you should avoid adoption altogether! If you understand your rabbit's needs and do what you can to ensure they're met, you'll likely have an incredibly loyal and healthy companion for many years.

Taking Care Of A Ruby Eyed White Rabbit

Albino rabbit lying on hay

When you adopt a red-eyed white rabbit, it pays to know a few basics. First and foremost, you'll need to protect their eyes from the sun or ultraviolet light, as their eyes lack pigment and can be easily damaged.

Ensure they have plenty of indoor time, even if your bunny loves to frolic in the sunshine. Offer plenty of toys to help prevent boredom and reward them with treats when they use them.

Arrange regular veterinarian visits to check for any health issues that may occur due to their lack of pigment.

Feed them high-quality hay and vegetables daily and always provide fresh water. Keep their habitat clean by providing new bedding material, brushing their fur regularly, and trimming their nails when needed.

Provide plenty of love, attention, and cuddles. Rabbits are social animals, so interact with your rabbit daily for optimal bonding!

Albino rabbits with ruby-eyed whites have been beloved by people for centuries. You can keep your fuzzy friend healthy and happy for years with a few essential care tips!

Are you thinking about adopting a house rabbit of your very own? Visit an adoptable ruby-eyed bunny at your local shelter and consider giving them a new forever home.

Red-Eyed Rabbits FAQ

Are all rabbits with red eyes albino?

Not all rabbits with red eyes are albino. This is because the red coloration in a rabbit's eyes is caused by the reflection of light off their blood vessels rather than the absence of pigmentation. Albino rabbits, on the other hand, lack melanin, which is responsible for skin colors, hair, and eyes.

Can non-albino rabbits have red eyes?

Yes, non-albino rabbits can have red eyes. The misconception that only albino rabbits can have red eyes comes from the lack of pigmentation in their eyes, making their blood vessels more visible and giving them a bright red appearance. However, other factors, such as irritation or infection, can also cause a rabbit's eyes to appear red.

What breeds of rabbits are prone to albinism?

Rabbits commonly affected by albinism, such as New Zealand White, Californian, and Himalayan rabbits, have been selectively bred for their white fur. These rabbits are more likely to inherit the genes that cause albinism, which can result in a complete lack of melanin and a pure white coat.

Why do I never see wild rabbits with albinism?

Albino rabbits are rare in the wild since they are less likely to survive and thrive than rabbits with normal fur and eyes. Their condition makes them stand out, allowing predators to hunt them more easily.

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Tina - November 27, 2023

I love them.

rosabella - November 27, 2023

My precious albino mini rex rabbits were the best joy I could ever imagine. Boti lived 70 rabbit years (seven years) and Scarface lived to 110 rabbit years (11 years)! My best friends greeted me every morning, were ultra sociable and loved to cuddle! They brought me true happiness, incomparable to anything else!!

Emrys - December 12, 2022

Awe, too sad! My little Yuki is a white lion head with pink eyes and we are in LOVE! He likes to be groomed and loves his morning routine of changing his food area and enjoys free roaming in my room. He makes my heart so happy. Such a happy lil baby, the tude is no joke lol it gives him so much character.

Shannon Jannette Vergun - August 1, 2022

We just adopted a 4 year old ruby-eyed white rabbit from the Bunny Brigade in Camarillo, California. He loves to be held and showers me with kisses. Honestly,
I didn’t think our bunny (who lost her husbun two months ago) would tolerate any other rabbits. But he’s giving us hope. We’re taking it slowly so the two have the best chance to get along. Anyway, we can attest to the fact that these rabbits are very gentle and sweet. We’ve had other breeds and they preferred not to snuggle or be held.

Lacey - May 26, 2022

How can Ruby – eyed rabbits get turned down
10 and A White Ruby – Rabbit has been my dream pet since I was 5.They are so adorable and cute. I might get a bunny for my 11th birthday but that depends on money.

Amy Anne - October 26, 2021

I have a ruby eyed rabbit and it is sooo cute and nice.

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