Why Rabbits Have Red Eyes?

Rabbit with Red Eyes

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Many factors of how rabbits are created are a secret to individuals who have them. This article explains to you rabbit’s vision and red eyes.

Why Rabbits Have Red Eyes?

We see a broad color spectrum with lots of depth perception to help us navigate the world around us. Rabbits being prey animals, have actually progressed with eyes on both sides of their head in order to see 360 degrees. This is so they can constantly be on the lookout for approaching predators. Ironically, a rabbit has a blind spot straight in front of their nose. Their whiskers and smell are generally used to spot things in that area (and often their teeth).

Bunnies are far sighted and do not see very well up close. They likewise tend to see in greens and blues due to the fact that the majority of their food is green things.

Rabbits see things in two measurements. They do not easily tell range and have practically no depth perception. They can see a cat, however can not visually tell if it is 10 feet or fifty feet away. Their vision can identify a feline, but they have the tendency to use their other senses such as smell and hearing to figure out how far away it is.

When a rabbit sees things with both eyes, he sees a flat image that is similar to page in a coloring book. Think of taking among those additional large scenic pictures and covering it completely around your head then having the ability to see the entire photo at once. This is tough for the majority of people to think of and conceive. This is why we do not easily understand a bunny’s vision. It is absolutely nothing like our own.

Then contribute to that the absence of a complete color spectrum and the inability to see things up close and now you are starting to understand a rabbit’s vision. This is why they tend to rely more on their hearing and sense of odor to signal them to danger around them. Their vision is essential, however for up close work (like consuming) they use their nose more than their eyes.


I frequently have people ask me about a typical rabbit phenomenon called, eye scanning. It is a bit disturbing the very first time you see it and it includes a rabbit type of weaving and bobbing like an intoxicated individual in order to look at something. The very first time I saw it, I believed the bunny was developing some kind of neurological problem or MS.

It turns out that it is more common in red eye bunnies, but I have seen a number of non-red eye bunnies do it, as well. Normally the bunny will be sitting upright and his head will type of weave from side to side. If you look carefully, you will see that he is considering or looking carefully as something, switching from one eye to the other in his gazing at it.

What he is actually doing is attempting to get a better look at something, using both eyes to see it. I believe that for some rabbits, it assists them better gauge their environments. I believe that they do it more when they are uncertain of a location or curious about what is taking place close by.

My big New Zealand bunny does not care for cats and will thump whenever she sees or hears them. Typically, she will start thumping and I can not determine what she looks out to. Then I will see a feline way off in the distance that she is seeing. To her she simply sees a feline. She does not know if it is ten feet away or over one hundred feet away, like it actually is.

Another typical ‘mystery’ is, why rabbits have red or pink eyes. This is actually the result of albinism. It was purposefully reproduced into bunnies in order to have a blood line that would produce all white bunnies all the time. Albinos of all types have pink or red eyes because it is because of the complete absence of pigmentation within their bodies. Usually it is an anomaly, but this anomaly has actually been bred to exclude all other ranges, in rabbits.

In spite of the common mistaken belief, red/ruby eyed white, or REW, bunnies are not normally a breed unto themselves but rather a type of mutation known as albinism, in which the body lacks the proper genes to produce the protein melanin. Melanin is what gives the skin, hair and eyes its darker color in order to safeguard against hazardous radiations from the sun. Since an albino rabbit lacks this protein, the eyes become clear and the capillary in the eyes show up, providing the eyes a red or ruby appearance. There are also REW bunnies who are albinoid, possessing just some qualities of albinism, typically manifesting in white fur with really light patches of dark spots and light-red or pink eyes. REW bunnies might be available in all sizes and temperament because albinism is an anomaly that takes place across all rabbit types.
A noteworthy exception is the New Zealand White rabbit, which has been particularly bred to induce albinism. Sadly, as a byproduct of albinism, REW bunnies are more prone to vision problems and some might be delicate to sunshine.

This is generally a recessive quality in many species and so when any genes exist to give color, the color is dominant and will be present. Nevertheless, it is possible for a non-albino to give birth to an albino (all white with pink eye) offspring due to both parents have the recessive gene hidden in their DNA.


Albinos are delicate to sunlight, due to their lack of pigmentation and red eye white rabbits are no exception. They can find glaring intense sunlight a bit annoying and will typically look for shade to comfort their delicate eyes. Keep this in mind when taking your red eye bunny out and about. Their sensitive eyes and skin do not like hot direct sunlight.

Also read: Sexing Rabbits: Male or Female?

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References and used sources

D. Roberts (Junior Expert)

He is a specialist in the field of veterinary medicine, and pet care. Believes that the person responsible for each pet, which was taken into the house, and therefore should study his behavior, means of determining health status and methods of first aid.

Pet Health

Comments are closed.

  1. Reyus Mammadli

    Hey, don’t you know that albinos have red eyes. This is an absolute rule. And quite a nice. To my rabbits of the Kalifonian breed, this is very good)))

  2. Reyus Mammadli

    The lack of pigment. That’s OK. Even if not was accustomed, that have a rabbit red eyes, then over time you get used to it to this.

  3. Jennifer

    How interesting! I didn’t think rabbits had such unusual eyes. It must be hard for them to live without seeing the distance to the objects.