Rabbit breeds have a wide range of coats, with different ratios of soft, furry undercoats to longer, coarser outer coats. Whatever the length of coat, however, matting can be an issue. This is where the hairs get tightly bound together, pulling at the skin and sometimes restricting movement. It can be uncomfortable, but if it occurs around a rabbit’s backside it is more serious. If it gets soiled it is unhygienic and can attract flies and lead to disease. But a regular groom can avoid this happening.
Another benefit of regular grooming is that it removes loose hair from the coat. Rabbits groom themselves and sometimes end up ingesting too much hair which then causes a ball in the gut. This can create a blockage in the intestine – a potentially serious condition.
To groom a rabbit, use a comb or brush that is appropriate for the length of your pet’s coat. Longer coats require longer tines or pins. Place your rabbit comfortably on your lap, ideally on a fine woven mat (one that won’t catch on nails). They will probably want to face in towards you. When they are calm and happy start grooming very gently from head to tail. Don’t be tempted to pull at knots – a rabbit’s skin is very delicate. If the knots or mats are too dense to penetrate, you may have to visit the vet to get the situation remedied.