The Polish is a small breed of domestic rabbit, usually weighing between 2 to 3½ pounds, and resembles a cotton ball. Despite its name, many experts think this breed probably originated in England and Germany sometime before 1860. An interesting fact about the Polish is that because of its diminutive size, it is often used by magicians in magic tricks.
In 1884 some Polish rabbits were exhibited in Hull, England. At that time the breed was also known as Hutch rabbits. Some experts think it was started by a cross between wild rabbits and albino small Silvers, albino Dutch, or albino Himalayan rabbits.
After the Polish was imported to the United States in 1912, the ruby-eyed white was the only variety recognized for many years by the National Pet Stock Association. In 1938 a Blue-eyed White variety of Polish was recognized. Since then, varieties of Black, Chocolate, Blue, and Broken (partly colored and partly white) have all been recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc., making the list of varieties number six in total. A Polish Lilac variety is now in a developmental stage and not yet approved.
Although originally developed as a meat breed, today the Polish (nicknamed the "Little Aristocrat") is mostly a fancy exhibition breed. It has a compact body and short, fine-boned legs and feet. Its short head has rounded cheeks and large eyes. Erect ears about 3 inches in length touch each other all the way to their tips, an unusual rabbit feature. The average Polish lives 6 to 8 years, but may live 10 years or longer if spayed or neutered.
This rabbit is usually friendly and calm. It can be trained to use a litter box and is considered a low-maintenance pet. It adapts well to hot and cold temperatures and can live indoors or outdoors in a hutch (cage) measuring only 24 x 18 inches.