Have you ever seen a rabbit that made you say, “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die?”
If you have, odds are that the fuzzy bunny behind your reaction was an Angora rabbit!
These cutie pies are truly the Kings and Queens of Fluff.
However, all that beautiful bunny fluff doesn’t come easy — Angora rabbits require a ton of grooming and a far greater time investment than other shorter-haired breeds.
Are these woolly rabbits right for you?
Let’s find out in our comprehensive yet compact breed guide!
The History of the Angora Rabbit
The Angora rabbit is one of the oldest and most sought-after rabbit breeds in the world.
These fuzzy rabbits originated from the region in and around Ankara, the capital of modern-day Turkey. In the past, the area was known as Ancyra or Angora, hence the breed’s name.
Angora rabbits made their way into Europe via France all the way back in 1723.
There, the Angora quickly gained recognition and became one of the most popular pets of the French royalty. We’re guessing the French aristocrats loved Angoras because of their unique, luscious fur, which gave off a distinctively noble feel and set it apart from other meat rabbits.
But their popularity didn’t stop at French courts…
By the end of the 18th century, this early French Angora breed spread to most of Europe, and from there, it bunny-hopped to the other side of the Atlantic in the early 20th century.
And that’s where the Angora bunny made its fortune and discovered the “American dream.”
US breeders and fashion enterprises realized just how soft Angora wool was and began upping the production of garments made from their fur. Consumers loved it, and Angoras were recognized as excellent fur-producing animals.
World War II helped to consolidate this position as production greatly expanded to meet the ballooning demands for this premium rabbit wool.
Angora fiber (as it’s also known) is cashmere-like in quality and highly sought after because of its soft, silky nature. This fur is collected by plucking or hand shearing (for English Angora, French Angora, and Satin Angora breeds) or hand shearing only (for German Angora and Giant Angora breeds).
Nowadays, though Angoras are still widely bred as fur rabbits, they’ve become increasingly popular as pet rabbits and are now kept in millions of homes all over the world.
They’re just too cute to resist. 🐰
Speaking of how they look…
Physical Description of Angora Rabbits
Pretty much all rabbit owners and enthusiasts can agree that an Angora rabbit is instantly recognizable thanks to its insanely woolly coat.
Typically they resemble large, round balls of fur because their fur coats cover their entire bodies (and sometimes their faces and ears, too).
If you don’t pay close attention, you might not even notice the bunny inside the fur!
This fellow here is living proof:
Apart from this abundance of fur, the exact appearance of Angoras varies because there are several different varieties of the breed, and each one has its own specific set of features.
But don’t panic about us leaving our description at that; we’ll cover each of the five major Angora breeds in just a few paragraphs.
Size and Coat
An Angora rabbit is generally between 4.5 and 12 lb (2 and 5.5 kg) in weight and has a thick fur coat that’s incredibly soft and silky to the touch.
They require regular grooming and brushing due to the risk of tangles, mats, and dirty fur.
And that’s all we can say about their size and coat before we deep dive into the five Angora breed types.
Angoras come in an enormously wide range of colors, including:
- Ruby-eyed white
- Chocolate (and chocolate tort)
- Black (and black tort)
- Lilac (and lilac tort)
- Blue (and blue tort)
Please note that certain colors are only found in certain Angora breeds. You can’t have everything!
But enough teasing you with generic information, let’s jump into the details.
The Five Major Angora Breeds
English Angora Rabbits
The English Angora is the smallest rabbit variety of this particularly long-haired grouping of buns, weighing in at between 4.5 and 7.5 lb (2 and 3.5 kg)
And this small stature means it’s also one of the most popular for both showing purposes and companionship.
It has one more trick up its (tiny yet fuzzy) sleeve:
English Angoras have unique facial “furnishings,” that is, they have soft, fluffy on its face and ears. Pet owners find this extra fur adorable, while judges often deem it worthy of a best-in-show badge.
An English Angora rabbit produces some of the softest finished yarn due to the distinctive makeup of their coat, which has a low proportion of guard hairs.
French Angora Bunnies
French Angoras are typically much larger than English Angoras — you can expect one to weigh between 7.5 and 10.5 lb (3.5 and 4.8 kg).
These bunnies are also unique in appearance because they have:
- A dense undercoat (and the best halo effect in Angora wool)
- An incredibly straight fur coat
- A clean, hairless face and front feet
If you’re completely new to owning long-haired rabbits, then the French Angora rabbit is a great starter breed because they’re not quite as high maintenance as some of the other breeds of Angoras.
They also naturally shed their coats, so their wool can be collected via plucking rather than shearing.
Satin Angoras are one of the newest members of the Angora family — they were developed in the late 1970s by Mrs. Meyer in Ontario, Canada.
She created this bunny breed by crossing French Angoras with Satin rabbits.
The result was breathtaking — an Angora rabbit with a coat so shiny, glossy, and dense that wool workers couldn’t help but fall in love with.
A Satin Angora rabbit usually weighs between 6.5 and 10 lb (3 and 4.5 kg) and produces 10 to 16 ounces of wool per year (less than the other Angoras in this article).
German Angora Rabbits
The German Angora rabbit is a slightly neglected member of the Angora family…
It’s not recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) because it was deemed too similar to already-accepted Angoras.
However, German Angoras are still very popular as pets and fur rabbits.
And dedicated owners created the International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders (IAGARB) to give these large fluffballs a breed standard and a chance to compete on the show table.
Germans have similar facial furnishings to English Angoras, albeit not as prominent and well-defined. But don’t worry; you’ll never confuse the two breeds because an English Angora is much smaller.
German Angoras are big rabbits that weigh between 7 and 11.5 lb (3.2 and 5.2 kg) and can produce a particularly impressive 2.5 to 4.5 lb (1.1 to 2 kg) of Angora wool each year.
Giant Angora Bunnies
The Giant Angora rabbit is the biggest Angora bunny around.
No surprises there.
Well, until you see one in person and realize just how giant these fluffy white bunnies are.
We can tell you that they weigh between 9.5 and 16 lb (4.3 and 7.3 kg), but that won’t do their size justice as all their fluffy fur makes a Giant Angora seem much larger.
They were developed by breeding German Angoras with giant breeds like the Flemish Giant to create a much bigger Angora. It was recognized by ARBA in 1988 in a single color, ruby-eyed white.
They’re a dream for anyone looking to harvest wool from their pet rabbit as this breed produces an excellent quantity of quality fibers. However, interestingly, they don’t shed naturally, so you’ll need to collect its wool by hand sheering, just like you would with its ancestor, the German Angora.
Angora Rabbit Temperament
Back in the day, Angoras were only really bred for the show table or wool production.
Unless you were part of the French aristocratic cast, that is.
But slowly and steadily, word got out that Angoras have a gentle, docile temperament that makes them an ideal candidate for being a pet in a family home.
They are caring and affectionate, even though, like most rabbits, they don’t particularly enjoy being picked up.
The Angora is also highly intelligent and is known to enjoy playing with both toys and their owner. They’re also surprisingly easy to train (in rabbit terms) and can learn how to use a litter box if you dedicate the time and effort to teaching them.
One other thing to note is that these breeds don’t tend to crave a ton of attention from their owners outside of grooming and playtime. They’re often happy to simply chill out and sit around quietly chewing hay or watching the world go by. Respect this space, and you’ll make sure to keep your rabbit happy for the long haul.
Angora Rabbits as Pets
We’ve said it once or twice already, but we’ll repeat it for added effect:
An Angora (and especially an English Angora) makes for a perfect companion animal.
They’re affectionate, calm creatures that enjoy spending time and cuddling with humans (as long as you give them enough me-time).
However, they aren’t ideal pets for young children as they have particularly delicate spines, and they require a strict daily grooming schedule.
How Long Does an Angora Rabbit Live?
Many people assume that Angoras have short life spans…
But that’s just a myth.
An Angora rabbit has an average life span of around five to twelve years.
This range is quite broad because Angoras can suffer from certain breed-specific health conditions that can lead to shorter life expectancies if they’re not correctly cared for. We’ll discuss them shortly.
Angora Rabbit Care
You can be sure that an Angora rabbit requires an incredible amount of grooming from their owner.
Because a rabbit’s natural self-grooming process isn’t enough in the case of Angoras, which can’t survive for long without human intervention.
It’s pivotal that you groom your Angora rabbit every single day. If not, they can get mats and tangles that’ll quickly cause serious health problems.
This means adopting this breed of rabbit is a huge time commitment, so be sure you have the time and energy before you jump in and bring one home.
This video will help if you are new to grooming Angora rabbits:
An Angora rabbit (regardless of its specific breed) can live both indoors in a large cage or outdoors in a roomy and well-protected hutch.
Since they’re very clean animals that thrive on interaction and suffer from temperature changes, we recommend you go for the indoor route, if possible.
Get them the biggest cage you can afford (and that fits into your bunny-proofed room), and then fill it with the correct type of bedding. Paper-based bedding is usually your best bet because it’s cheap and effective. Avoid things like sawdust and pine/cedar shavings as these are bad for their respiratory systems and can cause fur coat problems.
Pro tip 1: Get your Angora a hay feeder to reduce the mess around their cages, and don’t forget a nesting box from the pet store if you’re planning on raising baby rabbits.
Your rabbit’s diet is fundamental to ensuring you have a healthy rabbit for many years to come.
An English Angora (or any other Angora breed) requires a diet that’s identical to other rabbit breeds — 70/80% fresh hay (Timothy hay if they’re adults, and Alfalfa if they’re kittens or pregnant does) and 20/30% fresh vegetables, rabbit pellets, and fruit treats.
And unlimited fresh drinking water in a no-drip bottle, of course.
The only real difference is that an Angora rabbit should be fed a diet that’s slightly higher in fiber and protein than other rabbits because they need the extra protein to support constant wool production and the extra fiber to help prevent wool block.
Pro tip 2: English Angoras require less food than other Angora breeds as they’re smaller in size.
Interaction and Exercise
Your Angora rabbit should be run and hop freely for at least one hour every single day.
Two or three hours would be ideal.
Don’t worry about them going bananas, though, as they’re reasonably laid-back rabbits that do well outside of their enclosures.
But remember that your fluffball is still a playful bunny that deserves plenty of human interaction because playtime helps build bonds and prove to your rabbit that you’re a trustworthy friend.
Angora Rabbit Health Issues
An Angora rabbit can face a series of health problems during their lives.
Here’s the lowdown, so you know what to look for in order to provide the best possible care.
A condition called wool block, or GI stasis, is a potentially life-threatening issue in rabbits.
It happens when a rabbit ingests too much fur during its natural grooming sessions.
All the wool can quickly clog up their digestive system as rabbits can’t regurgitate as cats do.
Tell-tale signs of GI stasis are loose fibers in your rabbit’s feces and sudden changes in your rabbit’s dietary habits (up to a complete refusal to eat and drink).
If you suspect wool block, you should try the following:
- Remove your rabbit’s pellets and replace them with hay.
- Add a little frozen pineapple juice to their drinking water.
- Consult a veterinarian.
Dental disease is a serious health problem that most rabbits are susceptible to.
Unfortunately, Angora’s aren’t exempt.
If you notice that your pet Angora is struggling to eat or they’re drooling, you should take them to the vet straight away.
These symptoms are red flags that suggest that something is wrong in their mouths, and they need to be examined right away.
Parasites are a considerable risk for rabbits with such long, fluffy hair because all that warm fur is the perfect breeding ground for nasty little beings like flies, mites, fleas, and ticks.
Flystrike and wool mites are two problems that are particularly common in Angoras.
Flystrike consists of flies landing on your rabbits and laying their eggs in the fur, leading to a maggot infestation and a very sick rabbit.
Wool mites (or fur mites) look like dandruff, and they attach to your rabbit’s skin, causing itchiness, discomfort, and wool loss.
Prompt treatment is essential in both cases.
Viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD) is a real cause for concern amongst all rabbit breeds, including Angoras.
This infection can cause swelling, fever, loss of appetite, and even myxomatosis.
This makes it incredibly important to ensure your Angora is up to date with their vaccinations as it’s the only way to prevent viral diseases like VHD.
Industrially Raising Angora Rabbits for Their Fur
How PETA Influenced the Fashion Industry
There has always been a considerable debate over the industrial use of Angora wool because mass production has led to poor living conditions and cruel harvesting techniques.
Big companies often don’t dedicate the same time and care an owner would when plucking or shearing their beloved Angoras.
In 2013, PETA organized a campaign to raise awareness of this issue and stop brands from using Angora rabbit fur in fashion products.
They succeeded thanks to harrowing footage of poor young rabbits being mutilated and tortured in a Chinese wool farm for the sole purpose of harvesting their Angora fur.
This horrific video prompted many major brands, including Calvin Klein, to suspend their use of Angora fur. The issue is now at the forefront of many people’s minds, producers and consumers alike.
Angora rabbits are the fluffiest rabbits around. No doubt about it.
But they’re also one of the sweetest buns you could possibly bring home.
No matter whether you’re thinking about smallish English Angoras or humongous Giant Angoras, you can rest assured that you and your fuzzy bunnies will become inseparable through many years and countless grooming/cuddling sessions! 😊 ❤️ 🐰
We hope you have found our Angora breed guide helpful, and please reach out if you have any further questions or comments!