Angora Rabbit: Everything You Need to Know

Although its origin isn't certain, some believe that this breed of rabbit comes from Angora, a city in Turkey. That's where it gets its name from.
Angora Rabbit: Everything You Need to Know
Cesar Paul Gonzalez Gonzalez

Written and verified by the biologist Cesar Paul Gonzalez Gonzalez.

Last update: 29 November, 2022

Rabbits are one of the most charismatic and attractive animals around. Thanks to their appearance and size, many people decide to adopt them as pets. However, there are several breeds with unique and different characteristics. Among the best-known are the Angora rabbit, the mini lop, the rex, and the Flanders giant.

The Angora rabbit breed is quite peculiar and different, as it has an impressive coat that is exploited by the textile industry. Even so, this doesn’t prevent them from being excellent pets. Keep reading this space and discover everything you need to know about this breed of rabbit.

Origin of the Angora rabbit

The Angora rabbit is an ancient breed descended from the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). The first records of it being kept in captivity date back to the 18th century, but it’s still uncertain whether its lineage developed at that time. Because its coat was quite striking and useful in the textile industry, it quickly gained popularity and by 1723 was already present in France and England.

Up to this point in history, most breeders produced the lineage for commercial exploitation by means of ineffective techniques. This lowered material quality, which impeded the growth of the rabbit fur industry. However, with the advent of the implementation of pedigrees, from 1930 onwards the genetic improvement of the breed began.

This phenomenon appeared almost at the same time in several parts of the world where the breed was famous. All breeders were looking for the same thing, to generate a lineage with better skin qualities. Thus, by 1965, both France and Germany had already established their own variants, becoming some of the largest producers of rabbit fur at the time.

In fact, due to the struggle to generate a variant with quality fur, different lineages of Angora rabbits began to appear. However, the best known are the French and German variants.

Angora rabbit.
Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus.

Characteristics of the Angora rabbit

The Angora rabbit can reach a size of 35 centimeters (14 inches) in length, weighing between 2 and 6 kilograms (4.4 to 13 pounds). Its most distinctive characteristic is its fur, which is bulky. This is due to a recessive mutation of the gene that lengthens the period of activity of the hair follicle. Consequently, a longer coat is produced.

As mentioned above, the Angora rabbit’s lineage was quite divided due to the exploitation of its coat. For this reason, variants with slightly different characteristics can be found today:

  • English Angora rabbit: Fur growth occurs on all parts of its body, with the exception of its nose and extremities. This gives it a very plush appearance, although its fur needs a lot of care.
  • French Angora rabbit: This is one of the largest of all variants. It differs in that its ears, face and the front of its legs don’t have the typical bulky fur of the breed.
  • German Angora rabbit: Most are white and are characterized by the fact that they can’t shed their fur. As a result, their coat can grow too long if not carefully trimmed.
  • Giant Angora rabbit: This is the largest variant currently in existence. In addition, it’s also considered the Angora that produces the most hair – at least every 90 days it needs a haircut.
  • Satin Angora rabbit: This variant is the product of a cross between a satin rabbit and a French Angora. Thanks to this, it exhibits a coat with diverse color combinations and a satin sheen similar to that of its ancestors.

The Angora rabbit requires a well-ventilated habitat with sufficient space so that it can develop without problems. Wire cages are usually used, but it’s also possible to build an enclosure adapted to the needs of the pet.

The minimum recommended measurements for this breed’s cage or hutch are 50 centimeters wide, 70 centimeters high and 50 centimeters long (20 x 25 x 20 inches). Of course, it’s always better to exceed these measurements and to have a large enclosure. In addition, we should bear in mind that rabbits’ feet can be injured by the floor of the cage. To prevent this, it’s better to place a flat bottom with absorbent substrate such as wood pellets.

Although the pet has a large habitat, it needs to have a play space where it can run free and have access to vegetation. In fact, it’s usually recommended that the Angora rabbit spends more time outside its cage than inside, as this allows it to exercise and stimulate its senses.

Angora rabbit.
Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus.

Breed behavior

Like other rabbits, the Angora breed is very calm, peaceful, and sociable. With the right care and proper socialization, it can have wonderful times with its family. Moreover, it can even establish deep relationships with its owners, although, to achieve this, the contact must be constant.

It should be noted that, despite being very affectionate, the Angora rabbit also requires privacy. Therefore, they shouldn’t be harassed or handled excessively, as this could cause them stress. Although they’re normally peaceful, under conditions of stress and poor care, this pet can show aggressive behavior and even hurt their owners.

Diet of the Angora rabbit

The diet of the Angora rabbit is herbivorous and is based on the consumption of forage, fruits, vegetables, and commercial feed. Contrary to popular belief, a healthy diet should be varied, so its daily ration should be composed as follows:

  • Hay (fodder): 70%
  • Fresh vegetables: 20%
  • Commercial feed: 10%.
  • Fruits (treats): once or twice a week

Pet rations vary according to the rabbit’s stage of development. When they’re adults, it’s normal for them to eat twice a day, but younger specimens may require three daily rations. Whatever the case, water should be available at all times and should be changed every day even if it’s not finished.

Angora rabbit health

The Angora rabbit is no more or less sensitive to diseases than other rabbits. However, this type of animal doesn’t tolerate sudden changes in temperature and humidity very well. This is one of the reasons why it’s recommended for its cage to be located inside the home. Otherwise, they should have heaters to regulate the temperature of their hutch.

In addition, as with other pets, the Angora rabbit should receive a complete vaccination schedule to keep it protected in the long term. The veterinarian will recommend which are the most important for your specimen and the dates of application.

As you can see, the Angora rabbit is a small-sized rabbit with a tender appearance; it can become an excellent pet. However, it requires certain essential care to maintain its health. Remember that these animals depend entirely on you, so don’t skimp on resources to take care of them.

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  • Santalena, P. (1987). Resurgimiento del conejo de angora. Cunicultura, 12(69), 0174-176.
  • Thébauld, R. G., & Rougeot, J. (1985). Algunas nociones sobre la cria del conejo de Angora. Cunicultura, 10(54), 0059-64.
  • Herrmann, S., Wortmann, G., & Wortmann, F. J. (1996). Characteristics of Angora rabbit Fibre 1-The influence of fibre origin on fibre and medulla diameter in Angora wool. World Rabbit Science, 4(3), 149-153.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.