English Angora Rabbit

The English Angora Rabbit is one of the oldest breeds of domesticated rabbit, with a characteristic coat of rich, long, silky fur.

Size and weight of the Angora rabbit

The English Angora is a medium sized rabbit that weighs between 2-3.5 kgs

Colour varieties of the Angora rabbit

The English Angora Rabbit comes in various colours including:

  • solid white with ruby eyes
  • pointed
  • agouti
  • broken colours (where the available colours are mixed with white)

Country of origin

Turkey

Time of original development

First recorded in the 1720s.

Angora rabbit breed introduction and overview

One of the oldest types of domestic rabbit originating from what is now Ankara in Turkey, these rabbits were bred for their long fine soft wool which is finer than cashmere (as were the Angora Cat and the Angora Goat). They gradually became popular as pets too. There are varieties of Angora Rabbit. We look at the English Angora here and with this breed there is further feathering on the ears and face.

Habitat and feeding requirements of the Angora rabbit

As with all rabbits, the Angora needs plenty of space to move around and exercise and a hutch that is large enough for it to stretch to its full height and length in all directions. Even a house Angora Rabbit should have time to have a good run and explore in a safe place outside.

Feed a standard rabbit diet to ensure good digestion, avoid obesity and give proper wear on the rabbit’s continually growing teeth. See our article on feeding your rabbit. Additionally a high fibre diet is particularly necessary to avoid the digestive tract coming to s stop owing to wool block. Plenty of water is needed too for the same reason. Exercise will also also help to keep the digestive tract moving.

Does the Angora rabbit make a good pet for smaller children?

Despite their ‘cute’ appearance rabbits are not ideal for very small children to handle unless they are closely supervised together. Rabbits should be socialised young to human company and young people should be told how to hold a rabbit properly, so that it feels secure. If any rabbit becomes frightened, the rabbit’s desire to escape means that its powerful back legs can injure the human handler and can cause the rabbit to be dropped and injure itself.

Angora rabbits are very gentle and so would make good pets, but should really only be taken on by those who will take great care of the rabbit’s coat and deal with the problems that can go with it.

Always keep your rabbits safe from dogs and cats who may harm them. Even where pets ‘get on’, they should be supervised when together and you must ensure that your rabbit is not stressed by being exposed to other animals or people.

Grooming requirements of the Angora rabbit

This rabbit’s extra-ordinary silky, soft coat needs expert care. Regular grooming (at least twice a week) is required to prevent the coat from matting or felting, more frequently during moulting. The rabbit should be clipped frequently to stop the Angora ingesting too much of its own fur when grooming. Check rear end regularly, particularly in warm weather to ensure that the fur is clean and dry to avoid flies being attracted. Additionally, as rabbits’ teeth keep growing throughout their lives, eating the right food will help to keep the teeth properly ground down, but you do need to check, on a frequent basis that this is happening properly, or your pet may need to have its teeth ground down by the vet.

Health issues in the Angora rabbit

As with all rabbits, check that its bottom is clean of any debris and is kept dry to avoid the danger of flystrike. Please see our article on flystrike. Keep your rabbit at the correct weight so that it can move easily to groom itself.

Teeth and also toe nails should be checked frequently to ensure they are not growing too long.

This long haired rabbit is prone to wool block (Click here to see our article about wool block) where fur can get impacted in the digestive tract. Your rabbit will need a high fibre diet and plenty to drink. Additionally, clipping is recommended at least every three months to prevent too much fur ingestion. Plenty of exercise (give your rabbit a toy to entertain it and lots of room to move about) will help the digestion to keep moving. Your rabbit is unable to vomit, so everything travels through its digestive system and this is why wool block is such a concern.

Female rabbits should be neutered if you do not intend to breed from them to avoid cancers in later life. Males will become less aggressive if neutered too.

As with all pedigree pets, it is very important to obtain a young rabbit or rabbit kit from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding any inherent problems found in the breed.

Average lifespan of the Angora rabbit

7 – 10 years and sometimes more.

Estimating how much it will cost to keep your Angora rabbit

One of the more expensive breeds, an Angora Rabbit will cost around £50.

While the initial cost of a pedigree rabbit may seem very low compared to pure bred dogs or even cats, the costs of the following items and procedures make the cost of owning a rabbit mount up:

  • buying a sufficiently large hutch and run
  • specialised feeding and bedding
  • annual inoculations
  • neutering
  • on-going dental care
  • insurance

In the Angora rabbit additionally you need to allow for the clipping the coat a few times a year by a professional groomer

Rabbits should also be kept in pairs. It is estimated that two Angora rabbits together could cost around £1950 a year throughout their lives (including the initial outlay). See our article on working out the cost of keeping a pet rabbit.