Angora rabbits are bred for their wool, which is soft and warm. Angora wool is sheared from the rabbits, meaning that they aren’t killed to produce it, though some farms may neglect the rabbits in other ways to maximize profits.
These buns are named after their place of origin, which was located in what is now the country of Turkey. This bunny breed is very old, possibly dating back over a thousand years!
As pets, Angora rabbits are just like other buns—but they require a lot more grooming! Expect to brush and comb this bunny’s fur multiple times a week, and even more during their shedding seasons which occur once every few months.
Table of contents
- What do Angora Rabbits Look Like?
- Angora Rabbit Diet
- How Long do Angora Rabbits Live?
- Angora Rabbit Grooming
- Angora Rabbit Hutch
- Angora Rabbit Behavior and Training
- How to Handle Angora Rabbits
- Angora Rabbit Veterinary Care
- Types of Angora Rabbit
- Adopting an Angora Rabbit
In this full guide to Angora rabbits, you’ll learn about their wool, their care, and more!
What do Angora Rabbits Look Like?
Angora rabbits are the fluffiest! They have thick, long, wool-like fur, which they are bred for in order to make clothing materials.
Their fur is very soft and keeps them warm. It also makes them more susceptible to health concerns such as heatstroke or severely matted fur.
These rabbits look like squishy, adorable balls of fur! Their ears are upright and also sport a thick coat of fur.
Angora rabbits can be a variety of colors including fawn, black, tan, and white.
Angora rabbit wool is either white, fawn, or grey.
How big do Angora Rabbits Get?
There are many breeds of Angora rabbit, from the Dwarf Angora which weighs under 4 pounds to the Giant Angora which can weigh upwards of 16 pounds!
Here is a list of some common Angora breeds and their sizes:
- Dwarf Angora: Under 4 pounds
- English Angora: 7-7.5 pounds
- French Angora: 9-10.5 pounds
- Satin Angora: 9.5 pounds
- German Angora: Under 11 pounds
- Giant Angora: 9.5-10+ pounds (minimum weight)
We’ll talk more about these breeds of Angora at the end of this article if you’d like to learn about them individually.
Angora Rabbit Diet
Before we dive into what your Angora rabbit should eat, here are some things to remember:
- Angora rabbits have sensitive stomachs. Introduce new foods slowly to avoid digestion and stomach issues.
- Rabbits drink from water dishes, not bottles. Always provide clean, fresh water.
- Bunnies love to chew, so bunny-proofing is super important! Choosing safe items for them is also crucial. For instance, untreated wood hidey houses are much safer than plastic ones.
- Provide untreated wood items to help your rabbits satisfy their natural urge to chew. This also helps to grind down their teeth, which are always growing.
What do Angora Rabbits Eat in the Wild?
Angora rabbits are domesticated. They aren’t found in the wild but instead were bred by humans for wool and companionship.
Our domesticated rabbits share a common ancestor, the European rabbit. They are much more similar to these rabbits than the wild rabbits you’d find in the United States.
European rabbits are found throughout Europe but are native to the area around Spain, Portugal, and France.
They are herbivores, which means they don’t eat meat. Bunnies survive solely on plant matter such as grass, vegetables, fruit, and even wood.
Wild rabbits eat tree bark during the winter months when fresh foliage isn’t as plentiful. But in warm weather, they prefer grass and any veggies they can scavenge!
What Should You Feed Your Angora Rabbit?
Angora rabbits have a different diet than wild European rabbits, mainly because they’re lucky enough to have humans to feed them!
Healthy diets and improving medical care are the reasons why our pets are living longer and longer.
The proper diet for an Angora rabbit consists of:
- Over 70% hay,
- Daily vegetables,
- Limited pellets,
- And occasional fruit.
Hay is the most crucial part of any bunny’s diet, and it should never be restricted. Rabbits can eat as much hay as they want, whenever they want.
This means it’s important to keep large quantities of hay accessible to them at all times. Some people give their bunnies piles of hay in the litterbox to encourage them to use it, since rabbits poop while eating their hay.
Others will use hay racks or bags to prevent mess and waste. If you go this route, be sure the hay is easy for your rabbit to grab. They shouldn’t have to work or struggle for it.
You can try pulling some hay from the openings to loosen it if needed or purchase a new hay holder with bigger openings.
The next most important part of a bunny’s diet is vegetables. They should be given a variety of veggies every day, and you can vary them so that your Angora rabbit always has something new and exciting to look forward to!
If your bunny isn’t used to eating a variety of vegetables, begin introducing them slowly until they have a wide range of acceptable veggies to choose from.
The best vegetables for rabbits are dark, leafy greens. Parsley, carrot tops, and spinach are all great choices!
Next up is pellets. These are controversial, and some people don’t feed them to young, healthy rabbits at all.
If you do choose to feed pellets to your bunny, make sure they’re high-quality and contain at least 18% protein.
Avoid colorful pellets sold in pet stores. Instead, choose a basic-looking pellet as these are more nutritional.
Last up is treats! Another optional food, they’re still incredibly useful and fun for your rabbit.
Great times to feed treats are when you’re socializing your bun, introducing them to a new person, or teaching them tricks such as recall.
Of course, you can also feed them treats just because!
The best treats for rabbits are fruit and veggies. Store-bought treats often contain foods that aren’t rabbit-safe, such as dairy, and are best avoided.
Fruits and Vegetables that you can offer your rabbit include:
Angora Rabbit Toxic Foods List
Many common foods are toxic to Angora rabbits. Some of these may seem obvious, while others may surprise you!
Browse the list to ensure you know what not to feed your bunny.
Foods toxic to Angora include:
- Fruit pits and seeds
- Raw onions
- Raw leeks
- Raw garlic
- Broad beans
- Kidney beans
- Iceberg lettuce
- Processed foods
- Raw potatoes
Common houseplants, outdoor plants, and cleaning products can also be toxic to rabbits. Always bunny-proof an area before allowing your bunny to explore.
Supervise outdoor time, and discourage eating plants or grass—even non-toxic foliage is often contaminated by pesticides, fertilizers, and other animals doing their business on the lawn.
How Long do Angora Rabbits Live?
Angora rabbits live 7-12 years on average. Some live shorter lives than this, while others live even longer!
Caring for your rabbit correctly will help them to live a long, fulfilling life, as will regular check-ups at an exotic veterinarian.
Angora Rabbit Grooming
Angora rabbits require more grooming than most due to their thick, wool-like fur. Ideally, your Angora rabbit will be socialized to allow grooming at a young age, though this can’t always be done with older rescue buns.
Take things slow in the beginning as you train your bun to accept brushing, whether they’re old or young. If they won’t allow a thorough brushing, try short sessions a few times a day instead.
Once your rabbit is accepting of the brush, you can begin to brush them a few times a week. Take your time to get all the loose fur out. This is a great bonding experience for the two of you as well!
Angoras have big sheds every few months. When you notice your rabbit is shedding more than usual, groom them daily to keep up with their unruly fur.
Feel free to groom your rabbit more often than this, but never less! Infrequent grooming can lead to painful mats or consuming too much of their own fur as they groom themselves.
The best tools for grooming your Angora rabbit are a slicker brush and a metal comb. These will get deep into the coat to work out any tangles.
Some people choose to shear their rabbits, either to use their wool or to cut down on grooming time. This is fine to do, but be sure you know what you’re doing so that you don’t cut your rabbit in the process. Rabbit wounds can easily become infected.
If you’re unsure, you can bring your rabbit to a professional groomer who can shear them for you, or give them a fur trim to keep them looking their best.
Grooming Health Checklist
Alongside combing and brushing, it’s a good idea to perform a health check on your rabbit each time you groom them. Here’s how:
- Part their fur and look at their skin, checking for any sores or pests—this is especially important for this thick-coated breed, as pests can easily hide in their long fur.
- Brush their coat to gently remove any tangles. Use scissors to carefully trim away mats if necessary.
- Check their bottoms for dirty fur or poop clumps. Trim the area or use pet wipes to clean them off.
- Check your bunny’s eyes and ears for discharge, redness, and other issues.
- Look at your bunny’s teeth to ensure they’re healthy and not overgrown.
- Weigh your rabbit so that you know if they significantly gain or lose weight.
Can you Bathe a Angora Rabbit?
Never bathe your Angora rabbit. If they are dirty, they should be wiped with pet wipes or a damp cloth—never soaked or submerged in water.
Like cats, rabbits groom themselves. Baths do more harm than good!
This is because a rabbit’s fur takes a long time to dry. This is especially true for Angora rabbits because their fur is long and thick.
As your bunny dries, their body will struggle to regulate its own temperature. They might develop hypothermia, especially if they’re not kept warm.
Baths are also very stressful for bunnies, and stressing them out should be avoided. It can lead to shock or a heart attack, which can both be deadly!
How to Trim Your Angora Rabbit’s Nails
Trim your Angora rabbit’s nails once a month or hire a professional to do it for you. Both groomers and veterinarians can trim your bunny’s nails, though groomers are typically less expensive.
Ensure your groomer knows how to work with rabbits, and is aware that they cannot get them wet!
If you want to trim your rabbit’s nails yourself, here’s how:
- Socialize your rabbit to accept being pet and handled. You should be able to pick them up, touch their feet, and mess with their nails.
Treats will help speed up this process, but you should be patient and move at your rabbit’s pace.
- Look at your rabbit’s nails. Get used to holding your rabbit’s paws in your hand and viewing their nails so that trimming is easier for you.
- Find the quick of the nail. This is the darker pink color located near the base of your rabbit’s paw. It’s full of blood, and you never want to cut into it!
- Gather clean, sharp clippers, treats, a towel, and a helper. The last two are optional, but recommended!
- Wrap your bunny in the towel. It should be tight enough to hold them still, but not enough to hurt them. If you have a helper, now’s the time for them to hold your bunny for you.
Keeping your bunny low to the ground is best, just in case they struggle out of the towel and your helper’s lap.
- Pull one foot out of the towel at a time. This prevents your bunny from slipping out of the towel and makes it easier on you and your helper.
- Trim the tip of each nail, avoiding the quick. Remember, you don’t have to trim every nail in one sitting. Take it slow and reward your rabbit with treats!
A treat that takes time to eat, such as a large vegetable, is a great idea to keep them still and occupied.
- Make straight, clean cuts. Sharp trimmers are super important here, as they may split the quick if they struggle too much to cut your bunny’s nail.
In the beginning, it’s better to cut the nails too long than too short.You can always go back and try again, but if you cut too short your bunny will be injured.
- Apply flour or cornstarch to a bleeding nail. Sometimes accidents happen, so be sure to keep these items on hand!
- If the bleeding doesn’t stop or the cut doesn’t heal, contact a veterinarian. If the cut is deep, you should also contact your vet for help so that it doesn’t become infected.
- Also read our guide on how to clean your bunny’s feet here.
Angora Rabbit Hutch
Most hutches aren’t large enough for rabbits, nor are any cages sold in big chain pet stores. Bunnies need a lot more space than most people realize!
Hutches are also typically associated with outdoor use, but Angora rabbits should never be kept outside!
If you’ve bought a hutch already, don’t worry—there are uses for them. Some people like to use a hutch as a hide for a rabbit or repurpose it into a litterbox.
Others use one as their rabbit’s “home base” containing their hay, litter area, and water dish. This can contain the mess, especially when it comes to hay.
In these cases, the hutch is left open to allow the rabbit into a larger area such as a dog exercise pen, C&C cage (usually homemade from cubes like these and coroplast), or a free-roaming space.
How big of a Hutch do Angora Rabbits Need?
Angora rabbits need more exercise and space than they can get in a hutch. However, a very large hutch or cage can be used to contain your rabbit from time to time—but most sold are not big enough even for this.
Examples are putting your rabbit into their hutch while you’re at work or sleeping so that they don’t get into trouble. However, this isn’t needed if you have a rabbit-proofed space.
Most of your rabbit’s time should be spent outside of their hutch so that they get the proper exercise and socialization to lead a happy, healthy life.
Here’s what to look for in a hutch or cage for your Angora rabbit:
- Height. Rabbits jump high! They need to be able to jump around while in their hutch, meaning it must be much taller than most hutches or cages are. Open-topped pens should also be tall to prevent your rabbit from escaping!
- Floor space. The amount of floor space your rabbit needs depends on their specific breed. Larger Angoras need more space than smaller breeds, like Dwarf or English Angoras.
All rabbits should have enough space to jump and do zoomies inside of their enclosure. Expecting your bun to go without this exercise for significant amounts of time isn’t okay!
- Comfort. Wire-bottomed hutches or cages will hurt your rabbit’s feet, as well as their body when they sit or lie down. Try standing on it yourself for a few minutes and you’ll see that it’s very uncomfortable!
A thick layer of soft bedding such as towels or fleece can make your bun more comfortable in an enclosure like this. You can also lay down a piece of chloroplast or another hard surface, then cover it with something soft for added comfort.
Lastly, beds and hidey houses are a must for making your bunny feel safe and comfy in their enclosure. Provide at least 2-3 hidey houses for two rabbits to avoid fighting.
- Non-Slip Surfaces. Bunnies can slip on hard surfaces, so it’s important to cover these with fleece, towels, blankets, or rugs. This also makes your bun’s home cozier!
- Enrichment. Especially while you’re away, bunnies need things to do! The biggest thing you can do to give your bunny an enriched life is to ensure they have a friend.
Providing multiple toys for your bunnies is also a must. Make sure you don’t overcrowd their floor space, however, as they still need ample room to exercise as well.
- Large enough for two rabbits. Bunnies are social. They must be kept in pairs or groups. For this reason, any enclosure must be large enough for two rabbits to jump, run around, and play.
This will also help to prevent fighting since the rabbits will have enough space to go their separate ways during an argument.
- Fresh hay and water. These two things should always be accessible to your rabbit no matter what! Never forget to add them before closing the door to your rabbit’s hutch.
- Cage covers are optional, but a great way to make your bunny feel safe. We suggest covering small areas in the enclosure so that your rabbit can hide and feel safe.
Always ensure your rabbit has proper ventilation, and never cover their hutch or cage completely. This could lead to suffocation or heat stroke, as cage covers retain heat.
You may notice that most hutches on the market don’t meet your rabbit’s needs. Some alternatives to hutches include:
- Exercise pens made for dogs. These are easy to set up and you can find them fairly cheap as well! To keep your floors clean, line underneath the pen with something waterproof and absorbent like puppy pee pads, towels, or fleece liners.
- C&C cages. C&C stands for cubes and coroplast. Most of these cages are homemade using grids like these. Zip ties can be used to keep them secure, and an absorbent, waterproof liner can be used to keep the surface underneath clean.
- Free roaming. This is scary to some people—they’re afraid their bun will chew their baseboards or get into something toxic.
However, proper bunny-proofing can prevent these things from happening! We’ll talk more about bunny-proofing below.
For now, just know that you don’t have to let your rabbit access your entire house—even free-roaming in a single room is excellent for them!
How to Clean up After Your Angora Rabbit
Cleaning up after your Angora rabbit can be intimidating, especially if you’re free-roaming them! However, it’s actually very simple once you get the hang of it.
Here are some daily and weekly checklists to keep things tidy.
- Scoop the litterbox
- Replenish the hay
- Sweep or vacuum stray poop, litter, hay, and fur
- Remove and replace soiled bedding and items
- Wash the food and water bowls
- Refill the water dish
- Deep clean your rabbit’s cage, hutch, or home base area
- Wash all bedding
- Scrub the litterbox and refill with fresh litter
- Vacuum the area and mop hard surfaces
How to Free Roam Your Angora Rabbit
Free-roaming is the best thing for any sized Angora rabbit. It gives them plenty of space and also allows you to interact with them more easily.
Even free-roaming in a single room is better than caging your rabbit or keeping them in a hutch. You might bunny-proof a bedroom, living room, or even give your bun their very own room in the house.
Before allowing your Angora to free-roam, it’s very important to properly bunny-proof the area.
Bunny proof your room or home by:
- Placing any toxic food, houseplants, or cleaning products out of reach.
- Keeping things you don’t want your rabbit to chew out of reach, such as clothing or books.
- Covering furniture, baseboards, and cords to prevent destructive chewing. The cubes used for C&C cages are great for this!
- Block underneath furniture you don’t want your bun to hide or make a mess under, such as a couch or bed.
- Block off escape routes or dangerous areas. Keep the doors to outside closed, and place a baby gate by any stairs.
- A “home base” gives your bunny a centralized area where you can keep their food, water, hay, and litterbox. This makes clean-up easier and gives you a place to contain your bun when needed.
- Use rugs or blankets on hard floors so that your bunny can do zoomies and binkies without slipping.
Bunnies and predator animals, such as dogs and cats, shouldn’t be kept together. This can stress your bunny, potentially sending them into shock.
Cats and dogs are much larger animals, and even those with weak prey drives may hurt your bunny on accident. Your dog may step on your rabbit, or your cat may scratch your bunny while playing.
Injuries from other pets are especially dangerous because they can become easily infected. This can lead to death for a rabbit.
This isn’t to say that you can’t keep these pets in the same household successfully—but extreme caution should be used if they’re allowed to be together.
Ideally, they should be kept in separate areas of your home.
How to Litter Train Your Angora Rabbit
Rabbits can naturally be litter trained, and will usually go potty in the same place after being spayed or neutered.
However, you can’t expect perfection from a bunny the way you might a cat, for example. While bunnies are also clean animals that like to contain their waste in one area, they are more accident-prone.
Many buns will go right outside the litterbox from time to time, or leave droppings in other places.
Here’s how to litter train your rabbit step by step:
- Spay or neuter your rabbit. Intact rabbits can sometimes be litter trained, but not always. It depends on the bun! Most are more likely to use the litterbox after a spay or neuter surgery, as they’re less likely to mark their territory.
- Create a home base. It’s best to keep your rabbit in a small area, such as a corner of your room, while litter training. Rabbits are naturally clean, choose corners to eliminate in, and don’t want to sit in their own waste!
This also helps to lessen your work, since they have a smaller space for accidents to occur.
- Buy a large litterbox. A cat litter tray or under-the-bed storage bin works very well! The litterbox should be topless for ventilation, easy for your rabbit to climb in and out of, and at least as large as your rabbit.
- Place the litterbox in a corner. This will help to ensure your rabbit uses it consistently!
- Line the litterbox with a thin layer of paper pellet litter, newspaper, or fresh hay. This is all down to preference, and there are certainly other litters you can use as well!
Avoid clay or clumping litters, as these can harm your rabbit.
- Fill the litterbox with hay. Bunnies have very fast metabolisms and go potty as they eat! Placing hay in the litterbox will help them to learn that this is where you want them to go. It’s also a great way to contain their hay.
Be sure to consistently top this up, as bunnies won’t eat soiled hay. Keep it full to the top to ensure they always have enough.
If you don’t want to have a pile of hay or can’t afford the hay waste, we recommend a hay bag hanging inside of the litterbox. Make sure it has large holes and your bunny can easily get clumps of hay out of it, as you never want them to have to work for their hay!
- Place a mat beneath the litterbox. This will allow you to easily clean up any accidents.
- If your bunny has an accident, place it in the litterbox. This will teach them where you want them to pee and poop.
You can also place your bunny in the litterbox if you catch them in the middle of an accident, but moving them there afterward won’t teach them anything—so you’d have to be quick!
- Move the litterbox if needed. Some bunnies choose a corner on their own, and it’s not where you put the box. In this case, it’s better to move the box to the other corner and your bunny will then use it consistently!
- Never punish your bunny. Punishments don’t teach your rabbit anything except to fear you. Remember to have patience and realistic expectations—accidents are bound to happen.
- Open up your rabbit’s area. Once they’re litter trained, you can give them more access to your home with the peace of mind that they won’t destroy the carpet or pee on your couch!
- If they regress, go back to home base. Sometimes it takes a few times for your bunny to learn. Keeping them in a smaller space will prevent big messes.
- Clean the litterbox daily. Bunnies will avoid dirty litterboxes.
- Scrub the litterbox weekly. They become smelly after a while, even with daily scooping. Use soap and water to clean the litterbox, and vinegar to remove any pee stains. Refill with fresh litter and hay.
- Add extra litterboxes for large spaces or multiple buns. This will ensure your rabbits continue to use the litterbox consistently and no fighting occurs.
Can Angora Rabbits Live Outside?
Angora rabbits should not live outdoors. This is because outdoor life isn’t safe for rabbits.
They are prey animals, which makes them incredibly vulnerable. Rabbits are also very sensitive to stress, temperature fluctuations, and weather.
If you want your rabbit to go outdoors while you supervise them, this is fine! Just keep in mind that some bunnies won’t enjoy time outside, as they can find it very stressful to be in unfamiliar, open spaces.
Risks to rabbits living outdoors include:
- Heatstroke. Rabbits can suffer from heatstroke if kept at temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, rabbits do best in the average household temperatures of 68-76 degrees Fahrenheit.
Angora rabbits are especially prone to heatstroke due to their thick coats.
- Hypothermia. Cold winters can lead to hypothermia in rabbits, especially if they can’t burrow.
- Rain or snow. It’s dangerous for any rabbit to get wet, as their fur takes a long time to dry. For Angora rabbits, it’s even more dangerous. They can suffer from hypothermia if they are cold and wet.
- Predators. Every area has predators, whether it’s stray cats or coyotes. A good enclosure can keep them out, but it can’t stop the stress your bunny feels when they can see, hear, or smell a predator nearby.
This is no way for a bunny to live, and it can also lead to death if your bunny has a heart attack or goes into shock.
- Lack of attention. Your bun should be part of the family, and it’s more difficult to bond with them when they live outdoors.
It may seem silly to think that lack of attention can kill or harm a rabbit, but it can. This is because rabbits are prey animals who hide illness and injuries very well. They have to do this because predators often pick the weakest link when hunting.
It’s crucial to watch your bunny’s behavior, as a slight change can be a sign of a major health issue. You’re much more likely to notice these subtle changes when living with your bun day to day than you are when occasionally visiting them in an outdoor space.
You may wonder, how are Angora rabbits housed on a farm when bred for their fur? Or, what about wild rabbits who do fine outdoors?
Farming conditions for animals are often unsuitable, and shouldn’t be the standard for animal care. Often these buns are mass-bred, kept in small enclosures, and neglected. They’re seen as a way to make money, and their welfare is largely ignored.
When rabbits stop producing mass amounts of wool, they’re often slaughtered to make room for new, young rabbits and begin the process over again.
This clearly isn’t how we want to treat our pets!
More ethical farmers will heat or cool their barns as needed, which uses a lot of power and isn’t realistic for most households.
When it comes to wild rabbits, remember that our pet rabbits are actually descendants of the European rabbit—not the American rabbit. They’re likely suited to different conditions than your local area provides.
Sadly, wild rabbit lifespans are also very short—this is because of the risks listed above. Domesticated rabbits live much longer when they receive proper care, which includes being kept indoors.
Considerations for Supervised Outdoor Time
- Parasite prevention will keep your bunny healthy when going outdoors. It takes very little time to pick up parasites like fleas or mites. Your rabbit could spread these to other pets or, in some cases, even you!
An exotic pet veterinarian can prescribe parasite prevention for your rabbit.
- Vaccines are also important to prevent your bun from catching any illnesses while outdoors. Speak to your veterinarian to find out what vaccines your bunny needs, and keep them up-to-date.
- Always contain and supervise your rabbit, as it can be difficult to catch them if they run away. It’s also important to keep them nearby to prevent dangers like predators or cars from taking your bunny’s life.
- Watch the weather. Warm, sunny days are the best days to take your bunny out. Don’t go outside with your bunny in the rain, freezing weather, or if temperatures are above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep your bunny’s personality in mind. Some bunnies will enjoy going outside for a while, but others will feel stressed by the experience. Outdoor time should be fun for your bunny and provide enrichment. If they don’t like it, keep them indoors instead.
- Provide hides. These will give your rabbit somewhere safe to go if they feel startled. Remember, most buns don’t like wide open spaces.
If your rabbit won’t leave the hide, this likely means it’s time to go inside.
- Don’t use a collar or harness for your bunny. Their bones are very fragile, and pressure from a collar or harness can injure or even kill your rabbit.
Angora Rabbit Behavior and Training
Angora rabbits are known for being calm, sweet pets. When properly tamed and bonded with you, they become a member of the family.
They’re best suited to households without cats, dogs, or small children. This is because cats and dogs are predator animals. Children tend to be too rough when handling rabbits, and should always be supervised.
It’s important to remember how sensitive Angora rabbits are. They have fragile bones, scare easily, and are prey animals.
This makes their behavior and bonding different from cats and dogs, which are pets you may be more used to!
Angora rabbits don’t enjoy rough play or hands reaching toward them from above—both of these things remind them of predators.
Always handle your bunny gently. Get down to their level and remain calm and quiet. Feed them by hand, and over time they’ll learn you aren’t a threat.
Bonding with Your Angora Rabbit
Rabbits react quickly to perceived threats. In the wild, this is how they survive! In our homes, this may look like running away when you try to pick them up, hiding under furniture, or biting.
It’s important to bond with your rabbit properly so that the two of you can have a good relationship, and they become tame with humans.
Here’s how to bond with your Angora rabbit successfully:
- Get down to their level. Sit, or even lay, on the floor nearby. Scroll on your phone, read a book, or put a movie on TV to keep you entertained.
- Let your rabbit come to you. They will become curious, approach, and sniff you. Eventually, you’ll even be able to pet them without them scampering away!
- Have food on hand. This will get your bunny even more interested in interacting with you and will teach them to associate humans with positive things.
- Be patient. Taming and bonding with your rabbit may not happen overnight, but it will happen if you stay consistent!
- Know where to pet them. Rabbits prefer scratches on their face and behind their ears. Let them see your hand coming from the front rather than trying to reach down from above. Reaching from above makes your rabbit think of predators like hawks trying to scoop them up!
How to Handle Angora Rabbits
Rabbits’ bones break easily, so it’s important to know how to handle them. When picking up your Angora, you always want to support their entire bodies.
This can be more difficult than it sounds when your bun begins to thrash around in your arms or jumps away as you pick them up!
You can easily drop your bunny this way, or pick them up in a way that injures them.
The best way to avoid this is to never pick your rabbit up from above. Instead, get down to their level and pet them to make them feel calm and secure.
Then, scoop your hand under your rabbit and pick them up in one fluid motion. Support their midsection and rear with each hand.
Keep them close to the ground when you’re first learning, so that they aren’t injured if they manage to hop away.
You want to hold your bunny securely to your chest, but never to squeeze them tightly as this could hurt them. Remember that they’re small animals!
Over time, handling your rabbit will become easier as you and your bun learn more about each other. Your bond will improve as well as your handling.
Some rabbits never like to be picked up, as it isn’t natural for them—in the wild, being scooped from the ground means being eaten, so it’s understandable that they’ve adapted to dislike it!
Another way to pick up your bunny is to coax them into a container, such as a pet bed or upside-down hidey house. You can then pick that item up, knowing that it is supporting your rabbit fully.
Of course, ensure that your rabbit can’t jump down from the item by blocking them with your hands and keeping them close to the ground.
For travel purposes, such as going to the veterinarian, put your bunny in a carrier. This will keep them safe and prevent them from escape or injury.
Lastly, you can always ask your veterinarian for help learning to handle your rabbit if you’re unsure!
Angora Rabbit Veterinary Care
We recommend bringing your Angora rabbit to the veterinarian at least once a year. When your vet is able to see your rabbit regularly, they get a better idea of their baseline health and are better able to diagnose illnesses.
This is much like you observing your bunny day to day—you’re bound to notice changes in behavior that someone just getting to know your rabbit wouldn’t!
When you do spot changes in behavior or symptoms such as poor appetite, tiredness, or changes in potty habits, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Rabbits hide illness well, so don’t wait if you think your bun isn’t acting like themselves.
Noticing early behavioral changes can be lifesaving for your rabbit!
Senior rabbits should see the veterinarian once every six months, as they’re more prone to illness than young bunnies.
Common rabbit illnesses to watch for include:
Types of Angora Rabbit
Angora rabbits have been bred for a long time, and today there are many breeds available. While most of their care is the same, the biggest change is in their size.
Larger rabbits need larger enclosures if you don’t plan on free-roaming your rabbits, will take longer to groom, and need more food.
Here are some common Angora rabbit breeds:
Dwarf Angora rabbits are the smallest Angora breed. They max out at just 4 pounds, and typically weigh even less than this.
These rabbits were first bred in New Jersey in the 1970s, and are also known as Jersey Wooly rabbits.
English Angoras are the next smallest breed, weighing anywhere from 7-7.5 pounds. They were first recognized as a breed by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1944, but were around long before this.
Pre-ARBA recognition, these buns were known as Angora Woolers—as were French Angoras.
These bunnies have fine, silky fur that grows consistently long everywhere on their body, making them look like a big ball of fluff!
The French and English Angoras are the oldest Angora breeds. Just like the English Angora, the French Angora was first recognized as its own breed by ARBA in 1944.
These buns weigh 9-10.5 pounds and have slightly thicker fur than their English counterparts. They also have shorter fur on their faces and ears, making it look like they’re wearing little pigtails! Their bodies are round and fluffy.
Satin Angoras are bred to have very soft, fine hair with a translucent casing around their fur. This makes it look sleek and shiny.
These rabbits were first bred in the 1980s and continue to be bred and sold at high prices today due to their excellent fur quality.
Last but certainly not least—especially in size!—is the Giant Angora. These buns weigh 9.5-10 pounds minimum, with no maximum weight.
These bunnies are white with red eyes, also known as ruby-eyed white. There are also black Giant Angoras, which aren’t yet recognized by ARBA.
Some people confuse Lionhead rabbits and Angora rabbits. This is a completely understandable mistake! Both are fluffy with thick coats.
However, Lionhead rabbits are their own breed, and Lionhead Angoras don’t exist—though we bet a crossbreed of these buns would be super cute!
You may also like: Angora Wool
Adopting an Angora Rabbit
Angora rabbits can be adopted in a variety of ways:
- Reputable breeders
- Rescues and shelters
Rescuing a Rabbit in Need
We always recommend adopting from a rescue or rehoming a rabbit in need, rather than purchasing from a breeder. This is because there are already so many rabbits in need of homes, there’s really no need to breed more of them.
You can find rabbits of every breed at your local shelter, rabbit rescue, or small animal rescue.
There are also sites where people list rabbits for rehoming such as Craigslist or PetFinder. Be careful on these sites, however.
Meet up with the current owners in a populated area, and bring a friend with you if possible to stay safe!
Also ensure this person is truly rehoming a bun, not a backyard breeder trying to sell their rabbits.
Purchasing from a Breeder
If you must buy from a breeder, never buy from a pet store. You cannot vet the pet store breeders, and often the pet store doesn’t either!
Pet store rabbits are often mass-bred in a situation similar to puppy mills. They are neglected, abused, and bred only for profit.
This makes them less socialized, tame, and healthy than a rabbit from most reputable breeder and rescue situations, where the bun has been living in someone’s home and thus gotten used to humans.
It’s important to vet your breeder by meeting where they breed and keep their bunnies (this should be their home), viewing both the parent and baby rabbits, and asking lots of questions.
Things to look for in a reputable breeder are:
- Not selling many breeds of rabbit. In order to care for them appropriately, the breeder should only focus on a couple of breeds at most.
They also shouldn’t have an abundancy of Angora rabbit litters. (See also How Long is a Rabbit Pregnant) Think about how many buns they can realistically care for, which includes providing them all with plenty of space to run, hop, and play.
- A clean, safe home environment. The bunnies should have a large enclosure or free roam in the home, their space should be bunny-proofed, and ample hay and water should be available to them at all times.
- The bunnies all look clean and healthy. This includes the parents! Some unethical breeders will lure you in with cute baby buns, while neglecting the parent bunnies and using them only for profit.
- Veterinary records are provided. Parent and baby buns should be taken to the veterinarian, tested for common genetic health conditions, and kept up-to-date on vaccines. Your breeder should have no problem showing you this paperwork!
- The breeder is knowledgeable. They should be able to answer questions about rabbit care, temperament, common health conditions, and more. Their answers should be informed and honest.
Breeders who don’t know their breed are often referred to as “backyard breeders.” They can do a lot of harm while breeding rabbits, such as breeding lines with genetic health problems.