I admit I have a huge weakness for all things fluffy. The fluffier the better! So I might be a little impartial when I say that Angora rabbits are hands down the cutest rabbits around! How can you not love this fluffy little face?!
But all that fluff comes at a price. Angora rabbits are not for everyone. They require a bigger time investment than a short haired rabbit. Below are some things you should consider before you add an angora to your family.
You should be comfortable handling animals
You are going to be spending a fair amount of time handling your rabbits for grooming. You will need to be able to move & hold the rabbit in various positions to get to all areas on her body. She will likely protest when you try to groom her belly, feet & face. She will not sit still while you hold her paws to trim her nails. This will require you to cradle her safely so she doesn’t hurt herself while trying to escape. Rabbits have very strong legs that can injure you as they kick away. They are strong enough that they can actually break their own back if picked up/handled incorrectly and they try to kick out.
An angora rabbit is not a good animal for a first time animal owner, and is definitely not for a child under 12 (unless there is a grown up willing to do most of the grooming). My angoras are the first rabbits I have ever owned. I have had dogs, cats & other various fluffy animals my whole life and felt confident with my grooming skills going into rabbit keeping. Even so, the level of grooming surprised me.
The texture & density of their fur makes brushing more challenging than any long haired cat or dog I’ve ever had. You should plan on devoting about 20-30 minutes a week per rabbit to grooming. If you aren’t comfortable handling animals then you should line up a good, rabbit friendly groomer before you bring your bunny home. Starting with young bunnies is the best way to ease into the grooming schedule. Young rabbits do not shed fur at nearly the same rate as adults. Starting good grooming habits and handling when they are young get both you and the rabbit used to a lifetime of grooming. Click here to read about grooming angoras
There will be fur on everything
This is especially true if your rabbit lives indoors. It doesn’t really matter how often you brush them. It seems like there is always loose fur on the rabbit. It will be on your furniture and all over your clothes. If you spend any time snuggling with your rabbit, you will be absolutely covered in no time. My rabbit’s favorite place to snuggle is to get up on my chest and sort of wrap around the front of my neck. It’s adorable and I love snuggling them, but after they hop down my clothes is covered with fur and there is a fine layer of angora all over my face and in my nose and mouth and hair. It’s a good thing I don’t have animal allergies! Owning an angora means you will be well acquainted with your vacuum and lint roller.
All that wool piles up fast
You should make a plan for all the wool that you collect when grooming your bunnies. Maybe you aren’t interested in doing anything with it, you just want the rabbits as cute pets. That is fine, but it would be such a waste to throw it away! Angora wool is highly prized by spinners, and can be quite expensive to purchase. If you don’t plan on using it yourself and you don’t want to get into selling it, I am sure you can find some local spinners who would be delighted with the donation! Try asking at your local yarn store for suggestions. If you aren’t going to spin it yourself, you can also sell raw Angora wool on sites like Etsy for $5-$10 ounce.
If you know how to spin, you can turn the wool into handspun yarn and sell for a lot more. Angora wool is also great for felting, and all sorts of accessories can be made from felted angora wool. When I got my bunnies I thought for sure I would spin the wool into all sorts of wonderful knitted garments. I bought a second hand spinning wheel and took a class on how to spin…..and that is about as far as I have gotten! It’s a lot harder than it looks and I just haven’t had the time to devote to learning it. So I have over a dozen bags of wool waiting for me to figure it out.
They poop. A lot
The average rabbit can drop up to 500 poop pellets a day! Despite all of that pooping, they are actually very clean animals. They like to keep their living areas clean and can be taught to use a litter box (click here to learn about litter box training rabbits). I highly recommend litter box training your rabbit, for both indoor & outdoor rabbits. In any event, be prepared to clean up after them daily to stay ahead of it. A well trained rabbit can go hours without using their box, so once they are trained you can let them hang out with you without fear of a trail of tiny poops everywhere.
They are independent animals
With all this time you spend caring for them, you might think they feel dependent on humans and grateful for your presence. Every rabbit has it’s own personality, but in general, they are not people pleasers like dogs. They don’t live to make us happy. They are much more like cats. They enjoy our presence, they enjoy the food we give them, they enjoy feeling like they rule the roost, but they like their space. They will come sit with you when they feel like it and will let you know their displeasure if you try to force it. Bonding with your rabbit is all about going slow, having patience, and letting them take the lead. Click here to read tips on playing with your rabbit
That wiggly nose will wiggle it’s way into your heart
Don’t let me scare you away from adding a sweet angora or two to your life! There is nothing better than relaxing on a chilly winter day with a huge bundle of fluff on your lap. Rabbits are so peaceful and quiet, something about being around them quiets my brain and brings a sense of calm to my crazy day. On busy days, I like to go outside and just sit in the grass in the rabbit yard and simply be with the bunnies. Did you know that rabbits “purr” like cats when content? It’s not a purr noise like a cat’s, the sound comes from them gently clicking their teeth together. Just like a cat’s purr is soothing to humans, rabbit’s clicking has the same effect.
And don’t even get me started on that cute little wiggly nose – how could you not fall in love?!