Angora rabbits are known for their long, fluffy locks of hair that grow much longer than those of the typical rabbit. However, Satin Angora rabbits are even more unique, since their locks are finer and smoother.
If you have ever wanted to own a unique pet and didn’t think that rabbits qualified, take another look. Satin Angora rabbits stand out from the crowd and have since they were first bred in the late 1930s.
Quick Facts About the Satin Angora Rabbit
|Species Name:||Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus|
|Temperament:||Friendly, sociable, curious|
|Color Form:||White, grey, brown, tan|
|Diet:||Hay, pellets, vegetables, fruit|
|Minimum Cage Size:||80 cm x 80 cm|
|Cage Set-Up:||All-wire cages|
|Compatibility:||Indoors, outdoors, families|
Satin Angora Rabbit Overview
Angora rabbits first came from Ankara, Turkey. Although researchers are not entirely sure of the breed’s actual age, many believe that they have been around for more than 1,000 years.
Satin Angoras are a recent addition to this exciting line of rabbit-kind. They are different because of their soft, fine, and silky coats, hence their name.
These “satinized” rabbits first came about in the late 1930s, when a breeder named John C. Fehr began to breed for the recessive trait that makes the casing around each hair became translucent, giving it a luster-like look.
However, Fehr thought that it also made their fur too weak and cut the project. Fifty years later, in the 1980s, Leopoldina Meyer, a Dutch woman living in Ontario, fell in love with a rabbit that had inherited the recessive gene. She proceeded to pair it with a French Angora to make the fur stronger, and we now have a successful line of these satiny rabbits.
Due to their fur’s softness and beauty, Satin Angoras are not only good pets but are also used as fiber animals. That means they are bred to get their coats shaved. While that may sound cruel, do not fear. The process is entirely painless, and their fur always grows back.
How Much Do Satin Angora Rabbits Cost?
Satin Angora rabbits produce the most desirable fur, meaning that they are costly even as a pet. A Satin Angora can cost anywhere between $150 to $300 and sometimes even more if you get one with a line of high-quality fur.
Think of it this way An Angora is a bit of a money-making machine. High-quality wool from a Satin Angora can sell for as high as $16 an ounce. One shave and you could make most of your money back, even if that is not your intention.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
All Angora rabbits, including Satins, are docile and loving. They have no issue with being handled and even prefer it sometimes. They are friendly and curious, making them an exciting pet to have around and watch.
Satin Angoras enjoy human attention, and when they are let out of their enclosure, they will happily hop to meet with everyone.
Appearance & Varieties
Satin Angoras have not been bred to produce many different color and pattern variations in their fur. They only come in the primary colors for rabbits, such as white, tan, grey, and brown. Sometimes their ears, noses, or heads will be different shades than their body.
Instead of interesting colors, Satins have been bred for the quality of the wool that they can produce. They are often judged purely on their wool alone, whereas other rabbits might be judged on their colors and sizes.
Satins can receive up to 60 points for their wool. There are four distinct judging categories: density, texture, length, and sheen.
For density, the underwool should be abundant and crimped. These rabbits can get 20 points for great wool. Texture can get them 15 points, length can fetch 10, and 15 points are given for the best and most distinctive sheen.
These rabbits are relatively large compared to other typical pet rabbits. They can weigh almost 10 pounds and have sides that taper slightly from their hindquarters to their shoulders. Their ears are average but can be tufted.
How to Take Care of Satin Angora Rabbits
Habitat, Cage Conditions & Setup
Satin Angora rabbits can be kept indoors and outdoors. If you decide to keep your rabbits outdoors in a rabbit hutch, you need to keep the hutch off the ground and ensure that it is sturdy and can withstand any predator attacks. The cage should also be completely sheltered from weather like high winds, heat, rain, or snow.
Since there are so many considerations required to protect your bunny when they are outside, it is often preferred to keep them indoors. You could even set them up in your garage or basement, so long as they get plenty of time outside their cages and in the sun.
Otherwise, many people keep their rabbits in a spare bedroom or an open space in the house. The cages should be large enough to allow them to move freely, stand up, and have a bed area. It is best to get something quite large.
Wire mesh cages with plastic drop pans underneath are good recommendations. These cages can be cleaned easily and won’t risk your bunny’s hair getting caught.
Unless you are breeding your rabbits, it is best to keep them apart unless they are young or from the same litter.
You can put down blankets in part of the cage or bedding. However, rabbit bedding like litter or hay is difficult to clean, and Angora rabbits need cleaning much more than typical pet rabbits.
Getting a chance to run around should be an integral part of this bunny’s life. Even the greatest enclosure will still require you to let them out for a romp every day.
Do Satin Angora Rabbits Get Along With Other Pets?
Satin Angora rabbits are generally docile and can be a good addition to a home that already has animals. These rabbits will tolerate calm, non-aggressive dogs. Do keep in mind that most cats like to hunt rabbits. Although Angoras are often much larger than their typical prey, the cat could be prone to attacking them.
Satin Angoras should live separately within their respective cages. However, when it comes to playtime, they can all be let out together. The difference is that they are generally quite territorial of their enclosure and can fight each other to claim various portions.
What to Feed Your Satin Angora Rabbit
Feeding Angora rabbits is one of the essential aspects of their care. They need extra protein if you want to support their consistent wool production. The recommendation is to feed your rabbit a pellet feed with at least 18% protein. This can typically be found in any pet store that carries supplies for rabbits.
If you adopt your rabbit when they are less than 6 months old, you can feed them freely. After 6 months, your rabbit is an adult and should get about ¾ to 1 cup of food a day.
You also need to add timothy hay to their daily diet. It helps prevent wool block and adds roughage. Try stuffing a toilet paper roll or a toy with hay twice a day to give them something to forage and stop it from getting caught in their fur.
Your Satin Angora should have a constant supply of fresh water.
Keeping Your Satin Angora Rabbit Healthy
You should do other things to keep your Angora healthy beyond providing them with a high-quality and complete diet.
Cleaning their cage every two days is necessary to stop your home from smelling like a rabbit hutch. They are also quite picky when it comes to their living arrangements and will not be happy to have a dirty enclosure.
Grooming is also essential to keep them comfortable. You will need a set of grooming brushes, a small tooth comb, and a pair of scissors for cutting mats, as well as a nail trimmer.
Brush out your Angora two or three times a week so their fur doesn’t form painful tangles. Remove all the loose fur to prevent wool block.
Harvesting your Angora’s fur is also a good practice to maintain. They will naturally shed their coat between three to four times a year. Getting clumps caught in the cage wire or dragging fur behind them are signs that it is time to harvest their fur.
Harvest it by gently pulling out all the loose fibers with your fingers. It shouldn’t hurt the rabbit because they are shedding naturally.
Angora rabbits reach maturity at about 7 to 8 months old. You may need to hold the doe for mating if the process isn’t occurring naturally when you leave the rabbits together. It is best to monitor the rabbits when they are together for any aggressive or unwanted behaviors.
If you need to hold the rabbits, do so by grasping the ears firmly but gently in one hand and using the other to raise the tail from underneath the body. The first time that the rabbits mate, it will stimulate estrous. The second time should guarantee fertilization.
Are Satin Angora Rabbits Suitable for You?
Satin Angora rabbits can make excellent pets and additions to your family. However, they are typically used for harvesting their woolen fur.
Whether you intend to sell the wool or not, you need to be aware that Satin Angoras require more effort than typical domesticated breeds, like Lop rabbits.
You need to ensure that everything is customized for an Angora, from their enclosure layout to their daily food and grooming schedule. If you are prepared for this extra work, you will have a happy, docile, and friendly rabbit friend.
Featured image credit: Zanna Pesnina, Shutterstock