Like all Angora breeds, the Satin Angora rabbit is known for it’s coat. However, the Satin Angora produces some of the finest and softest wool compared to any other rabbit, including other Angoras, and it is for this reason that they are mainly bred for their coat. These bunnies can also make fantastic family pets and are not uncommonly seen as house rabbits. This is thanks to their sociable and affectionate tendencies.
While the Angora is relatively easy to take care of, you’ll need to make sure you are prepared to deal with the grooming of a breed with this much fur! If you’re interested in learning more about the Satin Angora and seeing whether they might be the pet for you, keep reading below.
History Of The Satin Angora Rabbit
The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognizes four different breeds of Angora rabbit: French, English, Satin, and Giant. The Giant Angora rabbit is the biggest of the breeds and the Satin Angora, which we will focus on in this guide, has finer and softer hair than the other breeds.
A fifth variety of Angora rabbit breed, the German Angora, is recognized by the International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders.
The Angora wool industry has been criticized by animal right activists for many years. They claim that rabbits are scared and injured in the process of harvesting the wool. Due to their wonderful coats, the Angora is a very popular show breed and is often hard to beat.
The Angora rabbit originates from Ankara, Turkey (previously known as Angora) and is one of the oldest type of woolly rabbits. When these rabbits first came to the United States, at first there was just one type of Angora rabbit, known as the “Angora Wooler”.
In 1939, the Angora Wooler was reclassified as two types of rabbits — the English Angora rabbit and the French Angora rabbit. The Satin Angora was then created by crossing the Satin rabbit and French Angora rabbit by a Dutch woman living in Ontario, Canada named Mrs. Leopoldina Meyer.
Characteristics Of The Satin Angora Rabbit
The Satin Angora rabbit is known as a fiber animal, which means they are bred to have their coat shaved for wool production. This does not hurt them, and their fur is sold on to be made into clothing and other items such as blankets. For this reason, a Satin Angora can be an expensive rabbit, sometimes up to $250. However, if you don’t plan to use the Satin for their fur, you can find them for cheaper and they can make a great pet.
These rabbits have a commercial body type and can weigh anywhere between 3.5 to 9.5 lbs. Their sides have a slight taper from the hindquarters to the shoulders and they have an oval head with a broad forehead and narrower muzzle. They have relatively plain ears that stand erect on top of their head. Sometimes, they can be slightly tufted.
As we have mentioned above, the coat is what the Angora is known for. The Satin Angora rabbit, as their name suggests, has a softer and finer coat than any of the other Angora breeds.
The reason their fur looks like satin is due to a recessive gene that causes the casing around the pigment in each hair shaft to be translucent rather than opaque, giving their coat a distinctive sheen or luster. This gene also causes the diameter of each strand of hair to be smaller than normal wool, which makes for finer wool.
Unfortunately, the Angora requires a lot of grooming! As a companion rabbit, the Satin Angora should be taken to the groomers a few times a year to have their coat clipped. This and regular brushing can help to prevent matting. We will go into more detail about grooming the Angora later on.
The Satin Angora rabbit only comes in a few colors — white, grey, brown or tan — but they can also be a combination of these colors.
All of the Angora breeds are known for their docile nature, and the Satin Angora is no different. Because they are bred for their wool, they are used to being handled and will liked to be stroked, petted and given any kind of attention!
The Satin Angora rabbit can be a playful rabbit and will enjoy toys and keeping themselves occupied. They can be mischievous at times, so this is something to watch out for!
Like any with rabbit, you should always respect your Angora’s personal space, especially when they are new to your home. If they are afraid or frightened, then they might try to bite.
The Satin Angora rabbit has an average lifespan of between 7 and 12 years. This is quite long for a rabbit.
Known Health Issues
Like all rabbits, the Satin Angora rabbit can be prone to some health conditions. These health problems are mostly related to their large coat.
– Woolblock — this can be a serious and sometimes fatal issue within the Angora. As they clean and groom themselves, they can ingest fur which can become trapped inside the digestive system and create a furball. Unlike cats, rabbits cannot regurgitate furballs and it will become bigger and bigger. This can lead to loss of appetite as your rabbit will believe they are full, or it can block the digestive tract.
– Overheating — this is due to their fluffy coat. Ensure you groom them correctly and keep them out of the sun.
– Diarrhea — this is something all rabbits deal with, especially when they eat too much fresh food, especially sugary fruits and not enough hay. However, you’ll need to clean your Angora properly if they experience diarrhea because it can get trapped within their coat. Make sure they are throughly dry after any kind of washing otherwise moisture can become trapped against their skin which will lead to other health issues.
– Malocclusion — this is when the upper and lower teeth are misaligned so that the normal process of chewing doesn’t wear down your rabbit’s teeth. Regular dental checkups are very important. You should also make sure your rabbit eats plenty of hay.
Like all rabbits, they can also suffer from back issues if they are mishandled or accidentally dropped.
Regular vet checkups will ensure that you catch any health problems before they become too serious. You should also make sure that you are buying from a reputable breeder.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Satin Angora rabbit, it is time to take a look at what living with one of these rabbits on a day to day basis is really like. While their care needs are not too high, grooming is very important for this breed and must be done often. Keep reading on to find out more about caring for the Satin.
Food And Diet
The exact amount you feed your Satin Angora rabbit should be based on their size, age and activity level. You should be careful not to overfeed them as weight gain can be detrimental to their health.
They should be eating a portion of hay that is at least as big as their body size every day, alongside pellets and fresh vegetables. Fresh water should also always be available to them.
Hay is very important as it helps to keep your Angora’s digestive system moving, as well as helping to wear down their teeth so they are less prone to dental issues. At least 70% of your rabbit’s diet should be hay.
High-quality supplementary pellets help to provide extra vitamins and minerals that keep your rabbit healthy and to give them a balanced diet. They will need between 4 and 8 ounces of pellets a day, based on their size. Take a look at a supplementary pellet food we recommend below.
Best Food For The Satin Angora Rabbit
We recommend the Food from the Wild from Kaytee for your Satin Angora rabbit. This is a diet that is inspired by your rabbit’s ancestral feeding habits. Containing rose petal, marigold, carrot, spinach and timothy hay, this food is formulated only with ingredients that your bun would find in the wild, making it 100% natural and healthy. There is no added sugar, fillers or preservatives in this food and the pelleted pieces offer comprehensive nutrition and contain natural probiotics to support digestive health.BUY ON AMAZON
In the wild, rabbits run around three miles a day. Therefore, it is very important that you give your pet rabbit enough exercise every day to keep them active and entertained. They should have at least three hours of free-range time, whether this is out of their hutch in the garden or just around the house.
While the Satin Angora rabbit isn’t the most active rabbit, they still need adequate time outside of their hutch to exercise. You can think about purchasing some toys for them to play with to keep them mentally stimulated. This will help to prevent destructive behaviors due to boredom.
If you want to leave them alone outside unsupervised, they will need a large secure enclosure. This can be stand-alone or attached their hutch. This will keep them safe from predators and means you won’t need to be on the lookout all the time. Always make sure they are kept out of direct sunlight so they do not overheat.
Family Compatibility and Trainability
The Satin Angora rabbit can get on very well in many different homes. They are good as a first-time pet, but you must make sure you can meet all their needs, especially when it comes to grooming. They get on well with children thanks to their playful nature, but are not overly active so will do well in quieter homes, too. The Satin Angora rabbit will also tolerate being in homes with other rabbits.
While training a rabbit isn’t as easy as training a cat or a dog, it can be done. You can teach your Satin Angora rabbit to use a litter box and you can also try teaching them to come when their name is called!
The Satin Angora rabbit can live both inside or outside — it is up to you. Thanks to their large coat, they can be prone to overheating and so shouldn’t be kept outside if you live in a very warm climate. That being said, they can live happily outside in cooler climates, although they must be protected from the elements.
Whether they are inside or outside, their hutch should be large enough that they can easily move around inside. Try to stay away from hutches with wire floors as these can cause sore hocks within rabbits. Take a look at the hutch we recommend below.
Best Hutch For The Satin Angora Rabbit
We recommend this hutch from TRIXIE for your Satin Angora rabbit. This two story home is perfect if you ever think about getting your Angora a friend, or it just gives them extra space to live! With two different levels, there is a ramp between the two that allows your rabbits to move easily around the hutch. However, each level also has a retreat area that is enclosed and can be used separately if you need to keep your rabbits apart. All you need to do is remove the ramp and close the hatch door, and you have two separate hutches!
The hutch is made from wood with metal wiring and there are also removable plastic panes for the windows. This means that you can keep your bunnies safe overnight and you won’t have to worry about predators getting throw the mesh. The hutch is sturdy and weatherproof and there is styrofoam insulation in the outer walls for added protection from the elements. A hinged roof allows for easy cleaning and there are two removable trays, too.BUY ON AMAZON
This is not the breed for those who don’t like grooming! The Satin Angora rabbit needs to be brushed at least two to three times a week with a wire-bristled comb. Grooming should be increased during shedding season, which happens twice a year. Brushing their coat will keep their fur matt and tangle free.
You will also need to take your Angora to the groomers around four times a year to get their coat trimmed with clippers. This will keep their coat short as it will constantly grow.
You should very rarely bathe your rabbit. It is not really necessary, unless they are really dirty. Bathing can also be a traumatic experience for them. You should also trim their nails as and when is needed.
Satin Angora Rabbit FAQ’s
How big should my rabbit’s cage be?
The rule with rabbits is: the bigger the better! If you have the space for a big hutch then your rabbit will always appreciate the extra room to roam and exercise. No one wants to be stuck in a cramped space!
If you do not have a lot of space, then the cage should be at least 4 times the size of the rabbit. A guide is 24″ by 36″ for smaller rabbits (less than 8 lbs) or 30″ by 36″ for larger rabbits. Hutches with multiple stories are also popular as they give your bun more space.
What vegetables can I feed my Satin Angora?
There are many vegetables that your Satin Angora rabbit will love! They are an important part of their diet, however you shouldn’t overfeed them. Some rabbit favorites are cabbage, cauliflower leaves, radish, rocket, kale, lettuce, spinach, broccoli and Brussel sprouts.
The Satin Angora rabbit has a wonderful coat that makes them both a good show-rabbit and a fiber animal, but their friendly and affectionate temperament makes them an excellent house rabbit, too. While they generally don’t have very high care needs, they do need a lot of grooming to keep their coat in the best condition. Remember to keep these rabbits out of direct sunlight and give them plenty of exercise and playtime every day. Do you think a Satin Angora could be the rabbit for you?