{WHAT IS AN ANGORA FERRET?}

        Angora ferrets are still a relatively new type of ferret, having only been created in the last 25-30 years. The angora originated in Europe at a Scandinavian breeding facility. When breeding the ferrets it was discovered that some of the animals were developing longer hair on their rumps. The long haired ferrets were selectively bred and soon achieved the angora ferret that we see today. Unfortunately, the Angora ferret also has with it many prejudices, hopefully this page will help clear up the facts from the fiction!

        Although still extremely rare, the Angora ferret has the same health, behaviour and charm of standard shorthaired ferrets, but three times the amount of fur! The coat of the Angora can grow in length from 2 to 8 inches long. The undercoat is long just as the top coat and gets very impressive and plush in winter! Due to the undercoat being of same length as the top coat, it is commonly seen that Angora’s have a lack of an undercoat, because there is no short insulating layer close to the skin.

 

        It can take a couple of years for the fur to grow to its full potential, and normal seasonal moulting still occurs each year. The coat will be shorter in summer than in winter, but will still be distinctively longer than that of a standard ferret. Incredibly, the Angora coat does not need any more maintenance than that of a shorthair. There is no need for brushing, and the coat does not tangle.

       The surrounding diagrams, courtesy of "Jackanapes Ferrety" in Switzerland, perfectly demonstate the way in which the coat of the Angora ferret differs to that of the shorthair. The black hairs represent the "Topcoat". These are the guard hairs and the ones that generally hold the ferrets colour pigmentation. The topcoat is straight and smooth in appearance. The white, squiggly hairs represent the "Undercoat". These hairs are the insulating hairs that hold in heat.

        On the shorthair ferret, the undercoat is significantly shorter than the top coat, and is often not really seen unless you make a parting in the fur. It will be soft and downy, and you will be able to see the squiggly, crimped effect of this fur. On the Angora the undercoat is the same length as the top coat, and you can see these squiggly hair tips clearly. This is commonly misunderstood as the Angora having no undercoat, but as you can see, it certainly does exist in abundance!

        The gene pool for angora ferrets is very small, and the selective breeding on fur farms that started the angora also brought with it a couple of unfavourable traits that are currently being worked on by a few angora ferret breeders. One of these traits is that the angora female can have difficulty in nursing her kits to full term. Essentially her milk supplies dry out sooner than is considered normal. By adding standard ferrets to the angora gene pool, outcrossing and bringing in new bloodlines, the milk issue is now being rectified with a few angora jills now being reported as nursing their kits fully!


        The second trait of the FULL angora ferret is the “Angora Nose”. The nose of the angora can be quite different to that of a standard short hair ferret in that it can have extra skin folds near the nostril, or fine hairs growing on or in the folds of the nostril. This has not been reported often as causing any issues with the breathing of the Angora, and is simply a cosmetic issue. However we feel that breeding for this deformed nose will soon enough bring with it some serious issues. Sadly, the breeding of the Angora ferret with this nose mutation is still a topic of hot debate between breeders, with many arguing that an Angora must have this nose fault to be classed as a true Angora ferret. I personally feel the term "Angora" should only reflect a difference in coat, than a difference in anything else, and I am pleased to see many breeders aiming to breed the clefted/furred nose out of their lines.

        Here at Fairoak Ferrets, we aim to achieve full angora ferrets with the noses of standard ferrets. We have had a variety of "near perfect" noses (Fairoak's Shiranui 2014, Fairoak's Kittyfloss 2015, Fairoak's Ixi 2016, Fairoak's JubJub 2016, and Fairoak's Blumaroo 2016) and in 2016 we sucessfully bred two 100% perfect noses in Fairoak's Lutari and Fairoak's Cirilla. We are so delighted to see that our efforts and taking shape! Careful breeding is key, which is why it is so important for us breeders take care in researching pedigree’s and importing new bloodlines from overseas to keep the ferrets healthy and strong. As the angora is so rare and difficult to breed without the need to import fresh bloodlines overseas, you’ll find that the cost of an angora ferret is significantly more than that of a standard ferret.

Examples of Angora ferret noses. There are many variations on the nose, some with large folds, some less noticeable. Same goes for the hair growth. Some hair can be present, on others it is not on the nose at all. The top 4 images are noses that have been produced here at Fairoak Ferrets. We strive to breed the clefts out of the noses to produce a nose "normal" like that of a standard shorthair.

Fairoak's Lutari and Fairoak's Cirilla, born in 2016. 1st and 2nd Generation Fairoak's.

Both of these kits are full angora and were born with 100% perfect noses.

        Angora ferrets can be divided into several categories dependant on length of fur. In the UK, a “Full” angora ferret defines the pure long haired type of ferret, commonly seen with nose fold and “lack” of undercoat, which is generally referred to as just “Angora”. After that, the rest of the “Angora type” ferrets are dilutions of the “Full” pure Angora.

        A “Semi” angora, or “3/4” as they are also known, is the next step down from a Full. They are the closest you can get to being a full angora ferret without being completely full! The Semi angora ferret will have very soft fluffy fur, but it will not be nearly as long as the Full angora fur. Nor will it have a long undercoat or any nose difference from a standard ferret.

        After that comes the Half Angora ferret. These are usually bred from a Full angora to standard ferret mating. Again, these ferrets are fluffy but not as fluffy as the Semi, and not close to having the coat length of a Full, and again no difference in nose to a standard ferret.

         Lastly is the “Part Angora” ferret or 1/4. These ferrets are generally defined as anything that has less than half angora in its pedigree. They are diluted with the standard ferret and have more standard coat than that of a fluffy coat, however some are a little exception to the rule such as our girl Midna, who has a surprisingly fluffy coat for a part angora!
 

 

Chell, a Half angora female as a kit. Coat is fluffy but not long.

Austin, a full angora adult male in first winter coat. Coat is long and thick. This coat will be longer in next winter.

Amaterasu, a Semi angora female and daughter to Austin. She is not a Full angora but coat is longer than usual.

Zelda, an adult female with a typical Part angora coat. The coat is not too differnt to that of a standard ferret due to the dilution of Angora in the genes.

Ezio, an adult standard male. No angora genes at all. The coat is short to the skin, can thicken in winter but will not be drastic in any way.

        When bringing an Angora or Angora type ferret into your lives, please ensure that your breeder can provide a pedigree AND show the parents to your kit. Be wary of breeders who will not allow you to collect your kit from their home, and always ask questions! We are always happy for people to meet our ferrets when they come to collect their babies from us! We keep up to date records and various updates so you can see the progression on your kit with nothing hidden. It is all too easy for some unscrupulous breeders to charge you angora prices for standard ferrets if you are not sure what to look out for!