Angora ferrets were bred about 25 to 30 years ago. The first longhaired ferrets were discovered at a Scandinavian breeding facility. These longhaired ferrets were selectively bred and soon became the breed we know as the Angora ferret.
History of the Angora Ferret
A large part of their bad reputation may be attributed to their unfortunate origins from the Scandinavian fur farms that produced the first longhaired ferrets around 30 years ago. Breeders noticed a change in some of their animals.
The fur on the hindquarters and back of these ferrets was longer. Some of the animals’ offspring had long hair, too, as the breeder mated the animals.
A Norwegian breeder purchased the entire brood. This breeder is suspected (but not proved) to have purposefully bred with inbreeding in the following year. This intensive selection was very likely the trigger for the negative features discussed in Angora Ferrets today.
The stock was imported by several Swedish breeders as well. Around 1998 they sold the remaining animals to Sören Thinggaard from Denmark, with a smaller number going to a small breeder in America.
The American breeder had no experience with breeding ferrets and fed his animals inadequately (dog food). Consequently, the animals were deficient, resulting from the lousy care they received, very biting. The successful breeding in America was not achieved, and ferrets got a bad reputation.
Denmark – Søren Thinggaard
In contrast, Søren was able to keep breeding animals because he purchased food from mink farms with high protein content. He had about 900 breeding animals in his stock and produced up to 1500 kits per year. To secure his monopoly, he fixed all ferrets at the very young age of 6 weeks.
After Denmark passed a law that banned castration at this very young age, Søren sold his animals unneutered, and the first longhair ferrets came to pet owners around Europe.
The First Angora Ferret on Film
Gunnar Tronsmoen, a Norwegian fur breeder, introduced Angora Ferrets in this film from 1983. Unfortunately, the whole video is in Norwegian. A small part was translated: he talks about a mutation among ferrets (longer hair that is softer) and claims that he has never seen such before.
The fur farmer says that Angora ferrets are more friendly than minks are. He has high hopes for the Angora Ferret trade in fur. It’s possible these were the first-ever Angora rabbits to be shown on film.
Angora Ferrets are in no way different from “normal” ferrets. Their body is identical. All organs are virtually similar. The only real difference is the amount of hair. They are not more robust, heavier, or otherwise different than regular ferrets.
Anatomy of Angora Ferrets
The anatomy of the Angora is the same as that of other domestic ferrets. The differences between the Angora and other ferrets that are not longhaired are due primarily to the density of their hair coat. This increased hair growth is a genetic trait similar to coat color in cats, dogs, or horses.
Angora Ferret Nose
The nose of an Angora Ferret can differ from normal ferrets (there could be nose hair), but it is not a handicap for the ferrets. In the past, the “Angora nose” – it can have extra skin folds near the nostril or fine hairs growing on or in the folds of the nostril – was seen as a mandatory characteristic in Angora Ferrets. Still, with today’s boom of longhaired ferret breeders, this has changed drastically.
The behavior of Angora ferrets is the same as that of any other ferret. The bad reputation they once had is because they were raised in deplorable conditions and poorly cared for. They are very loving animals, just as any other ferret.
The longevity of an Angora Ferret is virtually identical to that of the normal longhaired ferret.
There is no study available regarding the angora gen. But based on observations breeders made, the angora gen is probably autosomal recessive.
- Angora x Angora = 100% Angora
- Half Angora x Half Angora = 25% Angora, 50% Half Angora, 25% Standard Shorthair
- Standard Shorthair x Angora = 100% Half Angora
- Angora x Half Angora = 50% Angora, 50% Half Angora
- Standard Shorthair x Half Angora = 50% Half Angora, 50% Standard Shorthair
Angora Ferrets are a relatively new type of ferret. They are almost identical to the standard ferrets, except that they have long, soft hair. Most of the time, Angora ferrets have a very nice-looking color, and many have sound temperaments.
Despite common misconception, there is nothing to indicate that this variety is less healthy than the more common varieties of a ferret. Their long hair does not require more grooming or specialized care than the average domestic ferret.
But they are otherwise straightforward to live with, very affectionate, and certainly not more “smelly.”