If you've never seen one, angora ferrets are impossibly cute. Not only are they covered in an abundance of soft, silky fur, but they've got odd little cleft noses with tufts of hair sprouting from them. By all accounts, they make just as good a companion as standard ferrets. They're curios, playful, sweet and every bit as attached to their owners, but they're a relatively new ferret, as ferrets go.
The angora ferret has only been around for the last 25-30 years. A form of the breed first appeared in Sweden at a standard ferret breeding facility, where its genetic mutation was first noticed. The mutation manifested itself in longer hair on the rear legs and across the rump.
The breeder eventually sold their stock of long-haired specimens to a Norwegian breeder/furrier, who in turn bred the future generations that evolved to the adorable fur balls we see today.
A true or full angora ferret is said to have a cleft nose, which results in a small flap on one or both nostrils often accompanied by small tufts of hair, and their fur can grow to anywhere between 2 and 4 inches in length. One other differentiating note between angora ferrets and standard or short-haired ferrets is the fact that angoras don't have an undercoat.
There are also angora mixes or hybrids that can look very similar in appearance, as far as longer fur, but the nose is what sets them apart.
Caring for Angora Ferrets
The effort you'll have to put into caring for an angora ferret is no different than for a standard ferret. You'll need to keep their bedding and litter box clean, as well as attend to their personal hygiene, such as regular baths, just as you would their shorter-haired cousins, so don't worry they'll cost you a bundle in special products or require more time.
Known Issues of Angora Ferrets
There are two known issues with these insanely cute cuddle bugs, and that is the jills or females are quite often unable to produce enough milk for raising all their kits to maturity. Otherwise, they're every ounce the attentive mother. The other thing is a reported issue of alopecia, aka hair loss. This can be attributable to a number of things, but all ferrets begin to "thin" as they get older.
They come in a number of colors and color combinations that include black, sable, black sable, champagne, chocolate, cinnamon, white with dark eyes and albino white. Regardless, they're all cute.
If you're thinking about getting a ferret, check with ferret rescues or animal shelters in your area first before rushing to a breeder. These animals need homes badly. If you're set on getting a kit and you've already checked the nearby rescues and shelters, make sure and contact a reputable breeder, especially if you're thinking of getting an angora or hybrid. Most are imported from the U.K. and Europe.
As a final thought, all ferrets are highly active and inquisitive creatures, so please make sure you're up to the task of owning one before taking the leap. It will be better for everyone involved. People not doing so is why so many of them end up being surrendered, so do your homework and be realistic.