One of the most majestic, delicate and elegant breeds in the feline world is undoubtedly the Turkish Angora cat. This breed is considered one of the oldest existing domestic cats, and they are also considered to be the first long-haired in history.
In this breed sheet of Pets Feed, we will share with you everything you need to know about the Turkish Angora cat, its origins, its characteristics and temperament, without forgetting the details of the basic care is this breed needs.
Is this feline breed really the oldest in the world? Scientists analyzed this question and, through genetic research, they discovered that Turkish Angora cats are the result of a natural mutation, unlike other breeds from selective breeding. Therefore, it is indeed one of the oldest breeds in the world.
Its origin is in the Ankara region, located in Turkey, from where it receives part of its name. It began to be known in Turkey in the 15th century; the sultans of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century sent them as an offering to the courts of England and France, thus making them known in Europe as well. There, his long coat drew the attention of nobles and beautiful and wealthy people. The Turkish angora was not only admired in the courtyard, scientists and researchers were also fascinated by this elegant feline with long, silky fur. In a 1756 book, written by French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, the Turkish angora was already mentioned and represented graphically.
In the 18th century, cats became a symbol of social status in European courts. One of the descriptions of the breed, which dates back to 1834, is attributed to William Jardine, who wrote: “Angora cats tend to be kittens. They are more docile and more affable than ordinary cats.
Despite this, the Persian cats relegated the Turkish angora to the background and their numbers were so reduced that they were even endangered in Turkey. Ankara and Istanbul zoos housed some to ensure the continuity of the species.
In the 1950s, breeding of modern Turkish angora began. In 1954, the first specimen arrived in the United States, where it has been considered a breed since 1973 by the American feline breeding organization (CFA); although initially only those with white fur were accepted. The recognition of colored hairs did not take place until five years later. The first purebred cats arrived in other countries precisely from the United States, there, the breeding was carried out thanks to cats imported from Turkey; a curious fact is that these mainly came from zoos.
Characteristics of the Turkish angora
The Turkish angora cat can be described as an animal with elegant and sophisticated movements, characterized by great beauty and delicacy in a physique which does not always correspond to its active and playful temperament. Without a doubt, the most striking of all its characteristics is this silky coat which sometimes recalls the feathers of birds. But it’s not the only thing that makes this feline unique, so you need to know the rest of the features of the Turkish angora.
The size of the Turkish Angora cat is medium compared to other similar cats, although it can sometimes appear larger due to its fur. Its average weight is around 4 kilos, a normal weight for most domestic cats. His body is long and athletic, very thin.
This cat keeps the proportions perfectly throughout its body, although its head is rather small compared to the rest of its anatomy. It is striking that its hind legs are higher than the front, but this poses no problem for the animal. It is distinguished by a long and highly populated tail with a long, soft coat, and large almond-shaped eyes for the size of its head.
Another striking rarity of this breed is that it usually has heterochromia in its eyes, or, which is the same, eyes that differ in color from each other. Most often, you have a yellow or amber eye and a blue or green eye, but the combinations may vary.
As for the color of its fur, in its origin, only the white Turkish Angora cat was completely accepted, but over time, other colors appeared, so now you can see specimens of shades such as red, blue, cream, brown etc. Although it is not common to find a Turkish black angora cat.
Behavior of the Turkish Angora
The character of the Turkish Angora is playful without being hyperactive. He knows how to be calm and quiet when the situation requires it and to activate himself during the moments of play. He likes to do all kinds of activities which develop his physique and his spirit, but he also likes the rest and the moments of tranquility like most.
He is a fairly sociable cat and enjoys spending time with his human family, even adopting canine behaviors such as following his owner throughout the house. However, you may not be sure you are dealing with children or strangers if you are not used and socialized since you are a baby Turkish Angora cat.
It should also be noted that these are docile animals, which learn quickly with their intelligence. In addition, they like prizes in the form of mimes or candies, making it a cat that can easily learn various tricks.
They also easily adapt to life anywhere as long as your family gives you the attention you need, especially when it comes to care and activity sessions. This cat will therefore be happy both in an apartment and in a large house with a garden.
Among the treatments the Turkish Angora cat needs, the need to brush the fur several times a week to remove dead hair stands out. In this way, in addition to keeping its cape in the best possible conditions, this will prevent the cat from swallowing too much crushed hair during grooming, which will become balls of hair in its digestive system which can lead to various problems.
With these frequent brushings, the coat will be kept in good condition, but it is not necessary to forget the full baths once every 6 or 8 weeks with a shampoo which improves the tone of their hair and which is a specific product. for cats.
Another thing that must be taken into account in the care of the Turkish angora is the diet, which must be balanced and always in sufficient quantity for its level of activity and its size. Like most cats, it will tend to gain weight if it is offered too much food and of poor quality, so it is advisable to be aware of this point to protect their health and ensure that they are always in the best conditions.
Finally, we must not forget exercise and education as part of the care that the Turkish Angora cat needs. Exercise is essential for your physical health, just as education is essential for your mental health. In this way, you will have a balanced and healthy cat when he is an adult, to enjoy with him an incomparable relationship for many years.
The Turkish angora cat may suffer from an inherited ataxia of an autosomal recessive nature. These cats, who seem to waver, suffer from a neurological disease that causes coordination problems. Many affected kittens perish very young. With a lot of care, specialized help, good adaptation at home and specific veterinary care, cats with ataxia can live for many years. The origin of this disease is not known, but what is indisputable is that it is a congenital pathology; adult animals cannot spread.
For genetic reasons, hearing loss and deafness frequently occur in white cats. There is also evidence of balance disturbances. These problems are not related to the specific breed; many Turkish angora cats are completely white and suffer from these diseases with some frequency.
Turkish Angora cat fun facts
These cats love to brush their fur, even though they do not shed much. The pursuit of purity is at the genetic level.
The longest coat of the breed is on the tail.
In the last century, the popularity of white angora cats has increased greatly, and these were the results of the efforts of researchers who decided to develop this particular color. Earlier it was difficult to meet a white representative of the breed.
It turns out that before Pietro della Vale’s Angora visit to Europe, all the indigenous local cats had short hair.
There is a version that Potemkin brought the Turkish Angora cat to the court of the great Empress Catherine II. And the ruler warmly greeted the animal, as she loved them.
Turkish Angora cats were painted on old postcards with congratulations on Angel Day.
Previously, only the wealthiest people could afford the representatives of the breed. Such a kitty in the house was considered a symbol of material well-being.
The CFA organization strictly monitors that these cats retain the features of their ancestors from Asia Minor.
It is noteworthy that products containing mink oil and some products can make the animal’s coat yellow.
Some organizations of connoisseurs of four-legged felines have long refused to recognize the Turkish Angora cat, because their crossing with the Persians led to the loss of the original characteristics of the variety.
The price of an Turkish Angora kitten can be around $ 50. This is the most optimal cost given the prevalence and popularity of the breed that can be assigned. In nurseries, it varies depending on the class of the animal: pet, breed or show. The latter is the most expensive of all.