The Turkish Angora holds the distinction of being one of the few natural breeds in the feline kingdom. Graceful, elegant and having fine-boned features, the Turkish Angora is perhaps best known for its luxurious, long and silky coat that shimmers as if in constant motion.
It was said that the Islamic faith founder Mohammed adored his pet, an Angorian named Muezza, so much that once he cut off his sleeves so as to not disturb his cat’s peaceful slumber. Inexperienced cat enthusiasts might mistake the Turkish Angora for a longhaired Persian, but there’s some notable differences in terms of physical features. For one, the Angora has a longer nose than its flat-faced cousin, and two, the bones are more delicate in outline.
Turkish Angoras have been linked to the Turkish Vans because both breeds are known to have different-colored eyes, exhibiting one amber and one blue eye. Today, the Turkish Angora is highly regarded and treasured in their native land. U.S. owners will agree that this cat is definitely precious!
History of Turkish Angora
The breed has a long history that started during the 15th century. Experts claim that these cats originated in the mountains of Turkey, where they adapted to the cold environment by developing a soft, flowy medium coat. They were once known as Ankaras, named after the then-capital of Turkey. After some time, these cats made their way to France and Great Britain in the late 1500s.
In general, long-haired cat varieties were commonly called “Angoras”. For many years breeders who lived in Turkey kept the line pure in order to preserve the line. The natives themselves adored their blue- and sometimes odd-eyed feline companions, and as such, Turkish nationals set up a controlled breeding programme in partnership with the Ankara Zoo to produce white Angoras that had amber and blue eyes.
In 1963, a pair of Turkish Angoras were sent to the U.S. and were cared for by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Grant, which then started to breed. There was a male and female kitten; the male, Yildiz was an odd-eyed white, while the female, Yildicek, was an amber-eyed white.
The breed was registered in 1968, given Provisional status in competitions in 1970 and gained Championship status in 1972. The first Angoran champion, named GC NoRuz Kristal of Azima was crowned in 1976.
Size of the Turkish Angora
This breed belongs to the mid-sized variety. Sporting a lenghty, sleek body, the Angora is the perfect picture of gracefulness. They are slinky with long legs, a long tail, flowing coat, wide eyes and large ears. These cats can weigh somewhere along 5 to 9 lbs and can live a long life of 13 years or so.
Personality of the Turkish Angora
These cats are very active and love to run around and explore their environment. On the ground, they are very sociable, affectionate and outgoing. Your pet will usually be the first to be at the door whenever a family member or a guest arrives. These cats love to inspect, interact and gather everyone round and entertain them with silly antics.
Cat lovers who want a lap cat will have to look elsewhere, as the Angora doesn’t like to be held for more than a few minutes. Instead, they prefer to “hang out” with you and keep you company while they play with their toys and supervise.
When you start a conversation with an Angora, be prepared to stay awhile! This cat breed loves to meow and sometimes, they’re just waiting for you to command them to dance. Moreover, Angoras love to play with water. They sometimes go in for the occasional swim.
Turkish Angora Kittens
Your kitten should be subject to an initial exam carried out by a professional vet during the adoption process. Testing for worms should also be done, and don’t forget the vaccination shots. Give your kitten the proper nutrition it needs to grow to its full potential. Because the breed is generally livelier than others, you’ll need approximately 80 kcals worth of food per kilo of body weight. Owners can choose to spay or neuter their pets after 3 to 6 months.
Some reputable breeders insist on getting Angoras from their native land. When you see an “imported line” breeder, this means that they are buying foundation stock from Turkey.
Angora kittens will not be available for adoption until they’re between 12 to 16 weeks old. During this time, the kittens will have been inoculated and prepared both socially and physically for a new environment. This is also the ideal time that they can be transported via air or shown.
Get only certified Angorans from breeders who can provide a written health guarantee. Visit the breeder’s home and check the health and temperament of the parents.
Turkish Angora Health
Angoras are normally healthy, but white varieties that have blue eyes are more likely to develop deafness than others. Odd-eyed cats that have white coats are more prone to losing hearing in one ear. While this won’t pose a problem to the cat itself, it’s something that you should know about.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a common heart disease that affects all cats, including the Turkish Angora. A timely echocardiogram can reveal the deadly condition. Other issues include ataxia, which is a neuromuscular disorder that could start when the kittens are around 2 or 4 weeks old.
Comprehensive testing and screening can reduce the likelihood of you getting a pet that has these health conditions.
Care of the Turkish Angora
They may not look like it, but Angoras love human attention from you, your family members or those who are willing to provide it!
These cats will want to participate and observe everything you do around the house. Sometimes they will want your attention so much that they can be disruptive. Provide plenty of perch locations and a cat tree to keep your cat busy. Get interesting toys that stimulate your pet’s body and mind to relieve boredom. Don’t forget to put up a scratching post to save your furniture, your curtains and your precious flooring!
Litter Box Training
Cats tend to follow their instincts and do their business on anything soil or sand, and they do learn from their parents at a tender age. Normal litter box training starts at around 3 to 4 weeks of age. A reputable breeder can say that your pet won’t have any issues with litter box use.
Keep the litter box clean 24/7, and scoop out the waste once you see it. Replace the litter fully in regular intervals. If your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, it may be a good idea to have him or her checked by a vet.
Turkish Angora Nutrition
Your role as an owner should be to provide only the best diet that’s appropriate for your cat’s age. Ask the breeder for the feeding schedule and try to emulate the time and the type of food your cat’s already eating. You do have the option to change the food but it must be done in a gradual manner. If at any time they start exhibiting indigestion or tummy problems, then you should put them back on the original diet.
Keep an eye on your pet’s weight and play with your cat every now and then to get much-needed exercise.
Whites are still the most popular variant of the Turkish Angora, but it’s perfectly acceptable for Angoras to sport a variety of hues. Sometimes Angoras may show up on shows bearing solid cream, red, blue and black coats, and sometimes they exhibit patterns, i.e., spotted tabbies, mackarel, classic, blue cream or tortoiseshell. Recently, breeders started aiming for shade and smoked colors. CFA registration accepts any pattern and shade as long as it doesn’t denote hybridization.
Turkish Angora Grooming
The soft, silky and luxurious coat rarely gets tangled or matted, and thus requires only minimal grooming. A combing session done once or twice using a slicker brush or fine-toothed comb should suffice. During the warmer summer months these cats will need more frequent brushings to remove dead hair and prevent hairballs from forming. In the cold the coat tend to grow longer and thicker, along with a posh-looking tail and a stately mane.
Turkish Angora grooming requires regular ear cleaning and nail trimming. Brush your pet’s teeth using a pet-friendly toothpaste to keep tooth decay at bay. It’s better to start these activities early while your cat is still young so they are more accepting of the grooming routine later on.
Children and Other Pets
Turkish Angoras can prove to be an invaluable part of the family. They make lively companions for adults and capable playmates for young children. It’s important to supervise all activities to ensure there won’t be any tail-pulling or scratching. Angoras love to be the alpha pet, so they are better paired with dogs who don’t mind being second fiddle.