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Turkish Angora cats are one of the oldest and most elegant cat breeds in the world. They originated in Turkey as early as the 15th century and have a long history of being treasured and admired by many cultures. They are known for their long, silky coat, striking eyes, and graceful body structure. They are also affectionate, playful, intelligent, and sometimes mischievous cats that thrive on attention and companionship.
If you are interested in learning more about this beautiful breed, here is a guide that covers its origins, characteristics, care, health, adoption, training, and socialization.
The Origins and History of Turkish Angora Cats
The Turkish Angora is a natural breed that descended from the African wildcat and adapted to the harsh climate of Ankara (formerly Angora), Turkey. The name “Angora” comes from the city where they were first discovered by European travelers in the 16th century.
The Turkish Angora was originally considered to be a solid white cat with blue or green eyes. Some legends even trace them back to Mohammad, founder of the Islamic faith, who adored cats and once cut off his sleeve to avoid disturbing a sleeping tabby-patterned Turkish Angora.
The breed became very popular in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries as a symbol of wealth and status. However, by the 19th century, they were almost extinct due to crossbreeding with other long-haired cats such as Persians. Fortunately, some dedicated breeders in Turkey preserved the purebred Turkish Angoras at the Ankara Zoo.
In the 1950s, American servicemen stationed in Turkey brought some Turkish Angoras back to the United States and started breeding them. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) recognized the breed in 1968 but only accepted white specimens until 1978 when other colors were allowed. Today, Turkish Angoras are widely accepted by most cat associations around the world.
Appearance and Physical Characteristics
Luxurious Coat and Colors
Silky, Long Fur
The Turkish Angora’s most distinctive feature is its luxurious, silky coat. The fur is long, fine, and soft to the touch, with an almost weightless feel. The coat’s length is slightly longer on the ruff, britches, and plumed tail, creating a striking appearance.
Wide Range of Coat Colors and Patterns
Turkish Angoras come in a wide array of colors and patterns, including:
Almond-Shaped, Expressive Eyes
The Turkish Angora’s large, almond-shaped eyes are another distinguishing feature. Their expressive eyes come in a range of colors, including blue, green, amber, and yellow.
Heterochromia Iridum and Its Prevalence in the Breed
Heterochromia iridum, a condition where each eye has a different color, is more common in Turkish Angoras than in other breeds. This captivating feature adds to the breed’s unique charm.
Elegant Body Structure
Slender, Muscular Build
Turkish Angoras have a sleek, muscular body with a fine-boned structure. Despite their delicate appearance, they are strong and agile, capable of impressive acrobatic feats.
Graceful, Plumed Tail
The breed’s plumed tail is another notable feature, often described as a beautiful, flowing feather duster.
Unique Characteristics and Features of The Breed
Turkish Angoras are delicately built cats that have been described as ballerina-like. Their silky coat is long but single-layered, making it low maintenance. The hair tends to be wispy and shimmers in the sunlight. Angoras were originally considered strictly white cats with blue or green eyes. However, today they can come in a variety of colors and patterns such as Himalayan, calico, tortoiseshell, tabby, and smoke.
One of the most distinctive features of the Turkish Angora is their striking eyes. They have almond-shaped, expressive eyes that can be light blue, sapphire, emerald, green-gold, gold, amber, copper, or two different colors (called odd-eyed). Odd-eyed Turkish Angoras are especially prized because they often have heterochromia iridum, a condition where one eye has less melanin than the other resulting in different eye colors.
Some odd-eyed Turkish Angoras may also be deaf or partially deaf due to a genetic link between white coat color and hearing impairments.
Another feature that sets apart the Turkish Angora is their elegant body structure. They have slender, muscular bodies with fine boning. They are not very large cats; males can weigh up to 9 pounds while females can weigh between 8-12 pounds. They have long legs with hind legs taller than front legs. They also have graceful, plumed tails that they carry high over their backs.
Personality and Temperament Of Turkish Angora
Affectionate and Sociable Nature
Turkish Angoras are known for their loving and social personalities. They form strong bonds with their owners, often preferring to be in the same room or even on their laps.
Playfulness and High Energy Levels
These cats are highly playful and energetic, enjoying interactive toys and games. They also have a penchant for climbing and jumping, making them a lively addition to any household.
Intelligence and Problem-Solving Abilities
Turkish Angoras are intelligent cats with a natural curiosity. They enjoy puzzle toys and can be taught tricks using positive reinforcement techniques.
Relationship with Children and Other Pets
Their sociable nature makes them a good choice for families with children and other pets, provided they are introduced and socialized correctly.
Read Also: Turkish Van Cat
Importance of Responsible Breeding And Preservation
The Turkish Angora is a rare breed that needs careful breeding and preservation to maintain its purity and health. Because they are natural cats with no human intervention in their development, they have a strong gene pool that makes them resistant to many diseases. However, they also have some genetic predispositions that need to be monitored and tested by responsible breeders.
Some of these include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart disease that causes thickening of the heart muscle; deafness, which is more common in white or odd-eyed cats; and ataxia, a neurological disorder that affects coordination and balance.
Responsible breeders should perform health testing on their breeding cats and provide health certificates for their kittens.
They should also follow ethical standards such as not overbreeding, not selling kittens before they are at least 12 weeks old, and providing spay/neuter contracts for pet buyers.
Health and Care
Turkish Angoras are generally healthy cats, but they can develop some health issues and genetic predispositions that need to be monitored and tested by responsible breeders and owners. Some of these include:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM): This is a heart disease that causes thickening of the heart muscle, which can impair its function and lead to heart failure or sudden death. HCM can be inherited or acquired, and it can affect any cat breed. There is no cure for HCM, but regular veterinary check-ups and echocardiograms can help diagnose it early and manage its symptoms with medication.
- Deafness: This is more common in white or odd-eyed Turkish Angoras due to a genetic link between white coat color and hearing impairment. Deafness can affect one or both ears, and it can be present at birth or develop later in life. Deaf cats can still live happy lives as long as they are kept indoors and provided with visual cues and stimulation. Owners should also avoid startling or sneaking up on deaf cats, and use touch or vibration to get their attention.
- Ataxia: This is a neurological disorder that affects coordination and balance. Ataxia can be caused by various factors such as infections, injuries, toxins, or genetic mutations. Turkish Angoras may inherit a recessive gene that causes ataxia in kittens around 2-4 weeks of age. Affected kittens have difficulty walking, standing, or moving their limbs. There is no treatment for ataxia, and most kittens die or are euthanized before reaching adulthood.
To keep your Turkish Angora healthy and happy, you should:
- Feed your cat a quality cat food that meets its nutritional needs. Avoid overfeeding your cat or giving it too many treats, as obesity can harm its delicate bone structure.
- Take your cat to the vet for regular check-ups and vaccinations. Turkish Angoras are usually healthy cats, but they can benefit from preventive care such as dental cleaning, parasite control, and blood tests.
- Spay or neuter your cat to prevent unwanted pregnancies, reduce the risk of reproductive cancers, and improve its behavior.
- Notice any signs of hearing problems such as lack of response to sounds, loud meowing, or head tilting. If you suspect your cat is deaf or partially deaf, consult your vet for diagnosis and advice on how to care for your cat.
- Monitor for signs of heart problems such as lethargy, breathing difficulties, fainting, or loss of appetite. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek veterinary attention immediately.
Grooming and coat maintenance are relatively easy for Turkish Angoras, as they have a single coat that does not mat or tangle easily. However, you should still brush your cat’s coat once or twice a week with a fine-toothed comb to remove debris and loose hair. This will also help reduce shedding and hairballs.
You should also bathe your cat as needed with a mild shampoo designed for cats. Some owners prefer to trim their cat’s nails and fur around the eyes, ears, and genitals to keep them clean and comfortable.
Turkish Angoras have different dietary needs depending on their age, activity level, and health status.
You should consult your vet for specific recommendations on what type and amount of food to feed your cat.
In general, you should look for a high-quality dry or wet food that contains animal protein as the main ingredient, along with essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants.
You should also provide fresh water at all times for your cat to drink.
Adopting Or Buying A Turkish Angora
If you are interested in adding a Turkish Angora to your family, you have two main options
|Adoption from a shelter or rescue organization||– You’ll be giving a cat in need a loving home. Adoption fees are typically lower than buying from a breeder. You may be able to find an adult cat who is already trained and socialized||– You may not know the cat’s full history or temperament. The cat may have health or behavioral issues that require additional care. You may not be able to find a Turkish Angora specifically|
|Buying from a reputable breeder||– You’ll have more control over the cat’s genetics and upbringing. You’ll have the opportunity to meet the cat’s parents and see where they were raised. You’ll be able to find a Turkish Angora specifically||– Buying from a breeder is typically more expensive than adopting. You’ll need to do research to find a reputable breeder who prioritizes the cat’s health and well-being. The cat may require additional training and socialization|
Choosing A Responsible Breeder
Buying from a breeder allows you to choose from a variety of colors and patterns, as well as get more information about the kitten’s pedigree, health history, and personality.
However, not all breeders are ethical or trustworthy, so you should be careful when selecting one.
Some signs of a responsible breeder include:
- They are a member of a reputable organization. This could be a breed club, a kennel club, or a professional association.
- They have a good reputation. You can check this by asking around, reading online reviews, or talking to your veterinarian.
- They are knowledgeable about the breed. They should be able to answer your questions about the breed’s temperament, health, and grooming needs.
- They are ethical. They should not breed dogs for profit alone, and they should take good care of their dogs.
- They are willing to answer your questions. They should be open and honest with you about the puppies they are selling.
- They are willing to show you the parents of the puppies. This will give you a good idea of the temperament and health of the puppies.
- They are willing to provide you with health records for the puppies. This will show you that the puppies have been vaccinated and dewormed.
If you are looking for a responsible breeder, be sure to do your research and ask plenty of questions. By taking the time to find the right breeder, you can ensure that you are getting a healthy and happy puppy.
Read Also: Travel in Turkey with Pets
Adopting From Shelters And Rescue Organizations
Adopting from a shelter or rescue organization is another option to find a Turkish Angora cat. This option has several benefits such as:
- Saving a life: By adopting a cat from a shelter or rescue organization, you are giving it a second chance at finding a loving home. Many cats end up in shelters or rescues due to abandonment, abuse, neglect, or overpopulation. Some of them may be Turkish Angoras or Turkish Angora mixes that need your help.
- Saving money: By adopting a cat from a shelter or rescue organization, you are likely to pay less than buying from a breeder. The adoption fee usually covers spaying/neutering, vaccinations, microchipping, and other veterinary care. You may also get discounts on pet supplies or services from participating partners.
- Supporting a good cause: By adopting a cat from a shelter or rescue organization, you are supporting their mission of helping homeless animals. You are also freeing up space and resources for other animals in need.
However, adopting from a shelter or rescue organization also has some challenges such as:
- Limited availability: Finding a purebred Turkish Angora cat in a shelter or rescue organization may be difficult, as they are rare and often sought after by breeders or enthusiasts.
You may have more luck finding a Turkish Angora mix or a cat that resembles a Turkish Angora. You may have to visit several shelters or rescues before finding your ideal match. You can also check online databases such as Petfinder or Adopt-a-Pet to search for available cats near you.
- Limited information: Adopting from a shelter or rescue organization may not give you much information about the cat’s background, health history, or personality. You may not know if the cat is purebred or mixed, or if it has any genetic or health issues. You may also have to spend some time getting to know the cat’s temperament and preferences.
Preparing Your Home For A Turkish Angora
Whether you buy or adopt a Turkish Angora cat, you should prepare your home for its arrival. Some things you should do include:
- Environmental enrichment: Turkish Angoras are active and playful cats that need mental and physical stimulation. You should provide them with various toys, scratching posts, perches, and cat trees to keep them entertained and happy. You can also rotate their toys every few days to prevent boredom.
- Safety and comfort: Turkish Angoras are curious and adventurous cats that may get into trouble if left unsupervised. You should make sure your home is safe and cat-proof by removing any potential hazards such as toxic plants, wires, cords, small objects, or sharp edges. You should also provide your cat with a cozy bed, a litter box, food and water bowls, and a carrier.
Training And Socialization
Turkish Angoras are intelligent and trainable cats that can learn various tricks and commands with positive reinforcement techniques. Some things you can teach your Turkish Angora include:
- Clicker training: This is a method of training that uses a device that makes a clicking sound to mark desirable behaviors and reward them with treats or praise. You can use clicker training to teach your Turkish Angora basic commands such as sit, stay, come, or high-five, as well as fun tricks such as fetch, roll over, or jump through hoops.
- Litter training: This is usually easy for Turkish Angoras as they are naturally clean and fastidious cats. However, if your cat has any litter box issues, you should check for any medical, behavioral, or environmental causes and address them accordingly. You should also make sure the litter box is large enough, clean, and accessible for your cat.
- Scratching post habits: This is important for Turkish Angoras as they need to scratch to keep their nails healthy, and express their natural instincts. You should provide them with scratching posts or pads that are sturdy, tall, and covered with a rough material such as sisal or carpet. You should also discourage them from scratching inappropriate surfaces such as furniture or walls by using deterrents such as double-sided tape, foil, or citrus spray. You can also trim their nails regularly to prevent damage.
- Socializing with other pets and people: Turkish Angoras are sociable and friendly cats that can get along well with other pets and people if they are properly socialized from a young age. You should expose your Turkish Angora to different sights, sounds, smells, and experiences in a positive and gradual manner. You should also introduce them to other animals and humans slowly and carefully, respecting their boundaries and preferences. Turkish Angoras tend to be dominant with other pets, so you should supervise their interactions and provide enough resources for each animal.
Turkish Angora Price
Turkish Angora is a rare and elegant breed of cat that originated from Turkey. It has a long, silky, and fluffy coat that comes in various colors and patterns. Turkish Angora is also known for its intelligence, affection, and playfulness.
The price of a Turkish Angora kitten can vary depending on its gender, pedigree, quality, and breeder. The average price range for a purebred Turkish Angora kitten is between $900 and $2,000.
However, some kittens with superior lineage or features may cost up to $3,000. In addition to the initial purchase cost, one should also consider the expenses for food, litter, toys, grooming, vet care, and other supplies when owning a Turkish Angora cat.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Angora cats
What is an Angora cat
An Angora cat is a breed of domestic cat that originates from Ankara, Turkey. They are known for their long, silky fur, slender bodies, and elegant appearance. The Turkish Angora is one of the oldest natural cat breeds in the world.
What is the personality of an Angora cat
Angora cats are known for their intelligent, playful, and affectionate nature. They are social animals that enjoy the company of humans and other pets. Angoras are also curious, energetic, and can be quite talkative.
What are the physical characteristics of an Angora cat
Angora cats are medium-sized with a slender and muscular body. They have a wedge-shaped head, large, pointed ears, and almond-shaped eyes that can be blue, green, amber, or odd-eyed (each eye being a different color). Their long, silky fur comes in various colors and patterns, with white being the most common.
What is the grooming requirement for an Angora cat
Angora cats require regular grooming to maintain their coat’s health and prevent matting. Brushing their fur at least twice a week is recommended, along with regular nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental care.
Are Angora cats hypoallergenic
No cat breed is truly hypoallergenic. However, Angora cats are known to produce fewer allergens compared to other breeds. This may make them a better option for people with mild cat allergies.
How long do Angora cats live
The average lifespan of an Angora cat is between 12 to 18 years. With proper care, regular veterinary check-ups, and a healthy diet, some Angora cats may live even longer.
Are Angora cats good with children and other pets
Yes, Angora cats are generally good with children and other pets. Their social and affectionate nature makes them adaptable to various household environments. However, it’s crucial to supervise interactions between children and cats, and ensure all pets are properly introduced to create a harmonious living situation.
What are the potential health issues for Angora cats
Angora cats are generally healthy, but they can be prone to certain genetic health issues, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and deafness. Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent and detect potential health problems early.
What should I feed my Angora cat
Angora cats should be fed a balanced and high-quality diet that meets their specific nutritional needs. A combination of wet and dry food is recommended, ensuring it is age-appropriate and offers the required nutrients. Consult your veterinarian for personalized dietary recommendations.
Where can I adopt or purchase an Angora cat
To adopt or purchase an Angora cat, start by researching reputable breeders or adoption centers in your area. You can also check with local cat clubs, animal shelters, or online resources for available Turkish Angora cats in need of a loving home.