Cat Breed Spotlight: The Turkish Angora

June 01, 2018

Cat Breed Spotlight: The Turkish Angora

KYC: “Know Your Cat”

In his homeland, Turkish Angoras are considered as national treasures, and it’s easy to see why. Exquisite and elegant, with a wedge-shaped head, a long silky coat and a plumed tail, this cat is often described as ballerina-like with its graceful fluid movements, gorgeous white coat and fluffed tail resembling that of a white tutu worn by ballerinas. Never think that he’s delicate, though. The Angora has not only the grace of a ballerina but also the strength.

Ankara cats, also the other name for the Turkish Angoras, weigh between five and nine pounds and live for an average of thirteen years, or sometimes more. They may look alluring and refined, but underneath that chic facade they are tricksters with a mischievous sense of humor.

The extroverted Turkish Angora will welcome guests at the door and play host with equanimity. He can get along with other pets, including dogs, after making sure they know he is the one in charge and the dominant one. In the same vein, he will be happy to oversee everything you do, preferably perched up from on high place, like his cat condo or cat tree. He is quite ingenious and is good at opening cabinet doors and turning on faucets (or asking you to do it for him). This is an very involved, stringent, willful cat, but his beauty makes up for the most of it.

The Turkish Angora is well suited to any home where he is loved, appreciated and given the care and attention he needs. Keep him indoors to protect him from cars, diseases spread by other cats and attacks from other animals. Visit Cat Breed to know more about Turkish Angora cat.

Where It All Began

Turkish Angoras are originally from Turkey (and Ankara is the modern name of the ancient capital of the country, Angora, hence they got the name Ankara cat and Turkish Angora). It’s hard to imagine that this cat with the long, delicate, silky coat comes from the rigid mountainous regions of Turkey, but that coat shielded the cat pretty nicely against the cold winters in Ankara (also home to the Angora goat, which produces the fleece for mohair).

The cats may be descendants of the Manul cat (also known as Pallas' cat), domesticated by the Tatars (a variety of Turco-Mongol semi-nomadic people and their empires who controlled the vast region known as Tartary).

The earliest written citation to the cats dates to 16th century France, and may have been the first longhaired cats to arrive in Europe. One theory suggests that Vikings brought them from Turkey thousands of years prior, so they were undoubtedly popular objects of trade. At the birth of cat shows in the late 19th century, Angoras were among the breeds exhibited.

That was their downfall. Persian breeders began to use them in their breeding programs, and in England, the Angoras lost their identity as a separate breed. Fortunately, they still existed in their homeland (Turkey), where they were considered a national treasure. A breeding program was established at the Ankara Zoo to preserve them, where in the 1950s, American servicemen stationed in Turkey saw the cats and told people at home about them.

The zoo was reluctant to part with any of its cats, but in 1962 it gave a pair to Colonel and Mrs. Walter Grant: an odd-eyed white male and an amber-eyed white female. They became the foundation of a breeding program in the United States. Two years later, Sergeant and Mrs. Ivan Leinbach brought a pair back to Arizona, followed by Mrs. Ray Porter, who imported a pregnant female whose kittens had been sired by one of the stud cats at the Ankara Zoo.

More of the cats were imported in the 1970s. The Cat Fanciers Associations began registering the cats in 1968 and granted full recognition to white Turkish Angoras in 1972. Colored Turkish Angoras were not recognized by CFA until 1978. Today the cats are recognized by most North American cat registries and by The International Cat Association.

Temperament and Personality

Stunning and fancy on the surface, the Turkish Angora can surprise an unsuspecting owner with his athleticism and intellect. No bookcase is too high or steep for him to reach the top, and no closed door is safe from being opened by his curious paws and inquisitive nature.

While he certainly can have captivating manners, the Angoras, as he is sometimes lovingly called, has an active, raucous side to his nature, with a ingenuity that makes him ever amusing.

He likes to play and will do anything that is necessary to get and keep your attention, even if it means getting into a little predicament. The Turkish Angora is a triple A cat: active, agile and assertive.

He will take charge starting from day one and will take an enthusiastic passion in everything you do, contributing his assistance at every step of the way.

His vigorous nature, sense of humor and quick wits can make him a great choice for families with children (just make sure they don’t pull his hair or tail) and a lively friend for anyone else, including seniors. 

Don’t think that you can leave the Angora to entertain himself. He likes interactive play and will be bored if you don’t give him what he thinks is an appropriate amount of attention. To exercise his body and his hunting instinct, provide him with toys he can chase, like cat mice toys and tall cat trees (see: Cat Scratching Tree Post Sisal Pole Toy House Furniture Multi level Grey 180cm-amazon he can climb. He likes being up high and able to see everything from his position.


Angoras are so stubborn that once he gets something into his head, it is difficult to change his mind, so try not to give this cat opportunities to learn bad habits (such as scratching on the furniture or spraying). Challenge his brain and keep him interested in life by teaching him tricks and providing him with puzzle toys, you can look also at here for choices: activefelinesolutions.com.au, that will award him with kibble or treats when he learns how to manipulate them. 

Due to his stubborn nature, sometimes the Angora keeps his kittenlike behavior and playfulness well into old age. He is very friendly and welcoming to other people but will always prioritize his owners when it comes to affection. Angoras are very social and is best suited to a home where he will have another cat or a dog to keep him company if people aren’t home during the day, sometimes ruling over dogs and other cats with an iron paw.

When you are home, the Angora may wrap himself across your shoulders or sit cozily into your lap. At night you’re probably gonna find him next to you with his head resting on your pillow.

To live happily with an Angora, you should have a sense of humor that matches his own (best if you are the jolly and funny person), as well as a good store of patience.

Once he gets an idea into his head, it can be difficult to change his mind about how he should behave, but he is so charming that you probably won’t care. If you will, it’s best to consider another breed. This is an affectionate, gentle cat who is devoted to his family, but his precocious intelligence, ingenuity, eagerness for interaction and play, and short attention span may make him a challenge to live with.

Health

Many diseases and health conditions are genetic, meaning they are related to your pet’s breed. The conditions we will describe here have a significant rate of incidence or a strong impact upon this breed particularly, according to a general consensus among feline genetic researchers and veterinary practitioners.

This does not mean your cat will have these problems, only that she may be more at risk than other cats. Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature.

Turkish Angoras are generally healthy, but solid white cats with one or two blue eyes are prone to deafness in one or both ears. Fortunately, deaf cats can get around quite well, but the possibility is something to be aware of. Other problems that have been seen in the breed are ataxia and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition that causes the muscular walls of a cat’s heart to thicken, decreasing the heart’s efficiency and sometimes creating symptoms in other parts of the body. Although the cause of HCM has not been clearly identified, the fact that the condition is more prevalent in certain breeds (including Maine Coon, Ragdoll, British Shorthair, Sphynx, Chartreux, Turkish Angora and Persian cats) and that mutations of several cardiac (heart) genes have been identified in some cats with this disease suggests that genetics plays a role.

While the disease’s effects and prognosis (predicted outcome) may vary considerably, proper diagnosis and treatment can decrease the chance that a cat with HCM will experience certain symptoms and can improve his or her quality of life.

Ataxia is disease is exclusive to Turkish Angoras. It strikes kittens between the ages of two and four weeks. Symptoms start with tremors and end with a complete loss of neuromuscular control. The outcome is always fatal. Currently there is no treatment or cure for this condition. The Winn Feline Foundation is conducting research to find the cause and eventually a cure for this affliction.

As a responsible owner, it is your duty to take care of the well-being of your cat. If you see these symptoms on your cat, it is best to immediately rush your kitty to the vet for immediate medical assistance, and also ask your vet for the proper ways on how to take care of your cat once they have the disease. For more ideas check out: Cat Health.

Grooming

The Turkish Angora has a single coat with a silky texture. Because there’s no undercoat to cause mats or tangles. You may start grooming session by grooming with your hands.

Make your hands wet and start messaging gently from head to tail. In this way you can check any kind of rashes, loss of hair or any skin problem if present. Turkish Angoras are prone to fleas so it would surely be beneficial to start grooming session by hands. Always use a metal tooth comb specially made for pets. You can first use a wide toothed hair brush and after that a narrow one. Don't rush in any case as it may hurt your cat and any tangled hairs somewhere due to dirt or less grooming.

Angoras are very active and playful. Giving your Turkish Angora a bath would be a bit tough task because of their long haired coat. They may need bath once twice in a Month.

    Try to use a good quality shampoo like the ones we can find at online stores like activefelinesolutions and special care should be taken near eyes, nose and ears as shampoo may bring harm to them. You may need a helper for this task. Don't let your Cat out in direct sun exposure after bath.
      Try to clean the coat with a towel or a hair dryer can also be used. Do not brush the coat again if not completely dried. It may usually take almost 20 minutes for their coat to become completely dry
        Check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a mixture of 50% cider vinegar and 50% warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.
          Also, keep the Angora’s litter box spotlessly clean. Cats are very particular about bathroom hygiene, and a clean litter box will also help to keep the long coat clean. For nail overgrowth, you can gently rim them with a nail trimmer for pets or provide them a cat scratching post so that they themselves can check their nail growth.

            Your Angora counts on you to take good care of her, and we look forward to working with you to ensure that she lives a long and healthy life. Our goal is to provide you both with the best health care possible: health care that’s based on your pet’s breed, lifestyle, and age. Learn more how to groom your Turkish Angora cat, please visit Cat Care and Grooming.