Harper Jefcoat
Harper Jefcoat

Turkish Angora - Origins, Breed Profile, Traits, and Personality

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turkish angora

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  • Origins - What is the History of Turkish Angora?
  • Appearance - What are the Physical Attributes of the Turkish Angora?
  • Identifying the Cat - How to Identify a Turkish Angora Cat?
  • Turkish Angora Personality, Temperament, and Breed Traits
  • Health Conditions - Health Problems with Turkish Angora Cats
  • Care and Grooming - How to Care for a Turkish Angora Cat?
  • Turkish Angora vs. Persian Cat vs. Turkish Van - What are the Differences?

Turkish Angora is a medium-sized, slender and rare cat breed that originated from Ankara, Turkey, and is now considered one of the most valued breeds worldwide. However, there are a number of other cat breeds also that are beautiful and make great house animals.

These felines are very affectionate and this makes them ideal for both pets and emotional support animals. These cats are priced and known as national treasures in their native country, Turkey, and are probably the only domestic cats that are kept and raised in zoos

They have a rather strong personality and with their intelligence and devotion, they have earned a dedicated following both in Turkey and in the United States. They are very playful also and one of the few cat breeds that get very well along with other pets, including dogs.

Know more about this rare breed in the blog.

Origins - What is the History of Turkish Angora?

‘Are these long haired cats used to make angora sweaters?’ No, they are not. These majestic and strikingly beautiful cats originated from Ankara, which was formerly known as Angora. Unlike many other rare breeds, these cats are one of the pure natural breeds that originated in Turkey, sometime around the 15th century.

While no one knows about the cat’s actual origins, or how they came into being, it is believed that they are the successors of African wildcats. The white silky fur is also believed to be the result of a mutation. Due to this thick and silky fur, these cats could withstand the harsh and cold climate of Ankara.

These cats were also known as Ankara cats while the said region is also famous for Angora rabbits and goats. The Turkish people value these animals for their long and silky hair or fur. The longhaired cats came to Britain and France in the late 1500s and from regions like Turkey, Russia, Persia, and Afghanistan.

According to the Turkish Angora Breed Council (TABC), the breed came to Europe in the early 1600s and by the time 1700 ended, these cats were quite famous.

The breed was extensively used to breed and maintain the Persian cat breed and due to this, Turkish Angora was nearly extinct. These cats were used to add to the silkiness and richness of the Persian cats’ fur and, gradually, the latter became more popular than the Angora cats.

Later, the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy decided to coin all the longhaired cats, simply as ‘longhairs’. This includes Turkish Angora, Persian and Russian Longhair cats, regardless of their actual breed. Due to the excessive crossbreeding, the breed vanished as a pure breed.

Other longhaired cats include Norwegian Forest cat, Munchkin cat, Manx catSiberian catHimalayan catBalinese cat, and a number of other breeds.

In the early 1900s, they were saved through a special breeding program in the Ankara Zoo. Due to this, the cat could still be seen in the zoos of Ankara. The Turkish government expressed special interest in preserving the breed and worked with the Ankara Zoo to bring back the pure white cat with odd eyes.

The zoo, and the people in general, specifically prize the odd-eyed Angoras, having blue and amber eyes, and this made their import quite difficult.

In 1962, Army Colonel Walter Grant’s, stationed in Turkey, wife Liesa F. Grant succeeded in exporting a pair of zoo’s Angora to America. However, they completed and brought the certificates of ancestry along with them.

This revived the breed’s status and soon after, other breeders started importing these white-haired beauties.

In 1968, pure white Turkish Angoras were accepted for The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc. But the colored Angoras got their certification in 1978.

Appearance - What are the Physical Attributes of the Turkish Angora?

A Turkish Angora is a small to medium-sized cat that weighs between 5 to 9 pounds. These cats have slender, fine structured, and muscular bodies. They are very active and they have graceful and elegant gait and personality.

Below are the physical attributes of Turkish Angora cats.

The body is medium in size and the males are a bit larger than the female cats. The body is slender and long and has more depth than width. It is rather oval in shape with the shoulders and hips having the same width.
The rump is a bit higher than the shoulders and the overall physique exhibits muscularity.
The head is small to medium in size and in a fine balance with the length and width of the body. It is smooth and has a wedge shape. The nose is medium and the neck is rather long, slim, and elegant. The chin is rounded and firm and the tip is in line with the nose.
The ears are large, pointed, tufted, and wide at the base. They are set closely and high on the head. Besides, they are also erect and vertical in structure and symmetry.
Legs and Paws
Legs are long with the hind legs being longer than the front legs. The paws are rounded, dainty, and small in structure and size.
The tail is long and tapering. It is wider at the base and narrows down at the end. It is bushy and is full of fur and long hair.
It has a single coat and the length of the coat varies. However, the tail and ruff are quite bushy with long and fine-textured hair. The hind legs also have visible britches.
The eyes are large, slanting upwards, and almond-shaped. They have an open expression and they could exist in any of the color combinations. These variations include blue, amber, gooseberry green, sky blue, sapphire, emerald, gold, green-gold, rich copper, odd eyes.
Some of them may also greenish rings while the cats having copper-colored eyes do not have green rings or cast around the pupils.
Coat Color Variations
The cat is available in several color variations. These variations include full white fur, chocolate, Himalayan pattern, chocolate, and the variation and combination of all three of them.
Usually, the cat fanciers and lovers love to have one of the white beauties as they look quite striking with their all-white body and blue or odd eyes. They are very elegant and, having a well-proportioned body, they are known for climbing high places easily.

Identifying the Cat - How to Identify a Turkish Angora Cat?

Not sure if you got the real Turkish Angora cat? Though the cat has unmistakable physical and behavioral characteristics, due to its striking resemblance with the Persian cat, many people are often confused.

Below are some core traits of this natural but rare feline breed.

  • They have a long, silky, and shimmery coat that is short during the summers and grow longer in the winters.
  • It has a single coat and no undercoat.
  • They come in a variety of colors; white, blue, black, red, cream, blue-cream, spotted tabby, mackerel tabby, and bi-color. However, lavender, chocolate, and pointed patterns are not accepted for it.
  • These cats have slim, elegant, and well-balanced features. They have a dainty structure with a narrow chest, fine bones, and graceful limbs.
  • These felines have a small to medium structure that is delicate and dainty. They usually weigh between 5 to 9 pounds.
  • They have a wedge-shaped head, tapering near the chin, tall pointed ears, slender and long neck, and large and almond-shaped eyes.
  • The eyes come in a different combination of colors like blue, amber, green, and odd eyes. Usually, one of the eyes is blue.
  • They are quite dominating and when with other pets, dogs and cats alike, they like to lead and be in charge.
  • They love to interact and are quite vocal about their opinion and needs.
  • They are very independent and like to do their own thing, in their own way. They love to bond with their human owners and could be stubborn.
  • These felines are avid swimmers, one of their key qualities, and they do not mind joining you in the pool also.
  • Since they are natural hunters, they would pounce on fake mice, birds, toys, and even on your feet. They love to dance and play around and climb to high places.

Turkish Angoras are most closely related to Turkish Van cats but they are different from them. Due to their long and white fur, many people confuse the Turkish Van, Turkish Angora, and Persian cats.

Turkish Angora Personality, Temperament, and Breed Traits

A Turkish Angora is somewhat dog-like in nature. Unlike the reserved nature that the cats usually have, these cats want to be in the middle of whatever you are doing. They are very energetic and due to their strong presence, they are quite difficult to ignore.

They are very dominating and though they are excellent with family, kids, and other pets, they will make sure to let other animals know who is the boss here.

These felines are quite intelligent and will need ample mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. They are very athletic also and love to climb to high places like a bookshelf. They love to play and be around you all the time and this kitten-like behavior and trait remain with her till old age.

He has excellent manners that would keep you engaged and entertained. Besides, they are also very friendly and would love to have guests around. Being quite a social breed, they are best suited for households that have other pets like cats and dogs.

Keeping this in mind, many cat lovers buy a pair instead of a single cat.

They could not be left alone for long and will need interactive play and attention to stay entertained. To satisfy their hunting instincts, it is better to get some cat toys and a cat tree that could keep them entertained and busy. However, keep an eye on them and do not let them learn any bad habits.

Since they are very intelligent and headstrong, breaking a bad habit is quite difficult. Instead, teach him some new and interesting tricks and provide interactive toys like puzzles. Give him treats for encouragement but do not overfeed them.

These felines are known for their almost ‘dancer-like’ movements and for their problem-solving personality also. They are independent thinkers and could solve many problems on their own. Moreover, many of them also like to swim and are excellent swimmers.

These cats love to ‘talk’ and are one of the few cat breeds that love to chat. They are quite vocal and could continue a long and impressive conversation for a long time. They are excellent and enthusiastic dancers and would love to have a dance with you.

Health Conditions - Health Problems with Turkish Angora Cats

Generally, Turkish Angoras are healthy cats but, like all other cats, they could develop a number of genetic and health problems. This is true for both purebred and mixed breed cats.

Below are some common health issues with the Angora cats.

Deafness - Till the 19th century, many people speculated that all the Turkish Angora cats were deaf. However, this deafness is more common in cats that have an all-white coat and blue eyes. In cats having odd eyes, the side having a blue eye is deaf.

Hereditary Ataxia - It is a rare but serious neuromuscular condition that may exist in some kittens. Unfortunately, kittens having this condition have uncontrollable shaking movements and they may not survive to maturity.

Timely screening has helped in lessening the occurrence of the disorder.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy - It is one of the most common heart conditions among cats and is caused by the thickening of the heart muscles. The condition is equally common in both purebred or crossbred and pedigree cats.

The condition could be diagnosed by an echocardiogram. The felines having the condition have higher chances of heart failure and usually, male cats are more affected than female cats.

The cats having the said condition must not be bred. Moreover, do not buy the cat from a breeder who claims that his cats are HCM-free since there is no way to detect the condition or guarantee that the cat will not develop it.

The easiest and most convenient way of making sure that your cat stays healthy is to keep her away from obesity. Keep your cat at a suitable weight and follow the veterinarian’s instructions to keep her healthy and away from possible health conditions.

Give high-quality and vet-recommended cat food to your kitty to ensure good health and longer life expectancy.

Care and Grooming - How to Care for a Turkish Angora Cat?

Proper care and grooming are important to keep your cat healthy and free of any possible health issues.

Coat - since the cat has a single coat and no undercoat, it is less prone to mats and tangles, making it quite easy to groom and maintain. To groom it, a weekly combing or brushing is enough to keep it clean.

Teeth - brush and clean the teeth of your cat regularly to prevent periodontal disease. While you can brush the teeth daily, weekly brushing will work better. Use a good quality cat toothbrush to brush your feline’s teeth.

Nails - trim the nails regularly and do not let them grow too much. Make a weekly schedule and trim the nails every couple of weeks to make sure that they do not cause any harm to your cat’s movements.

Eyes - clean the corners of your cat’s eyes and use a soft and damp cloth for it. Use different cloths for both eyes to avoid spreading any infections. Remove the discharge carefully and check them for any redness or foul discharge.

Ears - check the ears regularly and clean them every week. If they look dirty, wipe them with a cotton ball or a damp and soft cloth. Use a mixture of equal parts apple cider vinegar and warm water to clean the ears properly. Do not use cotton swabs as they could harm the insides of the ears.

Keep your cat’s litter box clean and dump the waste regularly. Cats are quite conscious about their hygiene and a clean litter box will also help in keeping the coat clean and spotless.

However, it may not be as hypoallergenic as some other breeds. For people with allergies, hypoallergenic cats are the best choices.

It is better to keep the cat indoors to avoid its exposure to any harmful incidents like accidents. It will also help in keeping the cat safe from any diseases that he may get from stray animals. Besides, since it is a rare and costly cat, it has a high risk of being stolen.

Turkish Angora vs. Persian Cat vs. Turkish Van - What are the Differences?

All three cats are long haired cats that come in predominantly white color. While the cat fanciers and experts do know the differences between these felines, telling one from another could be difficult.

Below are the main differences between the three breeds.

Turkish AngoraPersian CatTurkish Van
Originated from Ankara, TurkeyOriginated from Persia, modern-day IranOriginated from the Lake Van region, Turkey
Physical Traits
Delicate features and structure, almond-shaped slanted eyes, wedge-shaped head, erect and tufted ears, long and plumed tailShort and flat face, short nose, rounded face, large and rounded eyes, low and close to head ears, muscular, short legs, thick tailsLarge, muscular, and elegant body, white coat with distinct markings on the head and tail, large ears set high on the head, large, oval, and expressive eyes, no undercoat, tufted paws, bushy tail
Strong, imposing, and a rather stubborn personality, love to be in charge, playful, friendly, affectionate, loves to play and dance, outgoing, somewhat dog-likeSweet, gentle, and serene, playful, communicative, easygoing, comfortable at home, not very outgoingFriendly, lively, playful, social, has a strong hunting instinct, outgoing, affectionate, trainable, excellent with kids and other pets
Coat Type and Variations
Not as long as the Persian cat, no undercoat, shiny and shimmery, easy to groom, short in summers and longer in wintersLong and luxuriant coat, both top and undercoat, many colors including red, black, blue, and creamSilky and semi-long, single coat and no undercoat, sleek appearance, water repellant, easy to groom
Small to mediumMedium-sizedMedium to large
Health Conditions
Generally healthy, chances of deafness in blue-eyed cats, ataxia, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathyGenerally healthy, may develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, deafness in cats with blue eyes, eye infections and irritation, breathing problems, kidney issues, retinal atrophyGenerally healthy, may develop genetic diseases, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, feline aortic thromboembolism (FATE), congenital vertebral malformations

Turkish Angoras are a rather rare breed. These cats are known for their luxuriant cashmere-like white coat and odd eyes that are generally amber and blue in color. Since they are very affectionate and loving, they make ideal pets and an emotional support cat for people who are dealing with some emotional and mental conditions.

If you want to make your Turkish Angora your ESA then fill the questionnaire to see if you qualify.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Turkish Angora cats hypoallergenic?

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No cat is 100% hypoallergenic and this includes the Turkish Angora also. However, since it has a single topcoat, it sheds less and may cause fewer allergies.

What is the average price of a Turkish Angora?

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On average, a Turkish Angora costs between $600 to $2,000. However, if you adopt the cat then it will cost between $75 to $150.

How long do Turkish Angoras live?

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On average, these cats live for 12 to 18 years.

What is a major difference between Turkish Angora and Turkish Van cats?

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Both of these breeds look similar but the Turkish Angora is much more finely structured and dainty than the Turkish Van. It also has more coat variations than the Van cats.

Are Turkish Angoras cuddly?

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Yes, these cats are really cuddly and they love to have a nap with their owner. However, they are also known for their funny antics and love to play tricks on others.

Are Angora cats rare?

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Yes, Turkish Angora is a rare cat breed. Though there are a lot more of these cats in the United States now, they are still considered rare. This is why they are quite difficult to get also since the breeders have to export them from Turkey.

Are Angora cats aggressive?

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No, these are not aggressive at all. They are very affectionate and they connect deeply with their owners. They make excellent pets for families with kids and other pets. Moreover, due to their playful nature, they make ideal playmates also.


Harper Jefcoat


Harper Jefcoat

Harper Jefcoat is a dedicated pet enthusiast and esteemed author at RealESALetter.com. With a profound passion for animals, Harper combines extensive knowledge and personal experience to provide insightful and informative content. Specializing in canine behavior and wellness, he strives to empower pet owners with the tools and understanding they need to nurture and care for their furry friends effectively. Harper’s writings reflect his commitment to enhancing the lives of pets and their owners, making him a trusted voice in the pet community.

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