Let’s be real, cats are among the most elegant creatures in the world. They always look so gracious and beautiful; it is impossible not to admire them! I’m writing this with one particular breed on my mind: the Turkish Angora cat breed.
Although they look like a product of careful and selective breeding, the Turkish Angora cat breed is actually a natural and ancient breed that certainly deserves more attention and praise. If this intrigues you, keep reading!
Turkish Angora Cat Characteristics
|Fur color||White, cream, orange, brown, black, blue, and lavender.|
|Fur pattern||Solid, bicolor, calico, tabby, smoked, and color point.|
|Fur length||Medium to long|
|Eye color & shape||Large, almond-shaped, and slightly slanted eyes that can be blue, green, gold, amber, yellow, copper, and even odd.|
|Weight||Males 6-12 lbs|
Females 5-10 lbs
|Expected lifespan||12-18 years|
|Temperament||Playful, active, energetic, intelligent, determined, communicative, craves attention.|
|Kids and other pets||If properly socialized from an early age, Turkish Angora cats are friendly toward children and other pets.|
|Sociable and cuddly||Affectionate and loving and likes to cuddle. These cats can be shy around strangers, but that changes once they get more familiar.|
Requirements & Traits
Meat-based food rich in protein. Wet and dry commercial cat food. Kittens need to eat 3-4 times a day, while adults should eat 2-3 times a day.
|Grooming||Weekly fur brushing, regular nail trimming, and proper dental hygiene.|
|Shedding||Moderate to high|
History and Origins
Turkish Angora cats are a breed that occurred naturally, i.e., no selective breeding was needed to create them. If you have read my article about Persian cats, you probably remember that Persian and Angora cats arrived in Europe together.
Turkish Angora cats arrived in Europe from Persia, Russia, and Asia Minor in the late 16th century. When they arrived, Turkish Angora cats were often considered the same breed as Persian cats. Additionally, Turkish Angora cats were believed to be a foundation for developing the Persian breed.
At first, Turkish Angora cats were more popular than Persian cats. They were usually white and dainty, unlike stocky Persians. However, soon the Persian cats became more popular, and Turkish Angora cats were pushed away.
During the next few centuries, Turkish Angoras were used for outcrossing the Persian breed in order to improve the coats of Persian cats. Finally, in the early 20th century, Turkish Angora cats finally got more recognition and stopped being so overshadowed by Persian cats.
Around that time, Atatürk Forest Farm and Zoo started a breeding program aimed at protecting and preserving pure white Angora cats. Odd-eyed Turkish Angoras were particularly prized. And even though this helped in popularizing Turkish Angora cats, these breeding efforts completely ignored Angoras that weren’t white.
In 1963, a Turkish Angora cat was brought to Canada, and this breed was accepted as a championship pedigreed breed by CFA (Cat Fancier’s Association) in 1973. Finally, in 1978, non-white Angoras were also recognized as part of the breed. Nowadays, Turkish Angora cats are still relatively rare in the US, but their gene pool is slowly expanding.
“True” Turkish Vs. “American” Turkish Angora Cats
However, Turkish breeders aren’t so delighted with the direction in which American breeders of Turkish Angora cats are going. They believe that American-born Turkish Angora cats are too fine-boned, unlike their distant cousins in Turkey, which are significantly sturdier.
Additionally, “American” Turkish Angoras have only a little bit of DNA from the original Atatürk Forest Farm and Zoo. According to the Turkish breeders, this fact makes Amerikan Turkish Angoras purebred “only on paper.”
Turkish Angora Cat Personality
Turkish Angora cats not only look good, but they also have interesting and fun personalities. If you get yourself a Turkish Angora cat, you will never be alone again. Whatever you do, your cat will have to accompany you and even try to “help.” Every cat owner knows how adorable and annoying this can be at the same time, but hey, it’s the price of owning a cat.
Turkish angora cats are playful and active, unlike their old friends, the Persians. Another difference between these two breeds is that Persian cats are docile, while Angora cats are complete opposites. If your Turkish Angora cat decides to do something, there is nothing in the world that can stop her.
They are also highly intelligent and show some basic problem-solving skills. And most importantly, Turkish Angora cats are affectionate, loving, and devoted to their owners. They are also protective of their owners and can often be seen climbing on tall places and overseeing the home that way.
When it comes to children and other pets, Turkish Angora cats can be friendly, but you need to socialize them from an early age. They aren’t as friendly as some other cat breeds, so if you don’t socialize them on time, they might not be as accepting of children and other pets.
Turkish Angora Cat Appearance
Turkish Angora cats are well-known for their unique and distinct appearance. Young Turkish Angoras are even sometimes confused for a snow weasel. To see what’s so special about their appearance, keep reading!
Fur is definitely the most distinct feature of Turkish Angora cats. Long, smooth, silky, and soft, Turkish Angora’s fur is truly something special. The most common color of Turkish Angora’s fur is white, but these cats also come in various other colors, such as orange, cream, brown, black, blue, lavender, etc.
When it comes to fur patterns, Turkish Angora cats can have furs that are solid, bicolor, calico, tabby, smoked, and color point.
Apart from having beautiful furs, Turkish Angora cats also have striking eyes. Their eyes are large, almond-shaped, and slightly slanted. They can be basically any shade of blue, green, yellow, amber, gold, copper, etc.
These cats are considered a medium-sized breed, with males being slightly larger than females. A male Turkish Angora cat usually weighs between 6 and 12 pounds, and its body length ranges from 14 to 16 inches. Female Turkish Angora cats weigh between 5 and 10 pounds, and their body lengths range from 12 to 14 inches.
Other Body Characteristics
Turkish Angora cats are fine-boned and slender cats with firm musculature. Their bodies are elegant, gracious, and long. The hips are higher than the shoulder area, which makes the hind legs a bit longer than the front legs. The paws are small, delicate, and round. The tail is long and tapering, and it has a beautiful and fluffy appearance.
The head is small to medium in proportion to the rest of the body, and it has a distinct wedge-like shape. The chin is firm, the muzzle is rounded, and the nose is medium long. The ears are large and wide at the base. Ear tips are pointed and tufted.
Daily Life With Turkish Angora Cat
If you don’t want a cat that will require much work, then maybe Turkish Angora isn’t the best breed for you. Overall, Turkish Angora cats are easygoing, but their care can be a bit too demanding for some people. However, their requirements aren’t impossible or too demanding; they are just a bit higher than for some other cat breeds.
Just like other cat breeds, Turkish Angora cats are obligate carnivores. This means they should only eat meat-based foods that are rich in animal protein and moderate in animal fats. Try to find the highest-quality commercial cat food possible for your Turkish Angora.
Both dry and wet foods are important for your cat’s health. Wet cat food will help hydrate your Turkish Angora and keep its fur and skin healthy. On the other hand, dry cat food is good for cleaning your cat’s teeth and keeping them healthy.
Most cat experts will recommend you feed your Angora 3-4 times a day while it’s still a kitten and 2-3 times a day once it grows up. However, you can also try and feed your cat more often but with smaller amounts of food. This way, you can monitor their diet and weight more easily.
Of course, I recommend you consult your vet. They will be able to come up with the best meal plan (including both the feeding frequency and the portion size) for your cat. Finally, don’t forget to give your cat some fresh water every day. Cats aren’t such big fans of water even when drinking it, but they still need to drink it every day to stay healthy.
This is the part that makes Turkish Angoras kinda high-maintenance. Their silky smooth furs don’t have an undercoat, which makes them less prone to tangling and matting. However, Turkish Angoras shed a lot, especially while they are still young and growing (under two years of age). They need to be brushed at least once or twice a week to reduce the shedding and remove those hairs that already fell off but stayed in the fur.
Nail trimming is another important aspect of your cat’s hygiene, and it will significantly reduce the possibility of scratched furniture. You should trim your cat’s nails every two weeks or at least once a month. Try to train your Turkish Angora and get it used to nail trimming while it is still a kitten. This way, it won’t resist nail trimming sessions once it grows up. Alternatively, if you can’t trim its nails by yourself, you can take your Turkish Angora cat to the pet groomer.
Dental hygiene is also important for preventing various dental diseases. Use a pet toothbrush and pet toothpaste to brush your cat’s teeth every day. As with the nail trimming, it would be perfect if you could teach your cat to put up with the teeth brushing while it is still a kitten. Additionally, you can offer it some teeth-cleaning snacks that will further improve your cat’s dental hygiene.
Use a damp cloth to clean your Angora cat’s eye and ear area gently. If you notice any unusual discharge, make sure to contact your vet immediately.
I already said that Angora cats are active and playful animals, but don’t worry, they aren’t hyperactive or hard to manage. Providing them with several toys, a scratching tree, and a climbing tree will be more than enough to satisfy their need for play.
Angora cats are huge fans of climbing and jumping, and they like to spend a lot of their time on high ground. Make sure to provide them with enough space to jump and climb.
Of course, you should also take some time out of your day, every day, to play with your Turkish Angora cat and give it some attention. Turkish Angora cats crave attention and enjoy being in the center of it. Also, if you are finishing some errands in your home, allow your Turkish Angora to keep you company, as long as it’s not interfering with your task. This will make your cat extremely happy, as Turkish Angoras like to be little helpers whenever possible.
Turkish Angora cats can go outside to play or for a walk, but it should happen under your strict supervision. Finally, these cats don’t fare well when left alone, especially for prolonged periods of time. That’s why you should either avoid leaving them alone, or find them a buddy. The best choice is to find a cat that will be of similar temperament and personality as your Turkish Angora.
Most Common Turkish Angora Cat Health Issues
In general, Turkish Angora cats are healthy, but just like any other breed, they can be susceptible to some health conditions. White cats, in general, can be more prone to certain conditions due to their unique genetic makeup, and this is true for Turkish Angora cats.
In the past, it was believed that all Turkish Angora cats were deaf. That proved to be not true, but many are actually deaf, which is quite common among white cats. But what does cause deafness in white cats?
There are genes that are responsible for the development of melanin, a substance that produces various pigments in animals’ skin, hair, and eyes. The same genes also help the correct development of ears. But not every cat possesses these genes, and such cats are born white, usually with blue eyes. Additionally, they are often born deaf because they lack those genes that also contribute to proper ear development.
So, if you get a new Turkish Angora cat and it isn’t responding to your vocal commands, it is probably deaf. Take it to the vet for the official assessment. The vet will be able to help you make the most out f your situation. With their help, you will be able to make the necessary accommodations for your cat’s disability.
Hereditary ataxia is fairly common among Turkish Angora cats. It is a neurological condition caused by damaged cerebellum, a part of the brain responsible for movement and coordination. Some cases of ataxia can be caused by tumors or trauma, but in most cases, ataxia is inherited from parents.
Ataxia can appear in all ages, but most commonly, it appears among kittens. The symptoms and the severity of the condition can range from mild to severe. The most common symptoms include loss of balance, loss of coordination, weakness, rapid eye movements, and head tremors.
If you notice any of these symptoms, take your cat to the vet right away. Even though ataxia can’t be cured at the moment, there are some treatments that can make the whole condition easier on your cat. These treatments include medications, physical therapy, and specialized diets.
This is a quite common condition for many cat breeds, including the Turkish Angora cats. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is characterized by the abnormal thickening of heart muscles. Such abnormally thick muscles reduce the efficiency of the heart, sometimes even leading to heart failure.
Some common signs of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are shortness of breath, lethargy, weakness, rapid breathing, coughing, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fainting. This condition can even lead to death in more severe cases.
If you notice any of the abovementioned symptoms, make sure to take your cat to the vet. The cat will try to slow down the advancement of the disease by prescribing beta blockers, diuretics, and anti-inflammatory drugs that can reduce the strain on your cat’s heart. Additionally, moderate exercise and a specialized diet can also improve your cat’s condition.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
As its name suggests, this disease is characterized by multiple cysts forming on the cat’s kidneys. These cysts are basically fluid-filled sacks, and they will gradually reduce the kidney’s functionality. Polycystic kidney disease is usually diagnosed in cats that are eight years or older, but it can appear at any stage of life.
The most common symptoms of polycystic kidney disease are increased thirst, increased urination, problems with urination, weight loss, loss of appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. As usual, if you notice any of these symptoms, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
After determining that your cat indeed has polycystic kidney disease, your vet will prescribe therapy that will focus mainly on managing the symptoms and slowing down the advancement of the disease. This includes specialized diet, hypertension medications, and even dialysis in more severe cases.
Obesity and Diabetes
Obesity and diabetes are truly the diseases of the modern age. Of course, they existed throughout history, but it seems like we are experiencing an epidemic of obesity and obesity-related diseases. And what makes things even worse, these diseases aren’t widely spread among humans only; they are also affecting our cats and other pets.
This probably has to do with the fact that humans and their pets have more food than ever before. On the other hand, we humans have adopted sedentary lifestyles, and it seems that our pets followed our example. The abundance of food and the lack of physical activity inevitably causes obesity, not only among humans but also among our cats.
We all know how dangerous obesity can be and that it causes numerous other health issues. Obesity causes various cardiovascular issues, joint disorders, mobility issues, and diabetes. If your Turkish Angora cat has gained a lot of weight recently, and it isn’t pregnant or still growing, you should consult your vet.
The vet will be able to help you come up with an appropriate diet and exercise plan for your cat. If you follow it persistently, your cat will go back to its recommended weight, and it will be much healthier.
Turkish Angora Cat Name Suggestions
Now that we went over some things you must know before getting an Angora cat (such as their common health problems, dietary and grooming needs, etc.), it is time to decide how you should name it. I always found naming a cat either quite easy or almost impossible.
Sometimes, the name comes naturally and you don’t even have to think about it, while sometimes, you can spend hours trying to think of a perfect name, with no result. If you find yourself in the second situation more often, take a look at my top picks for Turkish Angora names.
Maybe you will find something that you like, or maybe these suggestions will serve as an inspiration:
Buying or Adopting Turkish Angora Cat
Turkish Angora cats are still rare in the US, and it isn’t highly likely that you will find one in your local shelter. However, if you do happen to find Turkish Angora available for adoption, the whole adoption process will cost you between $75 and $150.
If, on the other hand, you decide to buy your Turkish Angora cat from a breeder, it can cost you anywhere between $600 and $2000. The price depends on the cat’s age and physical characteristics, as well as on the breeder themself.
Make sure to do your research before choosing a particular breeder. You should only buy pets from reputable breeders that have good breeding ethics.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, they are still rare in the US, even though their popularity is slowly rising.
Turkish Angora cats are sweet and affectionate cats that will certainly bring joy into your life.
They do, but they can be a bit shy and aloof among strangers. Once they get to know you, they will enjoy all the cuddling that you can give them!
No, Turkish Angora cats aren’t hypoallergenic, and they shed a lot.
They can be a good choice if you can commit to regular grooming and if you can put enough energy into training and socializing them. However, this can be said for almost every cat breed.
Alternatives To Turkish Angora Cat
If you like Turkish Angora cats but can’t find one, you can get a similar cat. The most similar cats to Turkish Angora are Turkish Van, Persian cats, and the Manx cat breed. These cats are roughly the same size as Turkish Angoras, and they also look quite similar.
Turkish Angora Cat Fun Facts
- Most cats aren’t big fans of water, but apparently, Turkish Angora cats love water. They even like to bathe or shower with their owners!
- Their tails are longer than usual due to genetic mutation. That’s why these cats are often compared (and confused) with weasels.
- Turkish Angoras are vocal cats and they will often communicate with their owners by making unusual chirping noises.
Turkish Angora cats are one of the oldest breeds in the world and I think they don’t get the attention they deserve. Apart from being absolutely stunning, these cats have lovely personalities, and they are wonderful pets.
Hopefully, this post will motivate someone to get a Turkish Angora cat. If you are one of those people, I promise you, you won’t regret your decision!