One of the most outgoing and affectionate of all cat
breeds, the rare and beautiful Turkish Angora has a
fascinating history and is considered a national treasure in
its native land. Many Turkish Angora owners in the United
Stated consider their cats a treasure as well!
Turks are not only intelligent, but extremely adaptable, loving
and playful, which makes them an excellent choice for families
with young children, and lively companions for senior adults.
They readily accept dogs and other animals, but their assertive
natures often make them the “alpha” pet in the household.
Elegant, finely-boned creatures, Turkish Angoras are graceful,
energetic and usually the first to welcome visitors into your
home. It is also not unusual for a pet Turk to act as the “host” at
a party or other gathering, inspecting and interacting with every
guest. It is no wonder that they are often considered “dog-like!”
The Turkish Angora’s soft, silky coat rarely mats and requires
only minimal grooming. Most breeders recommend combing
once or twice a week with a fine-toothed comb or slicker
brush to remove excess hair and keep the coat looking and
feeling its best. Like all long-haired breeds, they lose some
coat during the summer months, when more frequent
combing may be needed to prevent hairballs. Most likely,
the breed originated in the mountainous regions of Turkey,
where it developed an unusually soft, medium-long coat for
protection against the harsh winters. Possibly it evolved from
the Manul cat, a small feline domesticated by the Tartars.
This pure, natural breed can trace its written history as far
back as 16th-century France. However, in the early 1900s, it
was used indiscriminately in Persian breeding programs and
virtually disappeared as a separate breed. For many years, all
longhaired cats were referred to simply as “Angoras.”
Fortunately for cat lovers, controlled breeding programs had
been set up in Turkey to preserve this living treasure. There,
in the 1950s, at the Ankara Zoo, the Turkish Angora was
discovered by American servicemen and re-introduced to the
cat fancy. All Turkish Angoras registered by CFA must be able
to trace their ancestry back to Turkey.
Although the first import on record arrived in the U.S. in 1954,
it was not until the mid-1960s that the breed became numerous
enough to seek recognition from CFA. White Turkish Angoras
were accepted for registration in 1968, for Provisional Breed
competition in 1970, and for Champion-ship competition
in 1972. The first CFA grand champion, GC NoRuz Kristal
of Azima, came in 1976. However, it took another two years
before colored Turkish Angoras were permitted to compete in
Championship with their all-white siblings.
While whites are still very popular today, Turkish Angora
breeders have focused increasingly on colored cats. More
and more people are realizing how lovely these lithe, elegant
creatures look in other colors. At a CFA show today you
might see these cats in other solid colors, such as black, blue,
red and cream; in tortoiseshell or blue-cream; in classic,
mackerel and spotted tabbies of many colors; and bi-colored
cats in any of these colors with white. In recent years, many
breeders have begun working with smoke and shaded colors
as well. Any shade and pattern, except those that denote
hybridization (such as lavender, chocolate or the pointed
pattern) is accepted for CFA registration.
Pricing on Turkish Angoras usually depends on type,
applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand
Champion (GC), National Regional winning parentage
(NW or RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM).
The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having
produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM
offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand
champion/premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make
kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age.
After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations
and developed the physical and social stability needed for
a new environment, showing, or being transported by air.
Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying
and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts)
for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of
declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements
for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.