Turkish Angora cats are a charismatic old breed, who have dipped in and out of popularity over the last few hundred years. They are almost always white, although they can have other colors on their heads or tails. This beautiful breed have a sleek, fairly long coat and grow to a medium size. They are thought to have origins in the mountainous regions of Turkey, and potentially evolved from the wild Pallas’ cat! This breed are distinguished by a glorious, unusually soft and silky coat, which probably developed to give an exotic kitty protection against the harsh climate of its native land.
- Coats, colors, grooming and shedding
- Are they friendly family pets?
- Are they healthy and long lived?
- Buying or adopting a kitten
This is an unusual breed with a very individual personality that might not suit every household. If you are looking for a lively, sociable, curious friend who will stick to you like glue as you go about your daily chores, the Turkish Angora could be just the feline friend you’re looking for! However, you must be mindful that white, blue-eyed Turkish Angoras can have hearing problems, so you will need an enclosed garden for him to play safely in that’s well away from dangerous roads.
Where Do They Come From?
The history of Turkish Angoras as pets dates back to 16th century France. However, thanks to indiscriminate breeding during the early 1900s, the pure breed almost disappeared. Then, in the 1950s the Turkish Angora was discovered alive and well at the Ankara Zoo by US servicemen.
Luckily for us today, this beautiful cat was imported into the US in 1954 where it has thrived ever since! In his native homeland, the Turkish Angora is considered to be a national icon! But these days, the Turkish Angora cat is something of a rarity.
Turkish Angora Appearance
The Turkish Angora is a small to medium-size kitty. On average they weigh-in at between 5 and 9 pounds. Males are usually a little larger and heavier than females.
Turkish Angoras are renowned for their fine, long, silky coats that shimmer as they strut around their kingdom (your home!) When they have their full winter coats, mature Turkish Angoras often sport a ruff around their neck, and they wear gorgeous, fluffy “breeches” on their upper hind legs, which are perfectly set-off by their extravagant plumed tail.
The traditional coat color preferred by purists is white. But the coat can be other solid colors, including black, red, blue, and cream. Patterned coats are also seen, including tortoiseshell, tabby, and calico. Their eyes are almond-shaped and can be green, blue, gold, or amber. Some individuals have eyes of two different colors!
Grooming and Shedding
You might think that the Turkish Angora is a walking hair-shedder! Or perhaps he suffers from hair mats, because of his long coat. In fact, neither is the case. Your furry friend’s coat doesn’t grow to its full length until he’s about two years of age.
This kitty’s luxuriant coat has no undercoat that could cause tangles or mats. His coat is one single layer of loveliness that is surprisingly easy to maintain! You can keep your Turkish Angora looking great by combing or brushing him just once a week. And he’ll certainly thrive on the attention!
Surprisingly, they also shed very little! Unlike some other breeds of long-haired cats, this kitty doesn’t suffer from regular shedding episodes. When you notice that your kitty is losing a little more hair than usual, just brush him twice a week instead of just once!
Packed with Personality
The Turkish Angora is energetic and easily bored, so you’ll need to invest in plenty ofinteractive toys to keep him entertained! These cats are full of personality and character. Your fluffy bundle of fun will follow you around, hoping for a game or just to see what you’re up to.
Many Turkish Angoras also enjoy swimming and playing in water. Don’t be surprised if you find your kitty taking a dip in your pool or paddling around in your bath with you!
Are They Good Family Pets?
Your friendly Turkish Angora will generally get on well with children, so long as they don’t pull his tail or hair. He will enjoy the company of other cats, and even dogs, although this kitty cat will always be in charge. Like any cat, he is more likely to be comfortable with something as an adult if he gets used to it as a kitten, so begin gentle introductions as early as possible.
Turkish Angora cats like to be up high where they can look down on everything and everyone in their kingdom. Be sure to invest in plenty of climbing and resting posts for your cat so that your furniture doesn’t become a substitute climbing frame!
Sadly as this is an unusual and especially beautiful breed of cat, it makes them a potential target for thieves. For this reason, some Turkish Angora owners prefer not to let their cat to roam free, especially at night.
Are They A Naturally Healthy Breed?
Any cat has the potential to develop health problems. And like any purebred cat, the Turkish Angora is particularly vulnerable to some disorders that can be inherited from his parents.
Turkish Angoras are pretty healthy cats. However, there are a few health conditions that they can be prone to, including heart issues and hearing problems.
Deafness In White Cats
Some white Turkish Angoras who have blue eyes may be prone to deafness, due to a genetic defect. Although cats can get usually along fine without their hearing, a deaf or partially deaf cat is unlikely to hear traffic or other dangers approaching.
If you’re worried about letting them out, don’t forget there are some great compromises, like supervised playtime in an enclosed garden, or expeditions outdoors using a harness and leash.
Turkish Angora lifespan
If you decide to welcome a Turkish Angora cat into your home, you can expect to devote between 13 and 15 years to his care. Some Turkish Angoras have even been known to live as long as 20 years!
Of course, giving your cat the right kind of food, ensuring he has plenty of exercise, and taking him for regular vaccinations and vet checks will help to increase his lifespan.
Turkish Angora Kittens
Turkish Angora kittens are cheeky, lively, active, and intelligent! And they love to spend time with their owners. Your Turkish Angora will follow you around the house, just looking for a game (and for mischief too!) This is not a kitty who will happily curl up and sleep all day – he likes to be on the go all the time!
When choosing a Turkish Angora kitten, always go to a registered breeder with a good reputation. You should always be able to meet a kitten with their mother. The kittens should be reared inside a family home where they can build their social skills, and mom should clearly be a much-loved pet.
Look for a kitten that has clear ears and eyes. All of the litter should be friendly, active, curious, and up for a game. If any of the kittens seem lethargic, disinterested in their surroundings, or have a milky discharge from their eyes or nose, walk away!
Breeders and Shelters
Reputable breeders will perform the necessary health certifications to screen-out genetic health conditions, so check that the breeder you are planning to use has done this.
There are a number of red flags to watch out for when perusing breeders’ websites. Warning signs include kittens always being available all the time, and breeders who have lots of different litters on their premises at the same time.
If a Turkish Angora kitten is not available, you may have to wait awhile!
Although the Turkish Angora is quite a rare breed that’s not common to find in shelters, you may strike lucky, so it’s always worth taking a look. In particular, see if there are any shelters near you that specialize in rehoming purebred cats.