Named a national treasure in their native Turkey, the Turkish Angora is an elegant creature with a remarkable set of skills that keep your jaw on the ground. Before we dive into her extraordinary talents, however, let’s learn a little more about the elegant lady of the hour.
The Turkish angora is a national treasure
The breed has been a part of Turkish history since the 15th century, and the first written reference to the Turkish Angora came in 16th century France. However, her presence became more prominent in the late 19th century when she was featured along with other novel breeds at some of the first cat shows in history.
Unfortunately, these show appearances almost led to the downfall of the Turkish Angora as a whole.
Persian breeders were delighted with the breed’s sophisticated looks and began using Turkish Angoras as part of breeding programs that phased out some of their coveted traits. Fortunately, Turkey’s Ankara Zoo started its own breeding program – one to preserve the shining star. With such a program, the Turkish Angora was able to preserve its identity and establish itself as a champion!
While unlikely, some believe that the Turkish Angora is a descendant of the Manul (also known as the Pallas Cat), a non-domesticated, small wild cat that is common in Central Asia. A more likely descendant? The African wild cat, which serves as the ancestor of all other domestic cats.
Many long haired cats, related to the Turk or not, were referred to simply as “Angoras” for many years. Now all Turkish Angoras registered with the Cat Fanciers’ Association must be able to trace their ancestry back to Turkey.
Tiny but powerful
The Turkish angora is definitely a petite girl – but she has a lot of energy. Described as a small to medium-sized breed, Turks hover in the 5 to 9 pound category (and that’s full, adult size!), But what they lack in bulk they more than make up for in behavior.
Although her look is classy and chic, this funny cat is known for her tricky ways and her sassy sense of humor! Compared to a playful pooch, Turks often have the grace of a ballerina coupled with the energy of a Labrador Retriever. Lively and agile, she digs interactively with her eyes and lives for (extra) high scratching posts to climb.
Turks are clever beings who watch their people’s every move. Behaviors are learned quickly and difficult to change. So be on your best behavior when this little lady has her eyes on you. She learns from your behavior – that is, she turns on the faucet to spontaneously swim in the sink, or opens a closet to do something nice for herself – or five – are just two of the many tricks she has up her figurative sleeve .
Turks have soft, silky, medium-length coats that look luscious but are rarely dull and require minimal maintenance. All she needs is good combing with a fine tooth comb at least twice a week.
Colors in abundance
Although the Turks are best known for their clean white coloring, they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns – from mackerel and tortoiseshell to red, black, blue, cream and tabby. With that in mind, their eyes are not always blue or green (as tradition would have us believe). Eye colors can appear in amber, gold, green, blue, or odd (two different eye colors).
Family, singleton, senior, adolescent – the Turkish Angora is an ideal cat for every family situation, even for those whose homes contain puppies or other creatures. Turks only want a friend and they never discriminate. A tip: Turkish Angoras are very self-confident cats, so they will take over your home from the moment they arrive. Be ready to give up your authority.
Featured image: Tetsu Yamazaki
Continue reading: 20 of the most popular cat breeds