Many of her fans consider her the oldest feline breed in the world. What's true in this affirmation? Why does this long-haired cat captivate where it goes?
Genetic research confirms that Turkish Angora is indeed one of the oldest cat breeds in the world. Its long fur was the result of a natural mutation and not of the selection carried out by man, a feature that differentiates the history of its breeding from that of many other feline races.
Turkish Angora, named in Turkey Ankara kedisi, He even considered himself a national cat, and it is not surprising, since this elegant, strong feline, weighing up to 5 kg captivates many with a long coat that is characterized by its silky touch. Having no lower mantle, it is attached to the body and does not involve a great effort when caring for it. The climate of its place of origin is the reason why, in winter, it develops dense and dense hair with a marked collar, but which in summer becomes short, light and silky. This breed was perfectly adapted to hot summers and cold winters in the mountainous areas of Anatolia and the Caucasus.
The tail of the Turkish angora is long and very thick. His body, elegant with long legs, makes him look tender, but don't be fooled! Its skull has a cuneiform appearance from the base of the ears to the tip of the nose. Almond-shaped eyes and slightly oblique upwards are one of the most characteristic features of the breed, although the ears also stand out, many breeders prefer that the ear pavilions be large, open and with the fine tip.
The appearance of the breed has changed over the years, has been known since the fifteenth century and has a long history behind it. This cat from Turkey, which later took to Europe, exhibited a very strong and robust complexion, however, now, breeders and breeding organizations opt for modern, rather thin specimens.
Until the 1990s, only white Turkish Angora were admitted, currently in Turkey, it is still considered that this breed must have white fur. In the early 1990s, FIFe (Fédération Internationale Féline) also accepted those with hair of other colors. Since then, all associations recognize black, reddish coatings, as well as dilutions and variants silver of these colors There are also mottled or patterned specimens tabby. However, unwanted and unapproved colorations are chocolate, fawn, lilac and point.
Unlike other cat breeds such as ragdoll, the eyes of the Turkish angora can be of all shades: green, amber, green-amber, copper, blue or disparate eyes, there is no relationship between the color of the fur and that of the eyes
Turkish Angora are very clever cats, they appreciate the pampering of their owners, but they also like to be stimulated mentally. They are always willing to play intelligence or food-seeking games, although they also find traditional entertainment such as reeds, balls or mice interesting. When they play, they reveal their extraordinary joy, which they also transmit to the people they live with. They enjoy next to humans and love to follow them wherever they go. Incessant purring? Pamper attacks? Unbridled joy? If this is what you are looking for, then you are the perfect candidate to have a Turkish Angora! Relating with your family is one of your favorite activities, so they are cats that usually require a lot of attention, it is precisely this feature that makes them very demanding animals, despite their cheerful and simple nature. This breed is not aggressive and they feel very close to the people they live with, so it is very easy to have fun with them. They are perfect for families, they love playing with children, snuggling with adults and paying attention to them, something that is not lacking in an animal-loving family.
As much as the Turkish Angora is passionate about adventure and outdoor life, going abroad involves certain risks. This carefree breed trusts anyone, sometimes unconditionally, and usually approaches strangers purring and with their erect tail. Many would not hesitate to get into a stranger's car for a ride. Especially adventurous cats should always carry a chip and be registered so that, in case of doubt, they can be quickly identified and returned home.
Is this feline breed really the oldest in the world? Scientists have analyzed this issue and, thanks to genetic research, have proven that long-haired Turkish Angora are the result of a natural mutation, unlike other races that emerged from selective breeding. Therefore, it is indeed one of the oldest races in the world.
This cat is originally from the Caucasus and is closely related to the Turkish van. It began to be known in Turkey in the fifteenth century, the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, in the sixteenth century, sent them as an offering to the courts of England and France, which they also made known in Europe. There, his long fur caught the attention of the nobles and the beautiful and wealthy people. Turkish Angora was not only admired within the court, scientists and researchers were equally fascinated by this elegant feline with long silky fur. In a book of 1756, written by the French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, the Turkish Angora was already mentioned and represented graphically.
In the 18th century, cats became a symbol of social status in European courts. One of the descriptions of the breed, which dates from 1834, is attributed to William Jardine, who wrote: «Angora cats tend to be lounge cats. They are more meek and friendly than the usual cats ». Charles Ross, in 1868, offered a new description: «Angora cats are a fantastic breed with silky silvery fur [. ] They are all wonderful creatures of a kind nature ».
Despite this, the Persian relegated the Turkish Angora to the background and its number was reduced so much that it even became endangered in Turkey. The zoos of Ankara and Istanbul housed some of them to ensure the continuity of the species.
In the 1950s, the breeding of modern Turkish angora began. In 1954, the first specimen arrived in the United States, where it has been considered a breed since 1973 by the US feline breeding organization (CFA), although initially only those with white fur were accepted. The recognition of colored hair did not occur until five years later. The first cats of breed arrived in other countries precisely from the United States, there, the breeding was carried out thanks to cats imported from Turkey, a curious fact is that these came mostly from zoos.
Turkish Angora may suffer from an inherited autosomal recessive ataxia. These cats, which seem to stagger, suffer from a neurological condition that causes coordination problems. Many of the affected kittens die at an early age. With many cares, specialized help, adequate home adaptation and specific veterinary care, cats with ataxia can live for many years. The origin of this disease is unknown, but what is unquestionable is that it is a congenital pathology, adult animals cannot be infected.
For genetic reasons, hearing impairment and deafness occur frequently in white cats. There is also evidence of balance disorders. These problems are not related to the specific breed, many angora cats are completely white and suffer from these diseases with some frequency.
Tenure and food
As a healthy and robust breed, the Turkish angora does not require special care or food. The best basis for a long and healthy life is high-quality protein-rich food. Since they are carnivores, they need to ingest proteins, on the contrary, they are only capable of assimilating small amounts of carbohydrates, and their high intake can lead to associated diseases such as diabetes.
"You are what you eat" is a recurring phrase that can also be applied to our cats. It has been scientifically proven that they know how to identify perfectly what food is good for them. They have a preference for food whose composition resembles that of mice - the nutrition base of carnivorous cats. This dam is composed of 85% meat, including lean meat, connective tissue and organs. The remaining percentage is made up of the plant components found in the gastrointestinal tract, along with the bones and hair. A mouse usually contains between 50% and 60% protein, 20% or 30% fat and a percentage of 3 to 8% carbohydrates from the animal's gastrointestinal tract. The most suitable food for a cat is one that has similar proportions to these.
Contrary to what you would expect, it is very easy to find out what cat food really contains. On the label of any food the ingredients must be reflected with their respective quantities in decreasing order. It goes without saying that meat should be placed first. Although not all meat is really meat! The term meat and animal by-products refers, in addition to lean meat, to all derived and waste products such as organs, hair or tendons. However, feeding only based on lean meat can lead to nutritional deficiencies, so it is convenient that the food in question also includes offal, although it is true that not all can be used well, in particular, waste products such as The horns or the hair. The label of the composition contains not only the ingredients, but also the analytical components, a quantitative chemical analysis of the substances that the food contains. In most cases the percentages of crude protein, crude fat, crude ash, crude fiber and moisture and, sometimes, also the content of vitamins and minerals can be observed. So you can easily and quickly assess the quality of the food on the market.
Apart from proper nutrition, a Turkish angora needs to go to the vet every year to get vaccinations, to have her teeth examined and to clarify any doubts you may have. The annual review also usually includes a brief cardiac and pulmonary examination to diagnose possible diseases early.
Now we can only wish you and your Turkish Angora a fantastic life together!
How to find the right breeder
Although the Turkish angora is not one of the best known feline breeds, its offspring have come forward. If you want to offer a home to one of them, you do not need to travel to Turkey, surely you will find a trusted breeder near you.
A breed cat is as good as the place where it was raised. Reliable breeders value the importance of being enrolled in an association and are concerned that their puppies receive adequate health care and food, which, of course, is an expense. The cats that an amateur can offer cost around 500 euros, while those sold by a professional breeder exceed that price. However, it should be borne in mind that, when paying that amount, not only the documents proving the pedigree are received, but also the commitment and certainty that the breeder has been concerned with the evolution of the animal and the care of its parents. Possible expenses for mounting rights or those derived from food and visits to the veterinarian to control the health of the mother and the litter are rarely covered by the sale price. Breeding is a very expensive hobby, so it is not advisable to trust those who offer kittens without documentation. In general, these people have had to save at some stage of the process: in the selection of the parents for the crossing, in the waiting times that must be respected between litter and litter or the periods of rest for the mother, in the care medical, genetic testing or feeding ...
If necessary, a responsible breeder can show you the results of medical tests and the documentation of the parents, in addition, he gives his kittens a period of twelve weeks so that they can develop and learn everything necessary from their mother and siblings. After this time, the puppies will be prepared to fully integrate into their new family. It is really worth waiting for this time! The following years, from 12 to 18, the Turkish Angora will be by your side and will captivate you with its friendly and open way of being.
Characteristics of the Turkish Angora cat
- It has a medium, long, slender and muscular body and can weigh between 3 and 5 kilos.
- Your eyes may be green, copper, blue, amber or bicolor, as is the case with angoras cats whose fur is white. The shape of your eyes is oval and these can be medium or large.
- The height ranges between 15 and 20 centimeters.
- His ears are pointed and large.
- Its fur is long, fine and very silky.
- The color of these cats can be very varied, although the white color is the favorite and characteristic of this breed.
- They usually live between 12 and 16 years.
Turkish Angora cat habitat
Created in the fifteenth century in Turkey, it was introduced to Europe in the sixteenth century through trade routes. Its species was almost annihilated in that continent at the beginning of the 20th century and in the 70s the breed was made official in both Europe and the United States. Because it is a breeding cat, it does not have a natural habitat.
Turkish Angora cat feeding
Their diet does not vary much from that of others cat breeds. It can be dry food like gatarina, or moist food like canned cat food. It is necessary to consult with the veterinarian which brand is the most suitable according to the conditions that the cat possesses, for example its age, weight, pregnancy or in case it has any disease. Also, it is mandatory to give them fresh and clean water every day and change it once a day.
Turkish Angoras cat breeds
Yes the turkish angora cat It was used to create other long-haired cat breeds, this is an independent breed. However, there are different varieties of the Angora cat that are distinguished by the color of their fur that can be blue, red, silver, brown, cream, brindle, white and silver.
Way of reproduction
They are mammalian animals and their reproduction is sexual. The turkish angora It can have between 4 and 6 offspring and the gestation period is 63 to 67 days. Turkish Angora cat pups start playing and walking early, but do not fully develop their fur until they are two years old.
Life expectancy: 9 - 14 years
Need for attention / Socialization: moderate
Tendency to lose hair: high
Length: medium, long
Colors: white, red, cream, black, blue, silver, turtle shell, calico, diluted calico, cream blue
Pattern: solid, turtle shell, bicolor, tricolor / calico, tabby (tabby), smoke (smoke)
Little allergenic: do not
Need for general hygiene: moderate
Recognition of feline associations:
The Turkish angora is usually a medium sized cat. It has a long and slender body with fine bones
It is a muscular cat so it should not appear thin or malnourished. The ears are elongated and their eyes slightly inclined. The hind legs are taller than the front. He is an elegant cat who is always active, alert and proud of himself. The hair of the Turkish angora is semi-long and has no inner layer, so care for your hair is simple. The hair has seasonal variations, however, even when it is shorter, it should be soft and silky and with a fluid movement.
The Turkish angora should not gain weight since the bones of this elegant cat are thin and excessive weight can be harmful.
He loves to run and play. You must have suitable shelves and trees for cats. He also likes to have different toys.
Hair should be brushed daily. Lacking an inner layer, hair care is relatively simple, since usually no knots or tangles are made. If the Turkish angora has blue or disparate eyes, it can be deaf. In this case, your voice may be louder than expected, since you cannot listen to modulate the volume of your voice.
Anyone looking for a breed of cat with a pedigree that can still be found in a zoo should opt for a Turkish Angora. This long-haired cat of extraordinary beauty is still preserved in the zoo of Ankara (Turkey), where the breed is kept.
It is possible that the Turkish angora was the first long-haired cat seen in Europe. In 1520, a long-haired white cat was introduced in Europe from Ankara. Although European cat lovers found this breed fascinating, the Persian surpassed it in popularity. He was subsequently largely ignored and was on the verge of extinction in Europe. If they hadn't kept it at the zoo in Turkey, we could have lost this breed altogether.
In the 1960s, an American couple who visited Turkey fell in love with the Turkish Angora at the zoo and tried to get permission to take some of those cats to the United States. Finally, they were granted the corresponding permission, and the cats began to actively breed in the United States.