The word ‘Angora’ is a familiar one to most. You might have heard of Angora sweaters or rugs, for example. It refers to a particular part of Turkey – the Ankara region – where a special type of fur gets produced. You might also have heard of Angora cats. They are from the same area of the world, and they have similarly beautiful glossy coats.
The Turkish Angora cat is a long haired breed, and its existence can be dated back for millennia. According to historians, it came to Europe with Turkish Sultans who often gave these pets as diplomatic gifts. In the 1950s, they became endangered, and an emergency breeding program developed.
As a result, the animal became officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in the 1960s. So, what makes this breed so unique? Why do so many feline obsessives fall in love with its elegant appearance and soft, silky fur?
This guide to the key features of the Turkish Angora will tell you a little more about the highly sought after breed.
The breed comes in several accepted colors. They include smoke, tabby, silver, black, chocolate, cinnamon, shaded, and red. Turkish Angoras also come in white, but the colour is rarer and sometimes associated with eye problems. Only white cats have blue or two different colored eyes. The rest are all green.
There is the potential for sight and hearing problems in Turkish Angoras, but this is usually only the case if a cat has particular alleles. There are two white genes – full white and spotted. They may both exist in the same animal, so contrary to popular belief, a pure white cat can be a spotted cat at the same time.
If the spotting occurs in the temple region, the cat will have no hearing ability on that side of their body. It applies to animals without a dominant white allele, but the problem is that you cannot always tell if the head region of a Turkish Angora is exhibiting a dominant pure white gene or a spotted white gene. The only way to know for sure is to breed the animal.
Soft, Silky Fur Coats
For the Turkish Angora, the crowning glory is their fur. They are beautiful cats, with delicate bones and incredibly soft fur covers their bodies. It almost appears to shimmer as the animal moves, which is one of the reasons why Angoras are so popular with show owners. You might think that such a fancy coat would make the breed difficult to groom, but this is not the case.
The coat is single layered, so it does not get matted or twisted. Plus, like many cats, the breed is designed to shed fur during the summer. It gives the animal the appearance of a more shorthaired cat, at least for a few months of the year. In the winter, the fur returns and the britches and mane become fluffy. Ultimately, Turkish Angoras require little maintenance.
The fur of this breed is quite neat and straight. It makes these cats a top pick for shows and pageants. The hairs point in the same direction, particularly towards the back of the body, so most Turkish Angoras have a fluffy ‘fox-like’ tail. Underneath the belly, they start to curve and curl, but this is normal. You do not have to brush the underside of your pet.