Turkish Angora History
The elegant Turkish Angora is the ballerina of the cat fancy. These graceful cats dance into your life with their fine-boned elegance draped in a gossamer silk coat in a variety of colors. These energetic cats have a regal bearing but eagerly welcome visitors who come to pay tribute to them. The strikingly beautiful Turkish Angora has a long history in its native land and is considered a national treasure-and owners of these elegant, affectionate cats also consider themselves fortunate to own one of the gems of the cat world.
The Turkish Angora comes from Ankara (formerly Angora) where several other animals with delicate silky long coats originate. The earliest written reference occurs in 16th century France and they were well represented in the late 1800s/early 1900s at the dawn of the cat fancy in Europe. The Turkish Angora was used in Persian breeding programs in the early 1900s and disappeared as a separate breed. However, Turkey considered the cats as a national treasure and established a breeding program at the Ankara Zoo to ensure the preservation of the breed. They concentrated on whites with blue eyes, gold eyes and odd eyes and kept exact records of the genetically sound breeding program but were reluctant to let their cats go anywhere else. In the 1950s, American servicemen found the exquisite cats in the Ankara Zoo and carried news of them home. Eventually In 1962 the Ankara Zoo allowed Colonel and Mrs. Walter Grant to have an odd-eyed white male named Yildiz and an amber-eyed white female named Yildizcek. These cats became the foundation of a new breeding program in the USA. 1964 saw Sergeant and Mrs. Ivan Leinbach bring a pair to Arizona: Sam Olgum and Aliya's Snowball. Mrs. Ray Porter brought a pregnant odd-eyed white female, Belkzar, home with her-the sire of the kittens was one of the Ankara Zoo studs named Sam of Mountain Home. In 1966 the Grants were able to import another pair: an odd-eyed white male named Mav and an amber-eyed white female named Yaman. Other cats followed in the 1970s and the Turkish Angora became an established breed in North America.
The Turkish Angora may look slender and delicate but is has a body of solid muscle and stays fit by exercising its hunting instinct chasing through the house in pursuit of its toys. They are extremely agile like the ballerinas they resemble and will be found in unexpected high places like the top of door! These outgoing affectionate cats is interested in everything you do and wants to help you-and they expect you to be interested in everything they do and to help them. Ignore an intelligent Turkish Angora and you can expect it to engage in activities designed to make you pay attention-like batting one coaster at a time off the table until you stop what you are doing and pay attention to it. They are happy to have other pets around as long as they recognize the Turkish Angora as the boss.
The Turkish Angora has a semi-longhaired soft, silky coat that rarely mats. A comb run through the coat once a week will remove any loose hair and keep the shining coat in peak condition. While white is the color traditionally associated with the Turkish Angora, they come in a plethora of colors. In the summer the coat is shorter with slight britches and a fluffy tail. A full winter coat has medium length, fine, silky hair with a mane, britches and fully plumed tail.
They have a delicate appearance with their long fine-boned legs and body and their elegant pointed wedge but don't be deceived-these cats are solid, powerful muscle underneath the gossamer coat! They have large intelligent eyes set into the wedge and the head is crowned with large erect ears. The tail streams out behind them in a long plume as they chase through the house in a pure motion of fluid grace.