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The Turkish Angora is known by many enthusiasts as the “oldest pedigree cat in the world”. What is the truth of their claim – and why do long-haired cats enchant animal lovers around the world?

History of the Breed

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Is the Turkish Angora cat really the oldest pedigree cat in the world? Scientists have dealt with this topic and have shown with genetic studies that the long-haired genes of the Turkish Angora actually originated through natural mutation. In contrast to other breeds, it was not bred out through targeted selection. The Turkish Angora is actually one of the oldest cat breeds in the world.

The Turkish Angora is originally from the Caucasus and is closely related to the Turkish Van. It has been known in Turkey since the 15th century. In the 16th century, sultans of the Ottoman Empire sent Turkish Angora cats as a gift to English and French courts, making them known in Europe as well. Because of her long fur, she was sure to attract the attention of the aristocratic, rich and famous! But the Turkish Angora cat was not only popular at court. Scientists and naturalists were also fascinated by the noble cats with silky fur. The Turkish Angora was mentioned and illustrated in a book by the French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon as early as 1756.

In the 18th century, cats were a status symbol on European courts. One of the descriptions of the breed dates back to 1834. William Jardine wrote: “Angora cats are often kept as salon kittens in this country. They are considered gentler and friendlier than ordinary cats. “Charles Ross gave another description of the Turkish Angora in 1868:” The Angora is a beautiful breed with silvery hair of a silky texture (…) They are all wonderful creatures with friendly natures “. Persian breeding let the Turkish Angora fade into the background and its population even in Turkey shrank to a threatening level. In the zoos in Ankara and Istanbul, even a few specimens of the Turkish Angora were kept to ensure their population.

The 50s was the hour of birth of the modern breed of the Turkish Angora cat. In 1954 the first Turkish Angora came to the USA, where it has been recognized by the US cat breeding organization CFA since 1973 – but only with white fur at first. The recognition of colored Turkish Angora followed in 1978. The first pedigree animals came back to Germany from the USA. In the end, breeding there was mainly based on imported animals from Turkey. Interestingly, these cats were mostly imported from zoos.

Appearance

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In Turkey, the Turkish Angora, known there as “Ankara kedisi”, was even made a national cat. No wonder: the muscular and elegant cat with its long fur, weighing up to 5 kilograms, enchants many cat lovers. The fur of the angora stands out due to its silky texture. Without an undercoat, it lies against the body and is therefore particularly easy to care for. The climate of the area of ​​origin of the Turkish Angora is also the reason why the cat shows a dense, bushy fur with a pronounced collar in winter, but the fur looks particularly short, light, and silky in summer: The cat breed is perfect for hot summers and adapted to the cold winter of the Anatolian and Caucasian mountain areas. The tail is long and very bushy. The Turkish Angora may appear delicate due to its elegant physique with long legs – but don’t be fooled! The head of a Turkish Angora cat is wedge-shaped from the base of the ears to the tip of the nose. Her almond-shaped, raised eyes particularly stand out. Great attention is also paid to the ears of pedigree cats, many breeders prefer large, open ears with fine brushes.

The appearance of the Turkish Angora cat changed over time. No wonder, the cat breed has been known since the 15th century and has a correspondingly long history behind it! The cats originally imported from Turkey to Europe were still very strong and robust. Meanwhile, breeders and breeding organizations prefer the modern, rather slim type of pedigree cat. Until the 1990s, only white cats were recognized – in Turkey, the rule still applies today that the Turkish Angora must have white fur. At the beginning of the 90s, the colored varieties were also introduced by the FIFe (Fédération Internationale Féline). Since then, the Turkish Angora has been recognized by all clubs in black and red as well as the diluted and silver variants of these colors. Checks and tabby drawings may also appear. The colors Chocolate, Fawn, Lilac, and Point are undesirable and recognized. In contrast to other cat breeds such as the Ragdoll, the Turkish Angora can have any eye color. No matter whether green, gold, green gold, copper, blue or two-tone – there is no relation between eye and coat color.

Turkish Angora Temperament

The Turkish Angora is considered to be a particularly intelligent breed of cats. She loves extended cuddles with her people but also wants to be mentally busy. It is mostly available for foraging and intelligence games. The fun-loving cats also enjoy the traditional game of playing fishing rods, play balls, and cat mice. Playing shows the cats’ extraordinary joie de vivre, which they like to pass on to their people. The Turkish Angora is a very people-oriented cat and loves to follow its human every step of the way. Constant purring and cuddling attacks? Relentless joy in playing? You have come to the right place with the Turkish Angora! The Turkish Angora especially loves the interaction with their family – and this makes them a very demanding breed, despite their uncomplicated, friendly nature, which, depending on their individual character, needs a lot of attention. Since the Turkish Angora shows no aggression despite all its activity and fully embraces its human being, it is easy to deal with it. The breed is so perfect for families, it loves playing with children, cuddling with adults, and the attention that is guaranteed in an animal-loving family.

As much as the Turkish Angora loves the adventures of life outdoors, exercise in the wild offers certain dangers. The carefree cat breed often trusts people unconditionally and often approaches strangers with their tails up and purring loudly. Many animals also like to drive in strange cars. Cats that enjoy being outdoors should therefore always be microchipped by the vet and registered with a pet register so that in case of doubt they can be identified and quickly find their way back home!

Bless You

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The Turkish Angora has an autosomal recessive inherited ataxia. These so-called “wobbly cats” show a neurological disorder that causes problems with coordination. Many kittens die at an early age. With extensive care, special help, the right home furnishings, and special veterinary care, ataxia cats can definitely reach a great age! The origin of this disease is not yet known, but it is certain that it is congenital – adult animals cannot become ill.

Genetically, all-white cats often experience hearing loss and deafness. Disturbances of the sense of balance are also known. These problems are not breed-specific, but since many Angora cats are pure white, the disorders occur more frequently here.

Husbandry and Nutrition

As a robust, healthy breed of cats, the Turkish Angora does not require any special care or nutrition. The best basis for a long, healthy cat life is high-quality cat food with lots of healthy protein. As carnivores, cats are dependent on high-quality proteins – they cannot use carbohydrates or can only use them in small amounts, which can lead to secondary diseases such as diabetes.

“You are what you eat”: This much-quoted saying also applies to our domestic cats. It has now been scientifically proven that cats know exactly what is good for them. They prefer food with a composition similar to that of a mouse – the natural food source of the carnivore cat. This prey consists of about 85 percent meat, including muscle meat. Connective tissue and organs. The rest are made up of vegetable components in the gastrointestinal tract, bones, and feathers. The average mouse usually consists of 50 to 60 percent protein, 20 to 30 percent fat, and three to eight percent carbohydrates from the contents of the animal’s gastrointestinal tract. The right cat food should reflect this composition.

Contrary to expectations, it is quite easy to find out what is really in cat food. On the label of every cat food, ingredients must be listed in terms of quantity – the ingredient with the largest proportion in terms of quantity comes first. So it’s not surprising that meat should be at the top of the list of contents. But not all meat is the same! The description “meat and animal by-products” indicates that, in addition to pure muscle meat, it also contains all by-products and waste products such as organs, feathers, and tendons. Feeding pure muscle meat does lead to deficiency symptoms, so good feed must contain offal – on the other hand, not all offal can be used well. This is especially true for waste products such as horns and fur. In addition to the ingredients, the so-called “guaranteed analysis” is stated on many feed labels. It is a quantitative chemical analysis of the substances contained in the feed. In most cases, you will find percentages of crude protein, crude fat, crude ash, crude fiber, and moisture, sometimes also information on vitamin and mineral content. So you can quickly and easily find out how good the food available in stores really is!

Apart from the correct diet, Turkish Angora cats should also be presented to the vet every year in order to have the necessary vaccinations, to take a look at the teeth, and to clarify any questions. A brief listening to the heart and lungs is also part of the annual “check-up” in order to identify any illnesses at an early stage.

How to Find the Right Breeder

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Even if the Turkish Angora is not one of the most famous cat breeds, the breed has recovered today. If you want to give a Turkish Angora a home, you don’t have to travel to Turkey – there are also many established breeders in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

A pedigree cat is only as good as the household it grew up in. Professional breeders, therefore, value membership in one of the breeding associations and pay attention to good health care and nutrition for their breeding animals! Of course, that also has its price. Lover cats cost from 500 dollars, breeding animals is often more expensive. Nevertheless, you should note that with this price you not only acquire the breed papers of your future cat, but also the commitment and knowledge that the breeder has put into the rearing of your animal and the care of the parent animals. From possible stud fees to food and visits to the vet for mother cats and kittens, a lot comes together here, which is rarely fully covered by the purchase price of the cat. Breeding is an expensive hobby – so do not trust so-called “multipliers” who offer “pedigree cats without papers”! As a rule, savings are made somewhere here, whether with a well-thought-out mating of the parent animals, reasonable intervals between litters, the recovery time of the mother cats, health care, genetic tests, or nutrition …

A responsible breeder can provide you with any veterinary examination documents and papers of the parent animals and gives his kittens 12 weeks to grow and learn everything “cat needs” from his mother and siblings. Only then are the kittens ready to fully join their new family. Await well worth it! For the next 12 to 18 years, your Turkish Angora will belong entirely to you and will enchant you with its philanthropic nature and open-minded nature!

We wish you and your cat a great time together!

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