The Turkish Angora: a centuries-old breed from Turkey

turkse angora

The Turkish Angora, a centuries-old breed of cat. This cat, which originates from Turkey, has conquered the whole world with its soft long hair and fine build. With their elegant movements they are also called the ballerinas among cats. Are you curious about the story behind this regal cat breed and do you want to know what properties they have? Then read this article in particular, because here you can read everything you need to know about the Turkish Angora.


The origin: Turkish, from Angora

The name says it all, the Turkish Angora comes from Turkey, of course. Specifically, from the city of Ankara, which used to be called Angora. It is expected that the Turkish Angora ended up in France sometime in the sixteenth century. Since that was when this breed of cat was first referred to in writing. At the beginning of the cat fancy in the 19th and 20th centuries, the Turkish Angora could be found in large numbers throughout Europe. In the 20th century the Turkish Angora was mainly used for the breeding of Persians, the breed almost went extinct at that time. Fortunately, Turkey considered the Turkish Angora a national treasure and decided early on that this cat breed should be protected. A breeding program was set up at the zoo in Ankara where the Turkish Angora was kept.

It was only in the fifties that the breed really came back to Europe and with that to the United States, when an American officer came across the cat at the Ankara Zoo. This serviceman spread word about this cat at home. In 1962 the first Americans were allowed to bring two Turkish Angora cats to the United States, these cats formed the basis for a new breeding program of the Turkish Angora in the United States. Over the years more and more couples came to the United States where the Turkish Angora became an established cat breed.

Turkish Angora is recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA), the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) as well as the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe).


The character: intelligent and active

Turkish Angora’s are often compared to ballerinas because of their graceful movements and their flexibility. The Turkish Angora is a very intelligent and active cat. You will often see them open doors or ask for your attention. If you ignore these requests, they will demand your attention in a different way. This cat breed is also very adventurous, you will often see them in seemingly impossible places, like on top of a door or in other high, strange places.

Because of its playful and sweet character, the Turkish Angora is perfect for young families. They get along very well with small children and enjoy playing with them. Also, for the elderly this lively cat is a good friend.

The Turkish Angora can easily adapt to dogs or other pets. Because of the strong-willed character of this breed, the Turkish Angora will take on the “Alpha” role in the house.

Infographic Turkish Angora

The Appearance: what seems fragile is in reality muscular

The appearance of Turkish Angora may seem tenuous and fragile, but it is absolutely not. The Turkish Angora has a fine bone structure and a beautiful long coat which makes the cat look very elegant but also fragile, but the long coat hides a very muscular body. The eyes of the Turkish Angora are traditionally blue, gold or bicoloured.

The coat

When the Turkish Angora was bred in the Ankara Zoo, the main focus was on the well-known white coat. Nowadays the Turkish Angora comes in all kinds of different colours, but the white colour is still the most popular. However, there is one rule that the colour of the coat has to comply with. The coat may only have natural colours, so colours such as lilac or chocolate may not occur. Also, the Himalayan pattern is not natural and may not occur in the Turkish Angora. Apart from these, all patterns and colours are allowed. The medium long coat of the Turkish Angora was developed to endure the harsh winters in the mountains of Turkey, where the breed originates from. Over time, the coat became softer and glossier, giving it a satin look. The fluffy tail is full and also has nice long hairs.


The upbringing: socialisation is important

Socialisation of a kitten is very important for its development. First of all, you have to make sure that the kitten gets used to all kinds of different touches, so that the care will not cause any problems later on, because the cat is not used to a comb or a brush for example. Secondly it is good for the self-confidence of the kitten, by letting the cat interact with different people and animals early on they will be less afraid of this later on and they will be able to adapt easily if for example a lot of people visit the kitten.

The socialisation of a kitten preferably takes place between three and nine weeks after the cat is born. During this time a kitten’s behaviour can also best be formed. This can be done, for example, by rewarding the cat when the behaviour is desired. You can also start to train the cat’s intelligence through games that require a bit more concentration.


The grooming

Turkish Angora does not need much care. Combing the coat a few times a week is enough to keep the coat healthy and shiny. Furthermore, exercise is always good for a cat. Now the Turkish Angora is by nature a very active and inquisitive cat, but toys and games can always help to keep the cat busy.

turkse angora staand

The Nutrition; take care for a well-balanced diet

Overweight is a big problem with every cat. This is also the case with the Turkish Angora. So, make sure that the cat, besides enough exercise, also gets a well-balanced diet. Preventing overweight also prevents the risks that overweight entails. Such as poor condition, heart and lung problems, bone and joint problems, an increased risk of bladder problems and an increased risk of diabetes. In addition, being overweight shortens the life expectancy of a cat by up to two years.


Common diseases

There are no diseases known to the Turkish Angora that are specifically linked to this breed. Despite the fact that Turkish Angora is generally very healthy, this cat breed can also get sick. The diseases that are often diagnosed in the Turkish Angora are deafness. There is also an autosomal recessive inherited ataxia in the Turkish Angora.


Deafness is a well-known problem in white cats. Because the traditional white colour is very popular with the Turkish Angora, they are also very common. Deafness is generally hereditary, but it does not always have to be so. At many breed associations the so called BAERtest is obligatory for white parent cats. BAERtest stands for Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response test. In this test we look at the brain activity after a sound stimulus. By means of this test you can find out if the hearing of the cat has deteriorated or even disappeared. White cats in which deafness is diagnosed are excluded from breeding. This is to prevent the cat from having deaf offspring as deafness is hereditary. A cat that has the gene that causes deafness doesn’t always have to become deaf, there can be nothing wrong either. However, the deafness will be passed on to the offspring. The complete prevention of hereditary deafness is therefore not possible.

Deafness does not necessarily have to be hereditary. It can also occur just like that. Deafness occurs when the blood supply to the hearing cells is reduced. This can be caused by old age, but also when the cat is still young.


Autosomal recessive ataxia is an ataxia passed on by one or both of the parents, the sex of the cat does not matter. The parent cat doesn’t even have to suffer from the ataxia but can carry the gene that causes it. An ataxia is an attack on the central nervous system which can cause a cat to be unstable, have problems with coordination and become uncontrollable. An ataxia cannot be remedied, but by making some adjustments to the handling of the cat, the life of the cat can continue with minimal problems.


How old can a Turkish Angora become?

The Turkish Angora has an age expectation of 9 to 14 years. This is because this cat breed is very healthy and has few hereditary problems. Of course, this is only an average. How old your cat gets depends on its health. For example, if your cat gets very little exercise and eats too much, it can become obese, which also has a big impact on the life expectancy of the cat. It is also important to be there quickly when your cat behaves differently or when you see that something is not right. Contact your vet as soon as possible to find out what could be wrong. Because if certain conditions remain untreated this can also have serious consequences for the life of the cat.

turkse angora liggend in grasveld

What do you need to know before you buy a Turkish Angora?

The Turkish Angora feels like a real prince. Because of their strong character, they get a lot from people as well as from other pets. Turkish Angora is not a cat breed that needs a lot of care. They do not have a second coat, which means that the coat is easier to keep clean than, for example, a Pers. The Turkish Angora cannot be well alone, they like to be in large families or have a playmate. When you buy a Turkish Angora from a breeder, the pedigree has to be traceable back to Turkey. If this is not the case or if no pedigree can be given, then it is most likely not a real Turkish Angora.

To make sure you buy a good quality cat it is wise to look at recognised breeders. These breeders are usually registered with the big cat associations. By buying from a reliable breeder, you have the certainty that the cat comes from a good bloodline and therefore also has a pedigree. This is very important when you want the cat to participate in competitions or shows.


How much does a Turkish Angora cost?

A Turkish Angora costs between $600 and $950.  Although the price for this breed is not fixed, this is on average what is asked for a Turkish Angora. The price is determined by many different factors related to why the cat is bought, and the quality of the cat.

When a cat is bought with the purpose to use it for competitions or to breed, the price is higher than when the cat is only bought as a domestic cat. The quality of the cat depends on several things. Firstly, the bloodline, if a kitten is a descendant of an award-winning cat it will be more expensive than a kitten of a cat that has not won any prizes. The health of the kitten and that of its parents also plays an important role. If, for example, hereditary diseases are found in the parents, the offspring of these parents are of course also worth less.


Does this type of breed you?

In order to find out whether the Turkish Angora would suit you well in your home, you can ask yourself the following questions. Turkish Angora is an active and inquisitive cat breed, does the cat have enough space in your home to play and go on adventures? These cats don’t like to be alone either, would the cat get enough attention in your home? Or maybe the cat has a playmate in the shape of another cat or pet? Although the Turkish Angora doesn’t need a lot of grooming, it is important that the coat is kept up to date. Therefore, ask yourself if you can really take the time to groom this cat’s coat a few times a week, or if you should choose a cat that needs a little less grooming. What do you think? Does this cat suit you? Let us know in the reactions!


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We are a team of cat lovers, doing our best to create and spread information about cats. On you will read all about different cat breeds, and what makes them so special. You will also find information about grooming and training your cat. Be sure to leave us a reply if you like our article.

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  1. Kit Goodwin

    It is not known whether Turkish Angora ataxia is an autosomal recessive. This is assumed because the disease is relatively rare. Dr. Leslie A. Lyons, PhD, Gilbreath-McLorn Endowed Professor of Camparative Medicine, at the Department of Veterinary Medicine & Surgery, University of Missouri – Columbia, is currently researching the inheritance of this disease. It would be better if your article said “It is thought to be” or something similar.

    Thanks for mentioning this rare disease – it is important to have record of it in print, to prevent mis-diagnosis and confusion about this condition.

    Kit Goodwin
    Antioch Turkish Angoras
    since 1989

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