turkish angora breed information
common health issues
The Turkish Angora is an ancient breed of cat that traces her development back to 14th century Turkey, where she developed an unusually soft, medium-length coat for protection against the harsh winters. She is believed to be the originator of the genetic mutations for long hair and for the dominant all-white coat. The Turkish Angora was recognized as a distinct breed in Europe by the 17th century, but in the early 1900s, she was used to develop the Persian breed to such an extent that she virtually disappeared as a separate breed. For many years, all longhaired cats were referred to simply as “Angoras”.
In the 1950s, the Ankara Zoo in Turkey began a controlled breeding program to preserve this living treasure, particularly the all-white cats and those with “odd-colored” eyes, meaning one blue and one amber. Today, the zoo has its own cat facility, which houses the white Turkish angoras for its breeding program.
The Turkish Angora was brought to North America in 1954, and was accepted as a championship pedigreed breed in 1973 by the Cat Fanciers' Association. While the all-white coats are still very popular, breeders have focused increasingly on colored cats, so today any shade and pattern, except those that denote hybridization (such as lavender, chocolate or the pointed pattern) is accepted for CFA registration.
The Turkish Angora has an elegant look, with a soft, silky coat that rarely mats and requires only minimal grooming. Her long hair just needs combing once or twice a week to remove excess hair and keep her coat looking its best. She will shed more during the summer months, when more frequent grooming may be needed to prevent hairballs.
“Turks” are extremely outgoing, playful and loving, making them excellent companions for senior adults and young children alike. They get along well with dogs and other animals, though they do like to be in charge of the family! She has a unique combination of energy, intelligence and a desire to interact with her family — which all adds up to a cat who is easy to train and loves both mental and physical challenges.
Although generally a healthy breed, the Turkish Angora is nonetheless prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect her health, not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Turkish Angoras are prone to include blood disorders such as neonatal isoerythrolysis; heart conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; and deafness.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Turkish Angora inherits anything other than a soft, silky coat, you’re covered.