The Breed History
This ancient longhair breed originated in Turkey. First written records date to the 1800s. These graceful, tall, slender cats almost became extinct in the early 1900s due to extensive crossing with Persians. In Turkey a special breeding program was maintained to preserve the original cat type. Only the Turkish cats originating from that breeding program in the Ankara zoo have been accepted into the modern registry. In 1963, the first pair was brought to America. First CFA registrations occurred in the year 1970. Note that in Britain, Angora cats are registered (GCCF) but are not the same breed as the Turkish Angora, but are in fact closer in breeding and type to the Oriental longhair in the US. No outcrossing is allowed in CFA.
Weight: Females 5-9 lb (2.3-4 kg), males 6-11 lb (2.5-5 kg)
Coat: Many colors are accepted, but not Oriental shades such as lavender, chocolate or the Himalayan pointed pattern. Single layer coat is medium long, glossy and silky, lying close to the body, and hairs have a slight wave. White is the most common color. The full features of the coat are not developed until 18 to 24 months of age. Longer hair is present on ruff and britches and the tail is a full bottle brush-plume tail. Variation occurs between registries in accepted coloring. This applies to shading and silver (genetics: inhibitor gene plus agouti gene) which is not allowed in CFA but is allowed in TICA and FIFe.
Eyes: The large eyes are almond shaped and colors include green, copper, gold, green-gold, blue and odd-eyed.
Points of Conformation: These are small-medium sized cats, lithe, with long bodies, are fine boned, and possess a fine wedge shaped head. Nose is medium in length and straight with no break, ears are large, tufted, and close set. Tail is long and tapering, and paws are compact, small and round. Toe tufting is preferred.
Grooming: Low matting tendency compared with Persians, daily light brush or combing is sufficient. Shedding is usually seasonal.
Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Reported breed characteristics include: Affectionate, active, intelligent, curious, possess good hunting instincts, love to jump, and are able to jump very high. They like close human contact and some will shadow their owners. They like a regular routine and are noted to have a strong personality.
Normal Breed Variations
Blood Type: In a survey in Turkey of 28 cats, 46.4% were B type.
None reported in the literature
Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (NI): Increased risk of NI is present due to considerable prevalence of blood type B. Authors recommend typing cats before breeding; even the first breeding since primiparous females' offspring can be affected.
Congenital Deafness: Sometimes seen in white coat with blue-eyed and odd-eyed pigmentation.
Transfusion Reactions: High risk of reactions due to presence of type B blood type in this breed, and blood typing should be done before transfusions according to the authors.
Blood typing before breeding and transfusions
- Breed name synonyms: Turk, Angora, Turkish Longhair, Ankara cats (historical syn)
- Registries: FIFe, TICA, CFA, ACFA, CFF, WCF, CCA
- Breed resources: Turkish Angora Fanciers International: http://turkishangora.org/
The Turkish Cat Society (UK): www.turkishcatsociety.co.uk
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