Ice Flower von Sultahani
Breeder: Irmgard Tompich,
cattery, Luzern, Switzerland
Turkish Angora and Turkish Van
Colors and patterns
The Turkish Angora exists in almost all colors and
patterns, except chocolate and lilac, cinnamon and fawn, and pointed
TiAmo von Ozan
Breeder: Renate Fischer,
von Ozan cattery,
with silver: smoke, for example black smoke, tortie
All colors may be with tabby patterns.
Gr.Int.Ch. Mithrandir's Milady de Winter
Breeder: Ron & Anke van der Vliet,
Mithrandir's cattery, Veldhofen, Netherlands
The tabby pattern can also be with silver, for
example red silver tabby, blue-cream silver mackerel, etc.
Breeder: Julie Charlotte Håland,
cattery, Tennevoll, Norway
All colors may be with white, for example blue-white
bicolor, red-white Van, tortie silver tabby with white, etc.
Breeder: Gudrun Roscher,
cattery, Bielefeld, Germany
Breeder: Gudrun Roscher,
cattery, Bielefeld, Germany
Zoo in Ankara
How do the cats look like in the Zoo of Ankara?
Please do also remember that one can read that the Turkish Angora
originates from Angora (the ancient name of Ankara).
The cats look like the Turkish Vankedisi.
Pictures by the courtesy of Harvey Harrison, 2006.
Health and breeding
Distribution of blood types A and B in the Turkish Van and Turkish
According to this study of the university
neonatal isoerythrolysis (incompatibility of blood types,
premature death of kittens) has been detected in these breeds.
Therefore breeders should have cats of those breeds blood typed
before using them for breeding and one should be cautious concerning
Winn Feline Foundation, Breed related funds: HCM and Ataxia in
Complete Cat Encyclopedia, Grace Pond, Crown Publishers, New York,
1972, ISBN 517-500-175
Katzen, die neue Enzyklopädie, Bruce Fogle, Dorling Kinderley,
München 2002, ISBN 3-8310-0287-8
Cat Breeds of the World, Desmond Morris, Viking Adult, 1999, ISBN-10
0670886394, ISBN-13 978-0670886395
Our cats and all about them, Harrison Weir,
London, Fanciers' Gazette, 1892, page 21: Angora cats
The Cat, Rush Shipped Huidekoper, M.D., New York, D. Appleton and
Company, 1895, page 40
The description is more or less the same as in Harrison Weir's book.
L'Histoire Naturelle, générale et particulière, Georges-Louis
Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, 1749-1778, volume VI: You can download the
Web edition of the complete books
The Turkish Angora is a medium-sized, elegant and slender cat with
semi-long, silky hairs.
The head is rather small to medium-sized, wedge-shaped
with flat planes (rather not rounded), the top is flat. The nose is medium in
length and straight, and forms an angle with the forehead just above the eyes.
The muzzle is fine and should be the continuation of the head's sides.
The ears are relatively large, broad at the base, they are set upright and high
on the head.
The eyes are large and oval, and slanted. Eye color might be any color, there is
no relation between eye color and coat color.
The head is carried on a graceful and slender neck.
The body is long and
slender with fine bone structure and narrow chest. The shoulders shall not be
broader than the hips. The legs are long and slender, hind legs are longer than
front legs. The paws are small and oval.
The tail is long, when compared to the body, and fully furnished with long
The coat is semi-long, without undercoat, it is a so called simple
coat, silky and glossy. The hairs are thin and fine, and may be slightly wavy on
the belly. The most striking feature is the beautiful furnished tail.
important that the cats display grace and elegance and gives the
impression of flowing motions.
It is said that the Angora cat originates from Angora (ancient name of
Ankara, the city was renamed to Ankara in 1930), the Persian province of
Chorazan, Russia and Afghanistan, and that the cats came to Europe in the late
1500, their coat mainly being white. The breed shall have got its name according
to the famous white Angora goats.
1620 the first Turkish Angora came to Italy:
It is said that
Della Valle (April 2, 1586 - April 21, 1652), Italian traveler to Asia,
brought Angora cats from Persia.
Remark: The same source is also used for the history of Persian cats.
In the 17th century the Turkish Angora reached France. Famous aristocratic
people should have had Turkish Angora:
Louis XV (February 15, 1710 Versailles -
May 10, 1774 Versailles),
Marie-Antoinette (November 2, 1755
Vienna, executed on October 16, 1793 in Paris),
Cardinal Richelieu (Armand-Jean I. du Plessis de Richelieu, September 9, 1585
Castle Richelieu, Dépt. Indre-et-Loire - December 4, 1642 Paris) had a black
Angora, called Lucifer, which was a gift from
Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, 1580-1637,
who imported white Angora cats from Ankara and gave a kitten to the cardinal.
Peiresc can be found at peiresc.org.
Cardinal Richelieu had 14 cats, with the names: Ludoviska, Rubis sur l'Ongle,
Serpolet, Pyrame, Thisbe, Racan, Perruque, Mounard le Fougueux, Soumise,
Gazette, Ludovic le Cruel, Mimi-Paillon, Felimare, Lucifer.
|Louis VIII and
Cardinal Richelieu with his cats
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (September 7, 1707 -
April 16, 1788), French naturalist, mathematic, biologist, author, wrote in
volume VI, pages 11-13:
"Il y a en Perse, dit Pietro della Valle (c), une espèce de
chats qui sont proprement de la province du Chorazan ; leur grandeur et leur
forme est comme celle du chat ordinaire ; leur beauté consiste dans leur couleur
et dans leur poil, qui est gris sans aucune moucheture et sans nulle tache,
d’une même couleur par tout le corps, si ce n’est qu’elle est un peu plus
obscure sur le dos et sur la tête, et plus claire sur la poitrine et sur le
ventre, qui va quelquefois jusqu’à la blancheur, avec ce tempérament agréable de
clair-obscur, comme parlent les Peintres qui, mêlés l’un dans l’autre, font un
merveilleux effet : de plus leur poil est délié, fin, lustré, mollet, délicat
comme la soie, et si long, que quoiqu’il ne soit pas hérissé, mais couché, il
est annelé en quelques endroits, et particulièrement sous la gorge. Ces chats
sont entre les autres chats ce que les barbets sont entre les chiens : le plus
beau de leur corps est la queue, qui est fort longue et toute couverte de poils
longs de cinq ou six doigts ; ils l’étendent et la renversent sur leur dos comme
sont les écureuils, la pointe en haut en forme de panache ; ils sont fort privés
: les Portugais en ont porté de Perse jusqu’aux Indes. Pietro della Valle ajoute
qu’il en avoit quatre couples, qu’il comptoit porter en Italie. On voit par
cette description, que ces chats de Perse ressemblent par la couleur à ceux que
nous appelons chats chartreux, et qu’à la couleur près ils ressemblent
parfaitement à ceux que nous appelons chats d’Angora. Il est donc vraisemblable
que les chats du Chorazan en Perse, le chat d’Angora en Syrie et le chat
chartreux ne font qu’une même race, dont la beauté vient de l’influence
particulière du climat de Syrie, comme les chats d’Espagne, qui sont rouges,
blancs et noirs, et dont le poil est aussi très-doux et très-lustré, doivent
cette beauté à l’influence du climat de l’Espagne.....
devenu domestique, le poil s’est radouci, les couleurs ont varié, et dans le
climat favorable du Chorazan et de la Syrie le poil est devenu plus long, plus
fin, plus fourni, et les couleurs se sont uniformément adoucies, le noir et le
roux sont devenus d’un brun-clair, le gris-brun est devenu gris-cendré, et en
comparant un chat sauvage de nos forêts avec un chat chartreux, on verra qu’ils
ne diffèrent en effet que par cette dégradation nuancée de couleurs ; ensuite,
comme ces animaux ont plus ou moins de blanc sous le ventre et aux côtés, on
concevra aisément que pour avoir des chats tout blancs et à longs poils, tels
que ceux que nous appelons proprement chats d’Angora, il n’a fallu que choisir
dans cette race adoucie ceux qui avoient le plus de blanc aux côtés et sous le
ventre, et qu’en les unissant ensemble on sera parvenu à leur faire produire des
chats entièrement blancs comme on l’a fait aussi pour avoir des lapins blancs,
des chiens blancs, des chèvres blanches, des cerfs blancs, des daims blancs,
Buffon, volume VI: The cat of Angora
The Angora cat is described on page 23.
The main work of Buffon is:
L'Histoire Naturelle, générale et particulière, 1749-1778, in 36 volumes and
8 supplementary volumes, published after his death.
Jean-Jacques Bachelier, 1724-1806, French painter and director of the
porcelain manufacture of Sèvres.
Angora cats had been called also Angola cats, which has nothing to do with the
country of Angola.
Harrison Weir makes a clear difference between Angora cats and Persian cats
in his book
Our cats and all about them, page 21 and following: He describes the Angora
cat to be slender and long, elegant, with a long flowing tail, large ears, long,
fine and silky coat.
"The Angora cats, I am told, are great favourites with the
Turks and Armenians, and the best are of high value, a pure white, with blue
eyes, being thought the perfection of cats, all other points being good, and its
hearing by no means defective. The points are a small head, with not too long a
nose, large full eyes of a colour in harmony with that of its fur, ears rather
large than small and pointed, with a tuft of hair at the apex, the size not
showing, as they are deeply set in the long hair on the forehead, with a very
full flowing mane about the head and neck ; this latter should not be short,
neither the body, which should be long, graceful, and elegant, and covered with
long, silky hair, with a slight admixture of woolliness; in this it differs from
the Persian, and the longer the better. In texture it should be as fine as
possible, and also not so woolly as that of the Russian ; still it is more
inclined to be so than the Persian. The legs to be of moderate length, and in
proportion to the body ; the tail long, and slightly curving upward towards the
Just think that FIFe has deleted that last sentence, that the tail is carried
curved upwards, from its standard, a feature, which is considered as
characteristic by Buffon and Weir. It seems that in 'Fife these descriptions had
not been read carefully.
It is also interesting to read in this book about a Russian Longhair.
|Angora cat, Harrison Weir,
The following year the traces of Angora cats disappeared, until the cats were
almost destinct, because the Angora cats were mainly crossed and used for
breeding the more favored Persian cats and were not bred as a breed by its own.
Also think about that Persian cats had been also called Angora cats and before
World War II were
registered in the old breeding books as such.
In 1917 the zoo of Ankara started its breeding program, with the support of
the zoo in Izmir and Istanbul, to preserve the almost extinct Turkish Angora,
which is called Ankara kedisi. Thus it was very difficult to export Angora cats
However, Mrs. Lyn Pierce (Kenlyn cattery) exported a cat, called
Pucette Michelle, from the zoo of Istanbul to the US. But she did not breed with
this cat, because she was told that purebred Angora cats would only come from
the Ankara region.
1962 Mr. H. Kenan Taspinar (Taspinar cattery) exported a white odd-eyed female,
which he received from a private breeder in Ankara, in 1968 he exported five
more Angora cats, amongst them was a black silver tabby male, called Duman. In
1970 he gave all his cats to Mrs. Gisela Stoschek (Tai-Phoon cattery), who
crossed the cats with Siamese and Persian, thus the cats were not registered by
CFA and breeding Angora cats ended.
In 1962 Mrs. Liesa F. Grant, whose husband Walter Grant was stationed in
Turkey as Colonel, exported a pair of white Turkish Angora from the zoo in
Ankara. Both cats, Yildiz (=Star, odd-eyed male) and Yildizcek
(=Starlet, female with amber eyes) founded the newer history of the Turkish
Angora. In 1966 the Grants exported another pair of white Angora from the zoo in
1964 Srgt. and Mrs. Leinbach imported a pair from the zoo in Ankara, called
Sam Olgum and Aliya's Snowball. They had a close co-operation with Mrs. Lee Thornton
(Thornton cattery in CFA, Thornton Desert cattery in other organizations), Mrs. Thornton
imported in 1965 a white odd-eyed cat, called
Belkzar, from the zoo in Ankara.
In 1973 the white Turkish Angora was recognized by CFA, even though Mrs. Aletha
Hendrickson (Kukkula Acres cattery) had asked already in 1973 also to recognize
the colored Angora cats, knowing very well about the problem of deafness in
white cats. Five years later, in 1978 all other colors of Turkish Angora cats
were recognized by CFA.
1988 the white Turkish Angora was recognized by FIFe, in 1994 all other colors
of Turkish Angora were recognized.
(570-632) is said to have had a white Angora cat, called Murzza. He loved his
cat so much that he did not want to disturb the cat, which slept on the edge of
his cloth. Therefore he cut off the edge of his cloth.
It is believed that
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881 in Selânik -
November 10, 1938 in Istanbul), founder of today's state of Turkey, will be re-born
as white odd-eyed cat.
The Turkish Angora is a very fine, active cat. There are no shelves too high for
this cat, kittens start quite early to play and being active. The cats are very
intelligent and innovative in their ideas. They are very gentle and loyal to
Grooming is not too difficult, because their coat does not have
an undercoat. The coat has little tendency to become filthy or
knotted. Regular bathing is not necessary, except for show cats.
However, it is recommended to brush their coat regularly.
1) English translation of the cited page of
Buffon, volume VI:
There is a species of cats in Persia, Pietro della Valle says (c),
are native to the province of Chorazan; their size and
their structure is the same as that of the ordinary cat; their beauty
their color and in their coat, which is grey without any markings and
patches, of the same color on the entire body, if it is different,
it is only slightly darker on the back and on the head, and lighter
on the chest and on the belly, having a nice shading between dark
and light, as painters call it, when one color blends into another
color, thus giving a marvelous effect: even more, their hairs are
thin, fine, glossy, soft, delicate as silk, and even they are so long,
they do not stand off the body, they lie close to the body,
on some parts the coat has rings, particularly under the throat.
These cats are between other cats what the poodles are between the
dogs: the most beautiful part of their body is the tail, which is very long
and very well furnished with long hairs, five or six fingers long;
they fan out the hairs and turn the tail over the back like the squirrels,
of the tail forming a fan; they are very tame: the Portuguese carried
them from Persia to India. Pietro della Valle adds that he owns four
pairs, which he had brought to Italy.
One can see in this description, that these (blue) cats of Persia resemble those
cats in color, which we call Carthusian cats, and that they,
despite their (different) color, resemble perfectly those, which we call cats of Angora. It
is therefore likely that the cats of Chorazan in Persia, the cats of
Angora in Syria and the Carthusian cats originate only from the same
breed, and that their beauty comes from the particular influence of the
climate of Syria, like with the cats of Spain, which are red, white and
black, and whose hairs are very soft and very glossy,
owing their beauty to the influence of the climate of Spain...
When the cat became a domestic cat, the hairs became softer, colors varied, and in the
climate typically for Chorazan and Syria the hairs became longer,
finer, more furnished, and colors uniformly became softer, the black
and the red color came from a light brown, the brown-grey became
ash-grey, and when comparing a wildcat of our forests with a Carthusian cat,
one will see that they effectively differ only that the colors
became deteriorated (diluted) and got more color tones; then, as these animals
or less white on the belly and on the sides, one will
easily get entirely white cats with long hairs, which we properly call cats of Angora,
and one will necessarily only choose
those cats from these softened colors, which have the largest amount
of white on the sides and
on the belly, and when crossing these cats with each other, one will
manage to produce entirely white cats, like they do it in the white rabbit,
in the white dogs, in the white goats, in the white
harts, in the white fallow-deer, etc.