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Türkisch Angora white with blue eyes
GIC Ice Flower von Sultahani
Breeder: Irmgard Tompich, Sultahani cattery, Luzern, Switzerland
 

Turkish Angora and Turkish Van

In preparation.

 
 

 

Colors and patterns

The Turkish Angora exists in almost all colors and patterns, except chocolate and lilac, cinnamon and fawn, and pointed colors:

  • white

  • black, blue

Turkish Angora blue
TiAmo von Ozan
Breeder: Renate Fischer, von Ozan cattery, Moenchweiler, Germany
 
  • red, cream

  • tortieshell, blue-cream

 
  • with silver: smoke, for example black smoke, tortie smoke, etc.

  • All colors may be with tabby patterns.

Turkish Angora tortie mackerel
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.

Turkish Angora tortie silver spotted
Summit`s Atzeka
Breeder: Julie Charlotte Håland, Summit's cattery, Tennevoll, Norway
 
  • All colors may be with white, for example blue-white bicolor, red-white Van, tortie silver tabby with white, etc.

Turkish Angora Van black-white
Dschadi's Milka
Breeder: Gudrun Roscher, Dschadi's cattery, Bielefeld, Germany
 
Turkish Angora tortie bicolor
Ch. Dschadi's Viva Maria
Breeder: Gudrun Roscher, Dschadi's 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).

Vankedisi Vankedisi
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 Angora

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 blood transfusions.

Winn Feline Foundation, Breed related funds: HCM and Ataxia in Turkish Angora

 

Literature

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 book from:
a) Canadian Libraries
b) Web edition of the complete books

 

Eurocatfancy

Standard AACE
Standard ACFA
Standard CCA
Standard CFA
Standard CFF
Standard FIFe
 
Standard LOOF
Standard TICA
Standard WCF
 
Show Turkish Angora breeders
 
Enter cattery into  breeders list
 

Breed profile

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 hairs.

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.

It is important that the cats display grace and elegance and gives the impression of flowing motions.

 

History

Pre-history

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.
In 1620 the first Turkish Angora came to Italy:
It is said that Pietro 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. Detailed Literature to 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
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, etc."
1)

Buffon: Angora cat
Comte de 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.

Angola-cat
Jean-Jacques Bachelier: Un chat Angola, about 1761
Picture from Wikimedia Commons

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 end."
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
Angora cat, Harrison Weir, page 21

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.

History

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 from Turkey.

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.
In 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 Ankara.
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.
In 1988 the white Turkish Angora was recognized by FIFe, in 1994 all other colors of Turkish Angora were recognized.

Legends

Mohammed (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.

 

Temperament

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 their owner.

 

Grooming

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.

 
 
Remarks

1) English translation of the cited page of Buffon, volume VI:
There is a species of cats in Persia, Pietro della Valle says (c), which are native to the province of Chorazan; their size and their structure is the same as that of the ordinary cat; their beauty lies in 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, the top 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 are more 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.

 
 

 
 
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