The Turkish Angora comes from Ankara (formerly Angora) where several other animals with delicate silky long coats originate. The earliest written reference occurs in 16th century France and they were well represented in the late 1800s/early 1900s at the dawn of the cat fancy in Europe. The Turkish Angora was used in Persian breeding programs in the early 1900s and disappeared as a separate breed. However, Turkey considered the cats as a national treasure and established a breeding program at the Ankara Zoo to ensure the preservation of the breed. They concentrated on whites with blue eyes, gold eyes and odd eyes and kept exact records of the genetically sound breeding program but were reluctant to let their cats go anywhere else. In the 1950s, American servicemen found the exquisite cats in the Ankara Zoo and carried news of them home. Eventually In 1962 the Ankara Zoo allowed Colonel and Mrs. Walter Grant to have an odd-eyed white male named Yildiz and an amber-eyed white female named Yildizcek.
These cats became the foundation of a new breeding program in the USA. 1964 saw Sergeant and Mrs. Ivan Leinbach bring a pair to Arizona: Sam Olgum and Aliya's Snowball. Mrs. Ray Porter brought a pregnant odd-eyed white female, Belkzar, home with her-the sire of the kittens was one of the Ankara Zoo studs named Sam of Mountain Home. In 1966 the Grants were able to import another pair: an odd-eyed white male named Mav and an amber-eyed white female named Yaman. Other cats followed in the 1970s and the Turkish Angora became an established breed in North America.
The Turkish Angora may look slender and delicate but is has a body of solid muscle and stays fit by exercising its hunting instinct chasing through the house in pursuit of its toys. They are extremely agile like the ballerinas they resemble and will be found in unexpected high places like the top of door! These outgoing affectionate cats is interested in everything you do and wants to help you-and they expect you to be interested in everything they do and to help them. Ignore an intelligent Turkish Angora and you can expect it to engage in activities designed to make you pay attention-like batting one coaster at a time off the table until you stop what you are doing and pay attention to it. They are happy to have other pets around as long as they recognize the Turkish Angora as the boss.
The Turkish Angora has a semi-longhaired soft, silky coat that rarely mats. A comb run through the coat once a week will remove any loose hair and keep the shining coat in peak condition. While white is the color traditionally associated with the Turkish Angora, they come in a plethora of colors. In the summer the coat is shorter with slight britches and a fluffy tail. A full winter coat has medium length, fine, silky hair with a mane, britches and fully plumed tail.
They have a delicate appearance with their long fine-boned legs and body and their elegant pointed wedge but don't be deceived-these cats are solid, powerful muscle underneath the gossamer coat! They have large intelligent eyes set into the wedge and the head is crowned with large erect ears. The tail streams out behind them in a long plume as they chase through the house in a pure motion of fluid grace.
Health Issues Common to Turkish Angora
All pedigreed cats have some sort of health problem, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Any breeder who claims that her breed has no health or genetic problems is either lying or is not knowledgeable about the breed. Run, don't walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on kittens, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her kittens are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons.
Turkish Angoras are generally healthy, but white Turkish Angoras with blue eyes are prone to deafness. Odd-eyed white cats may lose hearing in only one ear. Fortunately, deaf cats can get around quite well, but the possibility is something to be aware of.
Some Turkish Angoras may develop a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is the most common form of heart disease in cats. It causes enlargement (hypertrophy) of the heart muscle. If your veterinarian detects a heart murmur in your Turkish Angora, an echocardiogram conducted by a veterinary cardiologist can confirm whether he has HCM. Cats identified with HCM should be removed from breeding programs. Avoid breeders who claim to have HCM-free lines. No one can guarantee that their cats will never develop HCM. Never buy a kitten from a breeder who does not provide a health guarantee.
Pet Insurance for Turkish Angora
Pet insurance for purebred cats costs more than for mixed breed cats. This is because a purebred cat is more likely than a mixed breed cat to make claims for hereditary conditions that are expensive to treat.
Embrace cat insurance plans offer full coverage for all breed-specific conditions (excluding those that are pre-existing) to which purebred cats are susceptible. The best time to get pet insurance for your cat is when he's a healthy kitten. You can't predict what will happen in the future, and pet insurance is the one thing you can't get when you need it the most.