First appearing in French records from as early as the 16th century, the Turkish Angora hails from the mountains of Anatolia in Turkey where it has existed naturally for centuries. The Angora is a highly distinctive breed of cat with a plush coat of fur that is likely to have existed much earlier, perhaps from the 14th century onwards when longhaired cats such as this began appearing in Europe. It is unclear what breeds these were, although the Crusades was probably what prompted their prevalence outside native Turkey. The original name for the cat was ‘Ankara,’ although when the Turkish city name was changed to ‘Angora,’ the name of the cat changed too. Despite not being seen very often, the Turkish Angora is registered by the Cat Fanciers Association and the International Cat Association and is well recognised around the world.
The Angora is a well proportioned cat with a muscular and athletic body structure, wide-spaced, pointed ears, striking eyes and nimble legs. The coat is profuse and the tail is plumed and feathered, often carried upright over the back. The cat is observed with blue eyes or with odd colouring, with one eye usually being amber and the other being blue. White is perhaps the most common variation of Angora although a myriad of other colours are seen, including tabby, chocolate, cinnamon, lavender and pointed varieties. The Turkish Angora is both handsome and distinctive and is subsequently highly sought as a domestic pet.
The temperament and personality of the Angora is very desirable in a house cat. Boasting a laid-back, playful nature and a general love of people, the Angora is well suited to an active household with other pets and children. Highly intelligent, this cat requires equal amounts of physical and mental stimulation throughout the day to keep it occupied and happy. It is not unusual for a Turkish Angora to seek high ground in times of stress or perceived threat, or simply when it wants to observe the goings-on of its family! Generally speaking, a healthy Angora at full maturity can weigh up to 18 pounds, although the average is around 12. The life expectancy of this cat is roughly 15 years.
The Turkish Angora is a healthy and resilient breed that is susceptible to few genetic or breed-specific health conditions. Aural problems and cases of deafness in blue-eyed Angora are well documented, as in Angoras with one blue eye and one amber eye (deafness usually occurs on the same side as the blue eye). Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is perhaps the most common type of heart disease in cats and the Angora is especially prone to this.