A well-proportioned and elegant cat, with a beautiful, silky coat that shimmers with every movement and a robust, long, muscular physique beneath it.
The symmetrical, intelligent, and devoted nature of angoras seems to elicit powerful emotions in their human companions. An Angora’s attachment to its owner is so strong that the pet needs to be included in every activity. They appreciate a stimulating discussion and hold their own with the best of them.
The Angora’s disposition is one of goodwill and persistence. You might as well cave in and avoid a long argument once an Angora gets an idea in their head. Angoras have a strong need to play, and they take great pleasure in playing practical jokes on their favorite humans from time to time. Whatever strikes their fancy, from bits of paper to unwary human toes, they like practicing their pounce.
Whenever they’re moving—which is most of the time—Angoras exude an air of effortless beauty. Angoras are highly intelligent and independent creatures who like solving problems and having a say in how they spend their time. They are only tolerant of being handled for a short period of time before hopping down to swat at the sun or chase after stray feathers. But they won’t leave the room, so you can sit back and enjoy watching their antics. The Angora has a reputation as a strong swimmer and may occasionally take to the water for a refreshing dip. Some Turkish Angoras are not big fans of water, but there are also plenty who are.
Nobody knows for sure where or how long ago this ancient breed first appeared. The longhaired Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul), a small Asian wildcat around the size of the domestic, is frequently cited as the ancestor of the Turkish Angora, however this is highly speculative. The Pallas’s cat is genetically distinct from housecats and would only breed with them if it had no other options. Additionally, its variants would guarantee multiple generations of male sterility.
Turkish Angoras, like all domestic cats, almost certainly descended from African wildcats. The long-hair recessive gene in cats is thought to have arisen naturally hundreds of years ago and been maintained by inbreeding in isolated mountainous places, like parts of Turkey, where outcrossing is unlikely.
Cats with long fur, according to the French scientist De Buffon, originated in Asia Minor, the peninsula in southern Asia that makes up the Asian section of Turkey. Regardless of their origin, longhaired cats have been a common sight throughout Turkey and the neighboring areas for ages.
Supposedly, Mohammed (570-632 c.e. ), the founder of Islam, was so fond of his cat Angora Muezza that he even severed his own sleeve rather than wake the cat from its sleep. Longhaired Angora rabbits and goats are cherished by the Turkish people in Ankara. The name of the Turkish capital was changed from Angora to Ankara in 1930, hence the name change of the city. As early as the late 1500s, longhaired cats were brought to Britain and France from Turkey, Persia, Russia, and Afghanistan. By the early 1600s, the Angora was unmistakably in Europe, and by the late 1700s, Angoras were being brought into the United States.
Angoras were highly coveted in the early stages of the cat fancy. Legend has it that at a London cat show in 1890, an Angora’s owner was offered $1,000 for her prized pet. However, the Persian quickly surpassed other breeds as the top choice among European aristocats. In order to increase the length and silkiness of the Persian coat, the Angora was widely used in breeding efforts.
A later decision by the Cat Fancy’s Governing Council standardized the term “longhair” for use across all coat lengths. There was also the trend for cat lovers to refer to any longhaired cat, regardless of its ancestry, as a Persian or an Angora. There was no sorting done when breeding Persians, Angoras, and Russian Longhairs together. Angoras no longer exist as a pure breed anywhere else than their homeland. They disappeared from registration databases and exhibition halls. By the turn of the century, Angoras were all but extinct.
During the early 1900s, the Turkish government and the Ankara Zoo initiated a careful breeding effort to conserve and maintain the pure white Angora cats with blue and amber eyes. Odd-eyed Angoras (cats with eyes of varying hues) were highly desired by the zoo because visitors believed they had been blessed by Allah.
It was said that Mohammed’s Angora, Muezza, had crossed eyes. Liesa F. Grant, wife of Army Colonel Walter Grant who was stationed in Turkey, was able to export two Turkish Angoras to the United States in 1962, complete with certificates of ancestry, despite the difficulty of obtaining the cats due to the high regard in which they are held by the Turkish people. Inspiring other breeders to take on the challenging task of exporting Angoras and improving the breed, these imports stoked renewed interest in the animal.
If a breeder of Turkish Angoras claims to have “imported lines,” it almost always means that their foundation stock originates in Turkey. As a result of the Grants, the Angora finally received official recognition from the CFA. In 1968, the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) granted registration to white Turkish Angoras; by 1970, they were eligible to compete in preliminary competition, making them the first such register in the United States.
When white Angoras were finally allowed into championship competition in 1972, it was a watershed moment. Before 1978, only pure white Turkish Angoras were eligible for championship competition.
Dimensions somewhere in the middle. Maybe men are a hair or two bigger than women. The body is long and lean with more length than width; it is oval in shape rather than circular (not tubular). Comparable width between the shoulders and the hips. It’s possible that your rump is higher than your shoulders. Highly muscular and with fine, strong bones.
Size should be small to medium, proportional to the rest of the body. Form a smooth, medium-length wedge. Nose is around average in size. Long and gracefully slender neck. Strong, subtly rounded chin. Angle the tip so that it meets the nose at a right angle.
Extremely broad in the bottom, sharp, and puffed up in the middle. Placing the eyes close together, vertically, and erectly on top of the head.
Huge, almond-shaped eyes that are ever so slightly slanted upward and full of curiosity. There is a lot of range within each eye color’s spectrum. Odd-eyed Turkish Angoras have either one blue eye and one green, green-gold, or amber eye, or one blue eye and one of the other two hues. Eye colors range from sky blue to sapphire green, from gooseberry green to emerald green, from amber to rich copper with no green cast or ring.
ARMS, LEGS, & PAWS
Super-lengthy limbs. The back legs are proportionally longer than the front ones. Gentle, tiny, and round paws.
A long, tapered brush with a full handle and a small tip.
The coating is only on the outside. The length of the coat varies, but the tail and ruff are normally long and full with a delicate texture and a silky gloss. In this case, the “britches” are the visible characteristics on the back legs.
Tones of white, chocolate, or lavender; or these colors in the Himalayan pattern.
While the aforementioned traits may be indicative of this breed, it is important to remember that cats are unique individuals with their own quirks and features. For information about a particular animal, contact the adoption facility directly.
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