Turkish Angora cat breed information and advice
The Turkish Angora cat breed originated in Western Turkey, in the area around Ankara, a region formerly known as Angora. The breed dates back to the 15th century, however, the breed almost disappeared in the early 1900s when it was used to breed with Persians. Fortunately, a breeding programme at Ankara Zoo was set up to preserve the breed. Cats from the zoo were brought to the USA in 1962 and these became the foundation stock of the breed in North America. Angora cats are considered a national treasure in Turkey and these beautiful cats are a rare find in the UK. Known for being intelligent, energetic and affectionate, they make entertaining family pets.
Turkish Angora cat facts
3-5 kg (female); >5 kg (male)
intelligent, outgoing, affectionate
Turkish Angora insurance
The Turkish Angora is generally a healthy cat breed, but it’s always a wise to take out cat insurance should any illness or injuries occur. Cat insurance can help with the cost of any treatment that your pet may need, including dental treatment or vet prescribed complementary therapy.
Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance
Sainsbury's Bank Pet Insurance is available for Turkish Angora cats from 8 weeks of age with injuries being covered after three days of the policy being taken out and illnesses from 14 days. If the insurance policy is taken out before your cat is 10 years old and you continue to cover them with Sainsbury’s Bank, their cover will be continued year after year, providing you keep renewing your policy.
How to care for a Turkish Angora cat
Turkish Angoras are easy to maintain and like all cats, they’ll need a balanced, nutritious diet and lots of exercise to keep them in good condition. To keep your cat happy, healthy and at their best, here’s some care tips to look after your Turkish Angora.
Feeding and nutrition
When you take your new Turkish Angora kitten home from the breeder it’s recommended to follow the feeding routine set out by the breeder. If you want to change their diet, do so gradually as this will help to avoid any stomach upsets. Ask your vet to recommend a replacement cat food that best fits the needs of your Turkish Angora, and how much to feed to keep them at a healthy weight.
Despite being semi-longhaired, Turkish Angoras are fairly low maintenance. Their silky coats are single coated which makes their coats easier to care for. They’ll only need grooming with a comb or brush once or twice a week. They may need an occasional bath, especially if white or light-coloured. However they tend to love playing in water, so this should take care of washing their coat. You should brush their teeth with vet-approved toothpaste, checking for any gum disease at the same time.
Turkish Angoras are usually thought of as being white but other colours and patterns are available. Black Turkish Angoras, as well as red, parti-colour, bi-colour and tabby can be seen. They can have striking blue, green, green-gold, amber or odd-coloured eyes.
Turkish Angoras are energetic and enjoy being up high, so they can be found on top of bookcases or open doors. You could provide them with a cat tree or perch to scratch their itch of climbing. Also, make sure they have interactive toys to play with to keep them from becoming bored and getting up to mischief. You should also devote time every day to play with them.
They’re intelligent and enjoy human interaction which means Turkish Angoras can be easily trained. They’ll quickly pick up toilet, or litter training. And they’ll also enjoy being taught new tricks.
Temperament and behaviour
Turkish Angoras like to be the boss of the household, they can be vocal and have alpha tendencies to be the dominant pet. Be wary when introducing a Turkish Angora into a house that already has pets. They’re curious and probably too active to relax on your lap for too long. They’ll be interested in whatever you’re doing and aren’t shy so you can expect them to be forward with visitors.
If allowed outside, make sure the space is enclosed and secure to keep them safe. Beware, they also have a strong hunting instinct so they can be good mousers and leave unexpected presents for you.
Common health problems
Turkish Angoras are generally healthy but hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and deafness can occur in the breed. They can also be affected by a condition called Turkish Angora Ataxia. Regular health checks will help identify any potential problems. Common health issues, as well as any breed-related diseases, can be covered by Turkish Angora insurance.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (commonly known as HCM) is a disease that affects the heart muscle. In HCM, the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick. This reduces the amount of blood flowing through the heart, so the heart doesn’t work properly. The condition is likely inherited in certain cat breeds including some Bengal lines.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a DNA test available at the moment to identify those at risk. Screening of cats using echocardiography (a scan of the heart using ultrasound) is recommended for Bengals. If the condition is recognised early enough, long-term medication and other measures can slow the disease down.
Deafness can affect pure white, blue-eyed or odd-eyed Angoras. However, they are no more prone to becoming deaf than any other pure white cat. Deaf cats can lead normal lives, especially if they’re kept indoors.
Bengals have been known to be affected by patellar luxation. This can be caused by trauma, but the tendency for patella luxation can also be inherited with Bengal cats at risk for this. The kneecap (patella) can slip out of place and cause lameness. Surgery may be needed in severe cases.
Pyruvate kinase (PK) deficiency
PK deficiency is an inherited disease caused by a deficiency in an enzyme called pyruvate kinase. The condition shortens the lifespan of red blood cells and results in anaemia. It’s caused by a genetic mutation so there’s no treatment or cure. However, the episodes of anaemia are usually mild and can be managed.
The condition can affect certain breeds of cats, including the Bengal. A genetic test can identify those affected. These cats should not be used for breeding.
So, is a Turkish Angora cat right for you?
Turkish Angoras love attention and will fit in well with busy, active families, especially those with older children. They’re energetic, intelligent, and enjoy playing with their owners. They’ll get along with other cats and cat-friendly dogs, but they’ll want to be boss. Turkish Angoras may not cope well if left alone too long and if everyone is out at work all day, consider getting another cat or dog, albeit a submissive one, to keep them company.
Are Turkish Angora cats rare?
Yes, although one of the world’s oldest natural cat breeds, the Turkish Angora is uncommon in the UK. The breed isn’t recognised in this country, although it is by most other international breed clubs. If you want to buy a Turkish Angora from a reputable breeder in the UK, there is likely to be a waiting list.
How to identify a Turkish Angora cat?
A typical Turkish Angora has a semi-long, silky coat and is fine boned yet muscular. It has a wedge-shaped head, tall pointed ears, large, almond-shaped eyes and a long, fine and full tail. White is the most common colour, but many other colours can be seen, including black.
Are Turkish Angora cats hypoallergenic?
Despite their wild looks, Bengal cats aren’t aggressive. They’re not even very good hunters. They’re affectionate and just to want to spend their time playing and spending time with their humans.
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