Turkish angora is a semi-long-haired cat breed from Turkey.
This cat is characterized by its very silky mid-length coat with no undercoats, and a fine silhouette that ranks it in the category of foreign cats such as Abyssinian or Russian blue.
A very ancient cat breed, the Turkish angora is the source of all the long-haired (Persian) and mid-long breeds (Norwegian, Maine Coon, etc.) present in Europe and America.
Natural breed having been very successful in the eighteenth century, this cat of medium size is currently still little known, despite great aesthetic qualities and character.
This cat has been known in the East for over 1,000 years.
The Turkish angora was already described by the Romans, so Augustus Octavian, the first emperor of Rome, described his white cat with golden eyes as "delicate and refined ... noble and independent of spirit".
The white Turkish angoras were notably owned by the rich merchants who saw in them a symbol of purity, finesse and wealth.
He is the first longhaired cat to arrive in Europe.
The name of this cat comes from the ancient name of the capital of Turkey, today called Ankara.
It will give its name to all animals "angoras", that is to say, half-long hair (for example, the rabbit angora).
In the seventeenth century (around 1620), the Italian explorer Pietro Della Valle, intrigued by this race, is the first to describe them.
The French naturalist Fabri then brings some specimens from Turkey and becomes the first breeder of the breed in Europe.
Contrary to what one might think, this cat does not come only from Turkey: indeed, at that time, some also come from Syria and Iran.
It is the object of scientific description since 1756, in particular by the naturalist Buffon in his Natural History: "The cat of angora all white and with long hairs".
This cat is therefore very popular with the entire European aristocracy and, especially in France, the court.
Richelieu had fourteen, and the kings of Louis XIII to Louis XVI also owned because these cats were a luxury item.
Marie-Antoinette had several of them and sent them to America before being arrested.
This is how the race arrived in the new world and then gave birth to Maine Coon.
Great writers speak of him: Linnaeus, to distinguish him from the domestic cat and the Carthusian, gives him the name of Cattus angorensis.
Great painters have represented him as Bachelier or Courbet in his studio painter.
In England, this cat was also very popular.
In the nineteenth century, associated with the British, he gives birth to Persian, to which he transmits the gene responsible for the long hair.
Unfortunately, he is the victim of the great success of the latter.
It failed to disappear, and was even extinct after the Second World War.
The Turks, anxious to see the race disappear, decided to protect it and specimens were welcomed at the Ankara Zoo.
It was then that breeders in Europe and the United States decided to import Turkish angoras from Turkey, where the breed is currently protected.
Among these imported cats, and ancestors of our Turkish Angoras, are Yildiz and Yildizcik cats from the Ankara Zoo.
In the 1970s, this breed experienced a real boom.
Concretizing this, the Cat Fancier Association (CFA) registered the first subjects in 1970, and recognized the breed in 1973, which the International Feline Federation (FIFé) did in 1988.
However, this breed remains relatively rare and little known nowadays and is strongly competed by more recent breeds of long-haired and long-haired cats of which it is nevertheless at the origin: Norwegian, Siberian, Maine Coon, Persian ...
It is still protected at the Ankara Zoo where you can still see specimens and are still exported to enrich the breeding of the whole world of new blood.
It should be noted that the Turkish angora is a breed that has not been created by man even if he has intervened to improve its characteristics: it is a natural breed.
EVOLUTION OF THE STANDARD
The Turkish angora currently awarded at cat shows is no longer so much like the catus angorensis described by naturalists 250 years ago.
Breeders have evolved the breed in recent decades to arrive at the cat currently described by the standard of major federations.
Turkish Angora is a loving cat, lively and intelligent.
Extremely player he stays the rest of his life and is therefore appreciated by children and people looking for a cat.
Sportsman, he is an excellent hunter.
Affectionate and close to the man, he has difficulty with loneliness and needs to participate in the life of the house by being present next to his master.
Pretty talkative, and has a wide range of meows to express its different moods.
These traits, however, remain perfectly individual and are based on the history of each cat.
He asks to be handled gently because lively and a strong enough character, he hates being forced.
However, intelligent, and willing to please their master, they are cats who educate easily and are used in circuses for address numbers. It adapts very well to its congeners and other animals with whom it will enjoy playing.
She is a very balanced cat who will love to share the life of a family with children and various activities.
That's why some people call it the cat / dog.
The sexual development of Turkish angora is quite early with a sexual maturity reached around 8 to 10 months.
Very kitty player, the Turkish angora stays all his life.
The behavior of the cat will also depend on how he was raised from an early age, and the relationship he had with his mother and with the man.
It is not advisable to separate a kitten from its mother before the age of 3 months, for the future balance of the cat.
The first breeds of the breed date back several hundred years, but the breeding work has really resumed since 1962, when an American couple imported a Turkish Angora couple from the Ankara Zoo: a white male with odd eyes and a white female with amber eyes.
The kittens of this pair are registered with the CFA and the breed is recognized in the United States in 1973 and in 1988 by the FIFe.
This couple revived the breeding of the breed in the West and late 1960s, the breeding of the breed is also spreading in Europe including France ..
Some family farms try to rediscover this race, including that of Mrs. Janine Pillot (since 1980), then founder of AICAT, interclub Association of Turkish Angora, and some others: Mr. Bernel, Ms. Bancarel, etc.
A non-male breed, the Turkish Angora is robust and does not have any particular health problems.
His life expectancy is over 15 years.
Regarding its maintenance, this cat does not pose any particular problem because it is devoid of undercoat and unlike other breeds with mid-long hairs, does not knots.
Brushing 1 time / week in winter to 1 time / 15 days in summer is enough.
During moulting, we can prevent the cat from ingesting too much hair by licking, by more frequent brushing.
The Turkish Angora breeds a variety of long-haired and mid-length breeds currently in existence.
LOOF and WIKIPEDIA sources