The Turkish Angora is a lithe, lean, active cat, medium to small in size. It is a longhaired breed; some say it is the oldest longhair breed of all, the source of the original longhair mutation in the domestic cat. It is single coated--it does not have a heavy undercoat as do Persians and Maine Coons. This makes it easier to groom and less prone to shed or mat.
Although most people think of the Turkish Angora as a white cat, it in fact comes in all colors except those that would indicate hybridization with another breed: chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, fawn, and the 'pointed' colors derived from the Siamese or Burmese. You can find Turkish Angoras in black, blue, red, cream, silver, smoke, tortoiseshell, blue-cream, and all the shades of tabby, as well as these colors with white trim.
The Turkish Angora is a long-bodied, relatively fine-boned cat, small to medium in size. The head is a characteristic wedge shape, set off by large almond eyes and ears which should be as large, tall, and close together as possible. The coat is characteristically glossy, with a fine silken sheen. The tail is long, like the body, and is ideally a 'brush' tail -- the hairs are all one length, creating a fox-brush effect.
The Turkish Angora is a quick-witted, quick-moving, and sometimes quick-tempered cat. They are highly intelligent, and not above manipulating their owners to get what they want. A Turk can teach you to play fetch, to turn on the faucet when she wants a drink, or to child-proof all your cabinets (those narrow little paws can be amazingly agile).
The hallmark of the Turkish Angora is refined, athletic grace. Come home from work, and be greeted by a Turk leaping to your shoulders, purring (not a claw out of place, either). Make dinner, and watch a Turk make a 9-foot leap (from a standing start, no less) to the top of a cabinet (and make it look easy) to supervise ('Is that salmon for dinner?')
In the experience of this author (spanning a half-dozen years and as many breeds), the Turkish Angora is the only one to exhibit a genuine sense of humor. Of course, whether you will think your Turk's jokes are funny is quite a different matter....
Is This Breed for Me?
Frequently Asked Questions
(How much does a kitten cost?, etc.)
How big do they get?
Turkish Angoras run between 5-9 pounds.
Do the sweaters come from the cats?
Answer: Uh, no. Angora sweaters come from Angora rabbits. (Mohair sweaters come from Angora goats.) The only things that come from a Turkish Angora are love, affection, and (when in a careful and knowledgable breeding program) more Turkish Angoras. :-)
Head Points Head shape & profile 15 Ears (size 5; placement 10) 15 Eye size, shape and placement 10 Body (35) Size and Boning 10 Torso, including neck 15 Legs and Tail 5 Muscle Tone 5 Balance 10 Coat 10 Color 5
GENERAL: the ideal Turkish Angora is a balanced, graceful cat with a fine, silky coat that shimmers with every movement, in contrast to the firm, long muscular body beneath it.
HEAD: Size: small to medium, in balance with the length of the body and extremities.
Shape: a medium long, smooth wedge. Allowance is to be made for jowls.
Profile: two planes formed by a flat top head and the line of the nose meeting at an angle slightly above the eyes. NO BREAK.
MUZZLE: a continuation of the smooth lines of the wedge with neither pronounced whisker pad nor pinch.
EARS: large, wide at base, pointed, and tufted. Set closely together, high on the head, vertical and erect.
EYES: large, almond-shaped, slanting slightly upward with open expression.
EYE COLOR: eye color can be any shade of green, gold, green-gold, copper, blue, or odd-eyed. There is no relationship between eye color and coat color. Uniformity and depth of eye-color should be taken into consideration as a part of the overall head score, with deeper, richer color preferred.
NOSE: medium in length.
NECK: slim, graceful and rather long.
CHIN: firm, gently rounded. Tip in profile to form perpendicular line with nose.
BODY: medium size, however, overall balance, grace and fineness of bone are more important than actual size. Males may be slightly larger than females. Torso long and slender. Shoulders the same width as hips. Rump slightly higher than shoulders. Finely boned with firm muscularity.
LEGS: long. Hind legs longer than front.
PAWS: small, round and dainty. Tufts between toes preferable.
TAIL: long and tapering from a wide base to a narrow end, with a full brush.
COAT: single coated. Length of body coat varies, but tail and ruff should be long, full, finely textured and have a silk-like sheen. "Britches" should be apparent on the hind legs.
BALANCE: proportionate in all physical aspects with a graceful, lithe appearance.
PENALIZE: obviously oversized, coarse appearance.
DISQUALIFY: cobby body type. Kinked or abnormal tail. Crossed eyes.
Colors: any color or pattern is allowable with the exception of those showing hybridization resulting in the colors chocolate, lavender, the Himalayan pattern, or these combinations with white.
Turkish Angora allowable outcross breeds: none.
The Turkish Angora is recognized in North America by the ACA,AACE,ACFA, CCA, CFA, CFF, TICA, and UFO registries. Only documented Turkish imports and their descendants are accepted for registration by the North American registries.
A breed called the 'Angora' is recognized in the UK by the GCCF, but it is a man-made 'recreation' and not a true Turkish Angora. Siamese and other breeds were used to produce solid-color longhaired cats with the type of the Siamese. Most American fanciers would refer to this as an Oriental Longhair.
Finding a Breeder
There are a relatively small number of Turkish Angora breeders in the world, and most produce very few kittens each year. You probably will have to get on a waiting list, especially if you want a specific color, such as odd- or blue-eyed white. If a breeder is not able to provide a kitten within a reasonable time, he or she may refer you to another breeder. Additional breeder listings can be found in Cat Fancy in the US and Canada, and in Cat World in the UK.
For a list of electronically-available Turkish Angora breeders, please visit the Breeders Referral List at www.breedlist.com/.
This FAQ was written by Jean Marie Diaz (Ambar Cattery) who accepts sole blame, er, responsibility for its contents. The author would like to express her thanks to those breeders who have taken the time to share their knowledge (and in some cases, their cats) with her: Debra Rexelle (Ashmanor), Grace Adams (CaptainCat), Robin & Diana Lacey (Lacepastis), Leigh Polli (Capaqua), and all the members of the turkish-angora mailing list, most especially and fondly B. Iris Tanner (Silverlock).