First we should know what Turkish Turkish Angoras look like

by Harvey Harrison
(Lapta, Mersin 10, Turkey)

Turkish Angora Ankara Zoo

Turkish Angora Ankara Zoo

The first thing that catches one's attention is that the Ankara Zoo Turkish Angoras do not look very much like the contemporary Turkish Angoras and not even like the older variety of the Western cat fancy.

What could be the explanation?

The complete prohibition on the export of TAs from Turkey and even DNA samples, would have obliged breeders to breed time and time again from a very small genetic pool leading to serious inbreeding.

Turkish Angora in Ankara Zoo
Another larger format version to show the cat clearly

Instead of that I suggest that outcrossing to other breeds was undertaken with the resultant change in appearance and DNA marker.

Nevertheless, the findings of the UC Davis Genome Project determined that the contemporary Turkish Angora (TA) is more closely related to the Egyptian Mau and to Tunisian cats than to cats with Turkish DNA.

They only trace a distant relationship to the Turkish Van but with influences from Italy, Israel and Egypt.

There is nothing simple about the ancestry of the contemporary TA. The DNA markers of the Turkish Van and the Turkish Angora from the Ankara Zoo are virtually identical explaining their identical appearance.

I have sent further photos of Ankara Zoo Turkish Angoras which will no doubt be published shortly.


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First we should know what Turkish Turkish Angoras look like

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May 07, 2011 Zoo Turkish Angoras and others
by: Harvey Harrison

Hi Rudolph.
A WCF judge once looked at my Minos, the one in the picture, and said she is a Persian. I think he meant an early Persian without the flattened nose. However the DNA results from UC Davis show clearly that the Persian belongs to the West European group and is no way related to the Mediterranean group much less the Turkish Angora of the Zoo or the contemporary American Angora. The genetic signatures of these three breeds are quite distinct without even any trace markers to show common origins or crossbreeding. I asked Prof Leslie Lyons when the 2 types of Angora diverged. This was in order to determine at what date any outcrossing began, before their introduction into the USA or after, but of course this was not possible because they have entirely different and unrelated origins. . .
The LH cats in Mumbai are interesting but could have been imported from just anywhere for the very purpose of breeding and selling them. Their existence in India proves nothing.
The scruffy cat is actually in rather good shape considering the lamentable conditions they are kept under. Their fur is very soft, dense, and easily forms knots. They are as difficult to groom and take care of as any Persian.

Jan 17, 2010 Turkish Angora's looks.
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

If the cat in the zoo that looks shabby in its original form is the authentic "Turkish Angora", than Mumbai's Crawford Market pet shops have numerous cats of this type which they pass of as "Persian cats". My own "Doll-faced Persian cat" Matahari which i purchased from a pet shopresembles more of the "Turkish angora breed" with long legs and a slim body.Her kitten "Matata" whom i bred with another "Turkish Angora" type "Doll Faced Persian" resembles the authentic "Traditional persian cat", a robust short body with a bushy tail. Photographs of "Matahari" and "Matata" are in "Picture of cats" on which i have written different topics about their peculiarities. Ultimately, it seems that the " TRADITIONAL PERSIAN CAT" and "Turkish Angora" are almost similar having later evolved into exotic and "flat faced Persians" due to human intervention in their breeding.
Rudolph avatar

Jan 17, 2010 TA Ancestry
by: Lisa James


You are right when you say that the contemporary TA looks very little like the Zoo TA. That is because in Europe, during the wa, when the vast majority of breeds nearly became extinct, & because of the Zoo's prohibition on sales, which I understand has been a bit controversial because they do not keep the colored kittens born to their colony, but either toss them out on the street, or indeed DO sell, because I have a Canadian breeder acquaintance who's blue female has a Zoo cat in her third generation on her pedigree,many breeders of many of today's established cat fancy recognized breeds had no choice but to outcross to different breeds in order to keep the breed alive at all.

However, the fact remains that regardless of the DNA between the original Zoo cat, & the contemporary TA, they are BOTH recognized as TA's, & that is why a Zoo outcross derived cat is so highly valued in today's TA. The other thing is that you CAN still import a Turkish street cat, & have it be recognized as a TA if it meets basic breed standards, & is documented as having come from the country of origin, as a friend of mine is working on with a mother & daughter pair that someone brought over & left with a breeder when they moved & could not keep the cats. The mother is white, the daughter is blue. They have the original air way bills & vet records from Turkey to show that they came from country of origin, & they do meet the Zoo cat look. There are steps within the registering bodies for several cat breeds to do this. The Japanese Bobtail is another one you can do this with, & is the first one that comes to mind.

Like I said, there are curently 2 "looks" within the breed, & Zoo style cat is what is preferred on the bench in some areas, & the contemporary TA in others. Mostly the judges seem to prefer a happy medium. We as breeders will always revere & highly value the origins of our breed, whatever they are, they are shrouded in history, & I don't believe we will EVER 100% know the truth.

Jan 17, 2010 Thanks Harvey
by: Michael

Thank you very much for taking the time to provide, what is for me, original and valuable material.

It doesn't get much better than this. You know more than me about this cat breed but I just speculated about the Turkish Angora and Van on this page: Where the Turkish Angora and Turkish Van the same cat?

It seems that what is to be expected has happened namely that breeders in the USA have drifted away from the true cat breed.

There are numerous examples of that. Perhaps almost all cat breeds are not the same as they were 50 years ago.

I am not sure if I have got any more photos in an email but I might have missed it. If you have sent me an email with more pics, I upload them of course.

Michael Avatar

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Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!


First we should know what Turkish Turkish Angoras look like — 9 Comments

  1. this is my princess waffle, I fostered her then she became part of our family. I thought she was Maine coins. the vet says Australian long hair . but I’m seeing and reading Turkish angora . will someone tell me what they see ? thank you so much. she has one blue eye and one goldgreen

    • Renee, I have seen Maine Coons look like this. Her muzzle is not really like a Maine Coon’s but the rest of her looks Maine Coon. “Australian Longhair” is a fairly meaningless description if you live in America. If you live in Australia, “Australian Longhair” means a random bred cat living in Australia which is probably correct. What she or he is saying is that the cat is a longhaired random bred cat. That said there is a bit of Maine Coon about her as you say.

      Without registration and a pedigree we have to guess from appearance and don’t forget that the genes of Angoras have travelled far and wide so random bred cats have a mix of genes in them. The obvious conclusion is that she is a beautiful longhaired random bred cat who resembles (to a certain extent) a Maine Coon. Thanks for visiting Renee.

  2. Thanks Michael. The photo was taken when he was still very much a kitten but a very lucky one. . Unlike many rescued kittens he is very healthy and on top of that very friendly and sociable with people. Just great for establishing a new line of Genuine Turks. He behaved very well at his first show in Istanbul where he got 2 CACs (Champion) straight off. before he went to the USA. His mate is an all white green eyed beauty who also got 2 CACs at the same show

  3. @Lisa James. There is one difficulty in recognising TAs as such in the cat fancy. I think that all cat registries require that cats to be recognised as TAs must prove their Turkish ancestry. When the DNA markers show that they do not have Turkish ancestry as in the case of most American pedigree TAs, how did they prove their Turkish ancestry? Any cat from Turkey will have the East Mediterranean Anatolian markers not the Western group markers. This indicates either some bending of the rules or false exportation documents presented by the breeder(s). On another matter, I have recently exported a breeding pair of TAs to Texas. I and the new owner would like to know which societies in America prefer the Zoo look on the show bench so as to avoid any clash of preferences.

  4. Turkish angora,s are considered a purebred. They shall be all black or all white. long tail,thick maine,less allergetic,and less shedding because of their rectangularish hair from folicles.They do like water and are very much kike,’miss mew’

    • Hi Kelly. Pure-bred TAs in the USA and Europe are not pure-bred at all. They are an amazing mishmash of many breeds from different continents but mainly from the Western grouping. TA’s in Turkey including the Ankara/Kecioran Zoo are not “pure-bred” but they are pure. Figure that out.

    • Thank you very much. I will publish them here. Fantastic. I prefer the Turkish Angora in Turkey. More pure! More genuine.

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