Turkish Angora Cat


Possible importation into Europe during the Crusades.
Documentary evidence of the Turkish Angora in France. See this article on a painting from Paris in the 1780s of an Angora cat. Gloria Stephens in Legacy of the Cat writes that the TA was the first long haired cat breed in Europe and was brought from Ankara, Turkey to France initially in the 16th century. It was called the “Ankara Cat” at that time in France.
Recognized as a cat breed in Europe.
Used without regulation in breeding Persian Cats, which damaged (genetically) the Turkish Angora breed.
turkish-angora-cat-odd-eyed1917 Turkey realize the importance of this cat to the nation and set about preserving the pure white classic cat with blue and amber eyes under the direction of Ankara Zoo.
1950Discovered in Turkish Zoo by Americans.
1954 or 19601First importation into USA.
1968Accepted for registration by CFA. “Only a handful of breeders” in the USA at 2001.
1972 or
Full Status (championship status) CFA.
1976First CFA Grand Champion GC NoRuz Kristal of Azima.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Health issues

HCM is a heart condition that can affect the Turkish Angora Cat and many other breeds (HCM and Bengal cats (new window)). Ataxia is another inherited condition found in this breed (recessive gene). The symptoms of Ataxia are grossly uncoordinated movements. Perhaps the major concern regarding health is as a consequence of this cat being preferably white. The gene that produces a white coat can also cause deafness (Deafness in Cats). Odd-eyed cats may be deaf on the blue eyed side. In a study carried out between 1971 and 1979 this cat breed was seen for skin disease “3.6 times more frequently than it should have been based on the total hospital population”2.

Turkish Angora Cat

Photo of Qiet Riot: © copyright Helmi Flick

Special Interest

Cats are routinely used in scientific research, something that is not widely recognised. Indeed some of the major pet food manufacturers do animal testing to improve their products. For example, six magnificent Safari cats have been animal tested to destruction.

The Turkish Angora is another purebred cat that has been used in the furtherence of science (or so it is meant to be). Not that purebred cats are any more important than any other creature, but I wonder why they used purebred cats and not cats that would otherwise have been put down or cats from the Moran Market outside Seoul, where cats and dogs are sold as food and treated appallingly (makes me shudder).

South Korean scientists cloned (2008) Turkish Angora cats by apparently manipulating a fluorescent protein gene. The cats glow in the dark. This may be an attempt to re-establish the damaged reputation of their bio-engineering industry due to a faked earlier programme. I disagree with this and I am not impressed by it.

Turkish Angora Cat

Photo of Safira: © copyright Helmi Flick – Safira is an excellent example of a “Turk” so says Helmi.

14 thoughts on “Turkish Angora Cat”

  1. hi, there are a few inaccuracies here about Turkey.

    First of all, Anatolia is the name for the whole of the Asian part of Turkey (most of it) not an old name, it’s still in common use. Also, you say Angoras ‘used to be called Ankara cats’ which would make absolutely no sense seen as the city was called Angora until the 1930s – you’re the wrong way around!

    Thank you


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