One of the cutest cat breeds in the world has an extensive history in a particular country that belongs to both Europe and Asia.
In this article, you’ll discover the ultimate list of interesting facts about the Turkish Angora, an amazing-looking cat, and a lovely companion.
1. They are native to the region around Turkey’s capital
Just like the name of this particular cat implies, it’s native to Turkey, a country that lies on the border of Europe and Asia.
The breed itself can be considered to be Asian because it is native to the region around Ankara, the capital of the country.
This is also reflected in the alternative names given to this type of cat which is the “Angora” or the “Ankara Cat.” Angora is the former name of the city.
2. Another popular type of cat was developed using this breed
The Turkish Angora, just like any other type of domestic cat, originally developed from the African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica). Remains of this type of cat have been found that are over 9,500 years old.
The longhaired cat from Turkey was imported from this region to Europe way back in the 16th century, and it was recognized as a distinct breed from the 17th century onwards.
There seemed to have been some confusion between Persian cats and this type of cat, mainly because both of them have a distinctive silky coat.
Even though their appearance is somewhat similar (except for the distinctive face of Persians), these are two different breeds. However, the Turkish Angora was used to improve the coat of the Persian cat in the early 20th century.
3. Their most distinctive feature is their amazing coat
And what an amazing coat they have, don’t you think?
Their elegant nature in combination with their long and often completely white silky coat makes this type of cat something very special.
Even though most Turkish Angoras are completely white, they do come in a wide variety of colors, including tabby, black, chocolate brown, and several shades of grey.
4. Many Turkish Angoras have a special condition with their eyes
Just like the color of their coat, the color of their eyes can come in a wide variety of shades. These include blue, green, amber, and yellow.
One of the most fascinating facts about the Turkish Angora is that heterochromatic eyes are pretty common in this breed as well.
This condition is sometimes referred to as “odd-eyed” which means that the color of the iris of these cat’s eyes can be completely different.
While this is rare, this is a condition that often occurs in white cats because the white spotting gene, which turns them white in the first place, prevents melanin from reaching both eyes during development.
This results in a pretty fascinating appearance with two distinctively different eye colors.
5. These cats are extremely intelligent and great pets to have around
Do Turkish Angora cats make good pets?
The answer is fairly simply a resounding yes!
These aren’t just extremely intelligent cats that have the ability to solve solutions, but also loving companions for family members, including small children.
They are playful and helpful as well but do tend to seek out the company of one particular member of the family.
Another remarkable behavioral characteristic is that they enjoy having a great overview of what’s going on inside the house.
That’s why you can often see them lying around on top of closets or bookshelves (or any other elevated area they can lie on).
More interesting facts about the Turkish Angora
6. The fact that this particular type of cat has become world-famous as a companion inside the house has resulted in an extensive breeding program in the area around Ankara.
Their native home has become the location of the Atatürk Forest Farm and Zoo, a facility that has a section specialized in preserving this remarkable cat.
Even though they favor odd-eyed cats, this isn’t the main requirement of the program. The bright white coat is the main characteristic the breeders here are looking to preserve.
7. The Turkish Angora made its way to North America during the 1960s and became an official breed of cat in 1973, recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
What’s remarkable is that only white cats were considered for the standard until 1978. Today, just about all of the 20 color variations that this type of cat comes in are accepted by the breed’s standard.
8. Even though the United States is home to a large number of Turkish Angoras, these aren’t the same as the ones bred in the facility near Ankara.
A study has concluded that these aren’t the same breeds anymore. The individuals in the United States were shown to be descendants from European random-bred cats while the ones imported from Turkey for the study were considered to be pure Eastern Mediterranean cats.
This means that even though both are described as “Turkish Angora” these are actually different types of cats today.
9. These cats are playful, athletic, and quite involved inside the house. They also have a protective nature when it comes to the person of the family that they prefer.
Their remarkable intelligence in combination with their eagerness to do things makes it easy to train these cats as well.
10. The fascinating appearance and lovely character of these cats didn’t go unnoticed by film producers. Both Warner Bros. and Walt Disney featured this type of cat in one of their movies.
A cat named Mewsette was featured in the animated musical “Gay Purr-ee” (1962) and a cat named Duchess was one of the main characters in the animated film “The Aristocats” (1970).