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CFA Pedigreed Breed: Turkish Angora

One of the most outgoing and affectionate of all cat breeds, the rare and beautiful Turkish Angora has a fascinating history and is considered a national treasure in its native land. Many Turkish Angora owners in the United Stated consider their cats a treasure as well!

Most likely, the breed originated in the mountainous regions of Turkey, where it developed an unusually soft, medium-long coat for protection against the harsh winters. Possibly, it evolved from the Manul cat, a small feline domesticated by the Tartars. This pure, natural breed can trace its written history as far back as 16th-century France. However, in the early 1900s, it was used indiscriminately in Persian breeding programs and virtually disappeared as a separate breed. For many years, all longhaired cats were referred to simply as Angoras.

Fortunately for cat lovers, controlled breeding programs had been set up in Turkey to preserve this living treasure. There, in the 1950s, at the Ankara Zoo, the Turkish Angora was discovered by American servicemen and reintroduced to the cat fancy. All Turkish Angoras registered by the  Cat Fanciers' Association must be able to trace their ancestry back to Turkey.

The Turkish Angora’s soft, silky coat rarely mats and requires only minimal grooming. Most breeders recommend combing once or twice a week with a fine-toothed comb or slicker brush to remove excess hair and keep the coat looking and feeling its best. Like all longhaired breeds, they lose some coat during the summer months, when more frequent combing may be needed to prevent hairballs.

Turks are not only intelligent but are extremely adaptable, loving, and playful, which makes them an excellent choice for families with young children and lively companions for senior adults. They readily accept dogs and other animals, but their assertive natures often make them the alpha pet in the household.

Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc. (c) 2011