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Getting to know the Turkish Angora

By: Cecily Kellogg

The Turkish Angora is an ancient breed with a distinctive regal appearance. Here are a few reasons why this cat breed may be a good fit for your home.

Getting to know the Turkish Angora

If you’re looking for an outgoing and affectionate cat with a distinctive regal appearance, the Turkish Angora may be the perfect pet for you.

Turkish Angora Origins

The Turkish Angora is among the oldest cat breeds, originating from African wildcats in the Fertile Crescent. The history of the breed in Europe dates to the 14th century, though there is some reason to believe Turkish Angoras may have been brought back to Europe by Crusaders as early as 1200 AD. Cats such as the Turkish Angora, Turkish Van, and Persian became popular in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. Breeders originally used the Turkish Angora in crossbreeding to improve the Persian, but breeding of the Turkish Angora itself began to gain in popularity into the 17th and 18th centuries.

The breed was first recognized by the Cat Fanciers Organization in 1968 and has remained a popular both as house pets and as show animals.

Physical Description of the Turkish Angora

The Turkish Angora is a long-haired, fine-boned animal with a lithe athletic body concealed beneath a luxurious coat. For many years, white was the most prized color among Turkish Angoras; but breeders have since explored other colors, such as black, blue, red and cream, tabby with white, and tortoiseshell.

On average, female Turkish Angoras weigh between 8 and 12 pounds with males running slightly heavier. Eye colors may include gold, copper, green, grey, or blue, and there is a high incidence of heterochromia (for example, one gold and one green eye). The breed’s average life span ranges between 12 and 18 years.

Turkish Angora’s Personality

The Turkish Angora is an affectionate, intelligent, and loyal companion. They love to play and climb and enjoy a good cat tree from which they can survey their kingdom. Turkish Angoras are good with people—including kids—but less so with dogs. Less solitary than many breeds, the Turkish Angora prefers the company of its human family and does not enjoy being left alone for long periods. The breed is happy both as a lap cat and as a playmate, but may have trouble adapting if there are other pets in the home.

Grooming for the Turkish Angora

The Turkish Angora has long silky coat, but no undercoat, so grooming is easier than it may seem. Matting is rare, and tangles and knots can be kept at bay with regular once-weekly grooming. You may have to brush your Turkish Angora more often in summer, as it sheds, to decrease the risk for hairballs.

Common Health Problems in the Turkish Angora

Generally, the Turkish Angora is a healthy breed. Because of its fine bone structure, it is recommended that the breed not be allowed to become obese, as this could lead to problems such as arthritis later in life. Also, some Turkish Angoras with heterochromia are also deaf, and may tend to be more vocal than their hearing counterparts.


The Turkish Angora is a beautiful ancient breed that would enhance any home. These intelligent, playful, and affectionate animals are as happy in your lap as perched in a cat tree. With regular care and light grooming, the Turkish Angora can be a delightful companion and lifelong friend.

Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

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