Turkish Angora Cat Breed Profile

Turkish Angora Cat
Turkish Angora Cat, Heikki Siltala, catza.net

Although often confused with the Persian, the Turkish Angora has a very different face structure, body type, and temperament.

White cats with long hair have existed in Turkey and surrounding regions for centuries. Long fur likely developed via a spontaneous genetic mutation, and this trait would have conferred a survival advantage during cold, harsh winters.

Turkish Angoras were brought to England and France in the 1500s, but European cat fanciers lost interest in the breed when they developed a preference for the Persian, and the Turkish Angora nearly went extinct throughout Europe as a result. Luckily, the Ankara Zoo in Turkey undertook a breeding program to save the cat. This zoo was protective of its Angoras and reluctant to adopt any out, but Colonel Walter Grant and his wife were able to obtain a breeding pair in 1963 and another unrelated pair 1966, which became the foundation of the American breeding pool.

Turkish Angora Appearance

The elegant Turkish Angora is a long, slender cat, weighing 5-9 pounds at full maturity. Its ears are large and close-set, and its almond-shaped eyes may be blue, green, gold, or copper, with many Angoras having eyes of two different colours.

Turkish Angora cat
Turkish Angora Cat, Heikki Siltala, catza.net

The Turkish Angora’s coat is medium-long, soft and silky. Its fur is longer around the ruff and on the tail, and the coat shimmers when the cat is in motion.

Turkish Angoras can be found in many colours and patterns, including white, black, blue, red, cream, tortie, tabby, and bi-colour. The Cat Fanciers’ Association accepts any pattern or shade except those indicating hybridization, such as a Siamese pointed pattern, because the Turkish Angora is not supposed to be outcrossed with other breeds.

Although Turkish Angoras are often confused with Persians, they are very different breeds. Whereas Persians have round, flat faces, Angoras have wedge-shaped faces, and Persians are stocky and solid, while Angoras are slim. Also, Persians tend to be placid and mellow, whereas Turkish Angoras are always on the go.

Turkish Angora Personality

Alert and energetic, Turkish angoras love to climb, run, and play, and seem to enjoy showing off. Because they are among the smarter breeds, they tend to be strong-willed and assertive, usually getting their way in any given situation. They are accepting of dogs, but generally have the upper hand in the relationship.

A Turkish Angora will usually bond with one particular person in a household and follow that individual around like a dog, though these outgoing, friendly cats will show affection to other household members as well. Adaptable and accepting, they make good family cats because they can get along well with children, even very young ones.

Like another breed of Turkish origin, the Turkish Van, Angoras are swimming cats. Many (though not all) will voluntarily jump into water, particularly if they were raised by swimming mothers.

Are All Turkish Angoras Deaf?

None-purebred white cats with blue eyes are just as likely to suffer from the genetic defect causing deafness as purebred Turkish Angoras. Although deafness rates are higher among white cats with blue eyes than in cats of other colours, not all white cats with blue eyes are deaf.

turkish angora cat3
Turkish Angora Cat, Heikki Siltala, catza.net

Deaf cats adapt well to their disability, hearing through their feet by picking up on vibrations, and relying more on their senses of sight and smell.

Turkish Angora Health

Most Turkish Angoras are healthy and have good longevity, but a few lines are prone to developing Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a life-threatening heart disease.

Another condition associated with the breed is Turkish Angora Ataxia, which causes loss of muscle control and death in kittens. The Turkish Angora Ataxia Project sells customizable cat-related merchandise to fund research by the nonprofit Winn Feline Foundation that will hopefully lead to a cure for this malady.

Turkish Angora Grooming Requirements

Turkish Angoras have very low grooming requirements for a long-haired breed because they lack an undercoat. Combing once a week is usually sufficient to prevent matting.

Adopt a Turkish Angora Kitten or Cat

The Turkish Angora is still relatively rare. There are few breeders worldwide, and they maintain waiting lists.

Turkish Angora Cat
Turkish Angora Cat, Heikki Siltala, catza.net

Turkish Angora kittens usually cost anywhere from $900 to $1,500 or more (prices vary based on whether kittens are classified as show or pet quality, markings, bloodlines, and other factors). Blue-eyed or odd-eyed Turkish Angoras with pure white fur tend to sell at the highest prices, unless they are deaf, in which case the price drops significantly. A retired adult show cat or breeding cat can sometimes be adopted for a lower price.

Turkish Angora breeders can be found through the Fanciers Breeder Referral List online.

For more cat breed articles, visit the main Cat Breeds page. For a full list of cat articles, see the main Cats page.


    • Diaz, J.M. (n.d.). “The Turkish Angora.” Fanciers.com.
    • Helgren, J.A. (2010). “Choosing a Turkish Angora.” Petplace.com.
    • P&G Pet Care, IAMS Breed Guide. (2010). “Turkish Angora.” IAMS.com.
    • Reiff, D.. (November 2001). “Breed Article: The Elegant Turkish Angora.” CFAinc.org.
    • Tanner, I. (22 June 2009). “Breed Profile: Turkish Angora.” CFAinc.org.

6 thoughts on “Turkish Angora Cat Breed Profile”

  1. Early separation from the mother is a common cause of compulsive behaviors in cats, particularly suckling behaviors. I haven’t personally encountered the compulsive digging, though I’ve read about others who have. Nobody seems to know exactly what causes it, but it often occurs in kittens or cats that have recently suffered stressful changes such as moving house, so it’s most likely a stress-related behavior (assuming that there are no symptoms of illness such as straining or crying out while attempting to use the litter box, diarrhea, frequent attempts at urination while producing only tiny amounts, etc. – if you see any symptoms like this, consult a veterinarian). If the problem is stress, providing lots of positive attention, cuddles, and playtime can help. Providing catnip toys can be beneficial as well (not all cats respond to it, but the majority do, and catnip is totally safe).

    As for the genetic ataxia, according to the Winn Feline Foundation’s Turkish Angora Ataxia Project website, the condition typically manifests at around four weeks, so your kitten should be in the clear: http://www.oocities.org/harbaugh4/TAAP.html

  2. I’m pretty sure my cat is a Turk, and I used to live with a roommate who owned one. Both of the do this a lot! The room mate’s cat was deaf though, so she made a lot of weird vocalizations.

  3. The cat fancy standard for the “Turkish Angora” is not representative of the legitimate Turkish Angora as found in Turkey or even the Ankara/Kecioren Zoo. The standard is based on the American Angora which has been so massively out-crossed to cats of western and oriental origins that on average it retains only 5.9 % of the original East Mediterranean Anatolian DNA markers. This is why their appearance, morphology, particularly the ear size and set do not match the legitimate Angoras from Turkey.

  4. my cat is normal local cat but she crossed with a turkish angora male cat. she gave birth five kittens and intersting thing is that these kittens have their male female identity by birth ,two are male and there females but there is a problem they have bone issue in tail same have proper but broken tails??? why is that??

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