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What is a Turkish Angora Cat?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 06 December 2016
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The Turkish angora cat is a purebred type of feline that people often purchase and keep as a pet. These cats have an ancient history and a lot of significance to the people of Turkey. The cats are known to have long hair, and white is usually the preferred color, although other colors are also possible. They aren't quite as long-haired as a Persian, and the hair is distributed on the body in an uneven way, with more hair tufting around the ears and on the tail.

In addition to the long coat of the angora, the breed also has especially narrow and pointy ears. Traditionally, white angoras have been much more popular than other colors, but there are some health problems that have slightly lessened their popularity. Scientists discovered that any Turkish angora cat with white fur and blue eyes is usually totally, or at least partially, deaf. This is because the genes that cause hearing problems are the same genes that give the cats white coloring. The white cats normally have blue eyes as well, although some have two different eye colors, and they aren't normally deaf in both ears.

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The main behavioral quirks of the angoras are an active disposition and a tendency to like water. Some owners suggest that the cats won't even let people hold them for any length of time because they become easily bored with affection. They're also known to jump into the water while their owners are bathing, and some enjoy it so much that they do it repeatedly.

According to historians, the Turkish angora cat has a history going back to at least the 13th century. The cats are supposedly descended from the same African wild species that most other domestic cats come from, but there are some who believe the felines are actually descended from a Turkish wild species called the pallas cat, which has a similar coat. People have tried taming pallas cats and have found them to be totally unworkable as pets. For this reason, many people reject them as a possible origin for the angora, but debate continues among experts.

During the 15th century, angoras were brought to several European countries, where they eventually became quite popular. Over time, they were bred extensively with the Persian cat breed, and over time, the two breeds became generally indistinguishable. In fact, the Europeans temporarily started grouping all long-haired cats together as a single breed, which further diluted breed purity. In its home country, the Turkish angora cat remained relatively unchanged, and eventually, those cats were used to reestablish a breeding population.

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