Turk Angora Cat

The Turk angora is a race in which there exist many controversies, one due to part of its history and the other due to its denomination.

There exists two totally different races with the denomination of angora, but they do have common characteristics. For this reason they are treated together on this chapter.

Breed Origins
The Turk angora is a race acknowledged by the IFF and other organizations of several countries, but not in Great Britain.

It is a cat native of Ankara, Turkey, in which zoo they still conserve them.

The race, known in Great Britain as angora, is of recent invention (it received the preliminary acknowledgement in 1977), product of a beginning program that didn’t have the participation of any Turk Angora specimen.

In the United States it was acknowledged in 1988, at the same time as the Javanese and the oriental long hair, that in Europe are considered as varieties of the Balinese and the Javanese, respectively.

To complicate more the question, according to some breeders the real Turk angora only exists in the color white and what is true is that at the zoo of Ankara only white exemplars are admitted to guarantee the pureness of the race.

On the other hand, the existence of a different but similar race, presents yet another complication; in fact before it was known in Great Britain as Turk cat.

The Turk Angora was one of the first races to arrive to Europe from the orient in the XVI Century, along with the Persian cat, at the beginning these two races were submitted to an indiscriminate breeding.

There are no real proves that the Turk angora and the Persian have common ancestors nor that the angora comes from an accidental breeding with cats considered as foreign or oriental.

Reintroduction of the Breed
With time, the Persian was victorious in Europe and the appearance of Turk angora features on the Persian specimens were not well seen.

In consequence, near to the 1900 the interest for the angora was lost and, out of turkey the population began to reduce until it vanished.

There were two possible methods to reintroduce the race to the western civilization: go back to turkey in search for original specimens or, as Great Britain decided to reinvent the Turk angora by breeding oriental type short hair cats carrying the long hair gene.

In the United States they took a more direct path in 1962, a breeder in the United States introduced in the country two white Turk angora specimens (a hair with odd eyes and a female with amber eyes), both original from the zoo in Ankara. Other two exemplars arrived in 1966, and between these four exemplars the race was reintroduced into the country.

At first they were registered as long hairs, but in 1968 the angora race was established, and two years later the Cat Fanciers’ Association of that country acknowledged it.

Since then it has been bred in other colors, but white still is by far the most popular.

The new creation of the British angora was acknowledged in 1977.

It is a similar race to the Turk angora but it is nearer to the foreign type, with a more sinuous constitution, triangular face and big ears.

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