Turkish Angora Cat Facts
A Few Facts About The Turkish Angora Cat
The Turkish Angora Cat is probably (along with many other domestic cats) descended from the African wild cat. These animals would have been around the part of the world we now know as Turkey. (Formerly Andorra) hence the name. The breed is also sometimes known as the “Ankara Cat” after the countries Capital City. The breed was almost put into a state of extinction during the 1900’s when it was used to enhance the gene pool of the Persian Cat. This is arguably where the white strain of the Persian breed came from. The Turkish government along with Ankara zoo reacted by initiated a strict breeding programme to save the Turkish Angora. Unfortunately the people (government included) only considered the white Angora with blue or odd coloured eyes (blue and amber) to be the true Turkish Angora Cat. Experts state that genetically speaking, white is not a colour at all. Rather it is in fact an absence of the colour gene (Albino). The cat was and still is however renowned for its soft glossy coat and cute good looks.
What Are your Chances Of Owning a White Turkish Angora Cat?
Even now, it is virtually impossible (if not illegal) to take a white Turkish Angora Cat out of Turkey. It has of course happened over the years because they have been bred successfully in the UK and USA. The only places you will ever see these coveted pedigrees is in the Ankara zoo and at the premises of those involved in the closely monitored breeding programs. Fortunately many breeders and cat fanciers are coming to realise that other colours of the Turkish Angora cat have just as fine if not even finer coats and feature’s that their white relatives. These other cats roam freely around the countryside and it has been much easier to gain permission to take them out of the country than the white one’s. There is very strong feeling among the Turkish people that this is their national cat and the efforts of both the Ankara zoo and the government have done much to preserve this beautiful breed. However the obsession with the white variety has unfortunately come at a cost to the animal and the close breeding has as always rather sadly left its genetic mark.
Health Issues Of The Turkish Angora Cat
It is ironic that the self same gene that gives the White Turkish Angora Cat its beautiful white coat and blue eyes can also cause it to be born deaf. The “W” gene as it is known is the one responsible for the problem. It is often the case that a white Angora Cat with one odd blue eye is often times also death on that side. However many pure whit Angora’s with two blur or add eyes are quite healthy. Furthermore a profoundly deaf cat is able to lead a long and healthy life provided it is kept indoors away from predators and traffic hazards. 9i know because I have a deaf cat myself). Turkish Angora’s are also susceptible to a genetic disorder known as “Autosomal Recessive”. This condition which is caused by two mutant genes will make the animal shake (it is related to Cystic Fibrosis and sickle cell disease. If the animal has this hereditary condition it will most likely not survive into adulthood. A much rarer condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy can affect this and other pedigree breeds when they reach the young adult stage (2-6 years old). So its worth doing your homework before purchasing this breed especially when the cost is taken into consideration. You can find out more about the Turkish Angora Cat here