Turkish Angora: Forever Young, Forever Pretty

Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

If we could, most of us will probably prefer to keep our cats as kittens forever. Adult or senior cats have their own charm, but it’s hard to deny that kittens are at the pinnacle of feline cuteness and playfulness. There’s no way to stop the passage of time, but there is a cat breed that stays kittenish well into adulthood, and that’s the Turkish Angora.

The Turkish Angora cat is extremely graceful and elegant in appearance. However, do not be fooled. They are extremely playful, witty, and kitten-like—which you wouldn’t assume at first glance. If you’re looking for a playful, energetic, and social cat that gets along great with children and other animals, then the Turkish Angora is a great option.

Curious about what this quirky breed has to offer? Keep on reading if you want to learn more about this playful and loving breed. There’s plenty to discover about the mysterious Turkish Angora—starting from their temperament and down to the best ways to take care of them so they will flourish.

Breed Characteristics

Turkish Angora in the street

  • Adaptability: High

  • Grooming: Low Maintenance

  • Health: Good; however, pure white Turkish Angoras can be prone to deafness

  • All Around Friendliness: Very Good; can get excessively attention-seeking

  • Exercise Needs: Moderate

  • The Turkish Angora is a favored cat in Turkey. In fact, you’ll be able to see them all along the streets, being petted and fed by the people living around them. They were named after the city of Ankara, Turkey, which was formerly named Angora. Though the breed comes in an array of colors and patterns, the most famous and sought-after is the white Angora.
Cat Breed GroupSemi Long-Haired, Natural Breed
SizeSmall to Medium
Weight5 to 9 lbs
Lifespan12 to 18 years

However, the popularity of the Angora dwindled once the Persian cat outshined them. But the existence of the white Angora was saved through a controlled breeding program at the Ankara Zoo. Eventually, the white Angora was imported to the U.S., and the breed continued to grow and flourish.

The Turkish Angora is a tricky breed. Upon first glance, you’d think that this breed is extremely sweet and innocent. Though they are sweet, they’re highly curious, graceful, and athletic cats. They’re extremely intelligent and highly adaptable, which makes them ideal for any family. Their playful nature allows them to socialize with other cats and dogs. However, they need to be known as the alpha pet in the home.

The Turkish Angora is a small to medium-sized cat that’s built with a long body. They love jumping to the highest places and poking their noses into everything they see. You’ll notice that even throughout the years, they remain kitten-like with their playful and loving energy. They can be challenging cats as once they’ve made up their mind, there’s no way to change it.

Main Highlights

Turkish Angora kittens

  • The Turkish Angora became very scarce and were saved after the development of a breeding program in the Ankara Zoo.

  • The Angora breed was imported to the U.S in 1954.

  • In comparison to other breeds, the Turkish Angora is the most recognized breed by North American cat registries.

  • They’re highly athletic and intelligent; they love jumping and poking around nooks and crannies.

  • They’re highly playful cats which are almost kitten-like in their behavior, even as they continue to age.

  • They’re highly social cats, which means that they love to be surrounded by other cats and animals. That is, if they’re pet-friendly.

  • Turkish Angoras have a great sense of humor that should match their owners.

  • They’re huge fans of snuggling and just being around those they love.

  • Turkish Angoras can be quite moody, and once their mind is set, it becomes difficult to change.

  • They can be difficult to live with. Thus, the owner needs to be patient and affectionate.

  • They love attention and to play, making them ideal for families with children and other pets.

  • Turkish Angoras need to feel like they’re in charge of the house.

Breed History

Turkish Angora lying in bed

The Turkish Angora is a natural breed which was named after the city of Ankara, Turkey, which was formerly known as Angora. Turkish Angoras are highly respected and favored in Turkey. They’ve always been seen as one of Turkey’s main attractions.

In addition, it’s believed that the Turkish Angora was the first long-haired cat to arrive in Europe. However, the initial origins of the Turkish Angora are unknown. Although, there are various theories such as the Vikings bringing them to Turkey a thousand years ago.

Through time, the Turkish Angora became scarcer. They were just barely saved from extinction by a breeding program that was developed in Ankara Zoo to protect pure white Angora cats with blue eyes, though they’re very difficult to obtain.

In 1962, Liesa F. Grant, the wife of Army General Walter Grant, was stationed with her husband in Turkey. She successfully imported two Turkish Angoras to the U.S. With time, more Americans who were stationed in Turkey took Angoras back to the U.S. with them. Slowly the breed started to grow in number—leading to them obtaining registration status with the Cat Fancier Association (CFA) in 1968.

In 1973, the CFA granted the Turkish Angora full recognition. However, until 1978, it was limited to only white Angoras. Although the CFA has since then accepted all of the cat’s natural colors, to this day, white Angoras still outshine the others when it comes to popularity.


Turkish angora sleeping

The Turkish Angora is a small to medium-sized breed which usually weighs between 5 to 9 pounds. They’re a naturally-occurring breed with their genes tracing back millennia.

Their medium-sized build gives them a very elegant and well-balanced body. Their long body is accompanied by slim legs, large almond-shaped eyes, and a long tail and coat. They also have tufted fur between their toes. Their appearance makes them a graceful and classy breed.

Personality and Character

Turkish Angora with the tail up

Though the Turkish Angora is elegant, soft, and beautiful on the outside, don’t be fooled by their appearance. Turkish Angora personality is the complete opposite of their looks. In reality, the Turkish Angora is highly athletic and intelligent—traits which you won’t associate with them just by appearance.

There’s no distance that’s too tall for them to jump. They will poke their nose into every nook and cranny they see. If there’s a closed door, you can be sure that they’ll use their paws to open it up.

Of course, they do have manners. However, sometimes their need to explore overcomes them. By nature, they are hyper and curious cats. They are also highly playful. They love attention and will try to get it even if it means they have to cause some drama for it. They get along very well with other cats and pet-friendly dogs, so long as all the other animals in the house know who’s the boss.

When you’re with your Turkish Angora, you’ll notice that they are always nearby, resting next to you or comfortably on your lap. In addition, the Turkish Angora has a great sense of humor that needs to be appreciated by their owner. But, you should also know that they can be extremely difficult to handle once they set their mind to something. If you’re up for a challenge and can handle providing them with enough attention and affection, they’ll blossom.

Health and Potential Problems

Turkish Angora with different eyes

Of course, regardless of if it’s pedigree or mixed-breed, each cat has their own set of health problems that are inherited from the parents. Overall, Turkish Angora health problems are quite limited as they’re generally a healthy breed. However, if your Turkish Angora is solid white with one or two blue eyes, they’re specifically prone to deafness in either one or both ears.

There are two other problems which have shown up in this breed:

  • Ataxia: is a neuromuscular disorder which is fatal. It affects young kittens from 2 to 4 weeks of age. However, you are able to screen your cat for this disease in order to reduce incidences when breeding.

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: is a type of heart disease which causes the heart muscles to enlarge. It’s found in both mixed-breed and pedigree cats. Many breeds are affected by this, including the Turkish Angora.

Care Features

Turkish Angora's back

The Turkish Angora is a relatively easy cat to maintain. However, there are some extra steps you need to take to ensure that your Turkish Angora is in tiptop shape.

You’ll want to ensure that you brush their teeth in order to prevent periodontal disease. Of course, ideally, you’ll want to brush their teeth daily. However, if that’s not possible, weekly tooth-brushing should be good enough.

Trimming their nails is essential, and you’ll want to do that every couple of weeks. Make sure you have scratch posts for them to sharpen their claws on as it helps manicure them naturally.

The ears and eyes are very important to keep an eye on. If you notice any buildup around their eyes, take a small, damp cloth, and gently remove the discharge. Use a different cloth for each eye to prevent the spreading of any bacteria or infections.

Check their ears weekly to make sure there’s no outside debris in them. If you see that their ears are dirty, take a damp cloth and dip it in a 50/50 mixture of warm water and apple cider vinegar.

The Turkish Angora is athletic and energetic, so you’ll need to spend at least 15 minutes a day playing with them, especially if they’re kept as indoors-only cats.

Feeding Schedule

Turkish angora watching up

The Turkish Angora, like all cats, is a carnivore. It means that you’ll want to provide your cat with a diet based off of fats and proteins. We recommend that you stay away from a carbohydrate-heavy diet as cats, in general, are not able to properly digest carbs.

For a proper feeding schedule, it’s important to consult your vet. The type and amount of food you feed your cat depend on a couple of different factors such as if they’re spayed or neutered, if they’re an indoor or outdoor cat, and whether or not they have any health issues.

With these factors, your vet will be able to recommend the right food and eating routine for your cat. Typically though, Turkish Angoras love to eat small meals and snacks throughout the day.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

Turkish angora lying

The most recognizable feature of the Turkish Angora is their long, white, soft, and silky coat. Though the length of the coat can vary, they’re usually long-haired with a slight ruff around their neck and upper hind legs. Many people think that the Turkish Angora is a pure white cat. However, that’s not the case. They can also be tabby, calico, and tortoiseshell.

When it comes to grooming, they’re relatively low-maintenance. Of course, you should comb them weekly to prevent their long hair from tangling. Then, with a brush, remove any dead hairs. Once a week should suffice as their coat rarely mats. Though, in the summer they tend to lose their hair more rapidly. Thus, you may want to brush them twice a week. When it comes to bathing, if you notice their hair becoming oily—which will probably be once a month—then it’s time for a bath.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

Turkish Angora characteristics make them highly social with other animals and people. Of course, they get along great with other cats and even dogs, if they’re cat-friendly. The only thing to know is that the Turkish Angora likes to be the boss; thus, if you already have a dominant cat, there may be some problems.

They get along great with children due to their highly playful nature. Thus, they make a great addition to any family with kids. You simply need to make sure your children are treating them with respect and care.

Wrap Up

Turkish Angora kitten

The Turkish Angora is a highly social and loving breed who will fit into any household that has children and other animals. Because of their playful and young personalities, they love to socialize with whoever is willing to give them attention. Though, with other animals, they do demand that they’re the alpha pet in the home.

They strive for affection from those they love. Thus, it’s important that you have the time to invest in them. It’s best for them to live in busy households since there will be lots going on for them to see.

They’re extremely low-maintenance, so if you don’t have the time or don’t enjoy grooming, then you’ll love the Turkish Angora. When it comes to grooming, their coat rarely mats, so a simply brushing once a week will suffice. This is great for someone who works a lot.

Do you think the Turkish Angora is the breed for you? Let us know what you think in the comment section below! If you already have a Turkish Angora, we’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences about this breed! In case you don’t think you can handle the Turkish Angora’s attention-seeking nature and you prefer a gentler breed, consider this one.

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.