Turkish Angora

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Turkish Angora
White Odd-eyed Turkish Angora Cat.jpg
White Turkish Angora cat with "odd eyes".
Alternative namesAnkara
OriginTurkey
Breed standards
FIFestandard
CFAstandard
TICAstandard
ACFA/CAAstandard
CCAstandard
Domestic cat (Felis catus)
 
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Turkish Angora
White Odd-eyed Turkish Angora Cat.jpg
White Turkish Angora cat with "odd eyes".
Alternative namesAnkara
OriginTurkey
Breed standards
FIFestandard
CFAstandard
TICAstandard
ACFA/CAAstandard
CCAstandard
Domestic cat (Felis catus)
Turkish Angora "Dilli Düdük"

The Turkish Angora (Turkish: Ankara kedisi, 'Ankara cat') is a breed of domestic cat. Turkish Angoras are one of the ancient, natural breeds of cat, having originated in central Turkey, in the Ankara region (historically known as Angora). The breed has been documented as early as the 1600s and is believed to be the origin of the mutations for both the coloration white (the dominant white gene is in truth the absence of color) and long hair. The breed is also sometimes referred to as simply the Angora or Ankara cat, and in some obsolete works as the Angola.[1]

Contents

Physical characteristics

Turkish Angora cats have a silky tail, medium-long length coat, no undercoat and a balanced body type. They are athletic, and seek out high ground such as cabinets, shelves or other locations that allow them a good vantage point for observation.

Though known for a shimmery white coat, Turkish angora cats can have one of more than twenty colours including black, "blue," and reddish fur. They come in tabby and tabby-white, along with smoke varieties, and are in every color other than those that indicate hybridization (cross breeding), such as pointed, chocolate, lavender, and cinnamon.

Ankara Zoo Angora in 2012 January

Eyes may be blue, green, amber, yellow, or odd-eyed (e.g., one blue and one amber or green). Ears are pointed, large and wide-set. The eyes are almond shaped and the profile forms two straight planes. The plumed tail is often carried upright, perpendicular to the back.

Behavioral Characteristics

Turkish Angora cats are active, intelligent, and involved. They bond with humans, but often select a particular member of the family to be their constant companion. They seek to be "helpful" in any way they can with their humans, and their intelligence is at times remarkable, showing basic problem solving skills. They are easily trained, including deaf Turkish Angoras, both because of their intelligence and their desire to interact with humans.

Turkish angoras are energetic, and often seek out "high ground" in the home, including tops of doors, bookshelves, and other furniture. Some ride on their owners' shoulders. Their personality makes the breed desirable to certain people. They get along well in homes with other animals, children, and high activity.

Angora and Persian

Angoras and Persians see connected. The Persian cat was developed from Turkish angora mutations by British and American cat fancies. Although some cat associations think the Persian cat is a natural breed, in the 19th century Persians and Angoras were identical. In 1903, F. Simpson wrote in her book The Book Of The Cat[2]:

In classing all long-haired cats as Persians I may be wrong, but the distinctions, apparently with hardly any difference, between Angoras and Persians are of so fine a nature that I must be pardoned if I ignore the class of cat commonly called Angora, which seems gradually to have disappeared from our midst. Certainly, at our large shows there is no special classification given for Angoras, and in response to many inquiries from animal fanciers I have never been able to obtain any definite information as to the difference between a Persian and an Angora cat.

The Angora of the 20th century was used for improvement in the Persian coat, but the type has always been vastly divergent from the Persian - particularly as the "show" type Persian has been altered in the last few decades.

History

Odd-eyed Angora

Like all domestic cats, Turkish Angoras descended from the African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica). Fertile crescent was a place where first cats were domesticated. Cats from eastern mountainous regions of early Anatolia and through inbreeding and natural selection, developed into longhaired breeds like the Turkish Van and the Turkish Angora{{[3]|date=March 2011}}.

Longhaired cats were imported to Britain and France from Asia Minor, Persia and Russia as early as the late 16th century, though there are indications that they appeared in Europe as early as the 14th century due to the Crusades. The Turkish Angora was used, almost to the point of extinction, to improve the coat on the Persian. The Turkish Angora was recognized as a distinct breed in Europe by the 17th century.[4]

In the early 20th century, the Turkish government, in conjunction with the Ankara Zoo, began a meticulous breeding program to protect and preserve what they considered a national treasure: pure white Turkish Angoras.[5] The program continues today. The zoo particularly prized odd-eyed Angoras (i.e. Turkish Angoras with one blue eye and one amber eye).[6] The Zoo has its own cat facility, which houses the white Turkish angoras for its breeding program.

The Turkish angora, which was brought to the Canada in 1963, was accepted as a championship pedigreed breed in 1973 by the Cat Fanciers' Association.[6][7] However, until 1978 only white Angoras were recognized. Today, all North American registries accept the Turkish Angora in many colors and patterns. While numbers are still relatively small, the gene pool and base of fanciers are growing.

Genetics

A genetic study of pedigree cat breeds (using DNA taken from pedigreed cats in US and Europe)random-bred populations showed the Turkish Van as a distinct population from the Turkish Angora despite their geographical association.[8]

As above it was claimed that that the Turkish Angora and the Turkish van are distinct populations. This is the result of flawed methodology in that the Turkish Van was compared to American Turkish Angoras that are not genetically related in any significant way to Turkish Angoras from Turkey and the Ankara Zoo.

On the other hand the phylogenetic tree indicates that pedigree Turkish Angoras are more related to Tunisian random bred cats and Egyptian Mau than Turkish random bred cat populations. Tunisian cats and Egyptian Mau have western influence: Bayesian analysis indicated that Italian and Tunisian cats were an admixture of Western European and Mediterranean cats. This mixing supported the historical ties between Tunisia and Western European countries(Fig. 3. Factorial correspondence analysis of cat breeds and populations). . Egyptian Maus also appear on the verge of losing their historical origins via genetic influences from Europe .[8]

Inconsistencies: The Turkish random bred cat populations shared similarity with İsrael cats, but not with pedigree Turkish Angoras (The phylogenetic tree). Only a few Ankara Zoo cats were tested. Many pedigree Turkish Angoras are said to be descended from Ankara Zoo cats, and must trace back to the earliest imported cats from the Ankara Zoo. The Ankara Zoo cats are selectively bred white longhair Turkish street cats [9]

Clarification

It is clear from the graphs contained in the 2012 Turkish Cat Genetics Study that the majority of the Turkish Angora samples submitted show only minor traces of the original Ankara Zoo cats.[citation needed] Ankara Zoo sample No 9575 shows a 72.14% signature mistakenly referred-to as the Cyprus group since it is also common to many Cyprus cats—whereas the Turkish Angoras of the cat fancy show less that 2% of this critical identifying marker.[citation needed] Other examples from Turkey that show this signature are 13558, 76.77%, and 9702, 97.02%.[citation needed] Supposed samples from Turkey that matched the cat fancy Angoras cannot be verified or confirmed. In fact, the supposed authors of those samples deny any knowledge of them.[citation needed] Considering that these "scientific studies" from the genetics laboratory of Leslie Lyons of UC Davis assume that American Turkish Angoras are the authentic Turkish Sngoras, as her website says, then cats that differ from those samples are not Turkish Angoras. This is highly flawed and misleading pseudo-science, which breeders may consider genetic proof.[citation needed]

Health considerations

The W gene responsible for the white coat and blue eye is closely related to the hearing ability, in this and other breeds, and presence of a blue eye can indicate the cat is deaf to the side the blue eye is located, with some being totally deaf if bearing two blue eyes. However, a great many blue and odd-eyed white cats have normal hearing, and even deaf cats lead a normal life if kept indoors.

Some Turkish Angora kittens suffer from hereditary ataxia, a rare condition thought to be inherited as an autosomal recessive.[10] The kittens affected by ataxia have shaking movements, and do not survive to adulthood.

Another genetic illness that is rare but known to the breed is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy,[11] which is a cardiac condition usually found between the ages of 2 - 6, with males being affected more commonly and more severely than females. In the Maine Coon, HCM is thought to be an autosomal dominant gene and researchers are working to identify markers for this disease. However, in the Turkish Angora, the disease has not yet been studied at length primarily due to its rarity of occurrence, and is likely to result from a different mutation of genes, with a different gene location than that of the Maine Coon cat. HCM also affects many other breeds, including Ragdolls, Persians and Bengals.

==Clarification== The above health concerns do not apply to Ankara Zoo Turkish Angoras or their descendants.

In popular culture

References

External links