Turkish Angora

The Turkish Angora is a cat breed of domestic cat. Turkish Angoras are one of the ancient, naturally-occurring cat breeds, having originated in central Turkey, in the Ankara region.

Turkish Angora Cats have a silky (originally white), medium-long length coat, no undercoat and fine bone structure. There seems to be a connection between Ankara Cats and Persians (see below), and the Turkish Angora is also a distant cousin of the Turkish Van. Although they are known for their shimmery white coat, currently there are more than twenty varieties including black, blue, and reddish fur. They come in tabby and tabby-white, along with smoke varieties, and are in every color other than pointed, lavender, and cinnamon (all of which would indicate breeding to an outcross).

Eyes may be blue, green, or amber, or even one blue and one amber or green. The W gene responsible for the white coat and blue eye is closely related to the hearing ability, and presence of a blue eye can indicate the cat is deaf to the side the blue eye is located. However, a great many blue and odd-eyed white cats have normal hearing, and even deaf cats lead a very normal life if kept indoors. Some undeaf \turkish angoras love to go outside, and if you have hardwood floors inside, the Turkish Angora will be agreeable to spin in donuts on the floor.

Ears are pointed and large, eyes are almond shaped and the head is massive with a two plane profile. Another characteristic is the plumed tail, which is often carried upright, perpendicular to the back.

In the Turkish Angora, a disease that is commonly referred to as ataxia, is found. Ataxia is thought to be inherited as autosomal recessive. The kittens affected by ataxia have Parkinson's like movements, and require intensive nursing care to help them survive. These kittens are usually euthanized, but there are reports of a small handful of kittens that may have survived to adulthood. The genetic cause of this ataxia is not yet known. Another genetic illness known to the breed is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, 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 cat, 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, 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 (from Ragdolls to Persians, to Bengals).

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