The Angora cat made its first appearance in Europe at the end of the sixteen century. Brought to France by scientist Claude Fabri de Peirese, this beautiful cat originated in the Turkish city of Angora – now known as Ankara, the capital of Turky. With a longish and slender body, the Angora is very much adored for its long silky fluffy coat which it sheds in abundance in the summer. The breed is known for its calm and graceful mannerism, unlikely to dish out a mean ‘cat-scratch’ unless thoroughly provoked.
An English writer in 1868 described the Angora as a ‘beautiful variety with slivery hair of fine texture, generally longest on the neck but also on the tail’. The white variety of the Angora was often consider to be the only genuine representative of the Angora breed and consequently Ankara Zoo established a breeding colony of pure whites.
In its native homeland of central Turkey, different colored Angora is named differently. For instance, the silver feline is known as the teku, the red feline variety is known as the sarman; and the odd-eyed white is known as Ankara kedi.
Another true-breeding variety which evolved within the Angora breed was the Turkish Van. Living high in the mountainous regions of Lake Van on eastern side of Turkey, these cats were white with an attractive ‘auburn’ coloring restricted to ears and tail. Unlike other breed, the Turkish Van is an expert swimmer who enjoys playing in water and widely known as The Swimming Cat.