Green-eyed monsters

Case of missing Turkish angora cat, and the history of the breed

source: Malcolm Macalister Hall
Independent on Sunday March 18 2001
starts p10, 4 pages long

A couple from Lowestoft, England, claim that their Turkish angora cat, called Toni, has been kidnapped. Reports of the cat’s value have appeared in the press, and range between 75,000 pounds sterling and 250,000 pounds. Dealers argue, however, that Turkish angoras are sold from between 300 pounds and 500 pounds.

Turkish angoras are not recognised by the Governing Council of Cat Fancy (GCCF), though the Cat Association of Great Britain does recognise them. The GCCF instead recognises ‘British angoras’, said to be a cross between Balinese and Siamese cats. There are claims that the GCCF does not recognise Turkish angoras due to the British angora breed having been started by one of the GCCF’s executive.

Pedigree cats are not always well cared for, according to Celia Hammond, who rehomes cats. She finds that people often neglect pedigree cats, and want to rehome their breeding stock when they find cat breeding is less lucrative than they thought. Cats may be confined in sheds and not groomed.

Turkish angoras have been bred in Turkey, at Ankara zoo. Press reports claimed that the breed had become rare due to an epidemic, but the zoo denies this, and has 17 pairs of the breed, all pure whites and original-line, and will sell kittens for a price estimated at 40 pounds sterling for one kitten. One estimate gives 300 Turkish angoras in Germany, where they are especially popular, and 600 of this cat breed in the whole of Europe. There are restrictions on exporting white Turkish angoras from Turkey, though they are sometimes smuggled out.

The Collinses argue that their cat could have been worth 250,000 pounds, taking stud fees into account, and have made allegations relating to who could have taken the cat.