The Way We Were:
Excerpts from the 1959 CFA Yearbook, Part 7

Ristokat Himalayans & Persians

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Cats of Yesteryear: The Angora

In 1900, the Angora and the Persian were two distinct breeds of Long Hairs, although crossing had already started. Helen Winslow, in her book “Concerning Cats”, published in 1900, gives the following information about the Angora cat.

“The Angora cat, as its name indicates, comes from Angora in Western Asia, the province that is celebrated for its goats with long hair of fine quality. In fact, the hair under the Angora cat’s body often resembles the finest of the Angora goatskins. Angora cats are favorites with the Turks and Armenians, and exist in many colors, especially since they have been more carefully bred. They vary in form, color, an disposition, and also in the quality of their hair.

The standard calls for a small head, with not too long a nose, large eyes that should harmonize in color with the fur, small, pointed ears with a tuft of hair at the apex, and a very full, fluffy mane around the neck. This mane is known as the “Lord Mayor’s chain”.

The body is longer than that of the ordinary cat in proportion to its size, and is extremely graceful, and covered with long, silky hair, which is crinkly like that of the Angora goat. This hair should be as fine as possible, and not woolly.

The legs are of moderate length, but look short on account of the length of hair on the body. Little tufts of hair growing between the toes indicate high breeding.

The Angora cat, in good condition, is one of the most beautiful and elegant creatures in the world, and few can resist its charm.

The tail is long and like an ostrich plume. It is usually carried, when the cat is in good spirits, straight up, with the end waving over toward one side. The tail of the Angora serves as a barometer of its bodily and mental condition. If the cat is ill or frightened, the tail droops, and sometimes trails on the ground; but when she is in good spirits, playing about the house or grounds, it waves like a great plume, and is exceedingly handsome. The suppleness of the Angora’s tail is also a mark of fine breeding. A high-bred Angora will allow its tail to be doubled or twisted without apparent notice of the performance.

The Angora does not reach its prime until about two years. Before that time, its head and body are not sufficiently developed to give the full beauty and grace of the animal.

As a rule, the Angora is of good disposition, although the females are apt to be exceedingly nervous. They are sociable and docile, although fond of roaming about, especially if allowed to run loose.

As a rule, they do not possess the keen intelligence of the ordinary short-haired family cat, but their great beauty and their cleanly and affectionate habits make them favorites with fashionable people.

The proper breeding of the Angora cat is a regular science. Of the colors of the Angoras, the blue or maltese is a favorite, and rather common, especially when mixed with white.

The Persian cat differs from the Angora in the quality of its fur, although the ordinary observer sees little difference between them. The fur of the Persian cat is much more woolly than that of the Angora, and sometimes in hot weather mats badly. The difference between a Persian and an Angora can usually be told by an amateur, by drawing the tail between the thumb and first finger. The Angora’s tail comes out thin, silky, and narrow, although it immediately “fluffs” up. The Persian’s tail does not compress itself readily into a small space.

The Persian’s head is larger, its ears are less pointed, although it should have the tuft at the end and the long hair inside. It is usually larger in body and apparently stronger made, although slender and elegant in appearance, with small bones and graceful in movement. The colors vary, as with the Angora, except that the tortoiseshell and the dark-marbled tabby do not so frequently appear. The temper is usually less reliable and the intelligence less keen than the Angora.”

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