The Aristocats was released in 1970 and quickly gained popularity. It would probably be harder to find someone who didn’t watch the movie during their childhood than to find someone who did. Viewers were entertained by the adorable cast of characters, and perhaps one of the most remembered characters is Duchesses’ oldest son, Toulouse.
Toulouse is a kitten with big dreams, and audiences find his scrappiness and laid-back attitude endearing. His desire to paint and tough background made many viewers search for a Toulouse of their own. But which breed of cat is he?
Well, you’ll be pleased to know that Toulouse is a purebred Turkish Angora.
What Kind of Cat Breed is Toulouse from The Aristocats?
While the typical Turkish Angora doesn’t share Toulouse’s painting skills, they’re still incredible cats. Turkish Angoras are known for being highly energetic, playful, and loving. Turks usually have no problem getting along with other pets, even dogs; their adaptable nature makes bringing in a new pet barely an inconvenience.
Turkish Angoras share very little in common with the family of cats in Aristocats, at least not in personality. Turks are often described as dog-like due to their energetic nature and desire to greet every new visitor to your house.
History of the Turkish Angora
We don’t know how far back the history of the Turkish Angora goes, but they may descend from the Manul cat, which was a small breed that was domesticated by the Tatars centuries ago, but that is unconfirmed. Others believe the Angora developed naturally, meaning they weren’t manipulated by humans.
We do know that the breed’s written history goes back to 16th-century France. In 1520, the first Turkish Angora was brought to Europe from Ankara, the modern-day capital of Turkey.
The Turkish Angora in Europe
The first Turkish Angora made it to the Americas in the 1700s, though they wouldn’t become commonplace for a few hundred years. European breeders began to use the Turkish Angora in their Persian breeding programs during the rise of cat shows. This interbreeding caused the Turkish Angora breed to disappear from Europe as they were assimilated into the Persian.
This reached the point where Angoras and Persians were used as synonyms and referred to the same breed.
The Ankara Zoo
During this time, Türkiye began to see the Turkish Angora as a national treasure and attempted to conserve them. The Ankara Zoo began breeding and keeping Turkish Angoras, and you can still see Turks in the Ankara Zoo today. During the 1950’s American troops were stationed in Türkiye and became interested in the Turkish Angora. In 1960, the breeding program agreed to let some of its cats go, and two were gifted to Colonel Walter Grant and his wife.
These two cats would become the foundation on which the American Turkish Angora would be built. American servicemen and tourists would continue to bring back Angoras for decades, and in 1968, The Cat Fanciers Association accepted White Turkish Angoras. In 1978, they began accepting Turks with other colors, including orange ones, like Toulouse.
Caring for a Turkish Angora
Perhaps you’ve decided you want to own your own little Toulouse, but you don’t know if Turkish Angoras are a difficult breed or what you might need to care for them. Fortunately, we’ve outlined everything you need to know below.
Grooming and Dental Hygiene
Despite the look of their luscious long fur coat, Angoras actually require very little grooming. Because of their single coat, it’s a rare occurrence that their coat becomes matted or tangled. Brushing them once a week and bathing them only when needed will keep their coat healthy and beautiful.
Maintaining their coat is vital, but their dental hygiene must be considered as well. It’s best to brush their teeth once a day, but if that’s not achievable, once a week will still offer them protection from periodontal disease. Yearly teeth cleaning with your vet is also necessary to reduce plaque and prevent infections.
You should also make sure your Turk’s ears stay clean. Whenever you spot dirt or debris, gently wipe it off with a soft cotton cloth, making sure not to get anything stuck within the ear. You should never use a Q-tip to clean your cat’s ear since it can push material deeper into the ear and damage the inner ear.
You should take 15–30 minutes out of your day to play with your Turkish Angora to make sure they get the exercise they need. Turkish Angoras love toys, and you can train them to play fetch and come when you call their name.
Now you know how to find a Toulouse of your own and care for one. Since they’re rare, you may have trouble finding one at a shelter or rescue center. However, you can search for reputable Turkish Angora breeders nearby.
An easy way to find a good breeder is to ask cat societies and vets about experienced breeders. Although Toulouse is a cartoon character, he personifies some of the Turkish Angora’s most beloved traits, including their playful spirit and affectionate nature.
Whether you adopt a white, black, or orange Turkish Angora, your cat might act like Toulouse, regardless of whether you tie a blue bowtie around his neck.
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