Turkish Van

Turkish Van Wanted Poster

Active long-haired cat with a strong bond with humans

The Turkish Van is a true beauty and is one of the original Turkish pedigree cats. The noble pedigree cat scores points with its well-balanced nature and intelligence, as well as with its playfulness and self-confident character. At the latest when you look into the sparkling eyes of a Van cat, it will have happened to you and the water-loving beauty will have crept into your heart.

History and Origin of the Turkish Van

As the name suggests, the Turkish Van originally comes from eastern Turkey and is also often referred to as a swimming cat. Even before modern breeding of the noble cats began, the strikingly beautiful semi-longhaired cats were already very popular in their homeland, because they clearly stood out from other cat breeds in appearance and character.

Surprisingly, professional breeding of the Van cat only took place after the British Laura Lushington and Sonia Halliday discovered the breed and introduced some animals to Great Britain. Unlike other pedigree cats, the Turkish Van is a pure breed , so no crossbreeding with other breeds is allowed. The cat breed only became popular in the USA in the 1980s and in 1994 the breed was also recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association. To this day, the Turkish Van is a rarity and only a few breeders have dedicated themselves to breeding the water cat. Since its recognition in the USA, only about 100 cats of the breed have been registered each year.


essence and character

The trusting and charming cats from Turkey are considered to be particularly intelligent and capable of learning. Thanks to its adaptability and character traits, the Turkish Van is a perfect family cat that retains its play instinct into old age and lives it out. Extremely devoted to their people and extremely open and social, members of the cat breed feel closely connected to their human family and are considered to be particularly affectionate and gentle. At the same time, the lovable cat also has a good hunting instinctequipped and proves to be extremely adept at hunting. But if you’re flirting with a Turkish Van, you should be aware that there is one characteristic that sets them apart from many cats. The Van cat loves water, so no watering can, flower vase, pond or aquarium is safe from it. This is how the breed was given the name swimming cat , even before it became known beyond Turkey , because in its original homeland you could watch the noble animals swimming again and again.

Appearance of the Turkish Van

Medium-sized and powerfully built, the Turkish Van is often confused with the Turkish Angora at first glance, especially with its summer dress. On closer inspection, however, it becomes clear that the breeds differ significantly and that the origin of the cat breeds is what they have in common.

Characteristic of the appearance of the Van cats are the broad chest, the semi-long coat and the wedge-shaped head. In summer, Vankatzen present themselves with a silky coat without an undercoat and in winter with a thick, plush coat. A closer look reveals that the fur on the stomach is significantly longer than the fur on the back and, in addition to the bushy tail, the well-pronounced ruff and the trousers on the hind legs are typical of the lovable cats. The fur of the cat, which comes from eastern Turkey, is fully adapted to the extreme temperatures in its original homeland and so the fur is much thinner in summer than in the winter months. In keeping with their fondness for water, their fur is water-repellentis. The breed-typical ruff is often not fully developed until the age of six and the Turkish Van is fully grown when it is four years old.

An important breed characteristic is of course the semi-long coat, which according to breed standards should be mostly white to cream-colored. The typical colored fur parts may not make up more than 20 percent and may only show up on the head area and tail. The torso, legs and paws, on the other hand, must not have any markings. Depending on the breeding club, only red and cream markings are allowed, other clubs also allow black and blue.

The eyes are also crucial for the typical appearance of the Turkish Van, these are usually light amber. However, unequal eyes are also typical of the lovable pedigree cats and so animals with one blue and one amber eye are particularly eye-catching and by no means untypical for the breed.

attitude and care

If you are considering owning a Turkish Van Kitten or an adult cat of the breed, then you should be aware that they are playful and active , but also loyal and people-oriented without sacrificing self-confidence. The naturally beautiful animals are adaptable and therefore perfect family cats, who also approach visitors in a friendly manner and also like to be the center of attention. As water-loving hunters, Van cats love nature, but also contact with their caregivers.

Outdoor cat or indoor cat?

With its pronounced hunting instinct, the active cat definitely enjoys forays into the great outdoors. Basically, it is ideal if you live in a quiet residential area and can give the van cat the freedom it needs. If this is not the case, the Turkish Van is also easily satisfied with a secured garden or balcony, although in this case you should equip the apartment accordingly so that the pedigree cat can let off steam and have enough varietyHas. If the cat has a garden available, you should make sure that garden ponds and rain barrels are secured accordingly or that the cat can leave the water again at any time. Although the Turkish Van is a good swimmer, it is important that it can end its bathing fun independently and leave the water at any time if necessary. Properly inclined boards or other exit aids are therefore a must.

How much employment does the Turkish Van need?

As playful, intelligent and people -oriented furry cats, the pedigree cats also need appropriate employment. Ideally, the cats are allowed to exercise in nature and you also take time for daily play and cuddling rounds. If there are no forays into nature, you should plan more time to play hunting and intelligence gamesto challenge the Van cat and give it the opportunity to exert itself. You should also provide appropriate climbing and scratching opportunities. So-called fumbling boards as well as intelligence and hunting games are also very well received. With appropriate game units and the possibility of dissipating the excess energy, the Turkish Van is quite balanced even without clearance, because it is quite willing to adapt to the circumstances and is therefore known to be rather uncomplicated.

grooming and feeding

The pedigree cats from Turkey also prove to be extremely easy to care for when it comes to fur care. Thanks to the scarcely any undercoat, it is sufficient to brush the coat regularly to remove dead hair, which is particularly recommended when the cat is changing its coat and also makes it easier for the cat to change its coat. However, the fur does not tend to become matted and therefore does not require intensive care. Since brushing is quite pleasant for Van cats and they already enjoy the daily ritual as kittens, you should take this time every day.

Basically, the Turkish Van is an uncomplicated boarder , but you should still rely on high-quality feed. A high proportion of meat is therefore important. With the appropriate special food for long-haired cats, you can also do something good for members of the breed, as this promotes the passage of swallowed hair. You should note that Van cats not only have a high energy requirement during growth, but are also very active into old age.

Acquisition of a Turkish Van

If the noble cat breed has already conquered your heart and you are thinking about buying a Turkish Van cat, you should first consider whether you are ready to offer her a loving home permanently. If you buy a Turkish Van kitten from an experienced breeder today, you should give the pedigree cat your affection and attention for the next 16 years and maybe more. Reputable breeders ask for a price of 800 euros and more for the rare cats , but you will also receive a corresponding pedigree and a graceful cuddly tiger, which will definitely enrich your life.

Interesting and worth knowing

Since the Turkish Van is threatened with extinction in its country of origin and according to the Yüzüncü Yil University there were only 92 white Van cats left in Turkey in 1992, the export of the cats is now a criminal offense and can be punished with a fine of up to 35,000 euros.


Are you also a big fan of the Turkish Van or do you want to get one soon? Tell us in the comments what makes the house tiger so special!

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