Van Cat Breed Profile
Photos courtesy or Ancris Turkish Vans
Turkish Van History
Turkish Van is a
rare and ancient breed that developed in central and southwest Asia, which
today encompasses the countries of Iran, Iraq, southwest Soviet Union and
eastern Turkey. “Van” is a common term in the region that has been given
to a number of towns, villages and even a lake - Lake Van - so it is no
surprise that the uniquely patterned cat native to the region was named
the “Vancat” by the residents. They were first brought to England in 1955
as the Turkish cats, but this was later changed to Turkish Van to avoid
confusion with the Turkish Angora.
Although the breed has an ancient
lineage, the Turkish Van is a relative newcomer to the United States,
arriving in 1982. They are considered regional treasures in their
homeland, and are not readily available for export to other countries.
Even in areas where the breed has been known for centuries, they are still
Turkish Van Appearance
The van is a large
white semi longhaired cat with coloured markings on the head and tail.
It is referred to a a piebald cat. The coat has a cashmere texture
and does not have an undercoat. The coat is also water resistant which
goes hand in hand with one of their personality traits of having a
fascination with water.
Turkish Van Personality
The Turkish Van is extremely intelligent and imaginative. A Turkish cat
is very lively, loving and demonstrative pet. They frequently chatter in answer to their
owners, more often than not getting the last word in.
Turkish Van cats often retrieve toy
mice, balls and crumpled paper, and will exhaust their owners long before they tire
An intriguing aspect of
Turkish Vans is their insatiable curiosity for water, A few are not interested but the
majority can be found dipping their paws, toys and bedding in water bowls, or sitting in
sinks and baths waiting for the tap to be turned on. They will also assist with rituals
like dishwashing and often sit entranced while their owners are showering.
Turkish Van Coat
Turkish Vans are not a difficult cat to groom as the fur having no woolly undercoat does not
knot. Bathing is not usually a problem, some vans even enjoy it.