Turkish Van History
  • Originated hundreds of years ago in what is now occupied by the countries of Iran, Iraq, southwest Soviet Union and eastern Turkey.
  • The first of this breed were brought to England in 1955 but identified simply as Turkish cats. The name was later changed to Turkish Van to avoid being confused with the Turkish Angora.
  • An American couple traded one of their award-winning Balinese to a French man who bred championship Turkish Vans. This Van arrived in the United States in 1982 as the first one to reach American soil.
  • Demand usually exceeds supply for this breed.
  • Today, the Turkish Van is recognized by both the Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association. It was accepted during TICA's inaugural year in 1979 and reached championship status in CFA by 1994.
Turkish Van Behavior Concerns
  • Possesses high levels of energy.
  • Athletic and demands attention, the Turkish Van loves to master tricks for people.
  • Sleeps far less than most cat breeds who typically snooze up to 17 hours a day.
  • Favors playtime over roosting in a lap.
  • Needs interactions and stimulating toys to prevent from becoming destructive out of boredom.
  • Loves water, so be careful to keep your bathroom door closed. Otherwise, your Turkish Van is apt to drop items in the toilet or stand up and repeatedly flush the toilet.
  • Extremely affectionate, but prefers to rub against your leg and not be picked up.
Look of Turkish Vans
  • Its color can be traced to the piebald gene which bestows colored markings on the tail and head with a predominantly white body.
  • The coat features an undercoat and gives off a cashmere-like texture that is water resistant.
  • Its eyes are large, expressive, set at a slant and can be blue or amber or odd-eyed.
  • Its long, sturdy body is muscular and its head is wedge-shared with prominent cheekbones.
Grooming Turkish Van Cats
  • Comes in many colors, but famous for red markings.
  • Coat is semi-longhaired and gives off a cashmere-like feel.
  • Head and tail sport markings.
  • Coat is not prone to matting.
  • Requires brushing twice a week to address its undercoat.
Suggested Nutritional Needs for Turkish Van
  • The Turkish Van takes up to five years to reach full maturity, so work with your veterinarian on appropriate diets for this slow-growing breed.
  • Usually can be "free fed" cause they are so active and burn off excess calories.
Fun Facts of Turkish Vans
  • Van in the breed's name refers to the geographical area where it originated in central and southwest Asia.
  • In some Turkish Vans, a spot is visible on the shoulder that is known as "the mark of Allah."
  • Nicknamed "The Swimming Cat."

Turkish Van

Turkish Van cat breed picture
15 - 17 years
10 - 13 pounds
Turkish Van Traits
  • Lap Cat
    1 out of 5
  • Intelligence
    5 out of 5
  • Ease Of Training
    5 out of 5
  • Grooming Requirements
    2 out of 5
  • Shedding
    2 out of 5
  • Good With Children
    4 out of 5
  • Good With Dogs
    4 out of 5
  • Chattiness
    4 out of 5