Turkish Van Cat: Cat Breed Profile


Turkish Van Cat

Turkish Van cat

The Turkish Van cat is sometimes confused with the Turkish Angora. It has nothing to do with the Angora. Still rare in Europe, this cat native to Turkey is an adorable feline, sometimes quite imposing, for families.

It has a strong character, independent, but enjoys the company of Its master. This is a cat that loves water more than anything, which makes it one of its peculiarities. Its health is robust and its diet does not require any specificity.

History of the breed

The Turk  Van is an ancient breed of cat, which is also called the cat of Noah’s ark since it originates from Mount Ararat (Turkey), where the ark would have been stranded. An origin that also transports it to the shores of Lake Van. We find this feline on jewelry from antiquity, proof of its presence thousands of years ago.

Their discovery is however quite recent. We owe it to Laura Lushington and Sonia Halliday, 2 British who, in 1955, imported it to Europe. Their rather singular and exceptional character was very appreciated, until then, by the Turks who possessed them. The Turk of Van has been domesticated for centuries. They landed in the United States in the 1980s.

Physical features

  • Its body: the Turkish Van cat is a majestic cat, endowed with a large musculature. Its growth, slow, favors the development of its long and strong body. Its legs are also very muscular.
  • Its hair: The Turk  Van has a mid-length and dense coat. The undercoat is present but in a very small quantity. The coat looks like cashmere thanks to its soft texture. In winter, this cat presents a ruff. The entire coat thickens in winter to allow it to withstand the worst weather conditions.
  • Its color: The standard of the Turk Van allows a light marking on its body, which does not exceed one-fifth of the whole of the main color which is white. The ears and tail are red. Some felines replace this red with black, blue, or a tortoiseshell color.
  • Its head: It is a little longer than it is wide, in the shape of a rounded triangle. The muzzle is strong and the cheekbones high and prominent, his nose is straight.
  • Its eyes: They are very expressive, oval in shape, and quite large. Their color varies from light to medium amber. They can be blue or minnows.
  • Its ears: The ears of the Turk  Van are medium in size, set high on the head.
  • Its tail: It is of medium length and is particularly well provided.

Behavior and Character

The Turkish Van cat is a cat renowned for Its intelligence and Its playful side. It’s not afraid of anything or anyone, even if It can sometimes be shyIndependent, this feline never refuses hugs and tenderness.

It loves it, sometimes to the point of becoming a pot-of-glue. Well-educated, It can be compared to a dog because It tends to bring back objects that are asked of It. Above all, the Turkish Van will only be happier if It enjoys a corner of water next to the home or in the garden, in which It can soak Itself.

It is a ”  swimming cat “, Probably because It had to hunt in this aquatic environment for food. This natural instinct has been preserved despite its domestication. In addition, a very sociable cat with its congeners and other pets.

Living Conditions

The Turkish Van can adapt to all types of environments. Thus, It will be just as happy in a house with an exterior as in an apartment. It will simply have to have accessories and toys available to keep It entertained.

It hates boredom. Thus, Its master should be often present to give It the attention It asks for and deserves. Owning a corner of water is a plus since It loves to swim.

Health & Maintenance

The Turkish Van has very good health, although It’s subject to cardiac pathologyhypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A visit to the veterinarian twice a year is recommended to detect the beginnings of this disease.

Otherwise, due to its tendency to swim, regular and meticulous cleaning of the ears is necessary to prevent ear infections or other unwanted infections.

Hypoallergenic Breed: No

The life expectancy of a Turkish Van is between 14 and 19 years.

The absence of an undercoat makes its maintenance very easy. It’s enough to brush it once a week to allow it to retain all the vigor and beauty of its dress. In addition, it will prevent the formation of knots.

During summer, when it loses its hair in greater quantity, brushing can be accentuated.

In addition to weekly brushing, the Turkish Van may need a bath from time to time, especially to clean Its white coat. Indeed, it is particularly messy. In addition, this water-loving feline, will not oppose any resistance. Cleaning of the ears is desirable from time to time.

The Turkish Van cat has no dietary requirements. Its diet, therefore, consists of either dry food such as high-quality kibble, or wet food such as mash. It simply needs to be adapted to their lifestyle, health, and daily energy expenditure.


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About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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