Energy & Playfulness
Affection & Handling
Likes To Be Alone
Grooming & Shedding
Single-Coat, Soft, Cashmere-Like
White with dark coloring
"Van" Patter, Rings on Tail, "Thumbprint" on Shoulders
The Turkish Van, like its name implies, is believed to have originated in the Lake Van area of Turkey. This hilled landscape and cold climate is likely the reason the Turkish Van has a very soft, wool-like coat and sturdy body. It’s likely that this breed is completely natural and has developed without any human breeding or intervention. They go back so far that there are religious folklore of how the Turkish Van came to have color in its coat.
The Turkish Van was first brought to the United States in the 70’s and The International Cat Association recognized the breed in 1985, and the Cat Fanciers Association began registering it in 1988. In Turkey, the cats are considered national treasures and they are nationally protected species.
The Turkish Van isn’t exactly what one would call a social and affectionate cat. They tend to latch on to one or two members of his family and although he may tolerate the company of others, he will likely always prefer his favorite one or two people. Years of growing up in harsh cold mountains has made him a very selective creature. The Turkish Van is a large cat that is very athletic and known to steam roll his way around the house.
They are skilled hunters and enjoys toys that mimic prey. You’ll find that the Turkish Van finds the most peace being as high as possible. This is a trait that has served him well in the mountains of Turkey where he’s not as accessible to other larger predators. Turkish Vans are commonly seen in YouTube videos pushing items from high ledges. No one is sure why they find this behavior enjoyable, but expensive glass and vases should definitely not be left out for your Van to explore his curiosity.
The Turkish van loves water and this can be problematic if you’re not careful. Keep all fish takes covered and make sure that your toilet seats are lowered. It’s extremely common to find this breed playing in the toilet bowl or any pods you may have around your house.
The Turkish Van is not a lapcat. In fact, this is one of the few breeds that isn’t required to be handled at shows. Being a larger cat, he’s definitely not someone you want to mess with or get on his bad side. As long as you respect the Turkish Vans space, he will happily cuddle next to you and sleep at the foot of your bed. The Turkish Van isn’t know for being a lap cat and if you decide to own one of these breeds, you would be better served not challenging his authority on that subject.
Turkish Vans are generally healthy, although some have been reported to develop a form of heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In some breeds such as the Maine Coon, HCM is inherited, but that has not been proven in the Turkish Van.
The Turkish Van has a single coat with a silky texture. Because there’s no undercoat to cause mats or tangles, it’s easy to groom with weekly combing or brushing with a slicker brush. It sheds very little except during spring and fall when old coat is falling out or new coat is coming in. Older cats may have difficulty grooming themselves thoroughly, so it can be a good idea to brush or comb them more often. The Turkish Van‘s coat is water-resistant, so be glad that baths are rarely necessary.
The ears are another place where dirt can build up. Make sure to use cotton balls with warm water and gently scrub the interior of theirs ears.
Children And Other Pets
The Van who has been well socialized is comfortable with kids, making him a good choice for families with active children who will enjoy running around with a teaser toy, throwing a ball for the cat to fetch, or teaching tricks.
Supervise young children to make sure they pet the cat nicely and don’t pull his fur or tail. The Turkish Van is happy to live with cat-friendly dogs, too, as long as they recognize that he’s in charge. When it comes to cats, he prefers the company of his own kind, but he will accept other cats, especially if he is brought up with them from kitten-hood. In any case, introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.