Cat Profile Turkish Van

Turkish Van Cat Breed Information

The Turkish Van is a semi-long-haired breed of domestic cat, which was developed in Turkey from a selection of cats obtained from various cities of modern Turkey, especially Southeast Turkey.

Turkish Van


The Turkish Van is a rare and ancient breed in its native place which is Turkey. The breed can be found in the region of central and southwest Asia. Such as, Iran, Iraq, parts of the Soviet Union and last but not least Turkey. Laura Lushington and Sonia Halliday were given some Turkish Cat when they on a trip to turkey and decided to bring them home in 1955. In England, they bred true, and were used as foundation stock for the breed. They were referred as Turkish Cat at first due to confusion between the Turkish Van and the Turkish Angora in 1969. But then, the name Turkish Van eventually adopted in 1979 in the UK and 1989 in the US.

In 1982, the breed were introduced to the American and accepted into championship for showing in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) . Since then, the breed got recognized by the CFA and The International Cat Association (TICA).

One other thing, the breed considered as rarest cat breeds due to the rules. The rules was that no other breed is allowed to be mixed into the breeding schedule and all registered Turkish Vans can trace their ancestry back to imported cats of Laura Lushington.



The coat on a Turkish Van is considered semi-long-haired. While many cats have three distinct hair types in their coat – guard hair, awn hair and down hair – the Turkish Van has no evident undercoat, only one coat. This makes their coat feel like cashmere or rabbit fur. The lack of an undercoat gives a sleek appearance. The coat is uncommonly water repellant, which makes bathing these cats a challenge, though the coat dries quickly.

The Turkish Van is a large sized cat breeds. They feature broad shoulders with a stocky body. The cat is moderately long, and its back legs are slightly longer than its front legs, but neither the cat itself nor its legs are so long as to be disproportionate.

They are known for their exceptional agility. These cats are large and muscular. Males can reach 16 pounds and the females weigh up to 14 pounds. They have large paws and rippling hard muscle structure which allows them to be very strong jumpers. Vans have been known to reach 3 ft (1 m) long from nose to tip of tail and have eye colors from amber, blue to odd-eyed (usually blue with amber).

  • Weight: 6 to 8 kg
  • Coat length: Semi-longhaired
  • Color: White
  • Pattern: Colored markings on the head and tail
Turkish Van


Turkish Van is an adventurous and fun companion to have. Curious and intelligent by nature. Unlike most of the cat breed, they LOVE water, and even swim on occasion. They have very energetic personality, and will always be loving, loyal to you and your family. They can be very affectionate if sometimes amusingly mischievous. With powerfully well-developed hind legs, a Van can be at your feet one minute and on top of the bookshelf the next.

Not only that, Turkish Van also adept at retrieving items and catching toys in mid-air. It is an experience acrobat, renowned for turning a somersault mid-chase! Once A Van starts running, it will run and run until out of breath. They get along well with other animals, but expect their authority to be respected. They don’t need to be picked up and cuddled, but they want to be with you and participating in whatever you’re doing, and they don’t like to be alone for long periods.

  • Lifespan: 13 to 17 years
  • Active: High
  • Intelligence: High
  • Vocalize : High

Health Treatment

In general, the breed is quite healthy and long-lived. Breeders generally keep kittens with the mother until 12 to 16 weeks of age, at which time they are ready to go home to their new families. Staying lean is key to prevent from obese or any health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

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