Turkish Van

History

The Turkish Van, as the name suggests, originated in Turkey. They have distinct color markings on their head and tail, something now known as Turkish Van markings. There is a legend about the cats' origin. When Noah’s Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat after the flood subsided, close to Lake Van in Turkey, the ship cats ventured down into the valley, and the colored mark seen on their shoulders was the result of God blessing them as they made landfall.

Two Turkish Vans were brought to the UK in 1955 by British breeders Laura Lushington and Sonia Halliday. The two cats were called Van Iskenderun Guzelli and Stambul Byzantium. Lushington bred them, and later obtained more cats to add to the bloodline. With the help of other breeders and show judges, Lushington established the modern breed.

In 1969 the Turkish Van achieved full Championship status from the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. In 1982 the breed appeared for the first time in the USA, and in 1994 it was accepted for championship status by the Cat Fanciers' Association.

Behaviour

Turkish Vans are playful and full of life. Descended from rural cats living in tough conditions, they are excellent hunters and very independent-minded. Despite their independence they are affectionate, but very much on their terms. They form very strong bonds with their owners, though, and love to play with moving toys. Unlike most breeds, they also have a fascination with water, so don’t be too surprised if your Turkish Van makes it a Turkish bath and jumps in the tub with you!

Varieties

White with colored patches on head and tail. Colored patches can be red, cream, black, blue, red tabby, brown-patched tabby, blue-patched tabby, cream tabby, brown tabby, blue tabby, tortoiseshell, dilute tortoiseshell (also known as blue-cream).

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Place of Origin: Turkey / UK
  • Rough date of Origin: Pre 1700
  • Hair length: Medium
  • Activity Level: Medium
  • Vocalness: Medium
  • Child friendly: Good with children
  • Intelligence:
  • Playfullness: Playfull
  • Grooming Requirements: Everyday
  • Weight: 3.0 - 8.5kg
  • Size: Large
  • House Cat or Outdoor Cat: House Cat
  • Pet Compatibility:
  • Social Needs:

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