The Turkish Van cat is a sophisticated, long haired cat of regal appearance initially bred in Britian from Van cats imported from Turkey.  They are noted for the colouring, with a piebald tail and head of  red, cream, black, blue, tabby, tortoiseshell, dilute tortoiseshell (also known as blue-cream), brown, blue, with their body being predominantly( at least 80%) white.  Eyes are either blue or amber, with many individuals having one of either colour.

They are one of the few breeds of cat that tolerates water well, they are often happy to play in water and are easy cats to bathe.

Their coat is semi longhaired, and is “awn” in texture(most cats have three types of coat hair… awn, guard and down) which makes their coat feel as soft as a rabbits, and it also dries extremely quickly which goes well with their happiness in water.  Their coat however oiled and thus quite waterproof and bathing them is almost pointless.

They are accomplished fishercats… so if you have a fish tank… keep it covered. Expect them to play in your bath and even the toilet bowl if left to their own devices.

Cats are extremely adaptable, and fast breeders.  In the wild, the kittens that naturally have the most desirable traits for a region will survive the easiest and thus pass one those desirable traits to their progeny.  Turkish Van cats come from a region with extreme temperature swings, with very hot summers and freezing cold winters, so they grow a thick winter coat, and shed it in summer, so they require at least daily brushing in Autumn and owners would be advised to have a portable vacuum on hand.  This is not a cat, for a family where someone has a cat allergy.

Mountain bred, the exhibit the build structure typical of such felines.  They are one of the larger of the cat breeds, well muscled, but with shorter front legs than back legs(like a mountain lion).  Under their beautiful soft fur, is a well muscled, playful jumping machine.  They typically exhibit kitten like behavior to and beyond their 5th year all of which makes them extremely popular cats.

Many Turkish Van Owners describe them as dogs in a cats body.  Whilst many cats will “hunt” a toy mouse or ball when its thrown…  a Turkish Van will not only hunt it, it will retrieve it like a dog.  Some owners take great delight in showing off their Van’s retrieving and swimming abilities, throwing toys into a swimming pool which their Turkish Van happily jumps in to retrieve.

These cats love to play and make super pets…. But understand they are needier than most other breeds.  They will seek your company at all times, will not be happy to be left alone for long periods and will expect you to be available to play with them when you are needed.

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.