The Turkish Van cat, a lively feline who swins!


According to the CFA, the coloration of the Turkish Van cat (which is considered by many to be the original breed to carry the piebald gene) calls for a white, semi-longhaired cat with colored markings restricted primarily to the head and tail. This cat has been known by several names throughout its evolution such as the white ringtail and the Russian longhair.


The Van’s coat does not have an undercoat and is blessed with a very unique cashmere soft texture that makes it water-resistant. (Which is good because these cats LOVE water!) This unique coat does not lend itself to matting, so they require little grooming other than combing regularly to remove excess hair, and of course, in seasonal shedding, more frequent combing.


According to the CFA, “the cat known in the United States as the Turkish Van is a rare and ancient breed that developed in central and southwest Asia, which today encompasses the countries of Iran, Iraq, southwest Soviet Union and eastern Turkey.” This very rare breed loves water and in their native region they have been termed “the Swimming Cats.” Very outgoing and friendly, this cat is a natural clown and will happily run, jump and play to get attention.


The large and agile Turkish Van is a cat of substantial strength. A terrific climber and jumper, the Van will naturally seek out high perches, so a tall cat tree is a must. Well muscled, this is a playful and athletic cat, wrapped in a soft silky coat.


The Turkish Van cat as a Companion

Though not usually prone to obesity, this breed has a surprisingly voracious appetite. The fierce appetite is necessary however, to support their high energy level.

No shrinking violet, this cat will be found wherever there is activity in the home. Strong as they are beautiful, these happy little souls love to climb, and it would not be at all uncommon to find a Turkish Van napping on a door top.

This cat is happiest in a home with room to run, tall places to climb and lots of admirers to lavish them with love and tell them how beautiful they are. A pool would be ideal for this cat, who will happily join in any water games.


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