Cat Breeds

Turkish Van

Are you looking to get a new cat soon? Great! You may want to consider a

purebred cat. There are many breeds that can be found in this country, each with its own

characteristic appearance and temperament and history. Think carefully about what you

would characteristics you would like to see in your new companion. Perhaps you would

care to consider:

Turkish Van

A rare and ancient breed of cat, the Turkish Van was depicted on ornaments as far

back as 5,000 B.C. The Turkish Van was so named for its region of origin, central and

southwest Asia. The area includes the modern countries of Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Syria, and

eastern Turkey. Van is a very common name in the area. There is in fact, a Lake Van

which is also Turkey's largest lake, so it is not surprising that Van was used as part of

this breeds name. In fact, this cat is known sometimes in its lands of origin as the

"Vancat". Turkish Vans were brought back to Europe by the Crusaders on their return

from the Holy Land. These cats were called several different names during that time

including; white ringtail and Russian Longhair.

The first Turkish Van cats to arrive in England were brought in 1955.The breed

was initially called the Turkish cat in England but this name was modified to Turkish

Van later to avoid confusion with the Turkish Angora. The various names under which

this breed was known in Europe created the misconception that is was simply a variant of

the Turkish Angora. They are, in fact, very distinct breeds with separate histories. The

Turkish Van is very much the new kid on the block in America having been here only

since a first importation of a few kittens in the mid 1970s, but the breed only began to

take off in this country with a second importation from France in 1983. The Turkish Van

has since attracted a loyal and spirited group of breeders and fanciers.

Turkish Vans are unfortunately rather rare even in their lands of origin. They are

large and strong cats that are very intelligent and are very curious. They are also very

healthy cats. Turkish Vans are unusual in that they require three to five years to reach full

maturity. There is one other characteristic that makes them highly unique. Turkish Vans

love water. In their homeland, Turkish Vans are sometimes referred to as the swimming


The Turkish Vans most distinguishing feature is his coat. The breed standard

requires that Turkish Vans have a white semi-longhaired coat with colored markings

confined to the head and tail. Cats of other breeds who display a similar color pattern are

often said to be "van-patterned". The coat lacks an undercoat and has a very unique and

beautiful texture similar to cashmere. This wonderful cashmere texture of the Turkish

Vans' coat makes it waterproof. Another plus to their unusual coat is that it doesn't easily

mat or tangle and so requires little grooming.

The Turkish Van cat is an ancient breed whose winning ways continue to charm

people to this day. Give the Turkish Van cat a closer look. These cats' great intelligence

and intense curiosity could make it interesting and entertaining pet. This cat may be

exactly what you are looking for in a new companion.

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