Turkish Van

Turkish Van

Old cat breed that loves water


The Turkish Van is a cat breed that comes from the Lake Van region of Turkey. This cat is also known as the Eastern Cat, Turkish, Ringtail Cat, Russian Longhair and Swimming Cat, because it has a fascination for water. Artefacts dating as far back as 5000 BC show cats resembling Turkish Vans.

In 1955, two British citizens were given two Van kittens while visiting Turkey. With the efforts of another English breeder named Lydia Russel, the breed became widespread in England and Europe. In 1969, the Turkish Van was granted full pedigree status by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF).

Van is recognized by the Turkish government as a national treasure.


The Turkish Van is muscular and solidly built, with shoulders as broad as his head. His head has a broad wedge with prominent cheekbones, a round snout and a firm chin.

The large ears are set high and far apart. The inside is well lined and the tips are slightly rounded. The eyes are moderately large and set at an angle. The eye color is usually amber or blue.

This cat has long muscular legs with large rounded paws. The tail is long with a brushy appearance, and is of reasonable length to his body.

Turkish Van's coat is semi-long-haired with a cashmere-like texture. There is no trace of undercoat. The fur color is solid and white, striped and white, etc.

This cat can take up to 3 years to reach full maturity. An adult Turkish Van can reach an average weight of 5-7 kg.

The lifespan of a Turkish Van is 12 to 17 years.


Van is an energetically active cat. He is agile and intelligent. This cat is talkative and demands attention. He is loyal and loving towards his human companion. He actually chooses one or two people in the home, and builds a long-lasting bond with them.

This cat likes to lie high above everything, to watch and observe. He could jump onto shelves and bookcases to sit and watch what was happening below him. It is best to keep valuables away from these shelves and racks, as Van could risk knocking them over.

This protective cat loves to swim. If the home has a pool or lake nearby, he will often be found in the water.

Meal time is particularly noisy as Van shows great excitement at this time.

Grooming and fur care

The Turkish Van requires regular grooming despite not having an undercoat. The silky coat requires brushing and combing to prevent tangles and knots from developing. A bath every two months or so may be necessary to keep the coat white and clean.

To prevent cavities and periodontal disease, it is recommended to brush his teeth. You can also use PlaqueOff, which helps prevent plaque build-up, and provide oral care cat treats.

Discharge from the eyes can stain Van fur. It is recommended to wipe the corners of the eyes to remove any discharge. The ears must be cleaned every week to wipe away dirt.

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