The Turkish Van is a striking cat with a long history. They are most easily recognized as the white cat with minimal coloring on the head and tail, the “Van pattern” that has been named for them. This active, intelligent, and mischievous cat is a lively addition to any home – don’t expect long evenings together on the couch with the Turkish Van. Always on the move, this jester-like cat will entertain you with antics and acrobatics, and they’re always ready to play.
Though the formal breed wasn’t developed until the 1950s in the United Kingdom, it is generally believed that the Turkish Van hails from a breed of cat near the Lake Van area in Turkey. Known as the “swimming cats”, the Van cat has existed in the area for centuries, a white-coated cat with blue, amber, or odd-eyes. In Britain, the Turkish Van was selectively bred for unusual markings on head and tail. Despite ancient origins, both the Van cat and the Turkish Van are quite rare, though Turkey regards them as national treasures.
Appearance / health:
The Turkish Van is a large, longhaired cat breed, weighing between 10 and 18 pounds. Their medium frame is sturdy and well-muscled. They are more substantial in the front, with a full chest and somewhat rounded rib cage. The Turkish Van’s torso is on the long side, but the legs are about average length and proportional to the body. Their rounded feet have tufts of hair between the toes, and their tail is a brush or a plume. Their muscular neck may have a full ruff, particularly in colder months.
The Turkish Van has a somewhat large head, broad but longer than it is wide. It is somewhat wedge-shaped with rounded contours and high cheekbones. The muzzle is rounded with a nose-bridge that is prominent to the point of being slightly convex. Large, furry ears sit high on the head. The Turkish Van’s eyes are a large walnut shape, slightly slanted, and come in shades of blue, amber, or odd-eyed (one blue, one amber).
The Turkish Van’s long, fine coat is as soft as cashmere, semi-long with no undercoat. It has the unique feature of being slightly water resistant. Coat length may vary somewhat by season, with a summer coat appearing almost short except for the fine feathering along the belly and britches. In comparison with the rest of the body, the Turkish Van’s facial hair is short. The Turkish Van’s coloration is the main feature of the breed, composed of an all-white coat except for patches of color on the head and tail. There may be patches of color elsewhere on the body, but by no greater than 20%. The classic “Van” patterning is spots of colors specifically over the ears with a strip of white to separate them. The Turkish Van is best known for the red tabby/white coloration, other solid, tabby, and tortoiseshell variations are possible.
Behavior / temperament:
Mischievous, acrobatic, and intelligent the Turkish Van is a cat that will keep you on your toes. Athletic and inquisitive, the Turkish Van will easily jump to the tops of bookshelves, refrigerators, and closet shelves. Don’t mistake strength for grace, however, as this cat is a bit on the clumsy side. That doesn’t stop them from giving it their all during play time: the Turkish Van can make some truly impressive leaps and tumbles in pursuit of a favorite toy. The Turkish Van seems always to be in motion and they may flick their tail even when they’re perfectly content.
Though you’re not going to have much of a lap cat, the Turkish Van shows affection by other means. They prefer to spend their time with you in active ways, following you from room to room, batting your pens off your desk, and knocking things over to get your attention. A bored Turkish Van is a good problem solver, so don’t be surprised if they manipulate doors and faucets: this cat has a particular affinity for water, so they may just help themselves to a little running water in the bathroom sink.
The Turkish Van will enjoy playing with older children especially if they’re willing to give him toys to chase or fetch. The Turkish Van may be a little too much for younger children, and vice versa. The Turkish Van can get along with other cats, though they are not necessarily a breed that requires or desires feline company.
coloured spots, thoroughly charming fellow, tortoiseshell colours, majestic cats, handsome fellow
eastern Turkey, different eye colors, great bed partner, pure native populations, shower
Smart and Soft
I found my little rascal when i went to the local shelter. He was abusing his sister at the time by pouncing all over her. Should have known that meant he'd be trouble! Turkish Vans are wonderful cats. Manu is extremely smart and knows how to both push and PULL open doors. His fur is comparable to cashmere! It is the softest you will ever feel in a cat, i PROMISE. He's WONDERFUL with children, especially young ones. He's had lots of practice with my 3 and 5 year old cousins. When my aunts and uncles visit, he loves to welcome everyone. He's def. an attention seeker. This cat LOVES to play with his toys, especially anything involving catnip or leather ropes with "feelers". When bath time comes around, he is extremely docile. Doesn't like INITIALLY getting in the tub, but once he does, he doesn't mind. Typically Turkish Vans are known as the "water cat" because they are actually built for swimming and dont mind the water. As a kitten, Manu def. loved playing with the water coming out of sink and bath tub faucets, but he's def not PURE Turkish Vans.
The only two cons I can think of would have to be his love for the outdoors. While this cat has learned to walk with a harness and leash, his love for being outdoors is quite burdensome. He constantly crys because he wants to go out and we live in an apartment. I dont not believe on leaving any animal outside, especially when living at an apartment complex. This requires my constantly walking him which turns into a pain in the butt.
Secondly, while is fur is nice and soft and you typically dont have to worry about it matting - it is LONG and they shed very easily. I use a furminator quite frequently on him.
Other than the one con, I would have to say Turkish Vans are wonderful house cats and perfect for those with families..
From LisaMC Jun 2 2015 5:59PM
There are so many misconceptions about raw feeding and I hope to quickly properly educate you so making an opinion for yourself is easier. I am a certified nutritionist for dogs and cats and the moment I finished my education I knew I needed to make better choices for my own personal dogs in regards to how I fed them. There are pros and cons to any feeding method so I cannot say it's going to be easy to know exactly what choices to make. The doubtful mind always says no, so anyone unfamiliar with anything is always hesitant. I see that a lot with other professionals in the field, specifically veterinarians. I am fortunate to have an integrative veterinarian who 100% supports this feeding method. Lets talk about the pros as there are many. There is no possible way to dispute that a dog's but especially a cat's digestive system and teeth are designed for a diet of animal tissue, they are carnivores. Having jagged teeth throughout their mouth and a very short digestive tract, their bodies are not equipped to properly process plant material. Think of a cow's or sheep's flat teeth, made for grinding plants, and their 4 chambered stomachs, made to digest and assimilate nutrients from plants. They are herbivores. Feeding a diet of dry dog food, which is very heavy in plant based ingredients of many varieties,synthetic vitamins, and taste additives reeks havoc on their entire body systems over time. Some say feeding raw is expensive and time consuming. I'm part of a group with thousands and thousands of raw feeders around the world and we completely disagree. If you can follow a simple recipe you can make raw food for your pet. Learning how to shop for ingredients on sale and making relationships with local butchers is all you need to make it affordable. I feed two dogs raw cheaper than I wold purchasing an average quality dry food. It CAN be done if your pet's lifetime of health is important to you. There are so many support systems out there for this approach, it truly couldn't be any easier. The shelf life of raw food is far longer than that of dry food. Did you know that the nutrients and quality of dry food diminishes with the passing of each day? My dog's food is kept in a deep freezer and put in the refrigerator for thawing each night, ready for the next day. Freezing locks in all nutrients and can be kept for years without spoiling. Does your dog suffer from chronic conditions like ear infections and skin issues? Did you ever think it could be food related? Well let me tell you that it is. I have assisted with completely eradicating a host of chronic health issues in dogs and cats with diet alone. To most recently include a chihuahua with disc disease and no use of his hind legs. He now climbs steps and runs. He is 12 years old. No other therapy than a raw diet, regular massage, and one veterinary acupuncture visit. Let's talk about the cons. Now, most freeze dried and premade raw can be expensive for the amount you get. Feeding freeze dried is mostly for convenience. I use it when I need convenience like a weekend camping trip. I enjoy making my dog's food. There a lot of satisfaction in it for me. There is so much talk about bacteria like salmonella and e.coli when someone references raw food. Can it be present in raw food? Of course! But, did you know that your dry food can and does have the same bacteria? Dry and canned pet food recalls are a very common for bacteria. I have 100% control over the ingredients, processing, and storing of my pets raw food. Proper handling and sourcing of raw ingredients can and does deeply diminish the probability of bacteria. What about parasites? Again, yes of course raw materials can have parasites. As can dry and canned mass produced pet food. And again, the proper handling and sourcing of these ingredients remove this concern. (As a note: I have been raw feeding for over 5 years and NOT ONE of my dogs or clients have been treated for parasites or bacterial issues) Proper formulation can be a con to raw feeding. Honestly, its ridiculously easy. But without the proper ratio of ingredients you can cause issues. Companies make you think it is hard. They want to make you buy their product. It's a marketing scheme that works and unfortunately affects our pets negatively. I hope this review can shed light into the seemingly scary world of raw feeding. Educate yourselves and don't be afraid to jump in head first. Your pet's health and quality of life will be all the proof you need to know this is without a doubt the best decision you have ever made. .
From Megan S 54 days ago