Is my cat a Turkish
Van? It is
important to note that many cats have a van pattern but are not
Turkish Vans. This pattern appears in lot of other cats (domestic
and purebred) and is named after the breed that originally sported it.
There are many other characteristics of the breed besides its pattern.
Most importantly, a purebred Van cat can be traced back to its Turkish
ancestors. There is no outcrossing allowed in the Turkish Van. Check out
the breed standards in CFA and TICA - a Turkish Van must meet all
these standards in addition to the proof of ancestry. You can find
them in the "Van Info" section of this Site. The instances of
a purebred Turkish Van, especially a kitten (which there are no
instances of), being found at an animal shelter are relatively unheard
of. Since there are very few breeders of this special cat, the kittens
are kept close tabs on and generally not released to their new home
until at least 3 to 4 months of age. In 2000, there were only 51 Vans
registered in CFA - that is not very many! Our Snapshots pages features
pictures of both purebred vans and Van-alikes (kitties that are not
purebred Turkish Vans but display some of the characteristics-most
notably a van pattern). Remember that a purebred Turkish Van has a
registered ancestry that can be traced back to their Turkish roots.
Without a pedigree of evidence of ancestry, a cat of unknown origin no
matter how much it resembles the Turkish Van, is not considered as a
Turkish Van cat.
I still think my
cat is a Turkish Van, can I use it for breeding?
Only cats registered with a recognized cat registry (e.g., TICA, CFA,
ACFA, FIFE) can be used for breeding.
Do all Turkish
Vans swim? no. A
lot depends upon the individual cat and its environment. Ones that
have access to natural water will enjoy exploring the shoreline and may
take a dip. Others that are restricted to the indoors may enjoying
watching you shower, joining you for a bath, or simply play in their
water bowls. The Turkish Van cat is known for playing in the shallow
waters aroud the lake Van area andcgenerally are not interested in deep
water. Many Vans enjoy playing with the water in their bowls and putting
their toys in it.
Vans like water, do they like to be bathed?
not necessarily. Being soaped, lathered and rinsed is not the
same thing as swimming. Most of our cats have been very tolerant
of baths and actually like standing in a tub of warm water. There
are others though that are a real challenge to bathe.
Do Turkish Vans
shed? Turkish Vans
shed like all other cats. They generally have a much longer coat
in the cooler winters that they shed in the spring for their shorter
Do Turkish Vans
require a lot of grooming? no.
Since purebred Turkish Vans do not have an undercoat they rarely mat,
making grooming requirements very minimal. They do like to
explore-so they may get into messes on occasion, but generally keep
themselves very clean and sparkling white.
Vans like to be cuddled? In
general, the Turkish Van does not like to be picked up and carried
around (there are exceptions, of course). This does not mean they are
not affectionate, but are more like dogs in their loyalty, devotion, and
interactions with their owners. They generally enjoy being
wherever you are (and in whatever you are doing!), watching TV with you,
and sleeping with their favorite person. Some Vans enjoy riding around
the house on your shoulder. For more on the personality characteristics
of the Turkish Van click
Do Turkish Vans
come in colors other than red and white? yes.
All Turkish Vans are predominantly white with coloration primarily on
the head and tail. The head and tail color can be many of the
colors commonly found in other breeds. These colors include:
black, blue (and tabby), cream (and tabby), brown tabby, tortoiseshell,
blue-cream, and patched tabbies. Turkish Vans do not come in solid
colors. To see what colors you can
get from breeding Turkish Vans of different colors click
here to see a color chart.