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 The Turkish Van Site
Frequently Asked Questions
by Karen Hooker



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.

swimming Turkish Van cat picture

Since Turkish 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 summer coats.

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.

Do Turkish 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 here.

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.

More FAQ's >>


2008 D. Hayes, Ph.D & K. Hooker, Ph.D Pairodocs Turkish Vans, All Rights Reserved.