Turkish Van: Agile Longhair Cat with a Big Heart for Her Human

The Turkish Van is a friendly and gentle feline personality. At the same time, she has a curious and playful nature. Because the Van cat is extremely intelligent, it quickly figured out how to open doors, cupboards, or lids and kept surprising its owners with little pranks. The Turkish feline beauty develops a strong bond with people and doesn’t like to be alone. It should therefore always be kept in the company of another cat.

The character of the Turkish Van

Turkish Van cats are gentle and friendly creatures who like to talk loudly to their humans. They are very active, curious, and extremely intelligent. Since the elegant velvet paws are open to people, conspecifics, and also dogs, they are ideal as family cats. The strong playfulness of the Turkish Van, which they show well into old age, as well as the need for attention, require the willingness to deal with the cat on a regular basis.

Attitude and care

Even if the Turkish Van is easy to care for in itself, it makes demands in certain areas. She dislikes being alone, loves to play and explore, and wants to be kept busy accordingly. In any case, the cuddly velvet paw should have a conspecific at its side and ideally be given free rein. The person or family who decides to get a Van cat should spend a lot of time with them and sufficiently satisfy their play instinct. Although the cat breed belongs to the long-haired cats, the fur of the pretty animals is easy to care for because it has no undercoat.


The base color of the Turkish Van is 80 percent white or cream. Only the areas of the ears and the tail are drawn in a different color. All breeding clubs allow the colors red and cream. Blue and black are sometimes recognized as legal colors with their associated tortoiseshell colors. There are also white Van cats without markings.

History of the Turkish Van

As the name suggests, the Turkish Van comes from Turkey and is native to the area around Lake Van. Until 1955, the cat breed was relatively unknown outside of Turkey, although the animals have lived in eastern Anatolia for several thousand years, as evidenced by relics from a Roman battle against the Armenians. In 1955, two British women took a pair of Van cats home and began breeding them. The Turkish Van was first recognized as a breed in 1969.


The Turkish pedigree cat has special characteristics: while most cats usually have up to three types of cat hair, the Turkish Van only has one type of hair in winter and one in summer. In the warm season, the fur is very silky, light, and soft and in the cold, it is particularly dense and warming.

The fur is also water-repellent. The reason: the Van cat is not at all afraid of water, in fact, she loves to play in and with the cool water. In her homeland, she is a gifted fisherman. Accordingly, the owner of a Turkish Van should be meticulous about securing open water points in the apartment. Otherwise, there is a risk that the Turkish beauty will try to fish in the aquarium or tamper with the open toilet, which could sometimes be life-threatening for the animal.

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