The Turkish Van cats are no less ancient than cats from world-famed ancient Egyptian drawings. Cats with a spot near their tail became a part of a composition in many drawings, paintings and carvings which were found near the City of Van and dated around 5000 yeas ago.
As the region near the City of Van and the Lake Van has cold winters while summers are hot, the Turkish Van perfectly adapted to these changes. They have semi-longhair coat which is dense during winters and becomes much lighter during summers.
It’s amazing how the Turkish Van naturally developed over the centuries and spread across the world leaving many look-alike descendants after itself.
Even though the Turkish Van was presumably imported to Europe in 1100s approximately, its cat-fancy history started in 1950s. Laura Lushington was gifted with a pair of cats which later produced a litter of kittens which looked pretty mush the same as their parents. Lushington understood that these cats were no ordinary, imported one more pair and started a breeding program.
Vans were registered as pedigree cats in 1969 by GCCF. Curiously, Lushington managed to protect the natural bloodlines of the Vans allowing no outcrossing and using only naturally occurred Vans from Turkey. As of today, this cat breed is rare and even protected by Turkish laws.
The Turkish Vans are athletic, chatty and active cats. They like to climb around and jump on the highest places. It’s not because they like mischief, hey simply like to exercise and play. Therefore, you should keep this in mind and keep fragile and valuable things out of Vans reach or they might become a victim of an accident.
Remarkably, Van cats might come watchful of their family and territory when it comes to unusual sounds, smells and people. They stay loyal to their family and will hardly respond well to changes.
Turkish Vans are great hunters and many of the are hardly afraid of water. On contrary, you will find them playing with it and even swimming.
The Turkish Van are large in size with long fluffy tail and long athletic body to fit their activity level. They have a semi-longhair coat, it’s dense in winter and light in summer. The coat is soft, silky and comes in one pattern only.
The coat pattern even has the same name as the Turkish Van – van. It means that the cat is bicolor with only a couple of non-white spots on the coat. Usually, these spots are black, however, other colors are available as well.
Even though Vans were cultivated with no outcrossing, this cat breed has no known breed specific health issues thanks to its natural occurrence.
As of care, the Van’s coat is waterproof and mats-resistant. Brushing once a week should be enough. However, the amount of grooming should increase during seasonal shedding to remove dead hair.