Cat Breeds

Turkish Van

  • Breed Overview

    Attitude towards family

    Social needs

    Frequency of shedding

    Propensity to vocalize


    Compatibility with other pets



    Activity rate

Cat Breeds

Turkish Van

Turkish Van is a companion distinguished by an athletic build. It likes to climb heights and explore new spots which is why it’s considered an unsuitable companion animal for youngsters. One of the most distinctive characteristics of the Turkish Van is its affection for water. Because of this, these important family members are often called “swimming cats”. Felines residing near Lake Van developed this trait when they started cooling off in the water due to high temperatures. 

Considered a regional treasure, this rare breed is loyal and loving, highly intelligent and active. Whether it’s a walk in the fresh air or interactive indoor play, these beloved companions require plenty of exercise.

The Main Characteristics:

  • Playfulness 
  • Curiosity
  • Independence
  • Friendliness 
  • Active vocalization
  • Loving nature
  • Smoothness
  • Intelligence
  • Confidence
  • Love of water
  • Athletic build
  • Detailed Information


    The height of the Turkish Van reaches 23-28 centimeters. As for the length, it ranges from 36-43 centimeters.


    An adult Turkish Van typically weighs between 4.5 and 8 kilograms. The exact weight of each cat can vary based on genetics, diet, and overall health.


    The Turkish Van’s lifespan ranges from 12 to 17 years. Nevertheless, remember, these numbers are only tentative and our beloved companion’s life expectancy significantly depends on their healthy lifestyle and stress-free environment. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet will greatly improve the quality of life of your companion animal.


    The Turkish Van is adorned with semi-long, silky fur, the texture of which is often compared to cashmere. To maintain such a smooth and soft coat, these important family members require daily grooming. Similar to the Moggie Cat, Ragdoll, and Maine Coon, the Turkish Van sheds seasonally. During this period, their brushing needs increase significantly. Unlike other cats, these beloved family members have waterproof fur, which is quite unusual.

  • Turkish Van Personality

    Turkish Van cats are ideal for those seeking a loyal, loving, and intelligent companion, and who are prepared to provide the necessary care for their new family member. This breed is known for its high activity level, curiosity, and intelligence. If you have fragile, delicate items stored in your premises, a Turkish Van might not be the best choice due to their energetic nature.

    The Turkish Van’s personality is a blend of energy and cheerfulness, so these important family members require significant attention and need to engage in various activities and regular exercise. Unlike other cats, Turkish Vans have a unique love of water, adding an extra layer of uniqueness to living with them.

  • Potential Health Problems


    Due to genetics, similar to the Turkish Angora, the Turkish Van may also be born with hearing difficulty. The gene responsible for white fur is often associated with the gene for deafness, and it is because of this that congenital hearing problems are most often seen in companion animals with white color and blue eyes. 

    While this problem may affect the Turkish Van’s quality of life, it will never negatively influence the personality traits of these important family members. You can manage the medical condition and prevent other problems caused by deafness by actively communicating with your veterinarian.

  • Nutrition & Feeding

    Considering that a balanced diet is an essential component of ensuring optimal health and vitality for the Turkish Van, we have to provide them with protein-rich, high-quality cat food. But don’t forget to control the portions as the breed is prone to obesity if overfed.

    To prevent obesity, we recommend feeding Turkish Van twice a day. Adjust your companion animal’s food portions based on their activity level and weight, and always avoid giving them human food. Remember, chocolate, onions, and garlic are especially toxic for cats. 

    We recommend consulting a nutritionist to determine a feeding schedule based on your Turkish Van’s age, activity level, and health status. However, before consulting with a professional, carefully read the information on the product label and feed your companion animal according to these guidelines.

  • History of Origin

    The Turkish Van originated in the Lake Van region of Turkey. The history of the breed goes back centuries. According to historical records, the Turkish Van has been living alongside humans for about 5000 years.  Turks call the small, colorful marks on the necks of these important family members the fingerprints of Allah. 

    The representatives of the breed lived in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia, and this kind of isolation likely led to the formation of their unique features. The Turkish Van was unknown outside its native borders until the middle of the 20th century. However, this all changed in the 1950s, when two British photographers, Laura Lushington and Sonia Halliday, met the breed in Turkey and, fascinated by their amazing appearance and unusual behavior, decided to take them to their homeland.  

    The first Turkish van left for England in 1955. Initially, the breed was referred to as the Turkish cat, but due to insufficient differences between the Turkish Van and the Turkish Angora, the breed was eventually given its unique name.

    The breed was officially recognized by the International Cat Association (TICA) in 1979 and by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1988. Nowadays, the Turkish Van is appreciated all over the world not only for its unique appearance and swimming ability but also for its loving nature and cheerful personality.