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The Turkish Van Cat
The Turkish Van is a big, beautiful cat with distinctive markings on its head and tail and an unusual love of water. Also known as the swimming cat, the Van loves to paddle its paws in streams, fish for its supper and even take a cooling dip in your bath.


An old breed, this cat has been a household pet for centuries. Her water prowess is well known in Turkey, where she's been known to swim into the harbour to greet fishing boats.

Ancestors were given as gifts to the nobles of 16th-century France and England by Turkish sultans. Vans fell out of fashion by the late 19th century; Angora (Ankara) Zoo kept these cats as protected species, and domesticated breed were reestablished in the mid 1950's.

The city of Van is but a few miles from Mount Ararat and there are those who like to believe that when the Ark came to rest on the mountain top and the flood waters receded that the cats left the Ark and made their way down the mountain slopes into Van. Indeed the spot of auburn colour often seen on or near the left shoulder of the Van cat is said to be the spot where Allah accidentally touched the cats as he blessed all the animals as they were leaving the Ark.

The Turkish Van is a loyal, loving and very intelligent cat. Its temperament depends greatly on its upbringing, the amount of human contact and handling it receives as a kitten, and the temperament of the mother herself. They are very affectionate, giving head butts and love bites, but to the uninitiated this could be slightly alarming, but when you get to know your cat you will begin to understand.


They like to be involved in everything their owners do and follow them around like a dog. In fact some people have said that Turkish Vans are more like dogs than cats.

You can find out more about the Turkish Van here.



The Turkish Van Cat
Yes I agree they are beautiful cats. Back in the middle 80's I was involved in the "Cat" scene going to shows in and around the South. I became very interested and thought about becoming a breeder. I myself had a colourpoint persian.

The Van cat was just introduced in the Cat Show arena and there were very few breeders. Because of their rarity in Britain at the time their value (for breeding purposes) was going through the roof and the few breeders there were were asking ridiculous sums of money for them.

However as I understand it there is a ban on exporting a true Van cat now.


The Turkish Van Cat
Oh dear! I daren't show the girls these. the very bottom one looks the spitting image of my first cat Claude! many years ago.

Having lost our Bandit over three years ago, (he was run over) I just cannot bring myself to "replace" him, he did the whole head butting thing every morning before work/school and was our favourite waste of time!!!



The Turkish Van Cat
Van cat brings a smile to may face......
Turks can rarely say the letter 'V'.....they sound it as a 'W'
When my daughter was 3 years old (now 18) and my family came to stay with us in Bodrum, Sofya told her nannan that she was having a Wan cat ........
My mother wanted to know who taught Sofya such a bad swear word !!! :dooh:
The Turkish Van Cat
My daughter has three Van cats which bred legally in England.

alkim yaza sasak

heronbank peri kralice

heronbank cekici yarik

She was something to do with the Van cat society there. But due to pressure of work she has had to give that up.

A rule of the house was to keep the bathroom door shut and to make sure that the toilet lid was always closed otherwise they would be playing in the toilet bowl.
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The Turkish Van Cat
I had never come across a Van cat untıll we moved to Turunc but what fantastic cats to come across, loving does not even begin to describe them mind you it was a bit of a shock the first time ours jumped in the bath with me . mıx 002.jpg here is my baby Sassy .


I've cliqued
The Turkish Van Cat
Talking to a Turkish friend one day, he asked how many cats we have. "9", we told him. "Do you have one cat?" he asked. "No", we said "we have 9 cats". We talked in circles for a while until we realised that he was asking if we had a Van cat!!

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