Immature male red tabby Turkish Van (after a romp in the fireplace)Black and White Turkish Van female (right) and Red Tabby and White Turkish Van male (left) in a windowMale red tabby Turkish Van sleeping in a sink
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Turkish Van

The Turkish Van (Turkish: Van Kedisi) (also known as the Turkish Swimming Cat) is a rare, naturally occurring breed of cat originally found in the Lake Van region of southeastern Turkey. more...

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The word van refers to their color pattern, where the color is restricted to the head and the tail, and the rest of the cat is white. It is the maximum expression of the piebald white spotting gene that makes the van pattern. A chart of the effects of the gene can be seen here. The spotting gene appears in many different species (like the horse and ball python). It also shows up in the common house cat, so a cat that shows this color pattern but is not registered or from the Van region, is called a "Vanalike".

Characteristics

The coat on a Van is considered semi-longhaired. While many cats have three distinct hair types in their coat, guard hairs, awn hairs and down hairs, the Turkish Van only has one. This makes their coat feel like cashmere or bunny fur, and the coat dries quickly when wet. Lake Van is a region of temperature extremes and the cats have evolved a coat that grows thick in the winter with a large ruff and bottlebrush tail for the harsh winters and then sheds out short in the body for the warm summers. The full tail is kept year round.

The Van is one of the larger cat breeds. The males can reach 20 lb (9 kg) and the females weigh about half of that. They have massive paws and rippling hard muscle structure which allows them to be very strong jumpers. Vans can easily hit the top of a refrigerator from a cold start on the floor. They are slow to mature and this process can take 3-5 years. Also, their fetching skills are quite good and they are quick to learn.

Another interesting trait is their fascination with water (rare among cats). Vans are also called the "Swimming Cats" since they have been known to take a dip in Lake Van in their native country. They may have acquired this trait due to the very hot summers and have extremely waterproof coats that make bathing them a challenge. Most Vans in the US are indoor cats and do not have access to large bodies of water but their love and curiosity of water stays with them. Instead of swimming they stir their water bowls and invent fishing games in the toilet.

Breed standards

Breed standards allow for one or more body spots as long as there is no more than 20% color and the cat does not give the appearance of a bicolor. Although red tabby and white is the classic van color, the color on a van's head and tail can be one of the following: Red, Cream, Black, Blue, Red Tabby, Cream Tabby, Brown Tabby, Blue Tabby, Tortoiseshell, Dilute Tortoise, Brown Patched Tabby, Blue patched Tabby and any other color not showing evidence of hybridization with the pointed cats. (Siamese, Himalayan etc...)

Preservation

Turkish Vans are a naturally occurring breed of cat. They can still be found in east Turkey, near Lake Van. Their numbers have diminished, but both the Vans and the Turkish Angora, (which is a separate breed with different characteristics from central Turkey) are under the protection of the Turkish government and are bred at the Ankara Zoo. The genetic traits of the cats have not been modified from their originals and breeding programs seek to preserve their unique combination of athleticism and loyalty.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Turkish Van Cat Pocket WatchTurkish Van Cat Pocket Watch $31.32 to $37.70 Turkish Ki
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lim Rug 25'x43' Hand Woven Van Kilim 66x110cmTurkish Ki 00004000 lim Rug 25'x43' Hand Woven Van Kilim 66x110cm $82.17 Was: Previous Price $99.00
iste Van Gogh Sanat Kitaplari Serisi Turkce Kitap Turkish Bookiste Van Gogh Sanat Kitaplari Serisi Turkce Kitap Turkish Book $21.90 Angola, Sc #1025, Mnh, 1998, Cats, Turkish van, Swimming-cat, S/SAngola, Sc #1025, Mnh, 1998, Cats, Turkish van, Swimming-cat, S/S $3.25
Metal Keychain Key Chain Ring Pink I Love Heart My T-YMetal Keychain Key Chain Ring Pink I Love Heart My T-Y $6.99 1/2" (0.5") Scrapbooking Crafting Stickers I Love Heart My T-Y1/2" (0.5") Scrapbooking Crafting Stickers I Love Heart My T-Y $5.99
1" Scrapbooking Crafting Stickers I Love Heart My T-Y1" Scrapbooking Crafting Stickers I Love Heart My T-Y $4.99 Turkish Van Cat Lapel Pin Badge GiftTurkish Van Cat Lapel Pin Badge Gift $10.01
Turkish Van Cat Mug - Cartoon Pop-Art Coffee Tea Cup 11oz CeramicTurkish Van Cat Mug - Cartoon Pop-Art Coffee Tea Cup 11oz Ceramic $14.95 Cat Coffee Mugs Cat Lovers Limited Collectable Turkish Van Brown Tabby 10 ouncesCat Coffee Mugs Cat Lovers Limited Collectable Turkish Van Brown Tabby 10 ounces $17.99
Turkish Van Cat Window Valance Curtain in Your Choice of ColorsTurkish Van Cat Window Valance Curtain in Your Choice of Colors $32.00 Four Four Two Anelka Cover April 2006 Turkish magazine Van Nistelrooy CapelloFour Four Two Anelka Cover April 2006 Turkish magazine Van Nistelrooy Capello $8.24
Turkish Kilim Rug 46'x63' Hand Woven Van Kilim 118x161cmTurkish Kilim Rug 46'x63' Hand Woven Van Kilim 118x161cm $128.65 Was: Previous Price $155.00 Sinav Dvd Jean Claude Van Damme English German Dutch subtitlesSinav Dvd Jean Claude Van Damme English German Dutch subtitles $19.90
Turkish Kilim Rug 47'x70' Hand Woven Van Kilim 120x180cmTurkish Kilim Rug 47'x70' Hand Woven Van Kilim 120x180cm $306.27 Was: Previous Price $369.00 Cat Lovers Limited Coffee Mug Cup Turkish Van Cat and Chartreux Cat holds 8 ozCat Lovers Limited Coffee Mug Cup Turkish Van Cat and Chartreux Cat holds 8 oz $14.99
Turkey Minisheet, 1997 Turkish Van Cat , Damaged Right Corner, CancelledTurkey Minisheet, 1997 Turkish Van Cat , Damaged Right Corner, Cancelled $9.99 Cat Lovers Limited Collectable Coffee Tea Mug Turkish Van Chartreux CatsCat Lovers Limited Collectable Coffee Tea Mug Turkish Van Chartreux Cats $7.50
Stainless Steel Vinyl Covered Flat Speed Bar Bottle Opener I Love Heart My T-YStainless Steel Vinyl Covered Flat Speed Bar Bottle Opener I Love Heart My T-Y $6.99 [31659] Gambia 2011 Animals Cats Turkish van Mnh Sheet[31659] Gambia 2011 Animals Cats Turkish van Mnh Sheet $4.95
Domestic Cat Turkish Van White Jelly Silicone Mens Ladies Wrist Watch Sew335Domestic Cat Turkish Van White Jelly Silicone Mens Ladies Wrist Watch Sew335 $24.99 Dog Tag Pendant Necklace Chain I Love Heart My T-YDog Tag Pendant Necklace Chain I Love Heart My T-Y $8.99
Turkish Van Kitten with Red Yarn Scrabble Tile Necklace By HartworksTurkish Van Kitten with Red Yarn Scrabble Tile Necklace By Hartworks $4.50 Turkish Kilim Rug 23'x33' Hand Woven Van Kilim 59x96cmTurkish Kilim Rug 23'x33' Hand Woven Van Kilim 59x96cm $106.24 Was: Previous Price $128.00
Pinocchio Vampire Slayer Turkish Edition Pinokyo Vampir Avcısı Van JensenPinocchio Vampire Slayer Turkish Edition Pinokyo Vampir Avcısı Van Jensen $20.00 New My Cat's Cat Show Record Book: Turkish Van by Marian Blake Paperback Book (ENew My Cat's Cat Show Record Book: Turkish Van by Marian Blake Paperback Book (E $14.12
Turkish Kilim Rug 26'x46' Hand Woven Van Kilim 68x117cmTurkish Kilim Rug 26'x46' Hand Woven Van Kilim 68x117cm $99.60 Was: Previous Price $120.00 Turkish Kilim Rug 36'x79' Hand Woven Van Kilim 94x202cmTurkish Kilim Rug 36'x79' Hand Woven Van Kilim 94x202cm $180.11 Was: Previous Price $217.00
Turkish Van Cats by Kate A. Conley (2016, Hardcover)Turkish Van Cats by Kate A. Conley (2016, Hardcover) $25.65 2 Cat Lover Mugs Chartreux Turkish Van Brown Mackerel Tabby Siberian Abyssinian2 Cat Lover Mugs Chartreux Turkish Van Brown Mackerel Tabby Siberian Abyssinian $18.99
Van’dan Yerevan’a Dengbej Gazin ve Asik Leyli Turkish Armenian Kurdish MusicVan’dan Yerevan’a Dengbej Gazin ve Asik Leyli Turkish Armenian Kurdish Music $20.00 Turkish Rug 73'-30' Handwoven Van Kilim 187x77cmTurkish Rug 73'-30' Handwoven Van Kilim 187x77cm $700.00
Caroline's Treasures Turkish Van Flag Small Multicolor Outdoor Flag, NewCaroline's Treasures Turkish Van Flag Small Multicolor Outdoor Flag, New $22.95 Turkish Van Cat ~ My Obsession, Any Questions? ~ T-shirt Our Original DesignTurkish Van Cat ~ My Obsession, Any Questions? ~ T-shirt Our Original Design $14.95 to $16.95
Cat Lovers Limited Collectible Turkish Van Chartreux Kitty Feline Coffee Cup MugCat Lovers Limited Collectible Turkish Van Chartreux Kitty Feline Coffee Cup Mug $4.99 Houston Harvest Gifts Cat Lovers Coffee Mug Chartreux, Turkish Van Cat - Hh CupHouston Harvest Gifts Cat Lovers Coffee Mug Chartreux, Turkish Van Cat - Hh Cup $14.99
Ceramic coffee mug Cat Lovers Ltd Collectable Chartreux & Turkish Van 10 ozCeramic coffee mug Cat Lovers Ltd Collectable Chartreux & Turkish Van 10 oz $6.95 Caroline's Treasures Cat Turkish Van Flag Canvas Large Multicolor, NewCaroline's Treasures Cat Turkish Van Flag Canvas Large Multicolor, New $48.57
korkunc Baskin, Vengeance {Lee Van Cleef} Turkish Original Movie Poster 70skorkunc Baskin, Vengeance {Lee Van Cleef} Turkish Original Movie Poster 70s $45.00 Steiff Niki Turkish Van Cat Ean 099465Steiff Niki Turkish Van Cat Ean 099465 $105.00
The Armenian Rebellion at Van Utah Series in Turkish and Islamic StudThe Armenian Rebellion at Van Utah Series in Turkish and Islamic Stud $13.14 12 Inch Standard and Metric Plastic Ruler I Love Heart My T-Y12 Inch Standard and Metric Plastic Ruler I Love Heart My T-Y $6.99
Turkish Rug 30'x84' Hand Woven Van Runner Kilim 77x214cmTurkish Rug 30'x84' Hand Woven Van Runner Kilim 77x214cm $75.00 Turkish Rug 58'-41' Handwoven Van Kilim 149x106cmTurkish Rug 58'-41' Handwoven Van Kilim 149x106cm $700.00
Cat Lovers Limited Coffee Mug Cup Turkish Van Cat and Chartreux Cat 12 OzCat Lovers Limited Coffee Mug Cup Turkish Van Cat and Chartreux Cat 12 Oz $9.35 Was: Previous Price $12.99
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Prices current as of last update, 06/23/17 8:20pm.

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