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 Puzzle with Tin (252 pc.) a2746Turkish Van Cat Puzzle with Tin (252 pc.) a2746 $34.99 2 Cat Lovers Mugs Chartreux Turkish Van Houston Harvest -0514412 Cat Lovers Mugs Chartreux Turkish Van Houston Harvest -051441 $16.99 Was: Previous Price $19.99
Turkish Van Street [3 Pack] of Vinyl Decal Stickers 1.5" X 7" |for Laptop CarTurkish Van Street [3 Pack] of Vinyl Decal Stickers 1.5" X 7" |for Laptop Car $4.95 List price: Previous Price $7.95 I love My Turkish Van Cat Round Christmas Ornament a2063I love My Turkish Van Cat Round Christmas Ornament a2063 $19.99
Spoiled Rotten Turkish Van Cat Puzzle with Tin (252 pc.) a2476Spoiled Rotten Turkish Van Cat Puzzle with Tin (252 pc.) a2476 $34.99 Turkish Van Cat Case - For iPhone X 8 7 6 6s Plus, 5 Se, Galaxy S8 S7 S6 Edge S5Turkish Van Cat Case - For iPhone X 8 7 6 6s Plus, 5 Se, Galaxy S8 S7 S6 Edge S5 $22.99 to $24.99
Turkish Van Cat Round Snowman Christmas OrnamentTurkish Van Cat Round Snowman Christmas Ornament $19.99 Turkish Van Cat Round Ceramic Ball Christmas OrnamentTurkish Van Cat Round Ceramic Ball Christmas Ornament $24.99
Cat Lovers Limited Collectible CoffeeCup Mug Stoneware Turkish Van ChartreuxCat Lovers Limited Collectible CoffeeCup Mug Stoneware Turkish Van Chartreux $12.99 I Love My Turkish Van Cat | Engraved not Hand Stamped BraceletI Love My Turkish Van Cat | Engraved not Hand Stamped Bracelet $17.95
Turkish Van Cat Heart Christmas Ornament A595Turkish Van Cat Heart Christmas Ornament A595 $19.99 Turkish Van Cat - ceramic cup, mug "Good morning and love ", CaTurkish Van Cat - ceramic cup, mug "Good morning and love ", Ca $10.88
Turkish Van Cat Round Christmas OrnamentTurkish Van Cat Round Christmas Ornament $19.99 Turkish Van Green 4" x 18" Aluminum Metal Novelty Street SignTurkish Van Green 4" x 18" Aluminum Metal Novelty Street Sign $14.99
Turkish Van Cat Floormat 18x24Turkish Van Cat Floormat 18x24 $36.99 Turkish Van Square Round & Square Leather Strap Watch - Cat KittenTurkish Van Square Round & Square Leather Strap Watch - Cat Kitten $14.99
Turkish Van Cat Throw Pillow 14x14Turkish Van Cat Throw Pillow 14x14 $28.99 Spoiled Rotten Turkish Van Cat Indoor/Outdoor Floormat (18x24)Spoiled Rotten Turkish Van Cat Indoor/Outdoor Floormat (18x24) $36.99
Turkish Van Cat Pot HolderTurkish Van Cat Pot Holder $18.99 Turkish Kilim Rug 45'x53' Handwoven Van Kilim 115x135cm Wool Vintage Area RugTurkish Kilim Rug 45'x53' Handwoven Van Kilim 115x135cm Wool Vintage Area Rug $223.55 Was: Previous Price $263.00
Turkish Kilim Rug 37'x77' Hand Woven Van Kilim 95x198cmTurkish Kilim Rug 37'x77' Hand Woven Van Kilim 95x198cm $191.25 Was: Previous Price $225.00 Turkish Kilim Rug 25'x42' Hand Woven Van Kilim 65x108cmTurkish Kilim Rug 25'x42' Hand Woven Van Kilim 65x108cm $100.30 Was: Previous Price $118.00
Vintage Cat Lovers Limited Collectable Cats Turkish Van & Chartreux Cat MugVintage Cat Lovers Limited Collectable Cats Turkish Van & Chartreux Cat Mug $6.50 Turkish Van Cat Parking Only Aluminum Metal SignTurkish Van Cat Parking Only Aluminum Metal Sign $14.99 to $38.99
Turkish Designs: Postcard Colouring Book by Pepin Van Roojen.Turkish Designs: Postcard Colouring Book by Pepin Van Roojen. $13.78 Embrace Cd Armin Van Buuren Dance Trance Turkish Edition New 2016Embrace Cd Armin Van Buuren Dance Trance Turkish Edition New 2016 $14.90
Cat Lovers Ltd coffee mug Collectable Chartreux & Turkish Van 10 ozCat Lovers Ltd coffee mug Collectable Chartreux & Turkish Van 10 oz $6.95 Turkish Cyprus, Europa Cept 2013, Postman Van, MnhTurkish Cyprus, Europa Cept 2013, Postman Van, Mnh $2.65
Burundi 2012 Animals,Cats,Katze,Chat,G ato,American Bobtail,Turkish Van,s/s,MnhBurundi 2012 Animals,Cats,Katze,Chat,G ato,American Bobtail,Turkish Van,s/s,Mnh $2.50 Turkish Van Cat, Cat Crystal Necklace, Pendant, High Quality, Crystal Animals CaTurkish Van Cat, Cat Crystal Necklace, Pendant, High Quality, Crystal Animals Ca $24.09
Spoiled Rotten Turkish Van Cat Heart Christmas Ornament a3000Spoiled Rotten Turkish Van Cat Heart Christmas Ornament a3000 $19.99 Cat Lovers Ltd Mug- Turkish Van and Charteux- Nice!Cat Lovers Ltd Mug- Turkish Van and Charteux- Nice! $8.24 Was: Previous Price $10.99
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Prices current as of last update, 12/11/17 12:20am.

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