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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Mamie Van Doren Turkish Magazine Barefoot Leggy Pin-Up Sexy B Cover - Fur 45664Mamie Van Doren Turkish Magazine Barefoot Leggy Pin-Up Sexy B Cover - Fur 45664 $9.75 Turkish Van Wall Clock - Cat KittenTurkish Van Wall Clock - Cat Kitten $17.95
Turkish Kilim Rug 22'x43' Hand Woven Van Kilim 56x110cmTurkish Kilim Rug 22'x43' Hand Woven Van Kilim 56x110cm $99.00 1042203 Van, place in Turkish Eastern Anatolia1042203 Van, place in Turkish Eastern Anatolia $4.80
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Turkish Kilim Rug 46'x63' Hand Woven Van Kilim 118x161cmTurkish Kilim Rug 46'x63' Hand Woven Van Kilim 118x161cm $155.00 Turkish Kilim Rug 23'x33' Hand Woven Van Kilim 59x96cmTurkish Kilim Rug 23'x33' Hand Woven Van Kilim 59x96cm $128.00
Cat Lovers Limited Mug Cup Chartreux Turkish Van CatCat Lovers Limited Mug Cup Chartreux Turkish Van Cat $5.24 Was: Previous Price $6.99 Armed Response Lee Van Cleef David Carradine 1986 Turkish Print Movie PosterArmed Response Lee Van Cleef David Carradine 1986 Turkish Print Movie Poster $7.99
Mamie Van Doren Giant Front/Back Cover Turkish Mag Henry Fonda-Wrestler 25785Mamie Van Doren Giant Front/Back Cover Turkish Mag Henry Fonda-Wrestler 25785 $27.75 Turkish Van Cat Mens Ladies Unisex Black Jelly Silicone Band Wrist Watch S335ETurkish Van Cat Mens Ladies Unisex Black Jelly Silicone Band Wrist Watch S335E $24.99
Turkish Kilim Rug 47'x70' Hand Woven Van Kilim 120x180cmTurkish Kilim Rug 47'x70' Hand Woven Van Kilim 120x180cm $369.00 New Autism Is.? (Turkish) by Ymkje Wideman-Van Der Laan Paperback Book (TurkisNew Autism Is.? (Turkish) by Ymkje Wideman-Van Der Laan Paperback Book (Turkis $13.93
Turkish Van 3-in-1 Golf Divot Tool - Cat KittenTurkish Van 3-in-1 Golf Divot Tool - Cat Kitten $11.99 Turkish Van Cat Paws Fun Cool Novelty 11 Inch Men Women SocksTurkish Van Cat Paws Fun Cool Novelty 11 Inch Men Women Socks $20.99
Mamie Van Doren Leggy Cover Turkish Vintage Mag 30707Mamie Van Doren Leggy Cover Turkish Vintage Mag 30707 $24.75 Turkish Kilim Rug 36'x79' Hand Woven Van Kilim 94x202cmTurkish Kilim Rug 36'x79' Hand Woven Van Kilim 94x202cm $217.00
Series 2 Kitty in my Pocket lot Stretcher Turkish Van Smokey British Short HairSeries 2 Kitty in my Pocket lot Stretcher Turkish Van Smokey British Short Hair $11.00 Mamie Van Doren Cover Turkish Vintage Magazine 30706Mamie Van Doren Cover Turkish Vintage Magazine 30706 $24.75
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Turkish Van Cigarette Money Case - Cat KittenTurkish Van Cigarette Money Case - Cat Kitten $12.95 I Love My Turkish Van Cat |:| Handmade & Polished BraceletI Love My Turkish Van Cat |:| Handmade & Polished Bracelet $17.95
Turkish Rug 39'-20' Handwoven Van Kilim 100x50cmTurkish Rug 39'-20' Handwoven Van Kilim 100x50cm $160.00 Antique Ottoman Turkish Solid Silver Gold Van Nielo Card Cigarette Case 1900Antique Ottoman Turkish Solid Silver Gold Van Nielo Card Cigarette Case 1900 $1,495.00
Anatolian Van Flat Weaving Rug Kilim Wool Hand Made Authentic TurkishAnatolian Van Flat Weaving Rug Kilim Wool Hand Made Authentic Turkish $99.00 Embrace Cd Armin Van Buuren Dance Trance Turkish Edition New 2016Embrace Cd Armin Van Buuren Dance Trance Turkish Edition New 2016 $14.90
Turkish Kilim Rug 25'x42' Hand Woven Van Kilim 65x108cmTurkish Kilim Rug 25'x42' Hand Woven Van Kilim 65x108cm $118.00 Turkish Van Cat Paws Fun Cool Novelty Cuff Men Women SocksTurkish Van Cat Paws Fun Cool Novelty Cuff Men Women Socks $20.99
Jdt Cat Lovers Limited Collectable Cats Turkish Van & Chartreux Cat Mug Cup B1Jdt Cat Lovers Limited Collectable Cats Turkish Van & Chartreux Cat Mug Cup B1 $7.99 Development of Turkish Migration Policies by Koen van Dokkum Paperback Book (EngDevelopment of Turkish Migration Policies by Koen van Dokkum Paperback Book (Eng $127.74
Turkish Van Cat Funny Warning Sign Pet Animal long-hair Kitty Sticker DecalTurkish Van Cat Funny Warning Sign Pet Animal long-hair Kitty Sticker Decal $2.99 Turkish Van Cosmetic Bag & Handbag Mirror - Cat KittenTurkish Van Cosmetic Bag & Handbag Mirror - Cat Kitten $6.99 to $11.99
East Of Athens Turkish Arabic Music Lp George Mgrdician Prestige 63 Van GelderEast Of Athens Turkish Arabic Music Lp George Mgrdician Prestige 63 Van Gelder $7.50 Was: Previous Price $15.00 Belly Dancer Turkish Mag Pin-Up - Muhterem Nur +Jo Van Fleet +Jack Lemmon 46342Belly Dancer Turkish Mag Pin-Up - Muhterem Nur +Jo Van Fleet +Jack Lemmon 46342 00004000 $6.75
Mala Powers Cover Turkish Mag Lana Turner-Pedro Gonzalez-Mamie Van Doren 25990Mala Powers Cover Turkish Mag Lana Turner-Pedro Gonzalez-Mamie Van Doren 25990 $24.75 Caroline's Treasures Ss8277Chf Cat Turkish Van Flag Canvas Large Multicolor, NewCaroline's Treasures Ss8277Chf Cat Turkish Van Flag Canvas Large Multicolor, New $43.54
Steiff Niki Turkish Van Cat 22cm Fur Fabric Sitting Cuddly Toy Gift 099465Steiff Niki Turkish Van Cat 22cm Fur Fabric Sitting Cuddly Toy Gift 099465 $62.67 Was: Previous Price $65.98 Turkish Kilim Rug 37'x77' Hand Woven Van Kilim 95x198cmTurkish Kilim Rug 37'x77' Hand Woven Van Kilim 95x198cm $225.00
3dRose Relaxed Van Cat - White Cat, Van Cat, Turkish Van Cat, Swimming Cat, Cat3dRose Relaxed Van Cat - White Cat, Van Cat, Turkish Van Cat, Swimming Cat, Cat $18.67 Turkish Van Mousepad - Cat KittenTurkish Van Mousepad - Cat Kitten $7.95
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Prices current as of last update, 08/16/17 8:20am.

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