The Turkish Van is known as the”swimming cat” because of his love of water. It’s not unusual to find him splashing in ponds, pools or any other liquid that he can see. This is a smart, lively, loving cat with a sleek, medium-length coat that’s easy to groom. Most Vans are white with colour on the tail and head.
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My plush coat feels just like cashmere, but I am not a goat. I like to swim, but I am not a seal. What am I?
In his homeland, the gorgeous, semi-longhaired Turkish Van is known as a regional treasure, for a good reason. He stands out because of his identifying”van” colouration–white with colour onto the tail and head–blue, gold or strange eyes, his proclivity for water, along with his large, heavily built body. The Van is occasionally confused with his cousin the Turkish Angora. However, the two are incredibly different in size, coat and other features. The Van is a large cat, with females weighing to 12 lbs, males 10 to 20 pounds. The strain doesn’t reach full maturity until three to five years of age, but it resides for 13 or more years.
Put away breakables if you’ve got a Turkish Van in the house. This is an active, lively cat who likes to leap to the maximum point in the room. When he’s not jumping, he’s running, playing water, regaining his toys or attacking them with gusto, possibly even washing them in the toilet or bathroom sink, where he has turned to the water faucet. On the rare occasions, he is sitting. Still, the Turkish Van is inclined to be loving and tender, often following his favourite person around the house. He enjoys being petted but is not always fond of being held or cuddled. Small children will need to understand that if they will be good friends with all the Van. He gets along with other pets, including dogs, after making sure they know he’s the one in charge. This is a mischievous and smart cat who’s entertaining to live with, despite being more than a handful.
The only other grooming required is routine nail trimming and ear cleaning. You might choose to wash him every month or two, especially if he is light or white.
The Turkish Van is well suited to any home where he is loved, valued and given the attention and care he needs.
Many Turkish Vans have a small mark between their shoulder blades called”the thumbprint of God.” It is regarded as good luck.
Other Quick Facts
Some Van cats have a coloured marking on their shoulder called the”Thumbprint of Allah.” It’s thought to be an indication that the cat has been blessed.
The Turkish Van has a semi-longhaired white coat with coloured markings on the tail and head, known as a van pattern. Cats with a van pattern carry a piebald gene, that’s the same gene that causes the white colour on cats with the tuxedo (black with a white belly) or bicolour (colour and white) patterns. The gene is expressed at a higher level in Van cats, which accounts for the massive amount of white on the human body. The Van routine is seen in additional pedigreed cats and random-bred cats.
The Van’s head is broad and moderately wedge-shaped. The eyes are shaped something like cherry pits and may be blue, gold, or odd, meaning one eye is blue and the other gold. The body is long, sturdy and muscular with fur that feels like a full, brush-like tail.
Vans are known for enjoying a nice swim. Do not be shocked if yours needs to join you in the tub or to swim pool or goes fishing in your koi pond. Historically, they were understood to float in Turkey’s Lake Van.
The History of Turkish Vans
The Van takes his name from Lake Van, located in the hills of Turkey’s eastern Anatolian region, where he was first known. He likely existed there for centuries, shielded by his isolation from the rest of the world.
They had been given a pair of kittens during their trip and were amazed to see these take to rivers or ponds for a swim any time they stopped for a break. When they shot the cats back to England with them, there was interest in the breed, but the cats were infrequent in Turkey. Luckily, breeders have taken care to preserve them. In Turkey, they are considered national treasures.
Turkish Vans weren’t brought to the United States before 1982, although The International Cat Association recognised them in 1979. The Cat Fanciers Association Also knows them along with other cat registries
Do not get the Van if you want a kitty who likes to be transported around or cuddled a lot, however, when a mischievous clown who is loving and affectionate appeals to you, the Van is the cat. He loves to jump and climb, play with toys, retrieve and play chase. When he is not following you about, offering to help with anything you’re performing, the Van is probably experimenting with turning to the toilet or kitchen faucet he can play in the water.
Do not confuse the Van with the graceful Turkish Angora. He’s a bit of a klutz and often knocks things over. When he does, rescue his dignity by pretending that of course, he supposed to do this.
The Van’s tail seems to have a personality of its own. Most cats flick their tails when they are angry or upset. However, Van’s tail appears to be in constant movement, even when he’s in a fantastic mood, which is most of the time.
The Van can get along good with dogs and other pets as long as they realise he’s the one in charge. Together with his sturdy body, he can also be a fantastic choice for families with children so long as they are supervised and don’t try to pull his fur or tail.
The Turkish Van is thought to be highly intelligent and a fantastic problem-solver. Challenge his mind and keep him interested in life by teaching him tips and providing him with puzzle toys which can reward him with kibble or treats when he learns how to manipulate them. Other favourite toys are big peacock feathers, furlike toys on a series and tiny balls that they can chase and fetch. The Van is tough to toys so be ready to replace them on a regular basis.
Always choose a kitten from a breeder who raises litters in the house and manages them from an early age. Meet at least one and both of the parents to make sure that they have excellent temperaments.
All cats have the potential to develop genetic health problems, as all people can inherit a particular disease. Run, do not walk from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on kittens or who tells you that her kittens are isolated from the central part of the home for health reasons. Turkish Vans are generally healthy, but it is always wise to buy a kitten from a breeder who gives a written health guarantee.
Remember that once you’ve chosen a new kitten into your house, you have the power to protect him from among the most frequent health issues: obesity. Keeping a Turkish Van in an appropriate weight is among the most natural methods to safeguard his general health. Make the most of your preventative abilities to make sure a healthier cat for life.
The Basics of Turkish Van Grooming
The Turkish Van may appear high maintenance, but his only jacket, which feels just like cashmere, is easy to care for. Run a comb through it each week or so and you’re done. He’ll require coat care a bit more often in winter when his coat is thicker.
Regular baths are not necessary. Vans like playing in the water, however, a shower isn’t necessarily their idea of a good time. If you plan to bathe your Van frequently, accustom him from a young age. Let him air dry in a warm area. The rest is necessary maintenance.
You want your Turkish Van to be happy and healthy so that you can enjoy your time together with him so do your homework before you bring him home.
A respectable breeder will abide by a code of ethics that prohibits sales to pet stores and wholesalers and summarises the breeder’s responsibilities to their cats and also to buyers. Opt for a breeder that has performed the health certifications required to screen out genetic health problems to the extent that is possible, even as one who increases kittens in the home. Kittens who are isolated can become fearful and skittish and might be difficult to socialise later in life.
Lots of reputable breeders have websites, so how do you tell who is right and who is not? Red flags include kittens always available, multiple litters on the assumptions, getting your choice of any kitten, and the capability to pay online using a credit card. Those things are convenient, but they are almost never connected with reliable breeders.
Whether you are likely to get your feline buddy from a breeder, a pet shop, or another source, remember that adage” let the buyer beware”. There’s no 100% guaranteed way to make sure you’ll never buy a sick kitten, but researching the breed (so you know what to expect), checking out the center (to identify unhealthy conditions or sick animals), and asking the ideal questions can reduce the odds of heading to a disastrous situation. And don’t forget to ask your vet, who can often consult with a reputable breeder, breed rescue organisation, or other trusted resource for healthy kittens. Place at least as much effort into exploring your kitty as you would into selecting a new automobile or expensive appliance. It will save you money in the long term.
Be patient. Based on what you are looking for, you may need to wait six months or longer for the right kitty to be available. Many breeders won’t launch kittens to new homes until they are between 12 and 16 weeks old.
Before you buy a kitten, consider whether a grownup Turkish Van could be a better choice for your lifestyle. Kittens are plenty of fun, but they’re also a lot of work and can be harmful until they attain a somewhat more sedate adulthood. With an adult, you know more about what you are getting regarding personality and health. If you are interested in acquiring an adult cat instead of a kitten, ask breeders about purchasing a retired show or breeding cat or should they are aware of an adult cat that needs a new home.
Adopting a Cat from Turkish Van Rescue or a Shelter
The Turkish Van is an unusual and uncommon breed. It’s unlikely you will find one in a shelter or through a rescue group, but it doesn’t hurt to look. Occasionally pedigreed cats end up at the shelter after losing their house to an owner’s death, divorce or change in economic situation. Conor the Fanciers Breeder Referral List, also ask breeders if they know of a Turkish Van that is in need of a new home.
Wherever you acquire your Turkish Van, then be sure to get a ridiculous contract with the seller, shelter or rescue team that spells out responsibilities on either side. In states with”pet lemon laws,” make sure you and the individual you get the cat from both understand your rights and recourses.
Kitten or adult, take your Turkish Van to your vet soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot issues and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that can allow you to avoid many health problems.