5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Turkish Van

Written by: Modi Ramos
| Published on May 21, 2015

This beautifully unique cat breed has many qualities that make them special in the cat world. The Turkish Van comes from the country of Turkey, which isn’t too much of a surprise given the breed name. Besides their beauty and love of water, what else do you think you know about the Turkish Van cat breed? Take a look at our 5 things you didn’t know about the Turkish Van to learn more about this amazing cat breed:

4527412277_06e3a08bc9_zSource: Tambako The Jaguar via Flickr

1. One of the Oldest Cat Breeds

The Turkish Van came as a naturally occurring cat breed centuries ago in Turkey, near an area known as Lake Van. According to legend, there was a Turkish Van aboard Noah’s ark, who swam to shore near Mount Ararat in Turkey not far from Lake Van. Perhaps this is where their love of the water first originated! Fun fact: The Turkish Van has a colored tail and a colored head, with the rest of their fur almost entirely white.

turkish-van-fullvia cat-breeds-encyclopedia.com

2. Not One to be a Lap Cat

A Turkish Van is notorious for having these three common characteristics among the breed: very soft, very vocal, and very active. Due to their high activity level, the Turkish Van prefers to do their own thing and is not one to be much for cuddling. If you have a Turkish Van and they let you cuddle with them, then consider yourself one super lucky Turkish Van cat owner! Fun fact: While most Turkish Vans have either gold or blue eyes, there are many cats in this breed that possess odd eye color patterns.

(cat-breeds-encyclopedia.com is a site where you can find information on anything you wanted to know for all of the registered cat breeds.)

5556026797_83a16ac5ce_zSource: Dan Forg via Flickr

3. Ancient Breed, Yet Rare in the U.S.

It wasn’t until 1982 that the Turkish Van debuted in the United States, despite being rather popular in Europe for many decades. This ancient cat breed is thought to be a symbol of good luck in Turkey, and if you happen to come across one with a specific spot type marking on their neck near their shoulder blades, this is thought to be a divine symbol–referred to as “the thumbprint of God.”

6469094567_9c119c9a23_zSource: Thomas Strickland via Flickr

4. A Body Built for Speed, in the Water!

Unlike other cat breeds, the Turkish Van is almost destined to have a love for water given their specific body type. Long and lean with muscularly broad shoulders and chests, the Turkish Van is practically built for water speed with their defined, athletic shape. Fun fact: Because of their natural fascination with all things water, you must be careful when owning a Turkish Van as they have a love of turning on faucets and even flushing toilets!

7117552655_fcb17c3fe5_zSource: Heikki Siltala via Flickr

5. Aloof by Nature

The Turkish Van is the sort of cat that does better when not being handled too often, and is most compatible in family’s with older children if children are present in the home. Because of their aloof behavior that is common throughout all cats in the breed, when being shown at cat shows it is standard practice that the Turkish Van can be shown on the table rather than being held or displayed in the air. Despite their larger size, these cats can be rather timid and do best in an environment that is quiet and calm. If you’re looking for an independent cat companion that doesn’t mind water and doing their own thing, than a Turkish Van may be just the cat for you!

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