Turkish Van Cat: Characteristics and Photos

Turk of Van: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. With their cottony and fluffy coat, their captivating look and their...

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With their cottony and fluffy coat, their captivating look and their sociable nature, the Turks of Van have many characteristics that make them unique and particularly desired. If you have already adopted a Turk from Van or are thinking of doing so, in this new tab of PlanetAnimal we will show you everything you need to know about these magnificent cats, explaining in detail their origin, their character, their characteristics physical as well as any he alth problems they may face.

If you are passionate about Van's Turk, don't hesitate, continue reading and find out everything about this special feline, you'll love it!


  • Asia
  • Türkiye

FIFe Rating

  • Category I

Physical Characteristics

  • Thick Tail
  • Strong


  • Large

Average Weight

  • 6-8

Life expectancy

  • 15-18


  • Active
  • Extrovert
  • Affectionate
  • Curious


  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Medium

Origin of the Turk of Van

These felines are endemic to Lake Van in Anatolia, Turkey, from which they take their name. Its origin dates back thousands of years and is accompanied by a beautiful legend that tells that these cats came to Lake Van from Anatolia after the flood thanks to Noah's Ark, which is why it is among the most ancient breeds of cats in the world.

" Depending on the religion, the legend has two versions which aim to clarify the causes of the curious and characteristic marks of the fur of these cats. According to the Jewish version of this story, the marks of another color of the dress of the Turk of Van were caused by the hand of God himself, who touched the first Turk of Van in the area of the head and the tail.In Islamic history, it is Allah who is responsible for these marks, since it is established that he again touched the first Turk of Van on the back, leaving him marked, thus, the mark that these felines have in this area is commonly referred to as the Footprint of Allah."

The truth is that it is a race that was already present in the time of the Hittites (XXV BC - IX BC) since it is present in many discoveries made about this civilization. From the Lake Van region, this feline developed in many places, starting with Iran or Armenia and ending in the United States, since in the 1950s it was exported to the New World by an English breeder, becoming a very popular breed among Americans.

Characteristics of Van Turk

The Turk of Van is considered to be a medium to large breed of cat because its weight varies between 7 kilos of males and 5 or 6 kilos of females.These cats are sturdy and muscular. Their body is strong and slightly elongated. Some specimens reach up to a meter in length if measured from nose to tip of tail. Its hind limbs are a little longer than its forelimbs.

Van's Turk's head is triangular and tilted slightly downward. The eyes of these felines are oval and large in size, they are very expressive and have tones that can range from amber to blue, although there are many cases of heterochromia.

Probably, the most characteristic of the Turk of Van is their fur, because they have a thick coat, with a semi-long and silky coat. They show only one coat of hair and do not have a more woolly coat. Although they have medium length hairs, they do not tangle easily. Its base color is always white and the marks that make it up, that is, the typical pattern of the breed, are usually reddish, although other colors such as chestnut, blue, cream or tortoise are also accepted. .

Character of Van Turk

These funny felines are famous for their passion for water, which they appreciate without distinction, whether in a bathtub, in a lake or in a river near the house. They are also very playful and sociable cats, provided you devote time to socializing the kitten. They will be able to spend a very large part of their day playing, which will keep them active and happy!

It is a cat that is very suitable for children, because they appreciate the company of the little ones in the house. We can create joint games that delight both pet and children. We can encourage them through chase games or stalking. Therefore, toys such as moving mice, fishing rods or whatever comes to mind will be perfect to watch our kitten play without interruption.

We must be aware that, like many cats, the Turks of Van like to climb in the heights, not to mention that to reach the top of this shelf, they will have to hang on the curtains or move the objects of our furniture .We must be patient and in no way reprimand them for this attitude, but reinforce behaviors that are considered positive.

In addition, it is important to stimulate them with toys or scratchers located at different heights so that they can climb without fear of breaking or damaging the furniture. When it comes to dealing with people, Van Turks turn out to be really sociable and affectionate cats, who enjoy the care and company of the whole family, as well as that of other animals.

Caring for the Turk of Van

As we have already said, the Turks of Van have a dense and semi-long coat. However, this coat does not tend to tangle, nor does it shed too much, so brushing it every couple of days or even once a week will be enough to keep its coat in top condition. Bathing him is not necessary, but if he really needs to, you will need to use specific products for cats and dry him completely at the end of the process.

When it comes to play, as we said, these felines are quite playful and active. His daily play sessions are therefore the perfect asset to allow him to stay in shape and in good he alth! You will also need to follow all the care that any cat may need, such as oral, eye and ear hygiene, in addition to providing them with a he althy and balanced diet.

He alth of the Turk of Van

Van Turks are generally he althy, however, as is the case with many feline breeds, inbreeding is a recurrent method used by breeders, which has unfortunately favored greater predisposition to the development of congenital diseases of the breed. One of them is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which consists of damage to the heart muscle or myocardium, because the left ventricle is larger and thicker than necessary.The breed also commonly exhibits hearing ailments, as white cats' predisposition to deafness has affected the breed, which is why it is common to find specimens with total or partial deafness.

To maintain an optimal state of he alth, we must pay particular attention to the vaccination schedule, periodic deworming, as well as not neglecting regular veterinary examinations which must take place every 6 to 12 months. , to ensure a good state of he alth and allow early detection of any pathology

The life expectancy of the Van Turk is around 13 to 17 years.

Pictures of Turkish Van

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