The Turkish Van is a natural breed from the rugged, remote, and climatically varied region of the Middle East. The breed is known for its unique, distinctive pattern; the term “Van” has been adopted by a variety of breeds to describe white cats with colored head and tail markings.
The Turkish Van is a solidly built, semi-longhaired cat with great breadth to the chest. The strength and power of the cat is evidenced in its substantial body and legs. This breed takes a full 3 to 5 years to reach full maturity and development.
While you might be drawn to the Van for its fascination with water, you’ll fall in love with this cat for its other qualities. Vans are energetic, agile, and intelligent. They are extremely healthy and “get along with people swimmingly,” notes one Van owner.
Moderately long, sturdy, broad, muscular, and deep-chested. Mature males exhibit marked muscular development in the neck and shoulders. The shoulders should be at least as broad as the head, and flow into the well-rounded ribcage and then into a muscular hip and pelvic area.
Substantially broad wedge, with gentle contours and a medium length nose to harmonize with the large muscular body. Prominent cheekbones. In profile, the nose has a slight dip below eye level marked by a change in the direction the hair lays. Firm chin in a straight line with the nose and upper lip; rounded muzzle.
Moderately large, in proportion to the body, set fairly high and well apart; the inside edge of the ear is slightly angled to the outside with the outside edge fairly straight but not necessarily in line with the side of the face; wide at the base. Tips are slightly rounded.
Moderately large, a rounded aperture slightly drawn out at the corners, set at a slant, equidistant from the outside base of the ear to the tip of the nose. Eyes are clear, alert, and expressive.
Legs & Paws
Moderately long, muscular legs. They are set wide apart and taper to rounded moderately large feet. Legs and feet should be in proportion to the body. Toes, five in front, four behind.
Long, but in proportion to the body, with a brush appearance. Tail hair length is keeping with the semi-long coat length.
Semi-long with a cashmere-like texture; soft to the roots with no trace of undercoat. Due to the extremes in climate of their native region, the breed carries two distinctive coat lengths. The summer coat is short, conveying the appearance of a shorthair; the winter coat is substantially longer and thicker. There is feathering on the ears, legs, feet, and belly. Facial fur is short. A frontal neck ruff and full brush tail become more pronounced with age.
Red, cream, black, blue, red tabby, cream tabby, brown tabby, blue tabby, tortoiseshell, dilute tortoiseshell, brown patched tabby and blue patched tabby