Five Fun Facts About the Turkish Van

PetMD Editorial
December 07, 2009
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Meow Monday

If you hear someone bragging about their Turkish Van, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were talking about an imported car. However, the Turkish Van is not a car but a rare breed of cat. And today we have some fun and interesting facts about this very cool cat. 

1. It’s All About The Name

Although some may confuse the Van for the Turkish Angora, they are different. Yes, both cats have long hair and hail from (you guessed it) Turkey, but they developed in different parts of the country and the Turkish Van sports a different coat type, is larger and more muscular, and has distinct coloring patterns. In fact, the word "van" comes from the cat's unusual markings, which were described as "van patterned."

2. Exclusive Coat

Not content to be merely a rare breed of cat, the Turkish Van also has a one-of-a-kind coat. While most cats have coats consisting of three hair types, the Turkish Van prefers a coat of one hair type, with no undercoat. This makes her fur cashmere-like in both texture and looks. It’s water-resistant, as well!

3. The 'Swimming Cat'

The Turkish Van is also known as the "swimming cat." You heard it right, this cat not only loves to go out for a cool dip, but also loves playing in the water. Experts believe it acquired this trait because it was the easiest way to cool off during the hot Turkish summer months.

4. Location, Location, Location

Although the Turkish Van is an ancient cat breed, it is a newcomer to both England (1955) and the U.S. (1982). In fact, this ancient breed is so rare that while it is still possible to import the cat from her homeland (where she is considered a national treasure), it is quite difficult..

5. Pet Project

The Turkish Van isn’t snobbish about her rare status. She’s smart, energetic, and friendly. Large yet delicate, this strong cat is also very agile. And as an added bonus, its long fur doesn't mat easily and so does not require much grooming; perfect for the modern, busy family.

Now go and tell your all family and friends about the Turkish Van.

Meow! It’s Monday.