The Swimming Sultans: Caring For Turkish Van Cat Breed

by Tips Cat
The Swimming Sultans: Caring For Turkish Van Cat Breed

The Turkish Van is an ancient pedigreed cat breed originating from Turkey with a swimmer’s body, loving personality, and striking coat colors.

Introduction The Turkish Van Cat Breed

Believed to have origins in central and southwest Asia, the Turkish Van breed takes its name from the rugged Lake Van region where it’s considered Turkey’s national cat. Turkish Vans have semi-longhaired water-resistant cashmere coats ideally suited for getting wet during their legendary swimming escapades.

Affectionate with Family: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Amount of Shedding: ⭐⭐
General Health: ⭐⭐⭐

Potential for Playfulness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Tendency to Vocalize: ⭐⭐
Kid-Friendly: ⭐⭐⭐
Friendly Toward Strangers: ⭐⭐⭐

Easy to Groom: ⭐⭐⭐

Intelligence: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pet Friendly: ⭐⭐⭐

  • Appearance: Medium-large muscular cats with broad chests, moderately long legs and ringing tails. Striking coat patterns.
  • Characteristics: Extremely energetic and playful. Love water and have dog-like personalities.
  • Popularity: Growing popular for their looks and affectionate nature.
  • Temperament: Intelligent, friendly and adventurous. Excellent companion cats.
  • Lifespan: 12-17 years.
  • Coat Color: Unique patterns with white and colored patches (red, cream).

The Turkish Van is a natural landrace breed originating from cats native to the Lake Van area rather than a mixed breed.

How to Take Care of a Turkish Van Cat


  • High-quality commercial food providing balanced nutrition for an energetic breed.
  • Canned or raw mixes for extra hydration support swimming lifestyle.
  • Occasional cooked turkey or chicken breast as protein treats.


  • Places to climb and perch overlooking “territory”. Matches inquisitive nature.
  • Garden access for supervised outdoor adventures. Safety is key.
  • Escape-proof fencing and doors to prevent wandering.


  • Weekly brushing with slicker brush removes dead hairs from water-repellent cashmere coat.
  • Trimming nails every 2-3 weeks prevents damage from exuberant play.
  • Checking ears after swimming to dry out any residual moisture.

Take Care Method: Engage intelligence with interactive play, respect independent nature yet provide companionship.

How to Buy/Adopt a Turkish Van Cat

  1. Locations of Popularity: Native Turkey plus North America and parts of Europe
  2. Average Price: $600 – $800 USD
  3. Adoption/Rescue Community: Turkish Van Rescue, Turkish Van Cat Club

What to Check Before Adopt/Buy:

  • General Health: Confirm vet cleared parasites/infection checks. Request genetic health certificates.
  • Vaccinate Status: Kittens must have at least one FVRCP vaccine by 12-16 weeks old per vet advice.
  • Medical History: Reputable breeders screen parents for heritable cardiomyopathy, PKD and hearing issues.

How to Prepare for a Turkish Van Cat’s Life

  • Cat-proof fence/enclosure for safe outdoor access matches their spirit of adventure.
  • Ensure challenging puzzle toys, cat trees and playtime sessions will sufficiently engage this active breed.
  • Read up on introducing pets, handling techniques respecting independent nature, and water safety considerations.

Caring For Turkish Van Cat:

  • Food – High protein and digestible diets in portion meals suits indoor/outdoor activity levels.
  • Environment – Cat trees/perches at windows overlooking the goings-on outside. Enable climbing and supervision.
  • Toys – Rotate interactive wand toys, food puzzles, treat balls. Stimulates body and mind.
  • Treatment – Weekly brushing year-round, nail and ear checks. Attend annual vet visits.
  • Training – Harness for safe outdoor walks. Use reward methods for other basics.
  • Socialization – Gradually expose to new places, people and pets ensuring confidence.
  • Equipment – Non-tip bowls, scratching posts, waterproof bedding, harness/leash.
  • Diseases – Most prevalent issues include heart disease, FIV and kidney stones.
  • Vaccines – Core FVRCP and Rabies. Feline Leukemia strongly advised also.

Common Names for Turkish Van Cats

Regal names suit the Turkish Van’s exotic vibe:

Sultan, Ankara, Ozkan, Leyla, Ayla, Nazil, Beyza

“Do Turkish Van cats like going out rather than staying home?”

Yes! Turkish Van cats greatly enjoy supervised outdoor access to burn energy through climbing, running and swimming. But safety measures must secure any garden space to prevent escape.

“Is a Turkish Van cat a Smart cat?”

Highly! The Turkish Van ranks among the most intelligent cat breeds, adept at learning tricks, verbal commands, even walking on a leash when properly trained. Their energetic nature demands active engagement daily.

“How many types of Turkish Van cats are there?”

There is only one landrace breed defined by a color-patterned semi-longhaired coat and lean yet muscular swimmer’s body ideal for powering through water with ease. Coat colors feature red/white or cream/white patches.

“How to stop Turkish Van cat Biting?”

Consistently say NO whenever skin is bitten during play. Withdraw attention completely then redirect to a toy instead, praising gentle play. Timeout if biting persists. Avoid games encouraging biting people.

“How to stop Turkish Van cat Scratching?”

Provide plenty sturdy scratching posts around home. Reward proper use. Discourage unwanted scratching by protecting said objects with plastic covers or double-sided sticky tape and redirect to appropriate scratchers instead.

“How to do Socialisation and Raising Friendly for Turkish Van cat?”

Safe, early exposure to visitors, car rides, veterinary visits and gentle handling ensures kittens gain worldly experiences needed for a friendly, trusting and confident adult cat. Respect when they disengage interactions.

“How to Train your Turkish Van cat?”

This highly intelligent breed thrives on lots of interactive play and challenging their minds with trick training, agility courses, treat puzzles. Use rewards like praise or special treats to reinforce wanted behaviors.

“How long should we check for Turkish Van cat’s health with vet?”

Schedule complete physical exam and baseline bloodwork with annual veterinary well visits. Senior cats over age 10 benefit from checkups twice yearly to monitor heart/kidney health with early diagnosis and treatment.

“Are Turkish Van cats good family pets?”

Yes! When provided enough stimulating activities and outdoor access their energetic, playful and affectionate personality suits households with older respectful children. They become devoted companions.

“Are Turkish Van cats good with children?”

Yes, get along very well with kids old enough to properly interact. But young children require supervision to prevent rough handling that may provoke reactive scratching. Their energetic nature could overwhelm little ones.

“Are Turkish Van cats good with other animals?”

Their friendly disposition means Turkish Vans generally coexist fine with cat/dog-friendly pets when given proper introductions. However, their high activity level may intimidate timid animals. And small pets often trigger high prey drive.

“Can Turkish Van cats cause allergies?”

While no breed is truly hypoallergenic, the sheds moderately so they do not aggravate allergies as severely as heavy shedding breeds. Their long coat also traps less dander against the skin to help minimize reactions in some people.

“Are Turkish Van cats ferocious?”

No. Well-bred cats have quite friendly, adventurous personalities without aggressive tendencies when properly trained and socialised. However, always respect a cat’s disengagement cues to avoid risk of reactive biting/scratching if annoyed.

“Do Turkish Van cats have much hair loss problems?”

Generally their long waterproof cashmere coat stays glossy year-round needing only weekly brushing assistance and ample nutrition. Any significant bald patches or shedding is abnormal for this breed warranting veterinary investigation.

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