Due to the fact that full maturity is not reached until approximately three to five years of age, the Turkish Van kitten’s coat will fill in as the kitten grows. The semi-long, luxurious coat, resembling cashmere, demands minimal grooming.


Size: Medium
Weight: 3.2 – 5.4 kg
Coat Length: Semi-Long
Coat Colour: Black, Blue, Red, Cream, Tortie, Tabby
Eye Colour: Amber or Blue
Grooming: Low
Longevity: 13 – 17 years
Attention Needs: High


Turkish Van

History of the Breed

The Turkish Van cat is a rare breed with ancient origins, hailing from regions including Iraq, Iran, and parts of the Soviet Union and Turkey. The name “Van” stems from its association with towns, villages, and Lake Van in the region.

Inhabiting mountainous areas of central and southwest Asia, historical records trace the Turkish Van’s existence back nearly five thousand years. The Turkish Van possesses small, coloured neck markings referred to as the “thumbprint of Allah” being particularly cherished in their homeland.

The Turkish Van gained attention in Europe during the 1950s when photographers received a male and female cat as gifts. By the late ’70s, the breed reached the United States, earning club recognition in the ’80s and ’90s, captivating cat lovers globally.

Due to its rarity, finding a Turkish Van cat may be challenging, but the reward of sharing a home with this beloved and treasured companion is a playful, energetic, and loyal friendship.


The Turkish Van is recognized for its unique colour pattern, characterized by an all-white body, differently coloured head spots, and a solid-coloured tail. Despite the existence of all-white Turkish vans, they are not preferred in show-quality breeding.

Contrary to appearances, the Turkish Van’s genetics reveal that it is not a white cat with splashes of colour but, due to the piebald gene, a cat with red, cream, black, blue, or tabby colouration and large white spots. Unlike typical piebald manifestations, the Turkish van’s white appears in a single, large spot covering their torsos.

In terms of physical attributes, the Turkish Van boasts a medium-long, single-coated, cashmere-soft coat that is water-resistant and easy to maintain. Their substantial size is notable, with males often weighing around 20 pounds and measuring up to 3 feet from nose to tail. These well-muscled cats are known for their athleticism, particularly in jumping.

Characterized by a slightly wedge-shaped head, medium-sized ears positioned just outside the eye’s centerlines, and mostly round eyes in amber, blue, or a heterochromatic combination, the Turkish Van stands out in both appearance and physical prowess.


Describing the Turkish Van cat personality involves highlighting its energetic, playful, and fun-loving nature. This feline companion thrives on attention, making it an ideal match for pet parents with ample time and affection to share. Known for its jumping prowess, as noted by The International Cat Association (TICA), Turkish Vans often find elevated spots to observe their surroundings, showcasing their powerful hind legs’ climbing and jumping capabilities. TICA also mentions their ability to learn to fetch, showcasing their agility in catching toys mid-air or performing somersaults during enthusiastic chases around the house.

While the Turkish Van can make a great companion for dogs, introductions are crucial, especially in households with young children. Supervision is recommended, as these cats enjoy cuddling and being held on their terms, with limited tolerance for tail-tugging or excessive petting.

Living With Turkish Van

Characterized by liveliness and sociability, the Turkish Van is highly intelligent and requires regular exercise and playtime for optimal well-being. With a penchant for mischief, particularly in knocking items off shelves and tables, Vetstreet advises providing ample toys to redirect their attention. Notably, Turkish Vans prefer elevated spaces, displaying a carefree attitude toward objects deemed obstructions by their human counterparts.

Low maintenance in terms of grooming, a Turkish Van benefits from a routine that includes claw trimming, teeth brushing, and occasional combing, as their luxurious coat is resistant to matting. Despite their love of swimming, this breed does not share the same enthusiasm for baths, sparing owners the need for regular bathing sessions.