This beautiful longhaired cat is somewhat rare and carried the nickname of the “swimming cat” due to his odd love for all things water. Originally descending from domestic cats in Turkey, the Turkish Van has very unique markings that set it apart from other breeds.
In order to be considered a purebred Turkish Van, the body of the cat should be white with only a few tiny random spots being acceptable. The coloration on the cat should be restricted to his head and his tail, and can be found in a range of colors including tabby, red, cream, black, and even blue. There should not be any points on the ears and snout like is seen on Siamese and other Oriental breeds.
The Turkish Van coat can be considered to be longhaired. Their coats are said to feel incredibly soft, akin to the way that cashmere feels. This is due to the fact that the Turkish Van is lacking the down hair and guard hair seen in most other breeds. They only have the very soft awn hair. Their bushy bottlebrush-like tails remain full and bushy even when they are shedding in the spring months.
One of the larger breeds, the male Turkish Van can weigh up to 16 pounds, with the females likely to be a little bit more around the 14 pound mark. Large, lean, and muscular, the Vans are known to be excellent jumpers, with massive paws that can launch them to high spots as high at seven feet.
Highly intelligent and sociable, the Turkish Van cats love to spend time with their human companions. They are playful, energetic, and love to play fetch with their owners. One of the biggest complains from their devoted owners is their penchant for playing in water, including in the toilet bowl! It is recommended that child-safety locks be installed on toilets in homes with Turkish Vans, just to keep the splashing mess to a minimum.