Turkish Van Cat Breed Facts & Information

Cuteness may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

If you're looking for a new cat to add to your family, you might want to consider the Turkish Van cat. Pretty, energetic and goofy, these little fluffballs can make a great pet if they fit your lifestyle.

Image Credit: Jupiterimages/PHOTOS.com>>/GettyImages

However, before you go ahead and find the nearest Turkish Van to adopt, you should first make sure to know if their size, personality, energy level and grooming needs are right for the both of you. Here is some important information to keep in mind before you go ahead and adopt the Turkish Van.


Turkish Van cats, although related to Turkish Angora cats, are in fact much bigger and fairly different. Originating from central and southwestern Asia, these cats were found in Iran, Iraq, Southwestern Soviet Union and Eastern Turkey. The Turkish Van cat is named after Lake Van in the Anatolian mountain regions and is considered a regional treasure. Westerners first saw them when photographers Laura Lushington and Sonia Halliday saw them in the mid 1950s and they were first brought to the United States in 1982. They are still very rare and highly valued.


Turkish Van cats are athletic, high energy, and demanding of attention. They also love to swim! That's right, if you get a Turkish Van cat they will want to swim and play in water that is around your house. (So you might want to be careful when leaving the toilet seat up.) Turkish Van cats were famous for swimming in Lake Van and that has carried over to them, even if they don't live near Lake Van. They need less sleep than most breeds and if not stimulated enough, or given enough interaction they can become destructive due to boredom. So keep the valuables somewhere safe. They love to jump to the highest region in the house and will run and play a great deal. They are very friendly and intelligent however if you want a cat who enjoys being held like a baby, this is not the right cat for you. They will rub your leg, and enjoy some petting but they will not enjoy serious snuggles and being held. They are good with dogs and children as long as everyone around knows they are in charge. These cats are such smarties, you can even teach them tricks, which will help burn off some of that access energy.

Image Credit: Sergio Amiti/Moment/GettyImages

Size and appearance

Turkish Van cats are on the larger side in comparison with other breeds, with females ranging from seven to twelve pounds and males ranging from ten to twenty pounds. These cats are sturdy and muscular, since they are little athletes. They usually have tan, blue or multicolored eyes.


If your Turkish Van cat is purebred, you can expect them to have semi-long white hair with reddish markings on the head and tail. They have soft fur, like cashmere, but that means it can get matted. Although fluffy, they do not shed much and are easy to groom if you comb them weekly, or twice weekly for good measure, to address their undercoat. Be sure to trim their nails every week, and brush their teeth with whatever tooth paste your vet recommends. They do like water, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will like baths. You shouldn't have to bathe them often since they tend to lick themselves clean, but if you plan to, it's best to get them accustomed to it at an early age.

Image Credit: Sergio Amiti/Moment/GettyImages

If you think the Turkish Van cat sounds like an ideal addition to your family, then go for it! Just make sure you pick a good name!