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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Turkish Van

The Turkish Van is a large, muscular yet elegant cat with a pure white body and distinctive coloured head and tail. They should give a graceful yet strong impression, with ears set high and eyes large, oval and expressive. The Turkish Van has a semi-longhaired coat which is soft and silky rather than woolly or fluffy. Paws are tufted, and the tail should be a luxuriant brush. They may have two amber eyes, two blue eyes or one of each.

The need-to-know
  • Great for first-time cat owners
  • Enjoys playing games and is active at home
  • Playful and curious cat
  • Independent but friendly
  • Slightly talkative cat
  • Average build cat breed
  • Requires grooming every day
  • Needs extensive outdoor space
  • Not ideal for family homes
  • Can be left alone all day
  • Can cope with a busy household
Generally healthy breed

There are no common disorders reported for the Turkish Van breed at present.

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 - 17 years
Weight:  4.5 - 8kg
Colours:  Pure white body and distinctive coloured head and tail. 


Family-friendly: 3/5
Playfulness: 4/5
Intelligence: 5/5
Tendency to Vocalise:  2/5
Likes Other Pets: 3/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 2/5
Turkish Van cat is sitting on balcony


The Turkish Van is a characterful cat, loyal and loving and also intelligent and affectionate. They are also a very active cat, enjoying climbing, leaping and finding high spots to relax in – the tops of doors and along curtain rails are a favourite.  

This is a cat for someone who really adores playful cats, and wants to spend time devising games and doesn’t mind their cat inviting themselves in to share a shower or bath! 

Turkish Van cat is sitting in the garden

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Turkey

Other Names: Turkish Swimming Cat

The Turkish Van originates from Lake Van in Turkey and they are notable for their love of water. The Turkish Van will play with water and will even swim given the opportunity. Domesticated in Turkey for hundreds of years, they were first brought back to the UK in the 1950’s by a holidaying couple who were attracted to the breed. They produced the first litters in the UK, and the breed are now recognised by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) and can be shown in the UK.