© Christopher Ames - istockphoto.com
If you are looking for a rare, distinctive looking longhair cat, then you may want to take a close look at the Turkish Van. This cat breed is also known as the swimming cat, since the Van, unlike other cats, actually enjoys taking a leisurely swim. With their love of water, it is no wonder that these cats are named after the Lake Van region of Turkey, which is where the breed originated.
This breed was developed before the seventeen hundreds from local cats. The Van is used to fending for itself in its natural environment, so it is no surprise that this breed is a bit aloof and independent compared to other breeds. If you have other pets, you may not want to add a Van to your household. These cats don't always get along well with dogs or even other cats. This breed may also not be the ideal choice for families, as the Van is not interested in riding in doll carriages or attending tea parties.
While this cat enjoys spending some time alone, the breed is still quite playful and enjoys having a variety of toys to play with. In addition, although he may not pine for you during the day, your Van will enjoy spending time with you in the mornings and evenings. Just don't expect him to curl up in your lap for hours on end while you watch the news.
The Turkish Van is a large, muscular cat with a wedge shaped head and large, round eyes. These cats can have eyes that are golden or blue, and eyes that are mismatched are also common. Lately, some green eyed cats are also appearing in this breed. This green color is not highly favored. This cat breed's striking appearance is completed by a long, bushy tail.
The most distinctive characteristic of the Turkish Van is the breed's
unique marking pattern. These cats can only have color on their heads
and tails. The rest of their bodies must be pure white. The colored
portions of the Van's body can be Auburn, Cream, Black, Blue and
Tortoiseshell. Although all of these colors are allowed by the Cat
Fanciers Association, some other associations are much stricter and only
accept Auburn and Cream colors.
Although the Turkish Van has a longhair coat and a very long and bushy tail, this breed does not need a ton of grooming. The coat is very silky and rarely tangles. You should still plan to brush your Van once a week to remove loose hair before it ends up on your upholstered furniture. In addition, grooming your cat can help prevent problems with hairballs, as hairballs are most often formed when cats swallow loose hair while they are grooming themselves.
If you do decide that the Turkish Van is right for you, you should be prepared to wait for a kitten to become available. Although this breed is not rare in its native Turkey, the Van is rarely exported to other countries. The country of Turkey values the Van too much to freely send the breed to other countries.