Kitten History: Turkish Van

Pure white with bold spots, this treasured Middle Eastern breed is unique.

By Stacy Hackett

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Turkish Van © Helmi FlickWhat a stunning first impression your Turkish Van kitten makes! With a pure white coat covering most of his body, and bold spots of color on his tail and head, he's a real head-turner. This unique coat pattern is part of what makes the Turkish Van such a treasure in his homeland of Turkey.

An ancient breed thought to have developed in southwest Asia (in the areas encompassing Iraq, Iran, parts of the Soviet Union and eastern Turkey), the breeds name Van is a common term used to name many towns and villages in the region. What better name for the regions treasured cat?

The first Turkish Van entered England in 1955, and was named Turkish Van to avoid confusion with the Turkish Angora. The breed came to America in the early 1970s, but it wasn't until 1983 that the Turkish Van was actively promoted. Barbara and Jack Reark imported a pair of Vans from France and a trio of the cats from the Netherlands. The couple is credited with creating interest in the Turkish Van in the United States, leading to the Cat Fanciers Association accepting the breed for championship status in 1994.

- Return to the Turkish Van Breed Profile -

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Kitten History: Turkish Van

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Reader Comments

anne    gerry, NY

12/22/2008 5:05:37 AM

we just got a stray kitten who has the markings of a turkish van. this article is right on the mark. plus our kitten is a thief, she is always running around the house with stolen toys in her mouth.

Joyce    Dordrecht NL, TX

12/14/2008 10:32:22 AM

I missed the solid white Turkish Van (in Turkish Vankedisi). The Turkish Van is from the beginning in championship in TICA, before CFA did.

Joyce Ouderkerk
Catttery Aghtamar
member Turkish Van breed committee TICA
vice president Turkish Van Cat Connexion

The state is incorrect. There isn't a possibility for those living outside the US.

Vicki Howell    Raymond, MS

3/6/2008 11:36:04 AM

I enjoyed reading this article. It told me information that I never knew about this kind of cat!!

Jen    Dallas, TX

12/27/2006 9:04:13 PM

Turkish Van cats are truly lap dogs. As an owner and experienced cat owner, these felines are spunky, smart of they love their human counterparts... as well as dogs. They are truly unique companions!

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