What started as a photography assignment turned into the foundation of the Turkish Van breed.
It was time to play. And when a Turkish Van cat decides it's playtime — or decides on anything, really — it will usually conceptualize a plan and follow through on it until completion. Thus, South Carolina breeder Karen Hooker woke up one day with a pile of toys on her pillow so one especially playful Van could play fetch. Many Vans, it turns out, enjoy a game of fetch.
"You can throw a crumpled paper ball or their favorite furry mouse, and they'll keep bringing it back to you for more," she says. "You will tire of this long before they do. When Vans play they go all out."
That's not an isolated incident. Vans are intelligent, inquisitive and playful. They're also loyal, extroverted and bold. But before pegging all of them with distinctive Van traits, remember that above all else they are individuals and can't really be pinned down at all; they're too smart for any of that. In general, owners can expect a happy, outgoing and energetic companion.
"They are active cats that need some form of activity center to keep them happy," says Marianne Upham, a breeder based in the United Kingdom.
**Get the December 2010 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article or click here to purchase a PDF version.**
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