The Turkish Van is a natural breed and has probably existed in his homeland for centuries. Van is a common term in the region that has been given to a number of towns, villages and even a lake “Lake Van” so it is no surprise that the uniquely patterned cat native to the region was named the “Vancat”. They have a unique texture to their coats that make them waterproof which lets them enjoy swimming and other water games, so they love water and in their native region they have been termed “the Swimming Cats”. They are talkative, demanding of attention, and show great happiness at dinnertime.
Vans are known for their attachment to their human companions, and sometimes that makes transferring a Van from one household to another difficult. They tend to pick out one or two people in the household, usually the ones that deal with them initially, and bond with them forever. This breed likes to flush toilets or drop objects in toilets, so owners need to keep bathroom doors shut. Curious and companionable, Turkish Vans want to be with you participating in whatever is happening and so they follow you from room to room. They get on well with dogs and other animals that respect their right to be the boss. They are not a breed that wants to be picked up and held or cuddled for long periods.
The Turkish Van is a combination of white and colored patches with the colored patches restricted primarily to the head and tail with the exception of the solid whites. The color should not take up more than 20 percent of the entire body. Colors seen in the breed include red, cream, black, blue, tabby in red, cream, brown and blue, and various shades of tortoiseshell. Nose leather is pink, as are paw pads, although they can sometimes have color spots. There coats repel dirt to a large degree so they do not need a lot of bathing but many of them enjoy water and so also enjoy a bath. Eye color is amber, blue or odd-eyed-in Turkey, the odd-eyed cat is the preferred but the original cats used to found the breed had amber eyes. Males are much larger and more muscular than females.
Check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.
The Turkish Van takes 3 to 5 years to reach full maturity and is a large and agile cat of substantial strength. The breed is a healthy one and the unique coat does not lend itself to matting, so they require little grooming. The Van who has been well socialized is comfortable with kids, making him a good choice for families with active children.
In any case, introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together. This breed is strong and extremely healthy.
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