VCA Animal Hospitals

Turkish Van

Turkish Van

Basic Turkish Van Information

  • Lifespan: 15 - 17 years
  • Weight: 10 - 13 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Turkish Van

Turkish Van Traits

  • Lap Cat
  • Intelligence
  • Ease of Training
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Good with Children
  • Good with Dogs
  • Chattiness

Turkish Van History

  • Originated hundreds of years ago in what is now occupied by the countries of Iran, Iraq, southwest Soviet Union and eastern Turkey.
  • The first of this breed were brought to England in 1955 but identified simply as Turkish cats. The name was later changed to Turkish Van to avoid being confused with the Turkish Angora.
  • An American couple traded one of their award-winning Balinese to a French man who bred championship Turkish Vans. This Van arrived in the United States in 1982 as the first one to reach American soil.
  • Demand usually exceeds supply for this breed.
  • Today, the Turkish Van is recognized by both the Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association. It was accepted during TICA's inaugural year in 1979 and reached championship status in CFA by 1994.

Turkish Van Behavior Concerns

  • Possesses high levels of energy.
  • Athletic and demands attention, the Turkish Van loves to master tricks for people.
  • Sleeps far less than most cat breeds who typically snooze up to 17 hours a day.
  • Favors playtime over roosting in a lap.
  • Needs interactions and stimulating toys to prevent from becoming destructive out of boredom.
  • Loves water, so be careful to keep your bathroom door closed. Otherwise, your Turkish Van is apt to drop items in the toilet or stand up and repeatedly flush the toilet.
  • Extremely affectionate, but prefers to rub against your leg and not be picked up.

Look of Turkish Vans

  • Its color can be traced to the piebald gene which bestows colored markings on the tail and head with a predominantly white body.
  • The coat features an undercoat and gives off a cashmere-like texture that is water resistant.
  • Its eyes are large, expressive, set at a slant and can be blue or amber or odd-eyed.
  • Its long, sturdy body is muscular and its head is wedge-shared with prominent cheekbones.

Grooming Turkish Van Cats

  • Comes in many colors, but famous for red markings.
  • Coat is semi-longhaired and gives off a cashmere-like feel.
  • Head and tail sport markings.
  • Coat is not prone to matting.
  • Requires brushing twice a week to address its undercoat.

Suggested Nutritional Needs for Turkish Vans

  • The Turkish Van takes up to five years to reach full maturity, so work with your veterinarian on appropriate diets for this slow-growing breed.
  • Usually can be "free fed" cause they are so active and burn off excess calories.

Fun Facts of Turkish Vans

  • Van in the breed's name refers to the geographical area where it originated in central and southwest Asia.
  • In some Turkish Vans, a spot is visible on the shoulder that is known as "the mark of Allah."
  • Nicknamed "The Swimming Cat."

Did you know?

  • A decrease in cat grooming behavior may indicate they are in pain.
  • Some cat parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your cat.

Have More Questions on Turkish Vans?

We are here to help! Input your zip code and search to locate a hospital nearest you.

See all VCA Animal Hospitals

Ask the Vet

Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.