turkish van breed information


common health issues

The cells of the body need sugar to function and need insulin to carry sugar in through their walls. Diabetic animals do not have enough insulin to transport sugar into the cells, resulting in high blood sugar and starving cells. Treatment entails the lifelong administration of insulin shots, and usually requires frequent trips to the vet for rechecks.

Glaucoma is characterized by an elevation of pressure inside the eye. High pressure in the eye causes extreme discomfort and may lead to an enlarged, bulging eye and result in blindness. Treatment for glaucoma consists of life-long medical therapy, and often requires surgical removal of the affected eye. Long term prognosis for vision in the affected eye is poor.

Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart walls become thickened, making it difficult for the heart to pump properly. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can lead to congestive heart failure, arrhythmias and blood clots. Symptoms include heart murmurs and coughing.

Glaucoma is characterized by an elevation of pressure inside the eye. High pressure in the eye causes extreme discomfort and may lead to an enlarged, bulging eye and result in blindness. Treatment for glaucoma consists of life-long medical therapy, and often requires surgical removal of the affected eye. Long term prognosis for vision in the affected eye is poor.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition of increased thyroid hormone caused by a benign thyroid tumor. It is the most common hormone imbalance seen in cats, and its hallmark clinical sign is weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite. The disease can be controlled with medication or cured with radiotherapy.

Turkish Van cats are descendants of a select few “Van cats”, a local variety of cats living near Lake Van in what is now Turkey. These cats were brought to England in 1955 and were eventually bred to become the modern Turkish Van. Originally referred to simply as the “Turkish Cat”, the name was soon changed to “Turkish Van” to avoid confusion with its cousin, the Turkish Angora, which is a completely separate breed altogether.

This semi-longhair cat came to the United States relatively recently, debuting in 1982. It was and continues to be a very rare breed, with only about 100 kittens born in the U.S. every year.

The Turkish Van is unique in her appearance in that the majority of her body is white, with markings appearing only on the head and tail (this color pattern is also referred to as “van”). The semi-long hair lacks an undercoat, giving this breed its characteristic velvety soft fur and providing some water resistance. Unlike most other feline breeds, the Turkish Van is particularly fond of water and has been nicknamed the "swimming cat".

The breed as a whole is remarkably healthy, though individuals of the breed may be prone to common feline hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Turkish Vans are prone to include eye conditions such as glaucoma; thyroid conditions such as hyperthyroidism; chronic conditions such as diabetes; and heart conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Turkish Van inherits more than just a love of water, you’re covered.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)