turkish van breed information
common health issues
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.