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Turkish Van Cat

Turkish Van Cat


Turkish Van Cat

The Turkish Van cat breed is known as the swimming cat for it’s love of water, even if it’s just splashing his paws in it. The Turkish Van is an ancient breed thought to have originated in the Lake Van area of Turkey. The rugged landscape and cold climate of the area contributed to the development of the Van’s smooth coat and solidly built body.

The Turkish Van is a natural breed and has probably existed in his homeland for many centuries. Local legend says that it swam ashore from Noah’s ark, which tradition says landed on Mount Ararat in Turkey, not far from Lake Van.

Turkish Van Cat Information

So how did the Turkish Van Cat come by his spots of color?  Jewish version said that the ark, a door slammed on the cat’s tail, turning it red, and God reached out and touched the cat on the head, leaving a spot where his hand rested. In the Islamic version, Allah touched the cat on the back, and the spot that is sometimes seen on a Turkish Van’s back is known as the thumbprint of Allah.

However he came to be, the Van has been attractive to many of Turkey’s invaders and visitors over the years. At least a few probably made their way to Europe as “souvenirs” in the past millennium.

It wasn’t until the 1970s, though, that a Turkish Van was first brought to the United States. The International Cat Association recognized the breed in 1985, and the Cat Fanciers Association began registering it in 1988. In Turkey, the cats are considered national treasures, and their preservation is overseen by the Turkish College of Agriculture and the Ankara Zoo.

For more information click here: Turkish Van


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