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Turkish Van Cat

Published on 1 Jun 2021

A Turkish Van cat rolls on the pavement.

An exotic import, the Turkish Van is a rare and lovely breed. 

Two British women brought the founding members of the Turkish Van breed back from a trip to Turkey in 1955. 

The Turkish Van is a large cat and can weigh up to 7 kgs. They come in a wide array of colours but have the “Van” pattern, meaning that the colour is isolated to the head and tail. Their lifespan is around 12 to 14 years.

Cat Breed Facts & Characteristics



Also known as

Turkish Vankedisi 


Medium 4 to 7kgs   

Weight Range

4 to 7kgs 


Colour is on the head and tail (Van pattern), comes in most cat colours but not points

Life expectancy

12 to 14 years


Semi-long, no undercoat, sheds


Lively, playful, intelligent  

Exercise requirements


Best suited for 

Singles, couples, families 

Apartment Friendly



Turkish Van cats are said to be intelligent and friendly. They don’t tend to be very vocal. They are playful and enjoy climbing and jumping, so keep plenty of toys and scratchers available and be ready to enjoy playtime. They are said to have an affinity to water, so may show interest in the shower or bathtub! They are well suited to apartment living if they have plenty to keep them occupied. Keeping your Turkish Van indoors or in a cat friendly enclosure helps keep them safe from roads, other cats, snakes as well as helps to keep wildlife safe from your feline friend. 


With medium long hair brushing every second day helps keep the coat tangle free as well as helps remove loose hair as the Turkish Van does shed. The coat is also said to be quite water resistant. Year-round flea control is recommended as well as tick control if in a tick area for the Turkish Van cat. 


When choosing a food for a Turkish Van, select a premium food appropriate to the cats age and life stage, ideally that is formulated for optimal urinary health. Always the recommended feeding guides on the food to help avoid obesity and ensure appropriate nutrition. Always ensure cats have constant supply of fresh water available, and consider providing them with a water fountain, as many cats prefer drinking moving water.

A Turkish Van cat sitting between rocks in a garden.

Common Health Concerns 

The five most common reasons for a Turkish Van to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data from 2016 to 2020 included gastrointestinal problems like inflammatory bowel disease, as well as hyperthyroidism, eye problems and urinary tract disease.   

Traumatic accidents including cat fight abscesses and claw injuries were noted as the top reason for a Turkish Van to visit the vet from 2016 to 2020. It may be possible to lower the risk of your Turkish Van cat from having a traumatic accident by keeping them indoors or in a cat safe enclosure. 

The five most common reasons for a Turkish Van cat to visit the vet (excluding for routine visits like vaccinations), PetSure claims data from 2016-2020.

RankConditionAverage cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)
Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)
1Traumatic accidents$289$1,852
2Gastrointestinal problems, including inflammatory bowel disease$633$3,405
4Eye problems, including conjunctivitis$193$371
5Urinary tract problems, including infections$185$411

*Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.


A Turkish Van sitting near window front portrait.

Most popular Turkish Van names

According to PetSure data from 2014-2020, the most popular names for Turkish Van cats were

Most popular names

  1. Phoebe
  2. Tammy
  3. Angel
  4. Cookie
  5. Daisy
  6. Mia
  7. Missy
  8. Simba
  9. Tom
  10. Alfie

Most popular female names

  1. Phoebe
  2. Tammy
  3. Angel
  4. Daisy
  5. Mia
  6. Missy
  7. Simba
  8. Bella
  9. Blue
  10. Cheeky

Most popular male names

  1. Cookie
  2. Tom
  3. Alfie
  4. Bowie
  5. Django
  6. Felix
  7. Harry
  8. Leo
  9. Lilly
  10. Micky

Did you know?

Turkish Vans often have different coloured eyes. 

Where can I get a Turkish Van Cat?

Turkish Vans are quite an uncommon breed. If you are looking for a feline companion, shelters generally have many beautiful cats looking for loving homes. It may be possible to find a Turkish Van through a breed specific rescue. But be sure to check out your local animal shelter or rescue organisation where you may just find your perfect kitten or cat! 


  1. Cat Fanciers Association, About the Turkish Van, Accessed on 18/03/2021
  2. Wikipedia, Turkish Van, Accessed on 18/03/2021
  3. Purina, Turkish Van, Accessed on 18/03/2021 is general insurance issued by the insurer The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (ABN 78 090 584 473; AFSL 241436) (Hollard); is promoted and distributed by Pet Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 38 607 160 930; AR 1234944) (PIPL) and PIPL’s authorised distribution partners (including Pet Culture Group Pty Limited ABN: 69 644 613 098; AR 001284860) (PetCulture) and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (ABN 95 075 949 923; AFSL 420183) (PetSure). PIPL and PetCulture are authorised representatives of PetSure. Any advice provided is general only, has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. Consequently, before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should obtain and consider the product disclosure statement (PDS) in deciding whether to acquire or continue to hold, Pet Insurance.

Kylie Mitchell

Kylie Mitchell


Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie Mitchell's Pets

  • MeekaMeeka
  • Bei BeiBei Bei
  • NoahNoah

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