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Turkish Angora Cat history

Responsible Pet Ownership Blog

By Julia Williams

Although I’ve never actually had a purebred cat myself, I always like learning about different cat breeds. Many have fascinating histories or characteristics that make them unique. The rare Turkish Van cat actually has both.

The Turkish Van (pronounced “von”) is an ancient cat breed believed to have originated in the Lake Van region of Eastern Turkey. Unlike many purebred cats of today, the Turkish Van is a natural breed, not a man-made breed. Turkish Vans are a semi-longhaired white cat with colored markings primarily on the head and tail. Vans are said to be an active, affectionate, playful, intelligent, strong and healthy breed with no known genetic defects.

Perhaps most interesting of all is that Turkish Vans love water, hence their nickname “Swimming Cat.” Vans not only play in water, but will enter ponds, horse troughs and shallow streams to swim in it! Some have speculated that the cats learned to swim in order to cool off during the extremely hot Turkish summers, and to catch fish.

In an article published by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) Diane Marcus writes, “The Turkish Van is unique – in its history, its color and pattern, its personality and its ability to survive, virtually unchanged for thousands of years. It shares an area known as the ‘Cradle of Civilization’ with mankind.”

History of the Turkish Van Cat

In 1955, British photographers Laura Lushington and Sonia Halliday were hired to promote tourism in Turkey. While traveling around taking photographs, they became interested in the native white cats with auburn markings on their heads and fluffy tails. After their assignment, the women took a pair of unrelated male and female Van cats back to England and found them to breed true, i.e., they produced kittens that looked exactly like their parents.

They were first called Turkish cats, but the name was later changed to Turkish Van to avoid confusion with another cat breed, the Turkish Angora. Although some mistakenly believe that the Turkish Van is merely a color variation of the more well known Turkish Angora, they are actually two distinct breeds that originated in geographically distant regions of Turkey.

Although the breed has an ancient lineage, it’s only been in the United States since 1982. There are relatively few Turkish Van breeders and exhibitors, however, and even in areas where the breed has been found for centuries, they are still relatively rare.

Northern California Angora Guild Angora Handbook
Book (Northern California Angora Guild)

Isn't accuracy the quest of historians?

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As historians, shouldn't we strive for the most accurate and educated portrayal of history possible? Or should we just accept something that we know is innacurate for fear of causing ripples in the pond? If you see an account of history being portrayed that you know is incorrect, should you speak up, or remain silent?
Should the Japanese cover up their WW2 attrocities, and not acknowledge the horrors of their past, to protect their citizenry from shame? Should we have just kept the death toll for the World Trade center attacks at 10,000+ (an original early estimate) to make the deed seem even more terrible? Should we not acknowledge past mistakes like internment camps and reservations in America, and just let sleeping dogs lie? Or should historians strive to make sure every fact is as accurate as humanly possible? Is the Chinese model, hiding the horrors of the past and denying…


by granpa

Am i to understand that the turks and the huns are the same?
According to Chinese records, Turks appear in political history of Asia with the Huns. The Huns were a coalition of various central Asian nomads, including Turks. The Hun State which first appeared in the 3rd century B.C. became a significant and powerful state during the reign of its founder, Mete Khan. Having a defined and special strategy, Mete Khan defeated the Mongols and then the Yuechis and after, having conquered the western gates and trade routes of China under his control, gained significant economic power

Greek islanders visit Turkey for grocery shopping  — Daily Sabah
.. many people come to Turkey from the Greek Islands including Lesbos. "Greek tourists come to Kemeraltı between 10:00 a.m. and 04:30p.m. Within this time period, they spend [quite a bit].


Is my cat a turkish angora?

I got him from a shelter, and as he's gotten older, he looks a lot like a Turkish angora. I think he may be part turk. What do you think?

He's a link to a picture of him:

And here's a picture of a turkish Angora:

tell me what you think
by the way, his coat is very silky and fine, not like any other long-haired cat i've seen. It's slightly wavy on his tummy

The hair is almost exactly the same and so is the face and body structure. your cat looks like a match :)

Are Turkish Angora Cats a Quality Cat Breed?

My cat recently was put to sleep (feline leukemia). I was very attached, my dad has been looking at the breed turkish angora. They aren't found in our state, Michigan. But they are in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. I was wondering if they were a good cat breed. He said that they are ex-show cats and that they live a long time. I was wondering if they develop diseases easily and if they are easy to take care of for a 15 year old like myself. I have found that a lot of these cats are deaf is that true. The last cat I had was a siamese, he also had kidney failure. Please help me find…

There r so many kittens that need good homes.thats what i would do.and if u can get 2..they will love u forever for saving them...

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