Photo by Larry Johnson
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Photo by Chanan
Photograph by Chanan
Photograph by Larry Johnson
Photograph by Larry Johnson
Turkish Van
Breed Standard
Point Score
HEAD (30)
Shape (boning, chin, nose, cheekbones, profile) 18
Ears (shape, placement and size) 7
Eyes (shape, placement and size) 5
BODY (30)
Type (boning, muscle, length, size) 18
Legs and feet 5
Tail 7

GENERAL: The Turkish Van is a natural breed from the rugged, remote and climatically varied region of the Middle East. The breed is known for its unique, distinctive pattern…the term “van” has been adopted by a variety of breeds to describe white cats with colored head and tail markings. The Turkish Van is a solidly-built, semi-longhaired cat with great breadth to the chest. The strength and power of the cat is evidenced in its substantial body and legs. This breed takes a full 3 to 5 years to reach full maturity and development, therefore allowances must be made for age and sex. Turkish Vans are very intelligent and alert cats, and as such feel more secure, and handle better with all four feet on a solid surface.

BALANCE: Despite age and sex, as adults, individuals should convey an overall impression of a well-balanced and well-proportioned appearance in which no feature is exaggerated to foster weakness or extremes.

HEAD: Substantially broad wedge, with gentle contours and a medium length nose to harmonize with the large muscular body, ears are not to be included in the wedge. Prominent cheekbones. In profile, the nose has a slight dip below eye level marked by a change in the direction the hair lays. Allowances must be made for jowling in the males. Firm chin in a straight line with the nose and upper lip; rounded muzzle.

EARS: Moderately large, in proportion to the body, set fairly high and well apart; the inside edge of the ear is slightly angled to the outside with the outside edge fairly straight but not necessarily in line with the side of the face; wide at the base. Tips are slightly rounded. Insides should be well feathered.

EYES: Moderately large, a rounded aperture slightly drawn out at the corners, set at a slant, equidistant from the outside base of the ear to the tip of the nose. Eyes should be clear, alert and expressive.

BODY: moderately long, sturdy, broad, muscular and deep-chested. Mature males should exhibit marked muscular development in the neck and shoulders. The shoulders should be at least as broad as the head, and flow into the well-rounded ribcage and then into a muscular hip and pelvic area. Turkish Van males are substantially larger than females and exhibit much greater development.

LEGS AND FEET: Moderately long, muscular legs. They are set wide apart and taper to rounded moderately large feet. Legs and feet should be in proportion to the body. Toes, five in front, four behind.

TAIL: Long, but in proportion to the body, with a brush appearance. Tail hair length is keeping with the semi-long coat length.

COAT: Semi-long with a cashmere-like texture; soft to the roots with no trace of undercoat. Due to the extremes in climate of their native region, the breed carries two distinctive coat lengths and allowances must be made for the seasonal coat. The summer coat is short, conveying the appearance of a shorthair; the winter coat is substantially longer and thicker. There is feathering on the ears, legs, feet and belly. Facial fur is short. A frontal neck ruff and full brush tail become more pronounced with age. The above description is that of an adult, allowances must be made for short coats and tail hair on kittens and young adults.

COLOR and PATTERN: Van pattern only on glistening chalk-white body with colored markings confined to the head and tail is preferred. One or more random markings, up to color on 15% of the entire body (excluding the head and tail color), are permissible. Random markings should not be of a size or number to detract from the van pattern, making a specimen appear bi-color. A symmetrical pattern of head markings, divided by white up to at least the level of the front edge of the ears, is desirable.

PENALIZE: any evidence toward extremes (i.e. short cobbiness or svelte, fine-boning); greater than 20% white in the tail, flat profile.

DISQUALIFY: total absence of color in the area from eye level up to the back of the head or tail; definite nose break; genetic/skeletal defects such as flattened ribcage, kinked or abnormal tail, incorrect number of toes, crossed eyes. Color in excess of 15% of the entire body (excluding the head and tail color).

Turkish Van Colors

Eye color on all coat colors: amber, blue and odd-eyed. Eye color may fade with age.

Nose leather on all coat colors: pink.

Paw pads on all coat colors: pink is preferable but color spot(s) on paw pads acceptable due to the two colors in the pattern.

Solid and White Colors

RED: ranging from warm red to deep auburn, but should be one level shade, sound to the roots.

CREAM: one level shade of buff cream, sound to the roots.

BLACK: dense coal black, sound to the roots. Free of any tinge of rust on tips or smoke undercoat.

BLUE: one level tone of blue, sound to the roots.

Tabby and White Colors

Tabby markings are dense and clearly defined. How much of the tabby marking is seen is highly dependent on the size and placement of the head and body spots. A spot may be of a size that only ground color or only the tabby stripe is seen, thus there may not be enough color to determine whether the markings are classic or mackerel.

RED TABBY: ground color creamy red. Tabby markings range from warm red to deep auburn.

CREAM TABBY: ground color very pale cream. Tabby markings of buff cream sufficiently darker than the ground color to afford good contrast but remaining within the dilute range.

BROWN TABBY: ground color creamy beige. Tabby markings dense black.

BLUE TABBY: ground color pale bluish ivory. Tabby markings a deep blue affording a good contrast with ground color. Warm fawn or patina over the colored portions.

Parti-color and White Colors

TORTOISESHELL: black and red patches with tabby markings allowed in the red portion.

DILUTE TORTOISESHELL: blue and cream patches with tabby markings allowed in the cream portion.

BROWN PATCHED TABBY (torbie): brown tabby description with patches of red or red tabby.

BLUE PATCHED TABBY (dilute torbie): blue tabby description with patches of cream or cream tabby.

*Note: It is characteristic of the Turkish Van breed to carry tabby markings in the red/cream portions of the tortoiseshell colors.

OTVC (Other Turkish Van Colors): van pattern only – any other color and white (silver tabby, smokes, etc.) with the exception of those showing evidence of hybridization resulting from the Himalayan pattern (point restricted) and colors (chocolate, lilac, etc.).

Turkish Van Color Class Numbers

The following information is for reference purposes only and not an official part of the CFA Show Standard.

Turkish Van allowable outcross breeds: none.

Solid & White
(Black & White, Blue & White, Cream & White, Red & White)
3560 3561
Parti-color & White
(Blue Patched Tabby & White, Brown Patched Tabby & White, Tortoiseshell & White, Dilute Tortoiseshell & White)
-- 3585
Tabby & White
(Blue Tabby & White, Brown Tabby & White, Cream Tabby & White, Red Tabby & White)
3590 3591
All Other Turkish Van Colors
(van pattern only – any other color and white (silver tabby, smokes, etc.) with the exception of those showing evidence of hybridization resulting from the Himalayan pattern (point restricted) and colors (chocolate, lilac, etc.).
3500 3501
AOV None None
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