The Turkish Van cat was developed from a native Turkish cat found in the region of Lake Van, in eastern Turkey. The cats became known to the public as “Swimming Cats” because of a report about their unusual behavior. The breed was developed in Britain by two cat enthusiasts Laura Lushington and Sonia Halliday.
The Turkish Van is a solidly built, semi-longhaired cat with a seasonal coat. The breed has an assertive temperament and affectionate nature with a remarkably long lifespan.
The Van Pattern, as seen in Turkish Van cats, consists of a white body with colored areas confined to the head and tail. The original, typical coloring of the extremities was auburn, but later other color forms have been developed. The officially accepted Van pattern is white with dark patches on the head and a dark tail.