Caravanserai Turkish Van Cats
The Swimming Cats
Pat Chapman, Breeder
Matabiru Lady MacBeth
A SWIMMING CAT
owned by Barbara and Jack Reark
Photo by Jack Reark
Ada, an odd eyed red tabby and white girl born 2 November 2008
Photo by Pat Chapman
My ex-husband, John Chapman, and I were both stationed in Turkey in the mid 1980s and
in love with the country. Ten years after returning to the states, we learned about
a breed of swimming cats that originated in the Lake Van district of eastern Turkey.
I handed John a CATS USA article entitled "Rare Breeds" that featured these
unique cats and, upon reading it, he announced, "We were going to show, breed
and promote TURKISH VANS!" We have learned a lot since then!
Grand Champion, Breed Winner, Regional Winner Caravanserai Mehmet
CFA's National Best of Breed TURKISH VAN 1999-2000
Gulf Shore Region's 17th Best Cat in Championship
Turkish Vans were brought into the U.S. in the mid-80s by Barbara Reark and her
husband, Jack. They began the process of getting the breed accepted for show by
the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), but had limited success. One of their
Deb Hayes, accepted task and, with the help of other dedicated exhibitors like
Karen Hooker, Mac Westbury, Debbie Rexelle, Ann & Charles Van Brunt, Dusty
Rainbolt and Weems Hutto, got the breed accepted for Championship status in 1994.
Grand Premier, Regional Winner Caravanserai Mustafa Cihangir
Gulf Shore Region's 8th Best Cat in Premiership 1999-2000
Red Tabby & White Turkish Van Cat
Exhibiting traits common among human Turks, the Vans are independent, loyal
cats. They usually bond strongly with one person in the household and are that
person's friend for life. In their native region, turkish van kittens were taught to
swim by their mothers. The change in life-style from free roaming outdoor cats
to indoor cats has drastically reduced the number of kittens who learn to swim,
although they retain a strong fascination of water.
Grand Premier Caravanserai Tye Omar O Mye
The Lake Van district of Turkey these cats developed in is a mountainous
region that receives snow in the winter and 100 degree temperatures in the
summer. As a result, the breed has heavy boning and muscular shoulders.
Many have two distinctive coat: a long, thick winter coat; and a thinner, short
summer coat. Both coats have a rabbit-soft texture that is delightful to touch.
Grand Premier Caravanserai Ibn Erhan with a visitor.
Grand Premier Caravanserai Kasim has retired from show life and now
lives in Kent, WA with his brother, Grand Premier Caravanserai Karim.
Grand Premier, Regional Winners Caravanserai Baklava.
Gulf Shore Region's 22nd Best Cat in Premiership for
the 2004 - 2005 show season.
If you would like to learn more about the breed, about showing cats,
or adopting a Van please e-mail us at
or call (210) 602 - 2571. No calls before 10 am or after 11 pm CT.
BE SURE TO INCLUDE A CONTACT PHONE NUMBER AND MAILING ADDRESS.
IF YOU USE AOL, BE SURE TO ADD ME TO YOUR ADDRESS BOOK SO MY
REPLY DOES NOT BOUNCE.
A word of caution to the novice exhibitors and buyers: Some breeders
as co-owners even on cats they sell for full price. Ask the breeder who will be listed on
the cat's registration papers. If the breeder insists on co-ownership, find another breeder.
© 1999 Weems Hutto
GC Wishnwhisker Selim of Caravanserai and CH Pekivanokie Kadin of
produced this beautiful group of mischief makers. Thanks to the talented photography
of my friend, Weems Hutto, I am able to share them with you here.
My turkish vans are born in the nursery, which also doubles as my master bathroom.
I work at home which ensures they are handled frequently. I believe this is the key to
raising cats that are well socialized. I have had the occasional Swimming Cat in the tub
with me, usually because a littermate jostled them in.
If you would be interested in a retired show cat, please e-mail us.
or call (210) 602 - 2571
"He said this would be fun!!!!"
"Glad that is over!"
Casja with hers and Jenny's first litters, born June 15th/16th.
Casja with hers and Jenny's week old kittens.
Website content © 1999-2009 P.S. Chapman
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CARAVANSERAI TURKISH VANS, THE SWIMMING CATS.
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