The Turkish Van and the Turkish Angora
by Lisa James
Turkish Angora - CFA GC Folie A Deux Bi & Large of Grimoire, AKA Beanie Baby
The Turkish Van & the Turkish Angora are both native Turkish breeds as presented in your history, yes, BUT, there the resemblance stops. The 2 breeds are NOT related, as they originated in different "pockets" of place, & as such, are completely unrelated breeds. The Turkish Van (TV) originated in the Lake Van region, & are the ones known as the "swimming cats", not the Turkish Angora (TA). This breed originated in the mountainous area of Ankara, which is where their name came from.
In looks & build, they are completely different. The T Van is built more like a football player, in relative terms that are easier to understand. They are a heavier built, heavier boned, more moderate looking cat with a heavier coat. They come in one pattern, the Van. The TA is built like a ballet dancer. Their bodies are long, slender, elegant, finely boned, & lighter coated. Their beautiful, upright, tall ears are their hallmark feature.
They come traditionally in white, yes, & the eyes in a white can be blue, odd eyed, green, amber, or now a new recognized color of green-gold. Deafness can be found in any eye flavor of white, but breeders are trying hard to decrease the amount of deafness in the breed. They can be found in any color/pattern under the sun except for pointed, self chocolate, & self lilac, which is felt widely to be evidence of hybridization of the breed, most likely with Oriental Longhairs.
However, in Europe, the pointed & pointed/white Turks are gaining in favor, & there are breeders working with points. These cats are not recognized or registered in CFA, I don't know if TICA or ACFA will recognize them or register them.
There are still 2 "styles" if you will, of the TA. In most of Europe, the "old style" or "zoo style" TA is still prevalent. These cats tend to be heavier all the way around, with heavier coats, shorter ears, & stockier boned, but never coarse or bulky.
The solid blue cat & the poorly groomed white cat in your current photos are good examples of the European style of TA. Shafira, which is the CORRECT spelling of the name of the cat that you have listed as Saphira & Nightingale are excellent examples of the American style of Turkish Angora, which exemplify the ballet dancer picture in the mind.
Nightingale lives with us now & has given us her last litter of 4 lovely little girls to carry on after her. She was spayed about a month ago, & may compete in the Premiership classes, which are classes for spayed & neutered cats. They achieve the equivalents of the same titles that intact cats do.
We breed & show Turkish Angoras here in Florida under the cattery name of Grimoire (see link below). We are striving for that ballet dancer look with each generation. Our first CFA Grand is the beautiful blue-silver mctabby & white female shown here. Please feel free to visit with us at our home on the web at
Grimoire Turkish Angora Cats (link opens in a new window)