Categories: Turkish Van

Harvey’s 37 Cats in North Cyprus


We are in Northern (Turkish) Cyprus (see map for location) today to have a look at some of Harvey Harrison’s 37 cats. Yes, he cares for 37 cats. That puts him in the top rank of cat carekers. No wonder he knows a lot about cats, especially Turkish Angoras. Dee, in Florida, sounds as if she cares for a similar number. Harvey is a regular contributor to PoC, as is Dee. Harvey owns the Angorarama Cattery, Mersin 10, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

North Cyprus Map – modified Wikimedia map.

Firstly, I’d like to mention that it is important to me that PoC shows off cats from around the world. Websites can be accessed by almost anyone, anywhere. They should contain information and stories about cats everywhere and not be limited to Europe and the USA. Thank you Harvey for letting me create this page.

We know that Turkey is an important country in the world of cats because one of the founding domestic cats is the Turkish Angora. There is a woolly demarcation between two famous Turkish cat breeds: Turkish Angora and Turkish Vans. The Angora is the better know of the two. Are all 37 of Harvey’s cats Turkish Angoras? I reckon they are. Are all cats in Turkey either Angoras or Vans? I hope that Harvey will leave a comment on that.

This is what Harvey says about his cats in response to my question, “how many cats do you care for?”

Harvey On His Cats

I have a video of my cats and kittens in my bedroom when they were at the growing up stage when socialisation is important.

I am a long way short of 600 [the number a Turkish lady keeps] but still I have too many. That conclusion is arrived at on account of not having much time left over for anything else.  In total I have 37 cats.

However 8 live outside permanently and 7 are inside outside cats. 3 including my valuable Minos live in an outside enclosed patio, and there are 5 smelly toms in a purpose-built cattery with A/C.  The cattery also houses Chulita my white short haired Anatolian with her neutered male kitten Arkos.

Arkos is better off inside permanently because he is over-excitable and soon gets into trouble.  The first time I tried him outside he fell half-way down the side of a shallow ravine and I had to rescue him at some risk to myself. He is unhappy by himself but both he and his mother are clearly very happy together.

Interestingly the permanent outsiders rarely wander far and are usually within a short distance of the house.  They have around 2,000 m2 of my own garden to romp around plus perhaps several square kilometres of olive and orange groves, bushes, woodlands,  etc. (see photo)  They are obviously satisfied with being close to home.

The general area around my house where my cats are free to explore but mostly prefer not to!

The remainder of the cats are inside the house distributed and separated according to a well-worked out plan. Needless to say these are the cats that have clean habits and get along well together. The house is 322 m2 so there is plenty of space for some cats.

Inside the house there are 3 intact tom-cats.  Two of them are inside outsiders, but none of them mark their territory and only use their litter boxes.  The 3rd tom, Karan (see photo), can only survive inside the house because he panics when he gets even just a short distance from his usual domain which is the kitchen. Recently he has been showing a little interest in the outside,  just peeking out and I hope one day he will be confident enough to at least spend some time on the kitchen terrace.  He is very affectionate and although highly strung is very nice with the other cats. This is a photo of him:

Two of my Angoras are booked to go to France on Oct 25th so that will be a little help.  Orkide, probably my best ever Turkish Van kitten went recently to her for-ever home.  Her mother Fatima never noticed!

….most of my indoors cats show no interest at all in going outside even with a door or window left open. This is just as well because my beautiful white cats would soon be snapped up by Turkish Angora/Van lovers.”

Note: Thanks again Harvey for telling us about your cats in Northern Cyprus. If you want me to change or add something, just say…Michael

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • Next year, 2018, The Veterinary Society of Turkey will hold a conference in Ankara. I am invited as a guest speaker to address the vexed matter of the western cat fancy's appropriation of the terms Turkish Angora and Turkish Van for cats which are not true examples of the originals. May I use the term falsification? The President of the society has already visited me and my cats and the interviews and photos will be later aired on IzTV Turkish TV channel. The portrayal of Cyprus cats as a unique breed within the Mediterranean to concoct the new fake breed Aphrodite when in fact they are genetically identical to Turkish cats, will also be addressed. The cat fancy is not going to get away with their shenanigans.

  • @Michael Haigh. Sorry i didn't see your post, or more likely did not get any notification. My concern is the conservation of the genetically pure "Vangoras" of the E Mediterranean/Anatolian grouping in the face of widespread falsification. Introducing new cats from unknown sources would be counter-productive no matter how nice. But of course the other problem is that I have too many already!. It shouldn't be difficult to find homes for your cats.

  • Hi Harvey,
    We have three pure white kittens two femails and one male who appears to be a pure Van Cat with one blue eye and one amber eye. We have a number of other cats and this present litter of five is just too many for us.My question is, would you be interested in having any - or all of them - or know of any person who might be interested in having any. We are arranging for all of this litter, born April 14th, to be neutered about the middle of October.

    Regards, Michael

  • What a lovely place to live and what beautiful cats!
    It must be a full time job caring for them all, I didn't realise you had as many cats either.

  • Harvey your cats are wonderful I love the picture of the Red and White kittens they really do look like a picture of health. Their territory looks fantastic all that land to explore I'll bet you have a game getting them to come in I know I have enough with getting one cat in never mind 37!!

  • Ankara Kedisi Derneği Michael explained it pretty well, but from my point of view I don't want to be accused of only being concerned with Turkish Angoras because most if not all cat people are convinced that there is the Turkish Van as well as the Angora. If I ask Agneta or any other "Van" breeder about their Angoras when they know them as Vans, they would just answer that they have no Angoras. End of conversation and no information given. One has to be practical and use the terms that have meaning to the person asked.
    As a matter of fact there is a "Turkish Van" that is different from the Anatolian Turkish Angora, and that is the cat fancy "Van", and also the cat fancy Turkish Angora for that matter.. You know what happens when we try to explain that to breeders.

  • The Turkish Angora cat conservation program in Ankara Zoo is a shame. White, deaf inbred cats, kept under terrible conditions. It would be better if this place would be closed. Sorry, but it's truth.

    • @Dee. Just a short comment on your posting of August 26, 2013. I have difficulty with the term breed when referring to the original Turkish Angora and Turkish Van. They are not bred by anyone. They are the product of nature and are the free-roaming, free-breeding cats of the E Mediterranean and Anatolia. The troubles began when the cat fancy got their hands on them and immediately started inbreeding and out-crossing so that there is little or no relationship between the cats of Turkey and the cat fancy "Turkish cats", the latter now having lost their natural robust health. Please don't confuse me with cat fancy breeders. A more applicable and accurate term would be conservationist.

    • I would like you to explain - in your words - why the Turkish Angora and the Turkish Van are the same cat and how one cat became two cats because of the cat fancy in the West.

      If you have time please tell me. I can do it but it would not be as good as yours.

      • Hi, Michael!

        I think it's a brilliant idea. I always wanted to write about this. Give me some little time and I can prepare a nice article on this topic :)

        • Great. You are the world's best qualified person to write it. It will be a definitive article and no cat breeder in the West will be able to argue against it.

  • Congratulations Harvey Harrison. Great article that gives us insight how you and your cats live in North Cyprus.

    But one thing made us very sad.

    Michael you still ask: ''Are all cats in Turkey either Angoras or Vans?'' And then Harvey writes: ''Cyprus who cannot get it into their heads that a respectable proportion of those cats they regularly sweep up in the spaying and neutering campaigns are valuable and protected Turkish Angoras and Turkish Vans'' Turkish and Turkish Angoras like two different breeds.

    Harvey! You more than anybody else KNOW that Van is the same Angora. Even the DNA sample you sent ALL turned out Angoras. But you still continue mentioning Vans. I know you sell and register some of your Angoras as Vans and show them as such in cat shows. But let's be honest and do not mislead the people please! Please know, you are not helping for the Angoras case making a separate cat with name ''Van''!

    Ankara city is not likely a place where Angoras originated. Ankara does not have many examples of longhair cats in general the biggest population of Angoras are seen in Aegean coast and Istanbul. I recommend to look for the Angora cats there and don't bother with Ankara. I myself rescued a couple of beautiful Angoras from Izmir. One of them fits to Van stereotype very well, she loves water, but we never had a thought it's Van. All longhair cats in Turkey with Van pattern or not are Angoras!

    Kind Regards

    • You more than anybody else KNOW that Van is the same Angora

      Yes...I am pleased you raised that point. I have always said that Angoras are Vans. But I have to play safe when writing about them because it is a messed up area in the West. As you know people are convinced they are different cats in the West. The cat associations have made them different cats in the West.

      I am sorry you were sad about it. I'll see if I can do an article on that subject to make the point clear.

      I wrote this article years ago. It is pretty crude but the question is a good one:

      Was the Turkish Angora and Turkish Van the same cat?

  • Hi Rudolph. It also amazes me that the cats behave so well. I was pleased to see that when the 2 new Van patterned young toms went outside for the first time and met the outside gang of very big intact toms that absolutely nothing happened. That continues to this day. The Summers are very hot and the temperature in Winter can drop to zero. I have photos of snow and hail in Cyprus.
    A better bet would be to visit Ankara. That is where the Turkish Angora cat conservation program is located. You can also see Angoras in the streets of Ankara. Other places of interest would be the Marmaris Rescue centre run by Jean Thirkill. There seem to be a lot of good Angoras in Izmir too but great cats can be found all over Turkey.

  • Hi Barbara. Thank you for your kind comments. The little one is called Sorpresa (Surprise) because she is an unplanned baby on account of one of her mother's lightening fast escapes and frolic with another visitor a pure-white short haired Turkish Van usually referred-to as an Anatolian. She is very long-haired with a super bushy tail even in summer despite having a SH'd dad. She is lively and plays a bit rough but also affectionate. The "wild" dad, Kars, is now a permanent fixture outside the kitchen and hardly ever goes away for walkabouts now. When newly arrived he had no idea what stroking or petting was all about and acted defensively (see photo) but he is perfectly domesticated and gentle now and is mates with the other toms. Another great cat rescued from the surgeon's knife.

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