Our Breeding Philosophy
Our mission is to contribute to the maintenance
of the health, personality, and sustainability of the Turkish Van
as a breed. A breed is part history, part geography, and part vision.
It is very important to remember that the term 'van pattern' was named after the Turkish Van cat. That term was first coined by
Dick Gebhardt to denote the pattern in other breeds in honor of the cats who first sported the pattern.
So, the cat was not named for the pattern. Some newer breeders who are not knowledgable of the breed's history will sometimes
make this erroneous statement. Turkish Vans only produce van patterned offspring. While, as with any breed,
new colors and hairlengths can be introduced to appeal to a wider market, we believe this is detrimental to the
history and recognition of breed and its uniqueness.
Therefore, our breeding program remains true to the van patterned cats who were part of the
Armenian history, whose lovely pattern is the result of the piebald gene which
first occurred in what is modern-day eastern Turkey, and to the vision of Laura
Lushington and Sonia Halliday who first established these cats as a breed. To maintain the
breed as homozygous for the van pattern while maintaining the overall conformation for the breed,
we choose not to use shorthaired cats, solid colored, or white cats in our breeding program. If you are interested in
a solid colored or short haired cat from Turkey, we recommend you look for Turkish Angora or Anatolian breeders who
specialize in those breeds.
We agree with the recently issued statement from the European registry WFU which states:
"Soon in some clubs and also in the parent organizations the Turkish Van in the variety of "white" will be judged/recognized. The WFU does not recognize this variety. The Turkish Van was so named on the basis of its unique markings and its area of origin, and has found its own standard and established itself within the array of purebred cats. It differs distinctly from the Turkish Angora and the Anatolian. Were the white color variety to be added to the Turkish Van and recognized, a clear difference would be impossible. This leads to inconsistencies, uncertainties, and confusion and cannot be accepted, as it consistutes a giant step backwards in breeding efforts and it will open the door and gate to the mixing of the three Turkish breeds. Responsible breeders should see these facts quite plainly and not create a new mess of things; rather, they should dedicate themselves to the breeding and maintaining of the different breeds as separate, instead of to producing hybrid breeds with which the typical features of the respective breed are no longer recognizable."
In addition to maintaining the genetic integrity of the breed, our first priority is to produce happy, healthy, and well socialized cats. We raise our cats underfoot and not confined to cages. Because we spend a lot of time with our cats and raising the kittens, we have a limited number of litters in any given year. Our focus is on quality and not quantity, so we do not always have kittens available. Because we have been working with the Turkish Vans for so long, we have an extensive knowledge of pedigrees and work to maintain the genetic diversity of the cats we produce.
Maintaining a diverse gene pool is crucial to the long term sustenance of any breed. We maintain an extensive pedigree database available to help others who are serious about the breed to make informed decisions about future breedings. If you look closely at their pedigrees, many of the Turkish Vans in the U. S. (and Europe) today go back to the same basic lines. Bringing in new cats from Turkey on a regular basis is necessary if the breed is to maintain its natural hybrid vigor.
Categories in the "About Us" section:
Our breeding philosophy
Our experience with the Turkish Vans
The major lines we work with
Cat show results and successes
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