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About Us

Our Lines and Pedigrees

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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. today go back to the same original lines. Bringing in new cats from the historical area of occurrence who meet the standard for the breed on a periodic basis is necessary if the breed is to maintain its natural hybrid vigor. The Van cats are not limited to only the area around Lake Van in modern day Turkey but have been found in a more wide-spread area over the last century. In fact, as white cats are considered Turkey's national cat all of their breeding programs are geared towards producing white cats (of varying appearance and coat lengths) but with odd (e.g., in Eastern Turkey) or blue eyes (e.g., in Ankara). The Van Institute is now marketed as part of Turkey's tourism campaigns. As a result, van patterned cats are virtually non-existent in the same area where the gene responsible for their pattern is generally agreed to have been first documented.

While maintaining a diverse genetic base, you must take care to not dilute the fundamental characteristics of the breed or introduce undesired characteristics (such as deafness or long hair with undercoat) or changes in the structure of the cats (such as weak chins, loss of the swimmer's body, round heads, little ears). Introducing a cat without regard to its conformation and type, solely for the sake of genetic diversity is irresponsible. Introducing new bloodlines is necessary and important for the overall health of the breed. But, breeders must make the effort to acquire outcrosses and new bloodlines which meet the conformation and standard for the breed in their respective cat registries.

To work with the breed one needs to understand the standard and work towards preserving it rather than producing cats which may be attractive but do not meet the breed standard. Without dedicated breeders committed to breeding to the standard, the Turkish Van is in danger of becoming just another pretty van patterned (or in some registries, solid colored) cat. Introducing cats to expand the gene pool must be done carefully and to ensure that the breed remains a homozygous piebald, semi-long haired cat with that wonderously soft fur and strong muscular body; as it has historically and for over a half century is established breeding programs.

We started back in 1988 with three cats:

pinSantir Candy Kiss of Pairodocs, a tortie and white female
pinCelsha Baby Doc of Pairodocs, a red tabby and white male
pinCelsha Noko Marie of Pairodocs, a red tabby and white female

You will find these foundation cats back in the pedigrees of many of our cats. Of course, three cats does not make a breeding program. So over the years we have worked with other breeders to share new lines and expand the gene pool. We also brought in two imports from Turkey (Osman Bir and Elmas) in addition to a few imports from Europe.

Lamb Chop

"Lamb Chop"

We were fortunate to get an import that we named Osman Bir from a couple who kindly volunteered to bring cats back to the U.S. in an effort to help expand the gene pool. Bir is a brown tabby and white male who was one of a litter of five kittens born in Turkey; he along with his mother and siblings all came to the United States back in 1992.

More recently we brought another Turkish import into the United States. I believe this is the only Turkish cat brought in since Bir and his littermates. Elmas is a lovely black and white female.

A Turkish Van import from Turkey

Elmas

So if you are planning a trip to Turkey or surrounding countries and would like to bring back a cat for us, please let us know! :-)

pawbar

Categories in the "About Us" section:

ball Our breeding philosophy

ball Our experience with the Turkish Vans

ball The major lines we work with

ball Cat show results and successes

 

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