Breed Characteristics:Affectionate with Family3More info +Some cat breeds are typically independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since kittenhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; cats who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily. See Cats Less Affectionate with FamilyAmount of Shedding2More info +If you’re going to share your home with a cat, you’ll need to deal with some level of cat hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary among the breeds. If you’re a neatnik you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed, or relax your standards. See Cats with Low Amount of SheddingGeneral Health4More info +Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems. This doesn’t mean that every cat of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk. If you’re looking only for purebred cats or kittens, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. See Cats Prone to Health ProblemsPotential for Playfulness4More info +Some cats are perpetual kittens — full of energy and mischief — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful kitten sounds endearing, consider how many games of chase the mouse-toy you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other animals who can stand in as playmates. See Cats with Low Potential for PlayfulnessKid Friendly3More info +Being tolerant of children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a nonchalant attitude toward running, screaming youngsters are all traits that make a kid-friendly cat. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual cat will behave; cats from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences and personality. See Least Kit Friendly CatsFriendly Toward Strangers2More info +Stranger-friendly cats will greet guests with a curious glance or a playful approach; others are shy or indifferent, perhaps even hiding under furniture or skedaddling to another room. However, no matter what the breed, a cat who was exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a kitten will respond better to strangers as an adult. See Cats Shy Toward StrangersEasy to Groom4More info +Some breeds require very little in the way of grooming; others require regular brushing to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a cat that needs daily brushing. See Cats That Need to GroomIntelligence5More info +Some cat breeds are reputed smarter than others. But all cats, if deprived the mental stimulation they need, will make their own busy work. Interactive cat toys are a good way to give a cat a brain workout and keep him out of mischief. See Cats with Less IntelligencePet Friendly3More info +Friendliness toward other household animals and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some cats are more likely than others to be accepting of other pets in the home. See Least Pet Friendly Cats
Known as the swimming cat for his propensity to play in bodies of water—or at least to enjoy splashing his paws in it—the Turkish Van is an ancient breed thought to have originated in the Lake Van area of Turkey. The mountainous and rugged landscape and cold climate of the region no doubt contributed to the development of the Van’s cashmere-like coat and solidly built body.The Turkish Van is a natural breed and has probably existed in his homeland for centuries. Legend has it that he swam ashore from Noah’s ark, which tradition says landed on Mount Ararat in Turkey, not far from Lake Van.How did the Van come by his spots of color? Both Jewish and Islamic tradition say that the cats were the recipients of a divine touch that imparted color to their formerly white coat. On the ark, a door slammed on the cat’s tail, turning it red, and God reached out and touched the cat on the head, leaving a spot where his hand rested. In the Islamic version, Allah touched the cat on the back, and the spot that is sometimes seen on a Turkish Van’s back is known as the thumbprint of Allah.However he came to be, the Van has been attractive to many of Turkey’s invaders and visitors over the years. At least a few probably made their way to Europe as “souvenirs” in the past millennium.It wasn’t until the 1970s, though, that a Turkish Van was first brought to the United States. The International Cat Association recognized the breed in 1985, and the Cat Fanciers Association began registering it in 1988. In Turkey, the cats are considered national treasures, and their preservation is overseen by the Turkish College of Agriculture and the Ankara Zoo.
You might think that the Turkish Van is a white cat with patches of color, but genetically you would be wrong. He is, in fact, a colored cat with very large patches of white, a pattern caused by the piebald white spotting gene. The result is a cat whose body is mostly white, with colored markings on the head and tail. He may also have random spots of color on the body and legs. This type of coloring is sometimes seen in other breeds and is known as the Van pattern.Colors seen in the breed include red, cream, black, blue, tabby in red, cream, brown and blue, and various shades of tortoiseshell. Nose leather is pink, as are paw pads, although they can sometimes have color spots.The Turkish Van has a broad, wedge-shaped head with a rounded muzzle, moderately large ears with slightly rounded tips, and moderately large rounded eyes that can be blue, amber, or one of each color. As befits a cat who was formed to survive in a rugged landscape and climate, he has a strong, powerful body with a broad chest and shoulders and long, muscular legs. Males are much larger and more muscular than females.Keeping the Turkish Van cozy is a soft, semi-long single coat with feathering (longer hair) on the ears, legs, feet and belly, a ruff around the neck, and a fully plumed tail. Kittens and young adults have a less developed coat than mature adults. The coat doesn’t achieve its full length until the cat is at least two years old. In summer the coat is short, but it becomes substantially longer and thicker in winter.This is a large breed; they can take three to five years to reach their full size.
And that’s what we’ll be focusing on in this article: orange cat breeds. As ginger as the regular tabby is, a tabby cat is not a cat breed so he won’t be included in this list (sorry, tabby, we love you anyway!). Instead, all the orange cat breeds you’ll find here belong to a recognized cat breed.
In the late 1950s, the Persian was used as an outcross by some American Shorthair (ASH) breeders. This was done in secret in order to improve their body type, and crosses were also made with the Russian Blue and the Burmese. The crossbreed look gained recognition in the show ring, but unhappy American Shorthair breeders successfully produced a new breed standard that would disqualify ASH that showed signs of crossbreeding. One ASH breeder who saw the potential of the Persian/ASH cross proposed and eventually managed to get the Cat Fanciers’ Association judge and American Shorthair breeder Jane Martinke to recognize them as a new breed in 1966, under the name Exotic Shorthair. Since 1987, the CFA closed the Exotic to shorthair outcrosses, leaving Persian as the only allowable outcross breed.
When he is properly socialized in kittenhood, this is a social and affectionate cat who is strongly attached to members of his family, although he may choose one or two as his favorites. He is highly active and athletic, remaining playful into his senior years. Athletic doesn’t mean graceful, however. The Van is big and ungainly; this is one cat who doesn’t always land on his feet.Turkish Vans are highly intelligent and can learn tricks and games, including playing fetch. They like teaser toys that allow them to mimic pouncing on prey. And if you can’t find your Van, look up; he is probably perched overhead, as high as he can get. Don’t put anything on display that is easily broken; the Van has a wicked sense of humor and may enjoy pushing items off a shelf just to see what happens. Or sometimes he’s just clumsy.The Van may or may not be a good traveler. Trips to the veterinarian often involve the cat vomiting, peeing or pooping in the car. If you like to RV or take road trips with your cat, ask the breeder if cats in her line are prone to carsickness.The Van’s love of water can lead him into trouble. Put down toilet seats and cover swimming pools and spas if you aren’t there to supervise his aquatic excursions. And resign yourself to finding your faucets dripping. He can easily learn to turn them on so he can drink from them or play in the sink. It’s not unusual for a Van to simply enjoy lying in water, especially during hot weather.A Van dislikes being held or restrained, and it is a rule at cat shows that the cats are displayed on the table instead of being held up in the air. Most notably, if you are ever unsure of how a Van is feeling, pay attention to his Vanometer. That pretty shell-pink nose will start to turn red if your Turkish Van is upset. If his nose shading from pink to crimson, heed the warning and leave him alone.He’s not much of a lap cat, but the Van will be happy to cuddle next to you and sleep in your bed. He will also give firm direction as to the proper way to pet him.