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[Endemic Animals]

VAN CAT      

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Van Cat would be the first breed that would come to mind, when talking about the cats special to Turkey. It is known by its friendliness, white and silky coat, walking like a lion, long and puffy tail like a fox, different eye colours and fondness for water. Van Cat is on the top of the list of the living beings in the world, which have not been hybridized and have preserved its purity.

It is unknown precisely when and how the Van cats had come to Anatolia, but they had conformed to the conditions of the region they live in as other living beings.

There is an interesting characteristic that distinguishes the Van cats from other cats. These cats love water and to swim. They especially like to swim in calm and shallow water.

One of the characteristics of the Van cats is the two different colours in their coat. This having two different colours is even known as a characteristic feature. These different colours exist in two different areas of their bodies which are the around the ears and tails. They can be rarely seen in other parts of their bodies.

The fur of the Van cat is thick; the hair is in normal length. They have the change of their fur hair in summer like other cats and their fur hair lessen in this period. Van cats are a little bigger than the other breeds. The body weight in males is average 3,5 kg, in females it is average 2,8 kg. Their bodies are long and muscled and their bones are big.

Van cats are frequently confused with Ankara cats because of their eyes and fur hairs. The colours of the eyes of the Van cats can be in three different groups: both eyes blue, both eyes amber colour or one eye blue, the other amber. The blue colour is always turquoise blue, but the amber colour shows many differences in tones.

In Van cats, the eyes of the kittens are in gray colour. The colours of the eyes of the kittens become to differ 25 days after the birth and they become certain after 40 days.

Van cats give birth to four kittens at one birth. There are generally one or two black points between the ears of kittens. Most of the kittens having two black points are single eyed. And this black point is like a stamp of the single eye cats. However, these black points disappear two months after the birth. And they sometimes exist as black hairs varying between 8 to 30.

The cats adopt the place rather than their owners. The difference of the Van cats is that they can adopt a new living place in 20 – 30 days.

Van cat, the symbol of the Van city, is inclined to training and a clean animal. To protect the Van cats that are decreasing, Van Governorship and Van Yuzuncu Yil University have worked together to build a Cat House. The world-renowned Van cats can be seen by visiting the Cat House within the university campus.