Photo: A kitten of the Armenian Van Cat breed.
The Van Cat is a breed of cat native to this town and named after it. The Van Cat is noted for its white fur, and having differently colored eyes.
The Van cat is considered a rare breed, one of the most beautiful and certainly the most unusual breeds of a cat ever known. Vans have a long history dating back to the earliest records of Van and ancestral Armenia. They are indigenous to the Van region in the heart of historic Armenia (present day Turkey), particularly to the city of Van, on Vana Lich (Van Lake in Armenian).
The cat is a natural breed, no human selection or cross-breeding has been used to establish the breed. They are also very unique, the only cats that are known to naturally swim. Vans are a bigger breed then other cats, with predominantly white fur. The Van cat’s eyes are always large with eyes of three types: both eyes amber, both eyes blue, or one amber and one blue. Most of the stories about the Van cat seem to be about the blue and amber color eyed cats, perhaps because their eyes seem more expressive.
“The Turkish Van (pronounced von) gets its name from Lake Van in eastern Turkey, but is actually an Armenian cat. Armenian people settled in the Lake Van region since the time of the Armenian Kingdom Of Urartu also known as the Kingdom of Van (860 B.C.) and revered this breed of cat.”
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