YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The ongoing social-economic hardships in Armenia affect not only the people but their pets as well. The situation is extremely aggravated regarding rare species of pets which need special care–Violetta Gabrielian–the chairwoman of Aragil Club of Pet Lovers told Armenpress–expressing her concern regarding the fate of Turkish-Van cats that live in the area.
According to Gabrielian–there are only four Van cats in Armenia today–three males and one female which has lost its reproductive capability.
Club members cannot afford buying Van cats from Europe to prevent their full extinction in Armenia.
The Turkish-Van cat is a semi-longhaired cat distinguished by its unusual pattern: the cat is white except for a colored tail and head.
Vans are very independent–but affectionate. They tend to bond closely to their owners. They are social and remain active well into old age. Although they have the word "Turkish" in their name–they have nothing to do with modern Turkey and were developed as a breed in the nearby Armenian town of Van in the Western Armenia.
The breed was first brought into Europe from the Middle East by returning crusaders.