These unusual cats get their name from Lake Van, in Turkey, where they have been kept as pets for hundreds of years.
They are popularly known as ‘swimming cats’, from their love of water. Even small kittens will go for a swim in a fast flowing stream, and cats suffering from a fever have been observed to sit down in a basin of water until their temperature is lowered.
If you are ever lucky enough to own a Van cat, treat it gently and never slap it for be sure if you do, it will slap back! However, Van cats become very devoted to their owners and spend a lot of time purring in a happy and contented way.
There is one thing that a Van cat will not do – unlike other cats – it will not catch mice!