A Turkish professor is claiming that powerful twin earthquakes that jolted the Turkish city of Van last October and November have effected the psychological state of the city's cats – making the animals suicidal.
"After the quake that jolted Van, a large number of cats are throwing themselves from heights," Professor Abuzer Tas of the Faculty of Veterinary Studies at Van's Century University told News.au.
"They are getting fidgety by remaining in confined areas for a long time," the professor said before adding that the cats were "throwing themselves out in order to free themselves."
"Psychological disorders could have formed among the cats as a result of the tremor," he added.
However, Dr. Cam Day, a veterinary behaviorist told the news website that the claims on behalf of the Turkish professor are impossible.
"Dogs and cats only live in the present and the past. They aren't able to mentally consider the future and plan their own destiny," Day told News.au. "They can't mentalise the concept; it's way too complex."
On Oct. 23, 2011 a powerful magnitude-7.1 earthquake hit the city of Van. The earthquake was followed by another tremor in November.
The earthquakes resulted in the deaths of 672 people and thousands sustained injuries. Furthermore, more than 2,000 buildings collapsed in the October earthquake alone, leaving thousands of people homeless in one of already the poorest regions in the country.
The southeastern region rocked by the earthquakes is primarily inhabited by Kurdish people, a minority group in Turkey that have for decades sought to have more autonomy within the Turkish state.