The victim claims she could have been killed if her cat didn't save her Getty

A Turkish woman said her "heroic" cat Minnoş saved her from being raped by her own step-nephew.

The 20-year-old attacker, identified only as SB, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail for the attempted attack on the 18-year-old sister of his stepmother by a court in Diyarbakir, south-eastern Turkey.

"I was faced with a villain, a pervert. He could have killed me but my cat saved my life by attacking him. [Minnoş] is my hero," the woman, identified as HT, told Turkey's Hurriyet.

She said the cat had been given to her as a present by her now husband three years ago. "People say cats are ungrateful. But in fact it is people who are ungrateful. Animals are loyal. Minnoş sees me as her mother. She is worth the world to me and she will always be with us," HT added.

The woman's lawyer, Deniz Emine Kayar, said that the rape attempt only failed because Minnoş attacked the man. "The action was prevented because of the cat's attack. But it was evaluated by court as if the suspect voluntarily changed his mind. The cat was not taken into consideration before reaching a verdict," she said, calling for the attacker's sentence to be lengthened.