Newsday Tuesday – The Cats of Russia

Russia is said to have the highest cat ownership in the world—57 percent of the population there have cats. The ownership of cats in the US is at around 43 percent—depending on where you locate your statistics. I thought Japan was a world leader in cat ownership. They have so many cats there and so many innovative ways to honor the cat and to help find them homes. That’s where the cat café originated. They also have a cat train, where you can play with cats while traveling to your destination.

Sadly, along with a large interest in cat ownership comes a higher instance of cat neglect and irresponsibility, thus Russia has a huge stray cat population. They are starting to remedy the problem, however, at the parliament level. In 2020 they ordered all apartment buildings in some cities to provide access to the basement for small animals, including cats during the harsh winter months. There are areas where this law, which comes with penalties if broken, does not apply, so a group of mostly women have taken it upon themselves to act on behalf of the stray cats in those areas.

In Moscow, there’s at least one group of women taking responsibility for stray cats and, evidently, making a difference for many of them. Here’s that story:

As an aside, some of the most interesting and beautiful cats in the world come from Russia, the Pallas cat, the endangered Amur or Siberian tiger, the snow leopard, and the Eurasian lynx, for example. As for domesticated cats, there’s the Russian blue, the Siberian and the Donskoy Sphynx and others.


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