Lets remind ourselves what the Moscow Cat Theatre does. Here is a photo and two videos:

Here is one on YouTube:

OK it’s a kind of cat circus. Now the thing about this unique organisation is what about the cats? And we don’t want to get politically correct or subjective when assessing this theatre.

But although it is very entertaining and the children love it, by the look of it, is it fair on the cats? The consensus is that it probably is fine on the cats, judging by the YouTube comments that accompany the above video.

PETA would object. Some people think PETA are a bunch of crazies. I don’t as it happens. They just have a viewpoint that seems alien to most people because most people have become very distanced from nature (see Nature Blindness).

I read that the founder of the Moscow Cat Theatre, Yuri Kuklachev,  says two things that encourage me to believe that the cats are well treated:

  • he says cats can’t be trained and that they will do what they want to do. I get the point but clearly cats are being trained to do certain tricks and cats can be trained but not as well as or as easily as dogs for example. This would suggest, though, that the training is not severe and detrimental to the cats.
  • Yuri rescues some cats from the streets, it is said, to perform on his show(moscow.info). That is very encouraging to hear and is obviously of benefit to cats generally.

All that said there are bound to be some accidents, surely. And there may be some injuries. I am guessing.

The show is mainly for children and there is plenty of audience participation. The videos show a fairly unstructured show, which probably has to be the case because the cats won’t always do as they have been trained.

It takes place at the same address in Moscow, as I understand it, plus the show tours worldwide. These cats must be good travellers. As there are 120 cats it would seem to be a logistics nightmare to travel abroad on tour. I know it was in London about 2 years ago. The address in Moscow of the Moscow Cat Theatre is: 25 Kutuzovsky Prospekt, Moscow, 121151, Russia. Here is a map of the location of the theatre and the nearest underground. There are buses too.:

From Moscow Cat Theatre to Home Page

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Moscow Cat Theatre

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Feb 22, 2011
by: Anonymous

whats disgusting about it ??!

Apr 10, 2010
Boycott the Moscow Cat Circus in your Country
by: Anonymous

It is truly unbelievable that we have entered a new millennium and a new decade with animal circuses like these still going on. Please join our Facebook group and help stop this digusting circus once and for all:

Oct 02, 2009
Mixed emotions
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

I have mixed emotions about this.
I’ve always enjoyed circus – including the animals. Domesticated animals that is, because for many years wild lions and tigers have been banned from cirkus here in Denmark. And good riddance to their crammed cages!
But I have no problem with a magician having pidgeons and parrots on stage – or a circus act involving trained dogs.
Contrary to what many think, cats also can be trained to do tricks, when rewarded properly and per se I would have no problem with them in a circus – like e.g. a clown performing with his own, favourite cat.
But I also share Michaels concerns about the well being of these cats. Keeping 120 cats in one circus boarder on cat hoarding…

Oct 01, 2009
by: Michael

In think that the comments of both Ruth and Barbara are very good ones and thank you. It is so useful to get your thoughts on these subjects.

I think the Moscow Cat Theatre is basically wrong in the same way circuses with animals is wrong. Also we really don’t know how the cats are treated. Even with the best of intentions, with 120 cats in a commercial environment where money is the motivator I can foresee problems of cat care occurring. This is not to say it happens. Just that the circumstances might encourage some mistreatment or not the best treatment.

Oct 01, 2009
I don’t like it
by: Barbara

I watched both the videos and although some of the cats seemed to be enjoying it I thought the humans were quite rough with them, bundling them up in their arms and throwing them around, particularly in the 2nd video when the cats jumped on the table. The final insult was seeing a cat dressed in a long dress in the 2nd video. It’s demeaning to these beautiful creatures. All praise to the man for rescuing cats off the streets but in my opinion they shouldn’t have to pay for their keep in this way.I wouldn’t want to go and see this or allow a child of mine to see it.
One plus is that they obviously need their claws for clinging on to human clothes and various props so at least they are spared that indignity

Oct 01, 2009
Poor cats
by: Ruth aka Kattaddorra

It was too upsetting to me to watch the videos.Cats are such dignified creatures and shouldn’t be forced to perform to entertain children.What worries me too is those children are probably going home to their own cats and ‘teaching’ them some tricks !
Cats are free spirits and I hate to see them used like this !

Oct 01, 2009
Moscow Cat theatre
by: Rudolph.A.furtado

“FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE” – Cats are the most difficult and almost impossible pets to train for tricks, hence never seen in circuses, unlike dogs. The Russians hold a “PATENT” on this unique “Cat Circus”. The mascot cat on Yuri’s shoulder is an exact duplicate of my feline “Matahari”. Touche!

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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