Categories: community cats

Stray cats in Russia die trapped in apartment building basements

It is nice to find some information about stray and feral cats in Russia. I bumped into it. I have learned that stray and feral cats find shelter in the basement of apartment buildings. They crawl through the air vents. I not sure why the vents are open but it did not take me long to find an apartment block with a basement vent that had been broken open.

Russian apartment block. Photo in public domain.

Perhaps the basements are used for storage or illegally and the vents are made larger to protect the stuff stored there (to stop it becoming damp). The Times newspaper tells us that council workers then close up the vents and are reluctant to open them when, I presume, they are told that cats are trapped. Why do they block the vents?

This dire state of affairs and blatant cat cruelty has been tackled by a man called the Catman. He works with other rescue workers and his name is Igor. He works in Moscow at night to avoid detection by the police.

Recently Russia’s parliament ruled that basements must be kept open year round to allow stray cats shelter during the harsh winters and freedom of movement in an out of their basement home.

Russians like their cats but it seems that they have the same problems with stray and feral cats as found in the West. Human apartment dwelling is more common in Russia than many other countries because during the communist era the state provided the housing and costs had to kept down. This information tells me that it is likely that there are more indoor cats in Russia than other countries except for America. But I can’t conform it using Google search. It brings up nothing on the indoor cats of Russia proving how hard it is to find cat information from Russia.

I would also speculate that the lives of feral cats in Russia are shorter than in Italy or Israel because a good percentage must die of exposure in the wikedly cold winters. In Moscow, the temperature during December is from -5 degrees Celsius to -10° Celsius. This is 14° Fahrenheit. Freezing point is 32°F. It’ll be colder in Siberia.


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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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  • I wouldn't trust most of what little information we can get from within about Russia. The government controlled country has a sinister and deceptive relationship with the truth. Anything "good" we might hear is at risk of being coopted or perpetrated by the government to curry good will amongst people to subvert or exploit our better nature for government purposes. If it's true that there's a policy of helping companion cats there, great, but it's genesis is likely the people, not the government which is mostly about power and it's rich oligarchs.

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