Off the Leash Off the Leash

Over 65 Cats Guard Artwork at Russian Museum

By Vetstreet Aug 2, 2012 9:49PM

The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia contains over 3 million pieces of artwork. As you can imagine, security is taken quite seriously and the museum takes great measures to keep its treasures safe. In fact, over 65 cats live in the museum basement and help protect the precious art by catching pesky mice and rats.

According to a CBC news video most of the cats are rescued from the streets and the museum employs three people who work almost full-time feeding and pampering the cats.

A segment about the cats from the television show Museum Secrets  said cats have been an important part of the museum since the 18th century.

"They're not just mascots, they're really employees of the Hermitage and they play a very important role," says Irina Popovets, who spends six hours a day caring for the felines.



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Aug 3, 2012 4:03PM
Aug 3, 2012 2:15PM
Some of you making stupid comments should view the videos on here about the cats, they are well cared for, they don't mess the place up, they run about outside as well as inside the building, and some are even taken from there by people who want a cat, and are given a new home!
Aug 3, 2012 10:45AM
Great idea!  Instead of using ecologically unfriendly poisons/chemicals, they're using a natural, self-renewing, and relatively low maintenance solution.
Aug 3, 2012 7:50AM

what the difference of cat poop n rat poop , urine-  fleas- etc  anyone

clean up the food court n they be fine


Aug 3, 2012 7:46AM

if there aint no food then there aont no rats or mice??    if they serving food in there ????  board of health issues, let alone how many litter boxes that place must STINK ,   there a number of thuings wrong here.  glad i dont live in russia.  they must serve food for there to be all them rats but using cats to get rid of them is sick.  buebonic plauge anyone.  i have cats and i have mice when the rains comes but my cats play with the mice until they stop moving, i vacinate and keep up on there flea and tick meds ( Revolition) its 80+$ for 3 months for each heatrworm is included also in the treatment) i know they anit spending that there and 3 handlers for 65 cats noway  they would be going through tons of litter every week and if as if you all know the cats wont always use the litter box, and i strech this to any one who had an emergency that used any thing but a toilet.  cats will too

Aug 3, 2012 6:57AM
cheap fools, three ppl for 65+ cats, I am sure one person per shift, that is wrong... great idea, but hire more ppl
Aug 3, 2012 6:16AM
Maybe the museum should be re-named...Meowseum!!
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