There are 74 cats living in the Hermitage, and it isn’t just because they perform a significant service for the state

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This museum is considered one of the biggest and oldest in the world. It was established by the request of Catherine the Great in 1754.

In the past, it was a structure with a personal collection of the leaders of the Russian Empire, yet the  following 100 years, its doors were opened so that everybody might see art objects.

Presently the Hermitage is famous outside of Russia and draws the attention of millions of tourists every year. Furthermore,  one of it’s attractive elements are cats.

And not two or three, but 74.The cats’ army amuses visitors, as well as assists with fighting pests.

When the palace turned into an exhibition hall, they decided to keep the felines, as it was important to save art objects. There were no felines in the Hermitage only from the most troublesome times for the city – the blockade and the post-war period.

In the 1950s, the rodent population began to grow, so the authorities brought  cats into  the museum.

Unfortunately, in Soviet times, no one cared about cats, yet in the 90s a program was launched, in which each cat  got food and veterinary care.

In 2007, the Hermitage started accepting wandering cats, and 4 years later they arranged a festival during which they gathered food and toys for cats.

74 cats living here have been spayed and are under the care of 4 employees. In the  museum’s territory there is a small veterinary office and a special kitchen for cats. The money for the care of creatures is mainly received from charitable foundations.

The Hermitage staff are also searching for kind families for their furry friends. For several cats they have already found new owners.

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