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Russian cats aren’t banned from all international competitions, just from one organization’s shows

The International Cat Federation is one of three major organizations that holds cat shows; it is the only one so far that has banned Russian cats.
Credit: AP
Julia Lazarets plays with her cat Gabriel, after fleeing Ukraine and arriving at the train station in Przemysl, Poland, Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

In late February, Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine. Thousands of people have been killed and more than 2 million have fled the country since Russian troops crossed into Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Since then, many companies have suspended their business dealings in Russia while international organizations have canceled Russian events or prevented Russians from participating entirely.

Viral social media posts claim these bans are now extending to Russian cats, who can no longer compete in international cat shows, stating “Russian felines are now banned from all international cat shows for the next three months.” On Google, people are searching “Russian cat ban” to learn about the sanctioned felines.

THE QUESTION

Are Russian cats banned from international competitions?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This needs context.

While one of the three major international cat organizations has banned cats belonging to Russian owners from its shows, the other two organizations still allow Russian cats to participate, as of March 10, 2022.

WHAT WE FOUND

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the International Cat Federation (FIFe) announced on March 1 two restrictions it would place on Russian cats. Its first restriction was that “no cat bred in Russia may be imported and registered in any FIFe pedigree book outside Russia.” The second restriction was that no cat belonging to a Russian may be entered into any FIFe show outside of Russia.

“The Board of FIFe feels it cannot just witness these atrocities and do nothing,” FIFe wrote in its statement.

FIFe is a federation of national cat organizations that holds cat shows and events around the world. Its  41 member organizations represent 39 countries, including Ukraine and Russia. Much of its membership is located in Europe and South America; there are no American organizations in FIFe.

The International Cat Association (TICA) is the world’s largest cat organization. Although it released a statement condemning the Russian government’s actions against Ukraine, it has not taken any action against cats or cat owners from Russia.

“Animals are forgotten victims of war,” TICA said in a March 3 statement. “They do not know war or conflict, and as many people have been displaced and forced to flee to safety with their cats, there is a need for shelter and emergency services.”

TICA has several associated clubs in the United States, as well as clubs in both Russia and Ukraine. TICA, like FIFe, runs its own cat shows, as well. As of March 10, 2022, TICA has a show scheduled to take place in Russia on April 23 and 24.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), which is also among the three major cat competition organizations, also has clubs in North America, Ukraine and Russia, as well as in other countries across the globe. It hasn’t made a statement on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as of March 10, 2022. A CFA show was scheduled to take place in Ukraine on March 19 and 20, but has been canceled.

More from VERIFY: Yes, Russia’s currency, the ruble, hit its weakest level in history against the U.S. dollar

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