The International Cat Federation has barred cats bred from Russia and those belonging to exhibitors living in Russia from future competitions.
From boycotts to fundraisers, the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made ripples across global organisations and competitions.
Now, it has seeped into the feline kingdom, after the International Cat Federation banned cats with Russian owners, saying it was "shocked and horrified" by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement on its website, the federation – which is also known as FIFe after its French name, Federation Internationale Feline – that hosts cat parades and competitions across the globe said, “it cannot just witness these atrocities and do nothing.”
“No cat belonging to exhibitors living in Russia may be entered at any FIFe show outside Russia, regardless of which organisation these exhibitors hold their membership in.”
The restrictions will be in place until May 31.
Alongside establishing the new rules, FIFe intends to use some of its funds to assist Ukrainian cat breeders and fanciers, the federation shared.
“Our Ukrainian fellow feline fanciers are desperately trying to take care of their cats and other animals in these trying circumstances,” it wrote.
As Russian bombs rain down on Ukrainian cities, it has inflicted an additional challenge on those fleeing westward – taking their beloved pets with them. Emotive images of refugees with cat carriers or holding their cats and dogs in their arms have gone viral.
FIFe said members of its clubs in the bordering countries of Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova are "lending a helping hand to their Ukrainian breeder friends."
FIFe was first formed in 1949 and hosts over 700 shows each year, where more than 200,000 cats are exhibited.
The group, which calls itself the “United Nations of Cat Federations,” is the parent organisation for 42 groups that put on pageants, parades, and competitions for cats in 40 nations. It also hosts the annual World Cat Show, where cats compete in various categories according to breed.
The last event took place in Italy last October, and the next is set for this October in Belgium.
The FIFe ban is just one of many in a wave of bans, sanctions and boycotts placed on Russia over the last week.
On February 28, the International Olympic Committee executive board recommended a ban preventing Russian athletes from competing in this month’s Paralympics.
In addition, they urged “International Sports Federations and organisers of sports events worldwide to do everything in their power to ensure that no athlete or sports official [is] from Russia or Belarus”.
FIFA has also suspended Russian national teams from World Cup competition, including qualifying playoffs set to take place later this month.
A number of multinationals like Apple and Toyota, have either halted the sale of products or suspended operations in Russia.
Since the invasion began on February 24, Ukraine said an estimated 2,000 civilians have been killed.