Russian people love pets very much, and it is common to have cats and dogs. Some people also keep pets birds or smaller pets such as rabbits. Some pets can be obtained very cheaply because many pet supply stores will give away kittens or rabbits in order to secure long term customers. Although dogs and more exotic pets are relatively expensive, it is very easy to get cats for free from shelters (such as Cats Claws http://cats.claws.ru/) and also very common among Muscovites to simply pick up one of the hundreds of wild kittens that appear in spring.
The biggest disadvantages for pets in Moscow are:
- Apartments and spaces are typically small. Large dogs that need a lot of exercise may need to be walked more often than usual.
- It’s not safe to let animals outside unaccompanied, (even in residential out-of-town compounds) because of a fairly strong prevalence of stray dogs, who can be aggressive to cats and other dogs, and the occasional use of rat poison.
- Comprehensive veterinary care is difficult to find, and you may not be able to secure the care and medications a medically fragile pet needs. However, basic procedures such as shots and standard procedures such as neutering are easily accessible and inexpensive. In fact, a vet will happily visit you at home and neuter your cat at home for as little as 2000 RUR.
If you keep in mind your pet’s needs when choosing accommodations, and are willing to make small adjustments to keep it safe and happy, Moscow can be a very welcoming place to a healthy pet! Almost all districts have one or more local parks where you can take your pet for regular walks, and many areas have designated (although not very well-maintained) dog parks.