Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

Putin Cuddles Cat After Obama Meets Dog, Setting Off Cold War-Style Pet Race


Posted on September 4, 2015, at 12:33 p.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin took time out from his busy schedule diving to the bottom of the sea and meeting Steven Seagal to pet a cat while in the Siberian region of Khakasia on Friday.

RIA Novosti / Reuters

Kremlinologists noted the appearance with the cat — who did not respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment — was a marked shift in pet policy for Putin, who has previously only appeared with larger felines like tigers and this leopard.

AFP / Getty Images

In fact, Putin owns several dogs, and enjoys frolicking with them in the snow.

AFP / Getty Images

Koni, his beloved black labrador, is even allowed to wander in on official meetings — once famously earning the ire of Angela Merkel, who is scared of dogs.


So what could this shift mean? Why now? What could be behind Putin's sudden embrace of cats? ...But wait. What's this?

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

Could it be that Putin's feline fete was inspired by U.S. President Barack Obama, recently returned from his own Putin-esque wilderness adventure in Alaska, petting these Iditarod puppies only a day earlier?

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

We wholeheartedly believe that to be the case. This is what the new Cold War will be, people. Look upon it and despair.

Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images
Ria Novosti / Reuters
  • Picture of Max Seddon

    Max Seddon is a correspondent for BuzzFeed World based in Berlin. He has reported from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and across the ex-Soviet Union and Europe. His secure PGP fingerprint is 6642 80FB 4059 E3F7 BEBE 94A5 242A E424 92E0 7B71

    Contact Max Seddon at

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.