State debt collectors in Russia's Stavropol region have seized the pedigree cat of a man who defaulted on his debt, the regional branch of the Federal Bailiffs Service said in a statement Monday.
The cat's owner owes the state more than 200,000 rubles ($4,000), according to the statement. The indebted man reportedly ignored repeated warnings that he could face administrative and criminal charges over the debt before his pet was seized.
The man has 10 days to pay his debt or his pet — a hairless Donskoy cat — will be put up for sale, the statement read.
The seizure of purebred cats — including that of four Scottish Fold kittens in Siberia's region of Tomsk last year — is not uncommon for indebted citizens.
In December, a resident of the Siberian city of Novosibirsk coughed up the 12,000 rubles ($240 at the current exchange rate) needed to pay state collectors after they threatened to seize his pedigree cat.
A woman from the far eastern region of Primorye ate her own pig to avoid paying the amount she owed in child support, media reported in January. The animal had been designated an asset subject to confiscation after the woman failed to pay child support after having lost custody of her 12-year-old daughter.
State Duma Deputy Oleg Mikheyev submitted a bill to the legislative body in January seeking to ban the seizure of household pets for debt-collection purposes.