In the Moscow area of Russia, a Soviet era bank is offering the perfect loan incentive--a cat. Every customer that gets a mortgage from their bank also gets a loan of a cat which will come visit their new home.
Sberbank, one of Russia's largest lenders, is looking to beat out their competition by a whisker as well as improve their image after being blacklisted by the European Union for their role in the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict. They are offering cats to their first 30 mortgage holders in the Moscow area, who can choose from ten different cats whose breeds range from the hairless Sphynx to the Siamese as well as several mixed breeds.
This isn't some scheme where each customer gets a free cat, which would undoubtedly be a bad idea for those poor cats. Rather, instead of keeping the cat, it visits their new home for a few hours then goes back with its keeper. According to Russian tradition, a cat can bring the house owner's luck if it is the first to walk through a new home.
The apparently "specially trained" cats will attend the new homeowner's housewarming party for a maximum of two hours and give the new place their once over before leaving with their owners. Those interested in taking part of the deal will also have to sign a clause that bans animal cruelty and waiving the lender of any responsibility from any potential cat catastrophe.
To those around the world, this doesn't seem like a big incentive, but cats are very popular in Russia. Even Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wooed his constituents by posting photos of his long-haired cat Dorofei on Twitter. Cats are the hot item in Russia, so this popularity combined with Russian tradition is sure to be a big incentive to new Russian home owners.