Behemoth - a cat who was stolen from his home in a Russian museum - has been returned alive but is feeling "discontent".

In a posting on their Facebook page, the Bulgakov House Museum Theatre in Moscow said a woman grabbed their resident cat and ran away.

The theft was reported to the police on Wednesday morning and much to the delight of well-wishers on social media, Behemoth was found later that evening.

Behemoth is named after the talking cat from the Mikhail Bulgakov novel The Master and Margarita and has lived at the museum dedicated to the writer for 13 years.

A spokesperson for the museum said the cat had been returned in good health although was feeling "discontent", adding that Behemoth was happy "talking to journalists and visitors".

The black Siberian and Persian cat is highly regarded at the museum. He is described as a "staff member" who resides at the museum "under the supervision of his own doctor and stylist."

The museum's Facebook post announcing Behemoth's disappearance received more than 2,400 reactions and was shared more than 2,800 times.

On Twitter, Maxim Kazansky the head of Moscow's South District Consumer Council said "A staff member of the Bulgakov House has been kidnapped! Behemoth the cat was stolen by an unknown woman. If you have any information on his current whereabouts contact the Bulgakov House."

Russian news media got involved with the search for Behemoth. TV channel Dozhd posted a tweet seriously condemning whoever took him.

"Today an unknown woman, (who we seriously condemn), stole the cat Behemoth from the Bulgakov House. Let's spread the information and return the cat to the museum," they said.

Later in the evening there was relief when the pet was discovered.

Bulgakov House posted pictures of Behemoth following his return saying "the thieves got scared of the outcry."

Writer Alexander Pelevin tweeted how worried he had been for the cat, while photographer Yevgeny Feldman referenced Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita when he found out the feline had been found.

"The cat kidnapped from the museum has been found. The cat said it was hypnotized by Woland," he posted. (Professor Woland is considered to be an incarnation of Satan in the novel.)

In support of his struggle, others simply shared pictures online of themselves with Behemoth.

Who are Bulgakov, Behemoth, the Master and Margarita?
Mikhail Bulgakov was a writer who was born in Kiev in 1891 and died in Moscow in 1940.

His book, The Master and Margarita is a story of life in 1930s Soviet Russia that could not be published during Bulgakov's lifetime and later appeared in censored versions in the 1960s.

It is set in both Moscow in the 1930s and Jerusalem at the time of Christ. The plot centres around the Devil, who is disguised a Professor Woland; an oppressed writer called the Master; and Margarita, who despite being married loves the Master.

In the novel, Behemoth is a large and sarcastic black cat who walks on two legs, talks and enjoys both chess and vodka.