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Siberian cat
Recognized by the CFA, CFA, TICA, WCF, FFE, AACE, ACF, ACFA/CAA

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Characteristics "Siberian cat"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a cat of the breed "Siberian cat" you know certain factors. You must take into account their character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, their care and if you have small children, their level of tolerance towards them.


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Activity level

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Friendliness to other pets

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Friendliness to children

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Grooming requirements

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Need for attention

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Affection towards its owners

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3.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


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The Siberian cat is a breed of cat native to Russia and has a natural origin: already roamed the Siberian forests more than 1000 years. Its exact origin is not known, but the fact that the mutation responsible for long hair in cats appeared almost simultaneously in regions as distant as Siberia, Asia minor (which corresponds to the eastern part of Turkey, and from which the Turkish Angora cat and the Turkish Van Cat) and persia (which became Iran, and from which the Persian cat) suggests that these different long-haired cat breeds share common origins.

In fact, some specialists think that these cats appeared in Turkey and that human migrations to the Great North explain their appearance in Siberia. On the other hand, others believe that the first long-haired cats originated in Russia and spread to Asia Minor, giving rise to Turkish Van Cat, to the Turkish Angora cat and to the Persian cat, but also to Scandinavia, where would they be at the origin of Norwegian Forest Cat , and then to North America, where they would have evolved to Maine Coon cat.

But, it is certain that they played an important role for the local populations who had to survive in the extreme conditions of Siberia, since they protected the provisions from rodents. Russian folklore tells that once they weighed more than twenty kilos and were true “guardian cats”, who protected their homes from wild animals and hunted other animals to feed their families. Still today, many stories tell of magical cats whose mission is to protect children.

The Siberian cat It is known in Europe and North America since the 19th century. It was even one of the breeds exhibited in the first feline exhibition in modern history., held in 1871 at the Crystal Palace in London. It was also presented in the United States at 1884, at the exhibition held in the Madison Square Garden from New York. It is documented in the book Our Cats de Harrison Weir de 1889 and in the book Domestic & Fancy Cats the John Jennings the 1898. A photograph of a representative of the breed also appears on Concerning Cats, written by Helen Winslow and published in 1900.

But, the Siberian cat disappeared from the international scene for much of the 20th century, since his country of origin was isolated from the rest of the world by the Soviet regime that came to power in 1917. It was not until the decade of 1980 when Russian cat lovers were once again free to own domestic cats and organize into associations to define the rules. He had a great success at the first Moscow cat show in 1988, and soon became the national cat of Russia.

Siberian cat
Female Adult Siberian Cat with Seal Lynx Point Coat Color – The voice, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1990, Ophelia, Naina and Kalostro they became the first Siberians to set foot on American soil in almost 100 years, When Elizabeth Terrell, a creator, exchanged them with Nelli Sachuk for four gatos himalayos. A few weeks later, David Boehm, another american breeder, traveled to Russia to bring fifteen cats from the Siberian jungle. Thanks to these two enthusiasts, the breeding of this breed began in North America..

Once the Iron Curtain fell, its international recognition was fast: the International Cat Association (TICA) was the first to do so in 1993, followed by Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFé) in 1997 and then for the American Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 2000. Surprisingly, the first copies Siberians did not arrive in the UK until 2002. Two years later, in 2004, the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), the country's main body, granted the breed full recognition, including the right to compete in exhibitions organized under their auspices.

Today, as well as remaining extremely popular in his home country, the Siberian has clearly found an audience beyond its borders, helped by his reputation, although unfounded, hypoallergenic cat.

In United States, for example, the Siberian cat stands above the position 20 (of 45) in the classification of breeds according to the number of annual registrations in the CFA. Its success is also growing in Europe. In Great Britain, GCCF statistics show that births in the second decade of the 21st century have risen from about 100 per year to more than 300, which places it in the top ten of the favorite cat breeds of the British.

There is also a blazing growth in France: the statistics of the Official Book of Feline Origins (LOOF) show that if in the mid-1990s 2000 only thirty specimens were registered per year, this figure had already exceeded 200 in 2010, and then cross the barrier of 1000 in 2016 and overcome the 1500 at the end of the decade. Since 2015, is one of the 10 favorite breeds of cats of the French, representing more than 3,5% of registered births.

Physical characteristics

The Siberian has a semi-cobby midline morphology. Sometimes it is confused with the Maine Coon cat or the Norwegian Forest Cat , as it has a similar general appearance, but it differs by having a much more rounded head and body.

Of average length, He is powerfully muscular and his back is slightly arched. The legs they are also very strong with a solid bone structure, the rear ones being somewhat longer than the front ones. The tail is slightly shorter than the body, very full and sharp.

The head is wide and has a triangular shape with rounded sides when viewed from the front. Profile, the rounded forehead ends in a slope at the nose. The ears are size medium, wide at the base and ends in a rounded shape. The eyes they are big, almost round, slightly oblique, and they can be green, yellow, coppery or blue in some white-coated dogs.

The fur of the Siberian it is medium to long, and consists of three parts: abundant down and undercoat, and a thick, shiny protection layer. It is much more abundant in winter than in summer and forms a mane around the neck.

Except for chocolate and lilac, all the coat colors They're possible, but the brown tabby is the most common. All coat patterns are also accepted by the standard, but some organizations, like the FIFé (Fédération Internationale Féline), consider the Siberian colourpoint as a breed apart, call Neva Masquerade.

In any case, this cat grows slowly, as it does not reach full maturity until it is about five years old. But, most of the growth occurs during the first 18 months.

Last, the sexual dimorphism it is very marked: the male is much more imposing than the female.

Size and weight

  • Male size: 30 – 38 cm.
  • female size: 28 – 35 cm.
  • Male weight: 7 – 11 kg
  • female weight: 5 – 9 kg

  • Varieties of "Siberian cat"

    The fur colourpoint (a light color on the body and darker on the tips of the legs, the tail, ears and face) is accepted by most associations, as the International Cat Association (TICA), the World Cat Federation (WCF) and the Livre Officiel des Origines Félines (LOOF), the reference organization in France. But, some consider cats Siberian colourpoint like a different race.

    Is the case, in particular, of the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFé), that since 2011 registers them with the name of Neva Masquerade cat. The LOOF also recognizes the term Neva Masquerade, but in conjunction with the name “Siberian“: in his eyes, is simply another way of designating siberianos colourpoint, but by no means a breed in its own right.

    Siberian cat
    A 3-year-old Calico Tabby Siberian Cat – Lilllio, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    Character and skills

    The Siberian he is a loving and devoted cat who loves his family. He waits for his owner at the door when he comes home from work, and immediately begins to tell him about his day following him around the house. Loves to participate in various household activities, either helping in the kitchen, lying on the computer keyboard where his owner is working, or sitting in front of the TV that its owner is watching.

    Having said that, although he loves to receive attention from his owners, not overly intrusive or demanding, and he is perfectly capable of waiting patiently for his owners to have time for him. They can be left alone during the day without separation anxiety.

    They are also excellent hosts and, after observing the newcomer from a distance to meet him, they will not hesitate to come over to greet you and participate in the conversation. It is also an ideal cat breed with children who have learned to behave with a certain respect., since he likes to play with them and has enough patience to tolerate some oddities and clumsiness.

    His outgoing character also applies to his peers, but also the dogs: he is not afraid of anything and is aware of his respectable size, is not easily impressed and likes to resolve conflicts amicably.

    On the other hand, has retained a strong hunting instinct that makes it very difficult, yes not impossible, cohabitation with rodents and birds. The fish are not safe either, especially because they have a certain fascination for water. This can lead to, for example, to play with the water in your bowl or toilet, or even to spray his master when he is bathing.

    The Siberian cat he is extremely intelligent, able to learn to retrieve objects (activity that you especially enjoy) or to be walked on a leash, but also to solve complex problems, like opening the closet door or reaching for that toy that its owner thought was out of reach. Teaching your cat tricks is a great way to spend quality time with him., while giving you the opportunity to exercise both physically and intellectually.

    They are also very good at understanding human emotions and know when to go play with a cheerful owner., or comfort someone who has had a bad day by purring on their lap to show their affection. This makes them an excellent therapy cat..

    Although the Siberian cat has a rather calm and quiet character, he is also an active cat that retains a playful side throughout his life. They are surprisingly agile for their size, being able to climb almost anywhere and make dizzying jumps. Some owners still wonder how their dog got the spider in the living room.… And is that, like most of his peers, he likes to be in a high place from which he can admire his territory; if you think your cat tree is not tall enough, do not hesitate to find a closet more to your liking.

    Curious and without any notion of property rights, does not hesitate to steal any object to make a toy with which to play. Thus, it is strongly recommended to store jewelry and other valuables in a safe place.

    On the other hand, although they are delighted to have access to the outside and to be able to run and climb at their ease, they are still a breed of cats capable of living in a flat. In fact, for a Siberian, the company and affection of your family are even more important than physical exercise.

    Last, this cat has a wide vocal range of soft meows, trills and chirps, but also a powerful purr reminiscent of a boat engine. They are not as talkative as the eastern races, but they like to communicate and give their opinion.

    Siberian cat
    Siberian cat

    Grooming and caring for the "Siberian cat"

    The triple coat of the Siberian it is low maintenance, since it does not tend to knot. But, a thorough brushing is necessary every week to remove dead hairs and distribute sebum from the skin. During the moulting season, in autumn and spring, the dog loses a lot of hair, so it is recommended to brush it every day. This grooming session is also an opportunity to share a complicity moment with your pet., especially since he especially appreciates staying quietly on his owner's lap while he is being brushed.

    On the other hand, it should be noted that, against popular belief, the Siberian it can perfectly provoke allergic reactions in its master. The amount of Fel d1 (an enzyme that causes allergies in people sensitive to it) in the saliva of the Siberian cat is much lower than that of a cat without a pedigree, but the amount is not zero. Thus, it is simply a race of hypoallergenic cat, that is to say, that is less likely to cause an allergy.

    Unless you want to expose your cat in a feline exhibition, it is rarely necessary to bathe him. This is certainly a good thing, as it is very difficult to shampoo their thick, waterproof fur.

    But, the weekly grooming session is an opportunity to check your teeth, eyes and ears looking for dirt, and clean them with a damp cloth if necessary. This will reduce the risk of cavities and infections of all kinds.

    Last, if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, it may be that natural wear and tear is enough to file your nails. If not the case, it is advisable to trim them with a nail trimmer when they have become too long, so that they are not hindered in their movements.

    Indoor or outdoor cat?

    The Siberian cat it is a nature loving breed that spends a lot of time outdoors if allowed to roam freely. This independent cat loves to roam for hours in nature, hunt and explore the environment. Like a good hunter, Siberian he usually takes his prey home.

    That you Siberian gift you with dead birds and mice is not to everyone's liking and should be considered prior to purchase. If the cat stays indoors, a large floor with a sturdy scratching post is a minimum requirement. The ideal would be a safe garden, where the cat can live its desire to move. With the proper precautions, your cat will live happily.

    How much activity does he need? "Siberian cat"?

    As an active breed, the Siberian cat needs a lot of space to play and hunt. Independent cats prefer to occupy themselves and explore their environment. Of course, especially at a young age, they still like to be kept busy with a gaming rod or mice.

    Intelligence toys for cats also keep them busy and boost their intelligence. They also like to play with other cats, so they should not be alone. As one of the few cats, to the Siberian he likes to play with water and can also keep busy for a long time with a leaky faucet.

    Siberian cat
    Siberian cat Tofik – Mstachul, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    Health and nutrition

    The Siberian it is very robust. Able to live in environments as difficult as the Siberian forests from which it originates, It is a breed of cat that does not fear the cold. But, not at its best when temperatures exceed 30 °C: to avoid any risk of heat stroke, it is then important to keep it in a shady area or even with air conditioning.

    It also, have a predisposition to certain genetic diseases. This is the case, in particular, of :

  • The feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a relatively common disease in domestic cats that causes abnormal development of heart tissue, with potentially serious heart problems. Screening of parents can minimize, but not delete, the risk of transmission to the kitten;
  • Deficiency of pyruvate kinase (PK-def), which causes a problem in red blood cell metabolism leading to anemia of varying severity in cats. There is a DNA test to identify the gene; a breeder's siberian cats responsible must exclude the carriers of the offspring.

  • It also, the fact that the Siberian forest cat being so large does not make you immune to one of the greatest health risks of a domestic cat: the Obesity. Responsible owners should ensure that their cats maintain an adequate weight and seek the advice of the veterinarian if they notice a tendency to be overweight.

    Life expectancy

    Of 12 to 15 years


    The Siberian forest cat he has no problems with his diet; can be fed commercially available industrial cat food without any problem. But, choosing a quality product that is suitable for your age and activity level is essential to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients and vitamins you need.

    By being able to self-regulate, can be left with food at all times.

    But, it is the owner's responsibility to ensure that the dog is not overweight and, Therefore, weigh him regularly to monitor his weight. In the event of deviations, consultation with a veterinarian will allow to establish a more adequate feeding program.

    For sale "Siberian cat"

    It is only possible to get a Siberian cat of breeders of this breed. It is preferable to resort to a family breeding, where the cat is born near its breeder. The small size of the structure and the proximity of the human being have allowed it to develop its familiar and endearing character.

    If raised in good conditions, the Siberian cat he will not be wild and he will be very close to his master. It can become the “dog Cat” what the owner expects, the one who will be curious about strangers, the one who will wait for his owner behind the door and the one who will follow him everywhere. Please note that if the cat you are purchasing does not have a pedigree, will not be considered a pedigree cat but a “street cat”.

    Having said that, the price of a Siberian cat ranges between 700 and 1.000 EUR. The price depends mainly on whether you buy a companion cat or a breeding cat.

    Siberian cat
    Portrait of a Brown tabby Siberian – Sibirela, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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    Alternative names:

  • Siberian forest cat
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