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Characteristics (Quick Facts)
Ability to Adapt:
Need for Grooming:
The Siberian Cat is a medium to large sized breed with a semi-long triple-layered coat. This is a muscular and powerfully built cat with a barreled chest, strong hindquarters, and fluffy tail.
Their head is modified wedge-shaped with round contours. Their medium-large ears are adorned with tufts of fur and large round eyes give the breed a sweet expression.
The thick and water-resistant coat comes in different colors and is the distinguishing trait of this breed.
This is a sweet and loving cat that likes to give and receive attention. They like to follow their owners around the house and will communicate in a quiet voice. They love meeting new people and will greet guests by the front door.
An active and playful breed by nature, the Siberian excels at jumping and can be found at the highest places in your house.
Where Did Siberian Cat Breed Originate?
The Siberian is one of the oldest cat breeds that lived in Siberian taiga for at least 1000 years. This is a domestic cat that developed its thick water-resistant coat to survive Russia’s subarctic climate.
Siberians were well known and praised for their hunting abilities. They kept pests away from food and grain stores which helped them to earn their keep.
This breed was first mentioned in 1871 in a book by Harison Wier which included information on the earliest cat shows in England. The Siberian is a natural breed, but years of selective breeding made it into the pedigree cat we have today. First Siberians were imported in the United States in 1990.
The International Cat Association recognized this breed in 1996, and the American Cat Association followed in 1999. The Cat Fanciers Association formally accepted the breed in 2006. The Siberian is gaining popularity, however, the expense of importing these cats makes them rare outside Europe.
The breed’s formal name is the Siberian Forest Cat but is usually referred to just as Siberian, or Siberian Cat. Moreover, this is the national cat of Russia.
What Does the Siberian Cat Look Like?
This is a medium to large breed with a strong and powerfully built body. These cats have barreled chest, strong hindquarters, large well-rounded paws, and big fluffy tails.
The head has a modified-wedge shape with rounded contours. Their medium-large sized ears are covered with tufts of fur and well protected against cold weather. The large and round eyes can come in copper, green, gold, or green-gold color.
However, white Siberians can have blue or odd eyes.
The breed’s signature trait is its long triple-layered coat which is especially abundant around the neck and hind legs.
As far as the size standards are concerned, the ideal Siberian should be medium-large in size. The body should be medium in length and should be well-muscled.
Siberian Cat Colors
The fluffy and thick coat of the Siberian comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Commonly seen solid colors include black, white, gray, blue, red, smoke, cream, brown, and orange.
When it comes to patterns these cats can have tabby, bi-color, tortoiseshell, color-point, or tortie coats.
Siberian Cat Personality Traits
This is a sweet, affectionate, and people-oriented breed that likes to be involved in the lives of its family members. These cats like to follow their people around the house and want to be helpful. Therefore, your cat will follow you to the bathroom, read the newspapers, or watch TV with you.
This chatty feline will talk to you about her day in a sweet voice, using chirps or trills, and an occasional meow and purr.
Despite being hefty, these cats like to jump and climb and are usually found observing their owners from the highest point in the house. So, get a tall cat tree and position it so it gives your cat a chance to observe her territory.
Being very active and playful, the Siberian will take every opportunity to play with her owners. So, your cat will bring you her favorite catnip toy and wait to play fetch.
They are smart cats and any item including jewelry and shiny valuables can become a plaything. Therefore, keep your cat occupied with a variety of toys and store your belongings under a lock and key.
The Siberian loves its family and is one of those cats that get along with everyone. It is affectionate, but not attention-seeking and demanding breed. Therefore, your cat will patiently wait until you have enough time for cuddling and petting.
Generally, they don’t mind being left alone and will wait for you by the front door excitedly talking about their day. These cats like to sit in their owners laps, and will curl up next to you when you are sick or feeling blue.
The attentive and loving Siberian has a calm and affectionate temperament. However, she is also an active and playful breed that likes to be immersed in the lives of its people.
Naturally confident, your Siberian won’t be afraid of guests and strangers and will greet them by the front door. Due to its relaxed nature, this breed has the potential to be a therapy cat and is very sensitive to any mood changes.
Although they love attention, Siberians are never demanding, and your cat will wait patiently until you have time for cuddles and play sessions.
Siberian Cat Behavior
Relaxed and patient Siberian rarely develops any behavioral problems. These easy-going cats don’t need much. Regular meals, regular play sessions and a lot of love is all that your cat needs to stay happy!
Keep in mind that Siberians tend to be territorial and won’t get along with other pets unless they submit. You should socialize your cat from a young age to get her used to other cats and dogs and prevent aggressive behavior.
Are Siberian Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?
Thanks to its forest-dwelling ancestors and sweet nature, the Siberian is a highly adaptable breed.
These cats like meeting new people and will bring soft balls and instigate fetch games. They also quickly adapt to new environments and conform according to their owner’s needs.
Despite its large size, the Siberian is quite agile and active breed. These energetic cats love to play with laser toys for cats and generally, enjoy chasing after toys. Due to its energetic nature, this breed knows how to stay in shape if provided with lots of toys.
However, the Siberian is a social cat that likes to interact with her owner. So, get a feather wand and spend 15 minutes playing with your cat to keep her happy and in great shape.
Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?
The tolerant and playful Siberian makes a perfect addition to homes with children. These cats love to play with kids and will happily retrieve balls or simply play tag with your child.
They also get along with other cats and dogs if introduced properly. However, this breed aspires to be the top cat of the household and will demand submission from anyone who dares to challenge its rule.
The fun-loving and energetic Siberian Forest Cat is always in the mood to play. Keep it busy and entertained with puzzle toys that will reward her with treats when you aren’t at home.
However, when you are around, instigate your cat’s hunting instincts by letting her chase after a mouse toy. These cats know how to play by themselves, but they also like to interact with their owners. So, spend 15 minutes a day playing with your cat to fulfill her social needs.
General Health and Potential Risks
The Siberian has very good health and isn’t prone to an array of health issues.
Thus, future owners don’t have to worry about the costs of long-term medical treatment. However, the following condition has been seen in this breed:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Is the most common form of heart disease seen in cats. This condition causes the thickening of the heart’s muscle. Cats with mild cases don’t show any symptoms and have completely normal lives. However, severe cases result in congestive heart failure. The disease starts to manifest itself in cats that are 7-10 years old. However, some cats experience first symptoms much earlier.
Siberian Cat Lifespan
The Siberian has an average life expectancy of 11-15 years. However, you can prolong your cat’s lifespan with proper care and nutrition.
Being a healthy breed, the only potential issue that this breed suffers from is HCM which can be inherited. Therefore, it is important to get your cat from a reputable breeder and check both parents for any heart issues.
The Siberian’s triple-layered long coat is notable for its water-repelling properties. The coat has guard, awn, and down hair, and is the thickest around the neck and hind legs. During the winter, the coat and especially the ruff are thicker.
However, the coat is fairly easy to groom, and it doesn’t mat or tangle easily. So, brush the coat three times a week to keep it in pristine condition.
A slicker brush will properly distribute skin oils and remove dandruff and dead hair. The coat is prone to matting during spring and fall when Siberians go through a molt.
Siberian Cat Shedding
Siberian’s triple-layered coat goes through shedding season. During this time your cat will shed large clumps of fur and will need daily grooming. To avoid being covered in cat hair from head to toe, use a de-shedding tool and brush your cat daily.
Breed Related FAQ
In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the Siberian Cat. Read on to learn more about this fluffy and tolerant breed!
How Much is Siberian Cat Price?
The exact price of a Siberian kitten depends on a breeder and several other factors. On average you can expect to pay from $1000 to $2000 for a purebred Siberian kitten.
Generally, kittens that have been tested and cleared for genetic health problems cost more. But at least you will have a guarantee that your cat won’t develop any hereditary health problems.
How Big Do Siberian Cats Get?
As with all other breeds, males are larger and usually weigh from 15-20 pounds. However, neutered male cats can tip the scales at 25 pounds. Females are slightly smaller and weigh from 12-15 pounds.
This is a powerful and sturdy cat that looks even larger due to its thick coat. However, they shouldn’t be fat and need to eat high-quality grain free cat food. To prevent obesity feed your cat according to their age and activity level.
Are Siberian Cats Hypoallergenic?
Considering its thick triple-layered coat, it’s hard to imagine that a Siberian can be hypoallergenic, but it actually is! This breed produces less Fel d1 than other breeds and is less likely to provoke an allergic reaction.
Furthermore, according to some claims, more than 75 percent of cat allergy sufferers have no reaction to the Siberian. Thus, this breed may be an excellent choice if you or any of your family members suffer from allergies.
Are Siberian Cats Good Pets?
The friendly and adventurous Siberian makes a great pet and gets along with everyone. Being affectionate and calm, but also active and playful, the Siberian bonds with its owner deeply but doesn’t seek attention.
Are Siberians Lap Cats?
The agile and active Siberian is also a very good choice if you are looking for a lap cat. They are affectionate towards their people and will jump in an empty lap for a grooming or cuddling session.