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The Siberian Cat

| March 3, 2011
The Siberian Cat

The Siberian Cat

The Origin of the Siberian Cat.
Originally the Siberian Cat came from Russia and can boast amongst its ancestors the wild cats of the Ural Mountains and the tablelands of Central Siberia, even though finding written information in Russia is fairly difficult. It is thought in some circles today to be the ancestor of the Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest and Turkish Angora. This cat appeared more than a thousand years ago in the most northerly zones of what is today Russian territory and was able to face the pitiless temperatures of the northern winter thanks to its robust build and its particular kind of coat. With their wild look and rustic temperament they were at home in the palace of the Tsars of Russia where the royal family considered them precious pets. They were loved for their character, affectionate and tameable nature and were greatly appreciated as rat catchers, something that they continue to retain even to this day. The Siberian cat belongs to a breed of wood cats whose physical structure and behaviour developed in a natural manner without any interference from man. The registration of the Siberian cat started in 1987 by the Kotofei Cat Club in St. Petersburg and was soon followed by The Fauna Club in Moscow. Exports started at the end of the 1980’s. The Siberian is one of three forest cats, the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest being the other two.



What the Typical Siberian Looks Like.
The Siberian cat is a strong, powerful, muscular cat, yet affectionate. A Siberian cat’s features are associated with circles, rounded head, large rounded eyes and a round barrel-shaped torso. The top of the head is flat with a slight nose curvature. The neck is medium and muscular with a rounded head, very wide and well proportioned. The well developed chin should be well rounded, the forehead is slightly rounded with robust cheeks set off by long whiskers. The eyes are set at least one eye width apart, colour varies from green to amber whereas the”point” variety (Neva Masquerade) have eyes that range from sky blue to deep blue. The ears are medium-large size with rounded tips, open at the base, set wide apart and tilted forward. The ideal position is 1 to 1 ½ ear widths apart; ear furnishings are desirable. It has well proportioned paws with long tufts of fur between its claws for the snow. The coat is thicker during winter and the Siberian loses its undercoat in the summer. The tail is similar to that of a fox, wide at the base but tapering off into a rounded tip. Most coat colourings are accepted but the “point’ variety (Neva Masquerade) can sometimes be confused with the Birman or Ragdoll. Like the other forest cats they are slow maturing, 5 years or longer, so it takes time to see the full potential of your cat.

Tips for Potential Owners.
Make sure that your home is cat proof before you bring your new kitten home. Don’t leave windows open and check if any of your plants are toxic for your cat. Choose a quiet time to bring your kitten home, the weekend is the best so you can spend time with your new companion. Allow your kitten time to explore their new surroundings because this is now out of their comfort zone and security. Sit down with your kitten and talk quietly while petting it. Make sure that you have cat friendly toys for your kitten to play with. In the beginning keep your kitten confined to a room you have chosen with their own food and water bowls, litter box and scratch post. If there is another cat in the house introduce them to each other slowly over a period of time until they accept each other. Allow some time daily, preferably at the same time each day, to spend grooming and bonding with your kitten as they will look forward to this special time together.

Keeping a Siberian in Top Condition.
Siberians are a low maintenance cat. They do shed, but not as much as other long haired cats. Their thick undercoats are generally non-matting but they do occasionally get matts under the armpits and on their rear britches. A once a week good grooming should be sufficient to keep their coats in top condition. They love to have one-on-one attention from their owners as this becomes a wonderful bonding time. Start the grooming cycle with your kitten when it comes to you so that it gets used to it before the heavy triple coat is fully developed.

Why I Love Siberians.
The first thing you notice with a Siberian is how affectionate they are, with a good dose of personality and playfulness. The Siberian has a big heart to match its size. They also love to play with water and seem to have a fascination with it often jumping into their water dishes. They are very intelligent and learn their names quickly. Siberians purr very quickly and sound like tractors but they also chirp and squeak. They are dog-like in their loyalty to their owners and will follow you around all over sometimes just flopping over in front of you and wanting their tummies rubbed and tickled. They are very quick to show you when they want to be picked up, often walking in front of you and tripping you, until you pick them up and love them. They are very amenable to handling and will lie in your arms for hours and make the ideal lap cat. All in all, a wonderful companion to share your time with.

Characteristics of the Breed.
Siberian cats are believed to be hypo-allergenic. If you suffer from Respiratory Allergies due to cat dander there may be relief for you. There have been many successful placements of Siberian cats with allergy sufferers. There are also no known Genetic defects in the breed.

Activity Level = 6
Playfulness = 8
Vocalism = 3
Intelligence = 8
Affection towards owner = 8
Need for attention = 7
Healthiness = 9
Need for grooming = 3
Compatibility with children and other pets = 8

Copyright & Credit:
Breed Profile and
Photos copyright & courtesy: Ian Wollenschlaeger, Kali-Katz Cattery


Category: Feline Resources

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