The Neva Masquerade cat is a pointed variety of the Siberian cat, meaning it has "points" of color on the face and paws. These are gorgeous, large and impressive cats with full, fluffy coats and brilliant blue eyes.
There is a little controversy and confusion surrounding the Neva Masquerade. In some of the largest cat shows it is presented as a color variety within the Siberian breed, while some other organizations recognize the Neva Masquerade and the Siberian as two separate breeds, yet some Siberian enthusiasts consider the Neva Masquerade to be a threat to the purity of the Siberian breed.
The Siberian cat is considered a natural breed, with a wild type, presented with minimal human manipulation. There is no gene for pointed coloration in the oldest and purest breed lines.
The pointed Neva Masquerade color was planned and produced with the deliberate introduction of pointed breeds such as the Balinese, Siamese, and Himalayan, a few decades ago, so any Siberian cat with Neva Masquerade coloring has some mixed ancestry.
Now, Siberian cats with natural coloration can have litters with Neva Masquerade kittens mixed in, because the colorpoint or CP gene is present.
Some Siberian breeders strive to maintain a pure breed with no CP gene present, while other breeders embrace the beautiful Neva Masquerade cats, both at home and in the showring.
So there's the rub, but nevertheless, Neva Masquerade cats have the wonderful, family-friendly personality of the Siberian, with an exotic and elegant color scheme - enjoy!
The Neva Masquerade personality is dog-like, fun-loving, amiable and lovable. This is a remarkable cat that makes a wonderful pet, especially for those who want lots of fun interaction.
The Neva Masquerade is a big, lively cat that is agile and athletic with lots of energy. They are affectionate and friendly towards children, other cats, dogs and horses. Small animals that are also family members need to be introduced cautiously, or kept safely separate, however, because the Neva Masquerade has a healthy prey drive.
That prey drive comes into service when it's time to play though, and these cats can learn tricks, play fetch and come running when called. A little patience is all it takes to train this bright and eager cats, and you will be rewarded with a very unique cat-owning experience.
Neva Masquerades are notorious for their extensive vocabulary of twirls, purrs, chortles and chirps. They are very vocal, but not loud at all, busily mumbling as they go about their day.
This is a very affectionate and demonstrative breeds, regularly head-butting and bustling it's family members with love, but they desire interaction and are definitely not a good choice for extra busy folks who may be away from home long hours.
The breed is not yet recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the world's largest cat organization. It is a relatively rare pure-bred or "pedigreed" domestic cat breed, and may be one of the oldest in the world.
This is the national cat of Russia, and is owned by many Russian dignitaries.
It is a natural long-haired breed with a triple-layered coat of extra-long guard hairs, a mid-coat, and a plush undercoat which adds up to lots of shedding. Although the fur does not usually mat, regular grooming is needed to keep shedding under control.
The Neva Masquerade produces less of the protein known to cause allergic reactions and has been found, despite all the hair, to be less irritating to people who suffer cat allergies. Close handling of the parent cats should give a good indication of individual reactions.
See hypoallergenic cat breeds for a more complete discussion of allergy issues.
These are powerful, large-sized cats that have few breed-related health issues. Because it is active and desires interaction the Neva Masquerade cat is a great family pet that does very well with children, and has been known to be very dog-friendly too.
Neva Masquerade kittens tend to be very active, athletic and somewhat dare-devilish.
They are usually calm and happy to adapt to new surroundings, and their eagerness to blend with the family makes for an easily trainable kitten.
Kitten-proofing is definitely recommended for anyone considering adopting or purchasing any kitten, but Siberian babies can be rambunctious and extra caution should be used.
High furniture should be off limits, caution should be taken when holding these wriggly little youngsters, particularly when carrying them across hard wood or tile floors, and spaces under counters and doors should be blocked off as they have a very strong urge to explore.
In Appearance, the Neva Masquerade kitten looks very much like a miniature adult. They are very slow to mature and may take 3 to 5 years to reach their full size and coat density.
They are not a very well-known breed, and are not always readily available. If you're looking for a pure bred Neva Masquerade kitten to buy you may have to search a bit to find a Neva Masquerade cat breeder.
Head Shape: The head is a large, broad, modified wedge. Muzzle is full, well-formed and somewhat short. Cheeks are full, and jowling in mature individuals is desirable. The ears are medium size, rounded at the tips and tufts are desired. The eyes are large and round, fully open. Eye color appropriate to coat, including odd-eyes in white coated cats.
Body and Tail: Large, full, well-rounded body with plenty of muscle and bone. Medium length legs, powerfully built, remarkably springy, with large, thick, round and tufted feet and toes.
Coat: The coat is extremely thick, full, doubled, and with lots of tufting. The undercoat is dense and lays close to the body like a wrap.
Overall Appearance: This should be a large, impressive, wild looking cat with full coat, strong, athletic presence and a beautiful, sweet expression. This is one of the oldest recorded domestic cat breeds and is quite at home in the company of humans, and quickly bonds with all family members. Excellent choice for those who like the rustic look, but still want an effortless companion. If allowed outside, they may roam a very wide territory. Pets take happily to a harness and leash.
Pattern: The body color should be even with slightly darker shadings across the shoulders, back and top of hips shading gradually into lighter color on the chest and belly. The mask, ears, legs, feet and tail should be clearly defined in darker shades, but merge gently into body on legs. The mask covers the entire face and is connected to the ears by tracings. Allow for color development in kittens and young adults in the dilute and red genes.