The Siberian Cat is an ancient Russian breed that has occurred naturally in the region of Siberia for over two thousand years. They are found in Russian literature and fairy tales, and the breed is recognized as the national cat of Russia.
Not well known outside of the Soviet Union until after the cold war ended, they were introduced into the United States in the 1990's and are still relatively uncommon.
All long-haired cat breeds decended from these ancient domestic cats of Siberia, including the Angora, the closely related Norwegian Forest cat, and the uber-domestic Persian.
Siberians are large, beautiful, full-faced cats with muscular and athletic frames.
As pets, they are remarkably domestic, make wonderful family pets, and nowhere near as wild as their appearance. In fact, despite common misconceptions, Siberian cats have no out-crosses with wild cats in their geneolagy and may be one of the oldest and purest forms of 100% domestic cat.
All the centuries of partnership with human beings shows in their personality. They adore children, like playing fetch and often enjoy walking on a leash.
This is a playful, physical cat that loves the outdoors and even likes playing in water, which is no problem because the amazing coat is both water-proof and Siberia-proof!
The Siberian is a cat of remarkable character which just has to be experienced to be appreciated.
The personality of the Siberian cat is robust and dog-like. Individuals are often eager to learn tricks, play fetch and walk on a leash.
They are quite active and agile for such a large breed and are commonly considered some of the best jumpers in the feline world.
This is one of the finest choices for big families, and a very fine choice for those with children and dogs
A remarkably affectionate cat, they enjoy close contact, head butting and nuzzling. They communicate quietly but often with a full vocabulary of endearing chirps, twills and purrs.
These cats need interaction and are 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.
They come in any color or pattern with tiger and tabby being most common. The coat is three layers with extra-long guard hairs, a mid-coat, and a plush undercoat which adds up to lots of shedding. Regular grooming is required to control shedding.
The Siberian 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 Siberian cat is a great family pet that does very well with children, and has been known to be very dog-friendly too.
Siberian 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 Siberian 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 Siberian kitten to buy you may have to search a bit to find a Siberian 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.
Pattern: They are accepted in all recognized colors and patterns, but tabby and tiger coats are by far the most typical, and bring out the wild.
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.