There are different types of cat breeds from all around the world. And the Siberian cat is a breed of a domestic cat. Siberian Forest Cat is the formal name of this cat breed.
The national cat of Russia originally known as Russia's native forest cat - Siberian cats have been around for 1,000 years. These cats are highly affectionate and get along well with their owners and other family members. Siberian cats are the national treasure of Russia.
These cats have been documented in Russia for many years and are also mentioned in fairy tales and children’s books. This cat breed has also appeared in the book ‘Our Cats and All About Them’ by Harrison Weir.
In 1990, these cats arrived in the United States. Siberian cats also played their role on farms for controlling rodents. These are the cat’s nature designed to survive. From their appearance to traits and characteristics, learn more about the Siberian cat breed in this article.
Siberian Cat History
The Siberian cat breed may be new to North America, but it is not new to the world. Medium to long-haired Siberian forest cats has been around for many years. Exactly when these cats have arrived in Siberia is not known but many believe that the Siberian cat breed arrived with Russian emigrants.
Siberian fanciers say that the Russians while immigrating to Siberia brought their cats with them. The mutation for long hair might have occurred in three different areas - Russian, Turkey, and Persia (Iran).
However, there is a possibility that the mutation for long hair originally started in Russia and spread from Russia into Turkey, crossbreeding with the local cats to become the Turkish Angora. And into Persian by crossbreeding with local cats resulting in Persian cats. So, we can say that all longhairs are basically derived from Russian long hair.
Because of the cold climate in Siberia, these cats have long coats. These cats developed longer hair, all-weather coats, and large bodies through mating with the local cats. The Siberian cats have developed into a strong and long hair breed able to handle the unforgiving climate condition of the region.
As per the Russian Stories, the Siberian cats once weighed more than 40 pounds and protected their households and human companions. In the book ‘Our Cats and All About Them’ by Harrison Weir, he noted in the chapter long-haired cats and their varieties in his time. The Russian, Persian, and Angora were shown in his popular modern cat show at the Crystal Palace in London in July 1871.
Weir is also famous as the ‘Father of the Cat Fancy’, he wrote that the Russian Longhair is different from the Persian and Angora in a number of ways including its size, colored eyes, longer mane, and large coats. However, Russian longhairs may or may not have been Siberians because apparently there is no record that these cats were kept in Russian during that time.
In 1980, the government of the former Soviet Union discouraged its citizens from owning pets because of food shortages. The government lifted the restrictions in 1987 and fanciers and breeders formed cat clubs and started keeping cat breed records. And the first Russian cat show was observed in Moscow in 1988. The International Cat Breed recognized the Siberian cat breed in 1996 and the breed was accepted by the American Cat Fanciers Associations in 2006.
Siberian Cat Physical Attributes
These are medium to large size cats with an overall excellent physical condition, strength, alertness, and a cute facial expression.
Body - A medium-sized and well-muscled with the back slightly higher than the shoulders and a firm belly giving the look of solid weight.
Head - A modified wedge with rounded counters and in balanced proportion to the body. A broad front at the top of the skull and a rounded muzzle. Balanced cheekbones and a slight doming between the ears and the forehead.
A well-rounded chin that is in line with the nose. The muzzle is slightly short in length and rounded. The top of the head is completely flat with a nose curvature of a slope from the forehead area to the nose. A rounded, strong, and well-muscled neck.
Eyes - Siberian cats typically have green, copper, or golden eyes. White Siberians may have blue eyes.
Tail - A medium-size tail slightly shorter than the body length. It is wide at the base, tapering to a blunt tip without kinks, and evenly furnished.
Ears - These cats have medium to large ears and wide at the base. Short and thin hair at the backside of the ears. The furnishings are longer at the middle of the ear and cover the base.
Legs and Paws - Legs are medium in length and have boning with the hind legs that are slightly longer than the front legs. Big and rounded feet with amazing toe tufts.
Coat - Moderate to the longhaired cat with a triple coat. These cats have thick and slightly shorter hair on the shoulder blades and lower part of the chest. The hair thickens to curls on the belly area and britches.
Colors and Patterns - All combinations of colors are accepted with or without white color. These are white, black, ebony, red, orange, blue, gray, lavender, silver, cream, beige, tan, chocolate, brown, sable, cinnamon, fawn, and lilac. White is allowed on the chin, stomach, and breast. Strong colors and clear patterns and shadings are desirable.
Siberian Cat Characteristics
If you are looking for a medium to the longhaired cat that is both breathtaking with its looks and affectionate pet then the Siberian cat is definitely for you. The breed’s strong and solid body is what holds up to the tough environment.
They are affectionate, outgoing, and friendly. The Siberian cats get along well with other cats and dogs.
Siberian Cat Personality
Siberian cats are loving, affectionate, and have a good personality. They are alert, playful, and will follow you around the house. They are very intelligent and have the ability to problem-solve especially when they want something.
Despite their weight and size, they are great jumpers and can leap bookcases in a single jump. These cats are people friendly and need time and attention from their owners. They will eagerly wait for you when you come home and tell you about their day.
Siberian cats are not that talkative but definitely know how to express themselves using meows, chirps, and purring. This is one of those cat breeds that really enjoy the grooming sessions while sitting in your lap. Another favorite game of Siberian cats is the bringing of toys or sticks for you to throw at them again and again. They love playing with toys and really enjoy watching nature shows on TV.
Siberian Cat Temperament
The Siberian cats are intelligent and playful and you can easily teach them different tricks. They love to climb heights and will make their way to the things they need.
They are not demanding and talkative. These are one of those cat breeds that can get along well with everyone including children, dogs, and other cat breeds. Although these cats get suspicious of new people until they are used to them.
Siberian Cat Health Issues
Siberian cats are relatively healthy as compared to other cat breeds. Although they do have a slightly higher risk of ‘Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy’ also known as ‘HCM’. It is a condition in which the heart muscle thickens. This condition is quite common in Siberian breeds.
Mutations of several heart genes have been identified in some cats with HCM which shows that genes do play a role.
Responsible Siberian cat breeders screen their pets for this disease in order to avoid breeding cats with this disease. So, it cannot pass on to future generations.
Remember if you have taken a pet home, you have to protect him from common health problems. And for a Siberian cat, it is very important to keep him at an appropriate weight. It is one of the easiest ways to protect your pets from heart diseases and for overall good health. So, it is essential for you to make the most of your preventive abilities in order to ensure your pet is in a healthier state.
Siberian Cat Care & Grooming
The thick triple coat of the Siberian cats should be combed 3 to 4 times a week to prevent tangles. The coat will shed during the spring and fall season and you may have to groom your cat more frequently during that time period.
A regular bath is not required since the Siberian cat is highly water-resistant because of the triple coat. So, it will not be easy to get your Siberian wet enough to shampoo him.