Siberian cats are the native forest cat of Russia, and are described as a natural breed. They are similar in appearance to other forest cats such as the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat.
Siberians are medium to medium-large, muscular, triple-coated cats, with sweet faces.
Although common in Russia, Siberian cats were not imported to North America until 1990. They are still relatively rare outside the former Soviet Union.
Siberians were accepted for registration by the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) in 2000, and advanced to Championship status in 2006.
Siberian cats initially became popular because of their striking appearance and wonderful personalities. Even better, they are also well-tolerated by people who are allergic to cats.
The majority of cat allergies are to the Fel d1 protein, found in a cat’s saliva, on their fur and in the litter box. Large-scale testing has shown that about half of more than 400 Siberian cats tested had reduced levels of Fel d1 allergen and 15% had very low levels. (See Cat Allergies for more information.) That’s why Siberians are often described as hypoallergenic cats.
Siberian kittens come in many colours and patterns. They tend to be slow growing, taking up to 5 years to mature. Females are smaller than males, weighing 4 to 5.5 kg (9 to 12 lb) while males weigh 5 to 7.8 kg (11 to 17 lb).
Adult Siberian cats have a characteristic ruff which sets off their slightly rounded, wedge-shaped head. They have tufted ears, large paws with tufts of hair underneath, and a bushy tail.
Mature Siberian cats have a tight undercoat that’s thicker in cold weather. Their triple coat is made up of a dense undercoat, the actual fur and ‘guard’ hairs which help to keep the coat from matting.
The triple coat, the ruff and tufted ears and feet protected them from cold winds of their native Siberia. Regular combing/brushing maintains the beautiful coat and is a great way to pamper them.
As a breed, Siberian cats tend to be playful, friendly, and are often described as ‘dog-like’. They are agile and love to leap to high or distant places. They often greet their owners at the door, play fetch, and are quick to jump into a wet bath tub or shower. They enjoy being with people and communicate with their sweet voices and rumbling purrs.
The following video shows a number of Siberian cats and kittens at Angara Siberians in Winchester, Massachusetts, where our breeding male, Harley, was born!
For more information about Siberian cats:
CFA (Cat Fanciers Association)
TICA (The International Cat Association)