Siberian Cat: Breed Profile, Characteristics, and Care Guide
| Updated: May 1, 2023
In This Article
This breed is known for its thick fur, sweet expression, and playful personality. But did you know that the Siberian cat is also one of the world’s oldest and most natural breeds? And that it might be a good choice for allergy sufferers? This article will tell you everything you need to know about the Siberian cat, including its history, appearance, health, care, and personality.
15 to 20 pounds
17 to 25 inches
Moderately long to long
Any color or combination, except pointed colors
Any pattern, including solid, tabby, tortoiseshell, bicolor, etc.
All colors, including green, gold, copper, blue, or odd-eyed
Loyal, friendly, affectionate, playful, energetic, intelligent, calm, and sweet
It is close but true hypoallergenic is a myth
Good with Kids
Yes; tolerant and respectful of gentle and respectful children
Good with Pets
Yes; gets along well with other cats, dogs, and other animals if socialized properly
Russia; one of the oldest and most natural breeds in the world
History of the Siberian Cat
The Siberian cat is a native of Russia, where it has lived for centuries in Siberia’s harsh and snowy climate. The breed is considered ancestral to all modern long-haired cats, as it is a natural variety that developed without human intervention.
According to some sources, the earliest known reference to the Siberian cat dates back to 1000 AD. The breed was also mentioned, under the name “Russian Long-haired Cat,” in a German book in 1864 and in two English books by Harrison Weir in 1889 and 1892.
The Siberian cat was cherished as a national treasure in Russia and featured in many fairy tales and children’s books. The breed was also popular in cat shows, where it was first exhibited in 1871.
The Siberian cat was introduced to the United States in the 1990s, after the end of the Cold War. The breed quickly gained recognition and popularity among cat lovers, who were impressed by its beauty and personality. The Siberian cat is now registered by all major cat associations and has fans all over the world.
What Do Siberian Cats Look Like
The Siberian cat is a medium-sized breed that weighs between 15 and 20 pounds. The breed has a muscular and sturdy body, a broad chest, and strong legs. The tail is long and bushy, and the head is round with a slightly curved muzzle. The ears are medium-sized and rounded at the tips, and the eyes are large and expressive.
The most striking feature of the Siberian cat is its luxurious coat, which consists of three layers: a dense undercoat, a soft middle coat, and a coarse outer coat. The coat is moderately long to long, with a full collar around the neck and longer hair on the belly and legs. The coat comes in any color or pattern except for pointed colors (such as Siamese). Some Siberian cats have white markings on their face, chest, or paws.
The coat of the Siberian cat changes according to the seasons. In winter, the coat becomes thicker and more extended to protect the cat from the cold. In summer, the coat sheds and becomes shorter and lighter. The shedding process can take several weeks, during which the cat may look patchy or uneven.
One of the most interesting variations of the Siberian cat is the Neva Masquerade, which has pointed colors (such as seal point or blue point) and blue eyes. This type of Siberian cat is considered a separate breed by some associations (such as FIFe and WCF) but a color variant by others (such as CFA and TICA). The Neva Masquerade originated from crossbreeding between Siberian cats and Siamese or other pointed breeds in Russia.
The Personality of the Siberian Cat
The Siberian cat has a unique personality that reflects its origin and history. This breed is loyal, friendly, affectionate but also independent and strong-willed. Here are some traits of the Siberian cat personality:
Outgoing and sociable. Siberian cats are not shy or aloof; they love to greet everyone and make friends with humans, other cats, dogs, and even strangers. They are not clingy or needy but enjoy spending time with their favorite people and joining them in their activities. They are also vocal and expressive, often communicating with chirps, trills, or meows.
Playful and energetic. Siberian cats are fun-loving and adventurous; they retain their kitten-like behavior for a long time and never lose their sense of humor. They are always up for a game or a challenge and can entertain themselves with anything they find interesting. They are also agile and athletic; they can jump high and run fast and are not afraid of water or heights.
Intelligent and curious. Siberian cats are bright and inquisitive; they like to learn new things and explore new places. They can figure out how to open doors, drawers, or cabinets and may get into trouble if left unsupervised. They can also be trained to do tricks or obey commands, as they are eager to please their owners.
Calm and sweet. Siberian cats are gentle and serene; they have a quiet demeanor and rarely get stressed or aggressive. They are tolerant and respectful of other animals and children as long as they are treated well. They are also affectionate and cuddly; they snuggle with their owners or sleep on their laps or beds.
Siberian cats are loyal, friendly, affectionate, playful, energetic, intelligent, calm, and sweet. They make wonderful companions for people of all ages and lifestyles.
Siberian cats are close to hypoallergenic. They produce less Fel d 1 protein than other breeds, which is the main allergen in cat saliva that causes allergic reactions in some people.
Siberian cats are beautiful and majestic. They have a thick and luxurious coat that comes in any color or pattern, except for pointed colors. They have a round head, large eyes, medium ears, and a plumed tail.
Siberian cats are expensive and rare. They can cost between $1,000 and $2,000 if you buy one from a reputable breeder. They may not be easy to find in your area or country.
Siberian cats shed a lot. They have a triple coat that consists of a dense undercoat, an awn hair layer, and a guard hair layer. They need regular grooming to prevent matting and hairballs.
Siberian cats are slow to mature. They take up to five years to reach full adulthood, and they retain their kitten-like behavior for a long time. They may be too energetic or mischievous for some people.
Common Health Issues In Siberian Cats
The Siberian cat is generally a healthy and robust breed that can live up to 18 years or more. However, like any other breed, it can be prone to certain genetic diseases or health problems. Some of the most common ones are:
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM): This is a heart condition that causes thickening of the heart muscle, which can impair its function and lead to heart failure or sudden death. HCM can affect any cat breed, but it is more common in some breeds than others. There is no cure for HCM, but it can be managed with medication and regular checkups. HCM can be inherited or acquired due to other factors (such as age or diet). There is a genetic test available for HCM in some breeds (such as Maine Coons), but not for Siberian cats yet. Therefore, it is essential to ask the breeder about the health history of the parents and the kittens.
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD): This is a kidney condition that causes fluid-filled cysts to develop in the kidneys, impairing their function and leading to kidney failure. PKD is inherited and can be detected by a genetic test or an ultrasound scan. There is no cure for PKD, but it can be managed with medication, diet, and fluid therapy. PKD can affect any cat breed, but it is more common in some breeds than others.
Cancer: This is a general term for a group of diseases that cause abnormal cell growth and spread in the body. Cancer can affect any organ or tissue in the cat and can cause various symptoms depending on the type and location of the tumor. Some common types of cancer in cats are lymphoma, mammary cancer, skin cancer, and oral cancer. Cancer can be caused by genetic factors, environmental factors, viral infections, or unknown causes. Cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, or palliative care. The prognosis and survival rate depend on the type and stage of the cancer and the response to treatment.
Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD): This is a group of conditions that affect the bladder and urethra of cats, causing inflammation, infection, stones, crystals, or blockage. FLUTD can cause symptoms such as difficulty or pain when urinating, blood in urine, frequent urination, licking the genital area, or urinating outside the litter box. FLUTD can be caused by various factors, such as stress, diet, dehydration, obesity, or idiopathic causes. FLUTD can be diagnosed by a physical exam, urine analysis, urine culture, or imaging tests. FLUTD can be treated with medication, diet change, fluid therapy, surgery, or catheterization. FLUTD can affect any cat breed, but it is more common in male cats and overweight or inactive cats.
Gum disease: This is a term for a group of conditions that affect the gums and teeth of cats, causing inflammation, infection, plaque, tartar, gingivitis, or periodontitis. Gum disease can cause symptoms such as bad breath, drooling, bleeding gums, loose teeth, or difficulty eating. Gum disease can be caused by poor dental hygiene, diet, genetics, or other conditions. Gum disease can be prevented by regular brushing of the teeth (or using dental treats), professional dental cleaning (or scaling), and regular checkups with the veterinarian. Gum disease can affect any cat breed, but it is more common in some breeds than others.
Caring For A Siberian Cat
The Siberian cat is not a high-maintenance breed, but they still require some basic care to keep it healthy and happy. Here are some tips on how to care for your Siberian cat:
Groom the cat’s fur. Even though Siberian cats have thick coats, grooming is more manageable than most longer-haired cats. Their fur does not mat or tangle easily, and they do an excellent job keeping themselves clean. However, they still need regular brushing to remove loose hair and dirt and to prevent hairballs. Use a wide-toothed comb or a slicker brush to gently comb through the cat’s fur at least once a week or more often during shedding seasons. Pay special attention to the areas where the hair is longer, such as the neck, belly, and legs.
Protect the cat from heat. Siberian cats are adapted to cold climates and may overheat in hot weather. Ensure your cat has access to fresh water and shade, and avoid leaving it in a car or a closed room without ventilation. You can also provide your cat with cooling mats or fans to help it stay comfortable. See veterinary attention immediately if your cat shows signs of heatstroke, such as panting, drooling, lethargy, or collapse.
Bathe the cat only if truly necessary. Siberian cats have a protective layer of natural oils on their fur that helps them repel water and dirt. Bathing them too often can strip away these oils and make their coat dry and dull. Therefore, you should only wash your cat if it is filthy or has come into contact with something harmful. Use a mild shampoo designed for cats and rinse well with lukewarm water. Dry your cat thoroughly with a towel and keep it warm until completely dry.
Check the cat’s health weekly. You should examine your cat regularly for signs of illness or injury, such as lumps, wounds, parasites, discharge, or swelling. You should also monitor your cat’s weight, appetite, thirst, urination, defecation, and behavior for any changes that could indicate a problem. If you notice anything unusual or concerning, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Schedule regular vet checkups. Your Siberian cat should visit the veterinarian at least once a year for a routine physical exam, vaccinations, deworming, flea and tick prevention, and dental cleaning. You should also spay or neuter your cat if you are not planning to breed it. This can prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the risk of certain diseases and behavioral issues. Your veterinarian can also advise you on any specific health tests or screenings your cat may need based on age, breed, and medical history.
Feed high-quality cat food. Your Siberian cat needs a balanced and nutritious diet that meets its energy and nutritional needs. You should feed your cat high-quality canned and dry food appropriate for its life stage and activity level. Avoid foods that contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or fillers that could harm your cat’s health. You should always provide your cat with fresh water and avoid giving it cow’s milk, as this can cause digestive problems.
Provide entertainment. Siberian cats are intelligent and energetic and need mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and obesity. You should provide your cat with various toys and games that challenge its curiosity and agility. For example, you can use a feather wand, a laser pointer, a ball, or a puzzle toy to engage your cat in interactive play. You can also teach your cat to fetch, do tricks, or walk on a leash. Siberian cats are also fond of climbing and exploring high places, so you should provide them with a cat tree, a shelf, or a window perch where they can survey their territory.
Fun Facts About Siberian Cats
The Siberian cat is a fascinating breed with many interesting facts. Here are some facts about the Siberian cat that you may not know:
The Siberian cat is the national cat of Russia; it is featured in many Russian fairy tales and children’s books.
The Siberian cat is one of the oldest breeds in the world; it is believed to be ancestral to all modern long-haired cats.
The Siberian cat’s triple coat protects it from the cold; it changes according to the seasons, becoming thicker in winter and thinner in summer.
The Siberian cat is “hypoallergenic”; it produces less Fel d 1 protein than other breeds, the primary allergen in cat saliva that causes allergic reactions in humans.
The Siberian cat is related to the Norwegian Forest Cat; they have a similar appearance and origin but are genetically distinct breeds.
The Siberian cat has a Neva Masquerade variant; it has pointed colors (such as seal point or blue point) and blue eyes.
The Siberian cat is loyal and friendly; it can form strong bonds with its owners and other animals.
Where to Buy a Siberian Cat
If you are interested in buying a Siberian cat, you may wonder where to find one and how much it will cost. The Siberian cat is a rare but popular breed, so finding one in your area may not be easy. Here are some tips on where to buy a Siberian cat and how much to expect to pay:
Check online directories and websites. You can search online for Siberian cat breeders near you or in your country. You can use directories and websites such as TICA, CFA, or Cat Fanciers to find reputable and registered breeders.
Contact local breeders and clubs. You can contact local breeders and clubs directly and ask them about their availability, prices, and policies. You can also ask them for referrals or recommendations from other breeders or owners.
Consider importing a Siberian cat. If you cannot find a Siberian cat in your area or country, you may consider importing one from another country. However, this option is usually much more expensive and complicated than buying locally. You will need to pay for the shipping, taxes, customs, quarantine, and other fees involved in importing a cat. You will also need to comply with the import regulations and requirements of your country and the country of origin of the cat. You will also need to find a trustworthy and reliable breeder who can ship the cat safely and legally.
The average cost of a Siberian kitten can range from $1,000 to $2,000 if you buy one from a reputable breeder in your country. The price may vary depending on the kitten’s location, availability, demand, quality, appearance, registration, and age. Some Siberian kittens may cost more than others due to their rarity or popularity. For example, Siberians with ice-blue eyes, solid-white coats, or bi-colored eyes may cost $2,000 to $4,000 per kitten. The price may also include some fees such as vaccinations, deworming, spaying/neutering, microchipping, and health guarantee.
The Siberian cat is a beautiful and friendly breed that is worth every penny. However, before buying one, you should make sure that you are ready for the cost and commitment involved in owning one.
If you are looking for a gorgeous and friendly cat, you might fall in love with the Siberian cat. This breed has a long and rich history in Russia, where it developed its stunning coat and charming personality. It is a loyal and affectionate cat that loves to be with you and join you in your activities. It is also a playful and energetic cat that keeps you entertained with its antics and intelligence. It is a calm, gentle cat that gets along well with other animals and children. It is even almost hypoallergenic and has a cousin called the Neva Masquerade.
You will need to groom it regularly, keep it cool in summer, provide it with toys and games, take it to the vet, and feed it well. But most of all, you will need to give it your love and attention for many years to come. Trust me; it will be worth it. The Siberian cat is one of the best breeds for anyone looking for a beautiful and friendly companion.
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A: A Siberian cat can cost between $1,000 and $2,000 if you buy one from a reputable breeder. The price may vary depending on the kitten’s location, availability, demand, quality, appearance, registration, and age. Some Siberian kittens may cost more than others due to their rarity or popularity.
Q: Are Siberian cats hypoallergenic?
A: Siberian cats are considered to be hypoallergenic because they produce less Fel d 1 protein than other breeds. Fel d 1 is the main allergen in cat saliva that causes allergic reactions in some people. However, no cat is completely allergen-free; some people may still be allergic to Siberian cats. It is best to consult with your doctor and spend some time with the cat before adopting or buying one.
Q: Do Siberian cats shed?
A: Siberian cats do shed, especially during seasonal changes when they lose their undercoat. They have a triple coat that consists of a dense undercoat, an awn hair layer, and a guard hair layer. The undercoat helps them stay warm in winter and cool in summer, but it also requires regular grooming to prevent matting and hairballs. You should brush your Siberian cat at least once a week with a wide-toothed comb or a slicker brush to remove loose hair and dirt.
Q: How long do Siberian cats live?
A: Siberian cats have an average lifespan of 10 to 18 years, depending on their health and care. They are generally healthy and robust cats, but they may be prone to some genetic or inherited diseases such as polycystic kidney disease (PKD), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), or feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). You should take your Siberian cat to the veterinarian at least once a year for a routine checkup, vaccinations, deworming, flea and tick prevention, and dental cleaning. You should also spay or neuter your cat if you are not planning to breed it, as this can prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the risk of certain diseases and behavioral issues.
Q: How big do Siberian cats get?
A: Siberian cats are medium-sized cats with muscular and sturdy bodies. They weigh between 15 and 20 pounds when fully grown but may look bigger because of their thick and fluffy coat. They range from 17 to 25 inches in length from nose to tail tip. They have a round head, large eyes, medium ears, and a plumed tail. They are similar in size to the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Maine Coon Cat, which are two other large and long-haired breeds.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc. (2022). Siberian