13 September, 2018

From Russia With Love: The Siberian Cat Breed

siberian cat breed lying in the sunThe Siberian cat – this is one fur baby that is very hard not to adore! As you may expect with a cat from the cold climates of Russia, Siberian cats are robust – and they wear their thick and lush fur coat with pride.

The Siberian is also an extremely loving and loyal breed that makes an excellent and affectionate companion. For more about their history, their appearance, their coats, their personality and how to find a Siberian cat, read on.

The History of the Siberian Forest Cat

Siberian cats are an old breed – they have lived throughout Russia for at least 1000 years. Over the centuries they have lived as monastery cats, forest dwellers, farm cats, and household companions.

Siberian cats also feature as the mystical and magical beings that they truly are in Russian art, and old folk stories, fairytales and legends.

The breed was shown at cat shows in England in the 1700s, however, Siberian cats are relative newcomers to the United States. They were first brought to the US in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union and were only formally registered by the American Cat Fanciers Association as a breed in 2009.

The Appearance of these Hardcore Cats

This may be hardcore looking cats, but really they are big softies! Siberian cats are a solid and sturdy medium to large size breed, but with long-haired fluffy coats, round paws, and very, very sweet faces!

Their eyes tend to be large and round, and are usually green, gold, green-gold, or copper in color. White Siberian cats or cats with a predominantly white coat may also have blue eyes, or two different colored eyes – one green and one blue.

Siberians have water repellent triple coats – needed to keep them warm in the cold climate they are from. This means they have an outer layer of longer guard hair, a middle layer of awn hair, and an undercoat layer of down. They have a longer ruff of fur around their neck, fluffy hind legs, and a very bushy tail.

They are naturally strong and have a muscular build, but it can take up to five years to mature from a kitten into a full, balanced, and well-proportioned adult size cat.

Siberian cats for sale

Average Size and Weight!

Siberian male cats are usually larger than female cats. Fully grown Siberian cats usually weigh between 8-17 pounds (3.6- 7.7 kilograms) – but they can grow to up to 25 pounds (11 kilograms)!

Siberian Cat: Hypoallergenic or Not? Coat and Colors Explained!

There are some people that say the fur on Siberian cats is hypoallergenic. Similarly, many people with cat allergies say they have no or low, allergic reactions to this breed.

While some Siberian cats may have lower levels of the allergens or dander that people who are allergic to cats react to, it hasn’t been scientifically proven that Siberian cats are definitively hypoallergenic.

So, if you are hoping for a hypoallergenic cat your best bet is to spend time one on one first. That way you will know for sure whether this cat will trigger your allergies or not.

As far as the colors and pattern of the Siberian cat go – they are a breed with a lot of diversity! Under the breed standard, a Siberian cat’s coat may solid, tabby, tortoiseshell and the color point (aka Neva Masquerade).

A full range of kitty colors and combinations is possible, including black, red, blue, cream, golden, silver, calico, brown, white, chocolate, lavender/lilac and more.

The Beautiful Black Siberian Cat

Black Siberian cats are also sometimes known as black tabbies or brown tabbies. Solid black Siberian cats are breed from cats with a recessive gene, and they will not have any patterns or markings in their fur as they grow older – just the rich gorgeous beautiful dark coat of a lucky black cat.

The shades may vary from very dark chocolate brown to dark black. You can expect some fading in a black Siberian cat if you have a cat that likes to take their cat naps in the sun!

white Siberian forest cat with blue eyes

What Are Their Grooming Requirements? 

This is a cat that has been born to survive, so it does not need a great deal of additional human grooming. Although they do have a medium-long coat, it doesn’t tend to tangle or mat a great deal.

However, their thick coats do molt seasonally, so a weekly brush will help keep their shedding hair under control.

Temperament and Personality: What to Expect!

The temperament of this big cat could be described as personality plus! These are smart, intelligent, and playful cats. They can amaze people with their true to form cat-like behavior that you would expect, but also display dog-like and human-like traits!

Siberian cats tend to get along well with other people and pets and are usually confident, calm, and easy going. Don’t be fooled into thinking that because they may be a larger cat or a quiet cat, that they are inactive or clumsy.

This cat is agile! They love to jump and climb and will keep themselves, and you, entertained with toys throughout their life – not just when they are a kitten.

How Long do These Kitties Live?

The average lifespan of Siberian cats is 11-15 years.

List of the Breed’s Potential Health Issues!

Siberian cats are generally healthy. Feed them a nutritious diet, look after their dental hygiene and ensure their eyes and ears are cleaned, and nails trimmed, as needed.

When you are looking for a Siberian cat, check the breeder’s health records for screening for genetic diseases. Two genetic conditions that this breed is susceptible to are:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM): A form of heart disease in which the heart muscle thickens.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): This is caused by benign cysts that may form on the kidneys and affect their function.

Also, ensure that your cat is vaccinated as a kitten against the feline leukemia virus.

If you live in a hot climate, be mindful that this is a cat designed to cope with cold temperatures. Make sure they have cool shady places to live in and access to plenty of fresh water to keep hydrated.

siberian, a hypoallergenic cat breeds stalk its prey

Siberian Cats for Sale!

Sold on a Siberian yet? If you want to meet a Siberian cat in person first, you could always attend a local cat show to meet and greet a cat from the same breed.

This is a great way to get a feel for what they are like. At the same time, you can network with breeders in your area.

Siberian Kittens for Sale Near Me!

Siberian kittens are usually ready for homes between 12-16 weeks. For any local cat breeders offering kittens for sale in your area, check out the classified ads of Siberian cat breeders listed with organizations such as the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA).

Siberian Kitten Price

The cost of kittens from a Siberian cat breeder can range from $1,000 to $2,000 US dollars.

Adult Siberian Cat for Sale Near Me!

Some breeders may also sell adult cats that they are no longer breeding and have “retired”. Again, check out the national cat associations for any breeders in your area.

Adult Siberian Price

You will pay a little less than the range given for a kitten price if you buy an adult Siberian cat. Especially one that is retiring from breeding, or an adult that is being offered for sale from a breeder.

What to Look for in Reputable Siberian Cat Breeders!

A little bit of research can go a long way when you are looking to buy any breed of cat, dog, or kitten. Always look for reputable breeders that are listed with cat associations, and have evidence that they work to codes of ethics on the care and placement of the cats they breed.

Also, check the health record of the kitten you are purchasing and the parents’ health history. Ask if you can visit their cattery, and met the kitten first and at least one of its parents. The breeder should also tell you how well their kittens have been socialized with other people and pets before you make the purchase.

Adopt, Don’t Shop! Find a Siberian Cat Rescue Group!

As a relatively new breed to the United States, Siberian cats aren’t that commonly found as kittens and cats up for adoption in regular cat shelters or from a non-profit organization.

There are, however, Siberian Cat rescue groups that you can find online. These help with rehoming full, and mixed Siberian breed cats and kittens looking for new forever homes.

Similar long-haired cats and kitten breeds that you might find up for adoption in a shelter include ragdoll cats, Persian cats, Main Coon cats, or Munchkin cats – these too are all very personable and cool cats!

If you’re more a fan of shorthair cats with similar personalities, consider Russian blue cats, Siamese cats, Bengal cats or Sphynx cats.

white and black Siberian kittens next to mother

Common Questions on Siberian Cats

Do Siberian Cats like to play?

How often should you brush a Siberian cat?

What color eyes do Siberian cats have?