Siberian

The Siberian cat

A semi-long haired, large cat adapted to living in the wilds of Russia and The Ukraine, its thick insulating coat providing protection against its harsh native climate.

The breed was first recognised by FIFe in 1997 and is now gaining popularity throughout most of the world, although sometimes only in small numbers, but because of its captivating personality will continue to increase in numbers.

The Siberian is exceptionally agile and if watched carefully, when jumping it can be seen to land on its hind feet first, rather than most other cats that land front feet first. They are exceptionally strong and powerful animals with strong hindquarters and very broad chests. Because they are so strong and agile, they need space for their emotional well being, preferably with access to a safe outdoor exercise area.

About

In appearance they have a gentle rounded look, with a rounded head, broad forehead, medium sized ears with rounded tips and eyes that are not quite round, set slightly slanted. They are very appealing visually, with no extremes.

The Siberian is often confused with the Norwegian Forest cat or the Maine Coon, but when the three breeds are together the difference is obvious. The NFC is described as 'Triangular' in appearance.The Maine Coon is more ' Rectangular'. The Siberian is 'Circular'.

Their coat is quite easy to maintain, with weekly combing usually keeping it in good condition. Care needs to be taken during the moulting season as they can shed considerably, and can matt if not groomed regularly during this time.

As with most natural cat breeds most colour varieties are possible including Tabbies and Solid with or without white, together with their silver, tortoiseshell, golden and dilute variations. The only colours not accepted are chocolate and cinnamon, together with their dilute versions of lilac & fawn.

Neva Masquerade

The colour point variety known an NEVA MASQUERADE was fully recognised in January 2011 and apart from having a different coat pattern and blue eyes – the Standard of Points for the Neva Masquerade is the same as the Siberian.

All pointed colours are possible with or without white, excluding chocolate, cinnamon, lilac and fawn.
'When, How and Why' blue eyed, pointed kittens are born to two ‘traditionally’ coloured Siberians, is simply due to both parents carrying the pointed 'gene'. 'When' and 'Why' is still not certain. 'How' is simply at some point in the breeds history, a 'pointed' cat was introduced to a breeding program and this gene is still carried by many 'lines' today. Whether this was intentional or accidental is unknown.

Some breeders prefer to specialise in breeding ‘traditional’ colours, whilst others only breed Neva Masquerades, some breeders may also decide to specialize in breeding specific colours. Should a breeder not wish to breed Neva Masquerade, there is a genetic test that can determine if the colour point gene is carried.

Personality

This breed needs company! Despite cats been known as solitary animals, Siberians are quite gregarious and form close bonds with other cats in the household. Siberians are playful animals, getting along well with children, and becoming closely attached to their owners, they will often run to greet them with a soft chirrup when they return home, following them from room to room, demanding to be fussed.

The Hypo-allergenic Cat!

Siberians have become known as the Hypo-allergenic Cat, and whilst it should never be said that Siberians will not cause any allergic reaction, it is true that they produce lower levels of the FEL D-1 enzyme that causes the reaction. Not all Siberians will produce the same low level of FEL D-1 but it has been demonstrated that many people who suffer from allergies can tolerate the Siberian and Neva Masquerade cats. Some breeders offer an allergy sitting, whereby the prospective owner can assess their tolerance to the kittens.

All in all the Siberian is a wonderful animal, but, be warned, Siberians are addictive!

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