From Russia with love: that's definitely what the Siberian is all about. A massive ball of love with a glamorous long, dense, and protective coat native feline from Siberia's forested area and subarctic climate.
Siberians are an active yet highly affectionate cat breed. They are playful and would happily chase a feather toy and follow their human companion wherever they go. Siberians make an excellent feline companion and love to cuddle on cold winter nights. Although they adore attention, they are not needy and will wait good-naturedly to spend time with their family. Their calm and gentle nature makes them a great candidate for serving as a therapy cat.
Siberians have a long history, with the earliest known records dating back to 1000 AD. A slow-maturing cat breed, the average Siberian, reaches its full magnificence when they are about five years old. These intelligent cats are natural problem solvers. Their semi-longhair coat differs with the season. In winter, they have a dense, full triple coat that would have protected them from the harsh elements in native Russia. They shed their winter coat in summer for a shorter, less thick variant. Siberian is well-suited to any home with individuals who will love them and comb or brush their coat a few times a week.
If you yearn for a warm cuddle companion for those cold nights in Siberia or wherever cold place you are, the Siberian is the ideal feline family member for you. These Siberian cats will follow you from room to room and will delightedly join in whatever you are doing.
- Grooming: Twice a Week 6/10
- Shedding: High 2/10
- Hypoallergenic: Intensive 10/10
- Activity Level: Medium 6/10
- Playfulness: High 10/10
- Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
- Friendliness to children: High 10/10
- Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
- Vocality: Low 2/10
- Intelligence: High 10/10
- Independence: Medium 6/10
The majority of the histories about Siberian you will find are brief. This is because there are no records of when the cat breed arrived in Siberia or where they came from. What we know is that they have been cited in fairy tales and children's stories for as far as 1,000 years ago.
In a popular folk tale in Russia, a smart and mischievous cat is abandoned in the Siberian Forest by his annoyed owner. Though smaller than most animals, the cat is strong-minded not to become prey. With some humour and a little luck, the Siberian was able to partner with a fox. From there, he begins to scare a bear and wolf into believing that he is the new governor of the animals.
This story fits the cat's unique skill to survive in the unforgiving climate of Siberia. Famines and droughts were common during the first half of the 20th century in the area, which meant that cats like the Siberian had to fend for themselves. In fact, cat owners had almost no hand in their breeding. That's why their personalities and physical appearances developed together with their survival needs. Highly intelligent, tough, and waterproof, these were the only real requirements for the Siberian.
During the 1980s and 1990s, cat clubs and shows became more prevalent in major cities in Russia. When the Siberians were first shared with the rest of the world in 1990, they would instantaneously win international fame. And in 2006, they had achieved recognition from all of the major cat associations worldwide.
Today, Siberians are a popular breed for families with children and other pets. This cat has a delightful personality to match its outstanding appearance and an ideal lap cat for those who want to snuggle with their feline companion.
Siberian cats are a medium to large cat breed with an overall appearance of outstanding physical strength, power, balance, and alertness, and a sweet look on their faces. Their beautiful eyes vary in colour from green to gold and all colours in between. Some even have two different shades of colours of their eyes, and some have blue eyes. Siberian cats are a natural breed and represent the climate where they developed with their very thick, medium to long, water-repellent triple coat. Their coat is accentuated with a ruff around their neck, fluffy britches, and a thick tail that is usually carried up and to wrap around their faces and paws to keep warm. Lynx tipping on their ear is permitted, and full ear furnishings are a must. This means that their ears' tops can have hair that makes their ears look pointed when they are actually rounded. The insides of their ears have hair to protect them from the elements. Their glorious and useful fur comes in various colours and combinations, with or without white markings, and tends to maintain fairly tangle-free, needing only sporadic brushing. Luckily, Siberian cats like to play in the water, so if you bathe them regularly as kittens, they may enjoy bath time.
Siberian cats are designed to survive. Siberian cats can take up to five years to age and mature, with females being smaller than their male counterparts.
Siberians are very loving and have playful characters. These cats mature very gradually, both physically and emotionally. It can take the Siberians as long as five years to reach adulthood. This means they devote a substantial portion of their lives acting like kittens.
Despite their youthful demeanour, Siberians are characteristically mellow and quiet. When they make noise, it will be a little chirp or purr to express their affection to their human companions.
This cat breed is generally not aggressive, but their strong devotion tendencies can lead them to attack other animals they might see as threats. These cats enjoy adventure and challenges. They are also outstanding mousers who enjoy roaming around the premises for pesky rodents. When Siberians are not hunting and playing, these cuddly lap cats adores snuggling and spending quality time with their human companion.
Siberians use their unbelievable intelligence to solve all kinds of problems like discovering how to open the door to be with their human companion they adore, how to open the cupboard to get extra cat food, or how to retrieve their favourite toy their human companion thinks they have so smartly hidden. They are powerful, lithe cats that can jump great distances and heights that look like flying through the air. But despite their large size, they are skilful at negotiating hindrances in their path without knocking them over.
These intelligent Siberians love a challenge. With that, their living environment must offer them toys to play with and people to keep them active and entertained. When Siberians are not playing and being entertained, they are more than happy to snuggle with their favourite human companion and relax for a while.
As an active and large cat, cat owners have to put in extra work to train and exercise them. Without gentle training and active playtime, Siberians will get themselves into all kinds of trouble.
Fortunately, this cat breed is brilliant; thus, easy to train. A clicker training is fruitful with this cat breed, especially as a form of encouraging reinforcement training. Make sure to teach them early and regularly so that they become used to obeying commands and get the opportunity for mental stimulation as they grew older. Challenge their bright minds and keep them focused by teaching them commands, games and tricks. Give them many puzzle toys and other interactive toys that will reward them with kibbles or treats when they learn how to operate them.
Because of their natural confidence and curiosity, they are ideal to try harness training. They love exploring the great outdoors, and the exercise will be beneficial for them. However, do note that wearing a harness may take a little bit of practice and time.
To lessen the risk of accidents, you can try training your cat to stay in a particular area at your command. If your cat is mostly demanding when you are trying to feed them, you can teach them to sit and wait.
When you are not training them, make sure that your cat has access to toys and games. Some of them characteristically know how to play fetch, so always keep small felt toys around that they can simply retrieve. They also enjoy games that will boost them to jump and show off their skills.
When a Siberian is properly socialized and trained during their kittenhood, they will thrive on being a well-rounded and well-mannered feline companion.
Coat & Care
Siberian's thick triple coat must be brushed or combed several times a week to avoid mats or tangles. Their coat will shed in the spring and fall seasons; because of this, you may need to groom more often during these seasons. A bath is seldom required, which is a good thing because their coat is very water-resistant. It can be hard to get a Siberian wet enough to shampoo them.
Cats must get used to combs and brushes from an early age to avoid matted fur from the offset. There's a wide variety of cat combs and brushes available on the market, depending on what works for you and your cat. You can start with a very soft brush that does not pull at fine kitten fur or damage their skin. Each time you have finished brushing, give a small treat. If regular coat care does not cause any issues or problems for you or your cat, you can try more effective combs and brushes when they reach adult age.
Daily dental hygiene is still best, but weekly brushing is considered okay. Brush their teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Trim their nails twice a month or when needed. For their almond-shaped eyes, wipe their corners with a soft, damp cloth to eliminate any eye discharge. Make sure to use a separate part of the damp cloth for each eye to avoid the risk of spreading any eye infection.
Check the ears weekly. If their ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a vet-approved ear cleaner. If the ear has a foul odour, it is best to contact your vet for treatment.
Their litter boxes should always be clean as they are precise about bathroom hygiene. If it is left unclean, they tend to use other places in the house.
Siberians are generally a healthy cat breed. Their life expectancy is between ten to eighteen years with proper care, exercise and a high-quality diet. However, like other cat breeds, they may experience health conditions throughout their lifetime.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – is a form of heart disease which causes their heart muscle to enlarge. Siberian cats are one of the cat breeds that may be affected by this heart disease.
- Pyruvate kinase (PK) deficiency – is caused by a defect in an autosomal recessive gene in cats. This causes chronic anaemia to affected cat breeds.
Children & Other Pets
Siberians are very friendly and want to be near their human companion. They love the company of children, cat-friendly dogs, and other animals. This cat breed is fearless and laidback. They are a quiet cat breed that harmoniously expresses themselves through sweet mews, chirps, thrills, and lots of purring.
Siberians are very social animals who love their human companions. They don't like being left alone for long periods. They fit in a home where their companions are typically around and willing to participate in a play. They get along with almost everyone, including children and other animals.
It is always recommended to introduce pets gradually and in controlled environments to make sure that they learn to get along well together. Furthermore, always supervise younger kids to avoid accidents and won't hurt the cat by pulling their fur or twisting their tail.