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The Siberian is an ancient cat breed native to Russia and known for its affectionate and friendly nature. They are often called Russia’s native forest cat for their similarities to the Norwegian Forest breed, and they have a long-standing history, dating as far back as 1,000 AD. Today, they grace the homes of cat lovers worldwide, stealing the hearts of many with their luxurious long coats and innocent-looking faces.
Meet the Siberian
Coming from the extreme climate of Siberia, this cat was made to survive and thus, has a strong-boned and muscular form and a triple-coat of fur. Their coat serves as protection from the harsh elements, and they can adapt well to temperature changes. They typically shed their outer coats in the Spring, then regrow them in the autumn.
Their thick fur, along with their barrel-shaped, firm belly, makes them appear much heavier than they are. However, Siberians are only medium to medium-large size and weigh between 8 to 17 pounds. They also have a thick, bushy tail and round, tufted paws.
Their wedge-shaped heads have soft contours, giving that endearing look. In addition, they have beautiful round eyes that may be one of several different shades, including green, gold, or copper.
The Siberian’s coat also comes in different colours and combinations. White and grey shades are most common, but Siberians can also be black, blue or red solid colours. Likewise, they can sport various patterns such as Calcio, tabby, and tortoiseshell.
The temperament of a Siberian cat
Siberians have a very well-rounded temperament. They are active and playful yet affectionate and friendly. They like to be around people, children, and other pets and enjoy sitting on their owner’s lap, especially when being groomed.
Siberians have an unusual love of water and will act very interested in both running and still liquid. They see their water bowl as a toy and will often dip their paws in. They will also do this if a tap is on, and if you like to take baths, your Siberian might even want to share it with you.
You don’t need to bathe your Siberian to maintain their coat. But, as they are one of the easiest breeds to wash, you can bath them from time to time, especially if they have gotten particularly dirty.
Another personality trait of these cheeky kitties is their jumping skills. They see shelves and bookcases as an adventure playground, so you might need to put away any expensive ornaments you own.
Siberians can be talkative but not excessively vocal. They won’t whine or cry loudly but will use a range of cute sounds to communicate with you. They love to play and are very easy to initiate games with as they are responsive to all types of toys. What’s more, as they’re pretty smart, you can challenge their brains by teaching them ball games like fetch or even simple tricks.
10 Reasons to add a Siberian cat to your family
- They are loving but not needy - Siberians are people lovers and enjoy social interaction. However, they do not become clingy and demand attention, as some breeds do. Therefore, they will do fine left alone during the day but will gratefully welcome you home, too.
- They are suitable for people with allergies - Although no cat breed is 100% hypoallergenic, Siberians certainly trigger much fewer allergic reactions than other breeds. This is because of their low levels of Fel d 1 and dander production.
- They grow slowly - The Siberian breed matures very slow, taking as long as five years to reach their full size. This means they will not go from tiny to giant in just a few months, as some breeds do.
- They don’t get overactive or boisterous - Siberian cats can be playful and energetic. However, they also have a natural calmness and even temper that stops them from becoming unruly.
- They are confident - Some cats will run and hide at the sight of an unfamiliar face. But, Siberians remain composed and relaxed when visitors enter the house, making them very easy-going pets.
- They can sense their owner’s emotions - Many Siberian cat owners believe their felines are in touch with their feelings and needs. If you’re feeling down, a Siberian will often pick up on that energy and come to sit by your side, acting as an emotional support buddy.
- They have cute quirks - Whether it’s diving under the tap or leaping on top of the door, Siberian cats will always make you giggle with their funny habits.
- They have surprisingly low grooming needs - Despite having a long, thick coat, you won’t need to brush it every day. Their fur is textured but glossy, which decreases the occurrence of matting, so you’ll only need to groom them once or twice a week.
- They are a hardy breed - Perhaps it’s the harsh climates they evolved in or the hundreds of years they’ve had to develop strong genes. Whatever the cause, Siberians are a very healthy breed, are not prone to many health issues and normally live long healthy lives.
- They are exclusive - Despite being an ancient breed, Siberian cats are still a relatively uncommon sight in the UK and Europe. Importing them from Russia makes them an expensive and, therefore, exclusive breed.
Best homes for a Siberian cat
Siberians enjoy being around people but not in a needy way. They are also confident around strangers, which makes them well suited to all types of homes. They will do well in busy households and are very adaptable to any existing pets you may have. Likewise, Siberians are good with children and intelligent enough to avoid young kids who could harm them.
Siberians are happy to stay home alone, so they make a good choice for someone who works full time but wants a furry companion to chill with during the evenings. Even so, when getting a Siberian kitten, remember that, like all breeds, they thrive in pairs, so consider getting two fluffy friends instead of one.