Siberian Cat History
The Siberian cat derives from the northern part of Russia and was first exhibited in cat shows around the 19th century time period. The official name of this breed is the Siberian Forest Cat.
Cat care books that featured the Siberian breed was first seen around the late 1800s and early 1900s. The most mentionable piece was by Harrison Weir from the Cat Fanciers Association in 1889, called “Our Cats.” The Cat Fanciers Association officially accepted the Siberian cat breed in 2006.
Since Siberian cats originated from Russia and come from Siberia, they sport an elegant triple coat that protects them against the harsh winter elements. The coat of the Siberian is very fluffy, water resistant and somewhat thick.
Despite having a long haired coat, the Siberian’s grooming requirements are very low maintenance and their coat does not mat like other long haired breeds. Also unique to the Siberian breed is their status of being more hypoallergenic than other cat breeds.
Siberian Size and Age
The Siberian cat is a muscular breed that will weigh about 9 to 18 pounds when they finish growing. This breed has an estimated life span of around 10 to 16 years old. As with other breeds, the female cat will weigh less than the male cats.
Coat and Grooming for the Siberian
Siberian cats come in many colors which include but is not limited to seal point, flame point, and tabby which is the most common. The common trait among Siberian cats is their med to long haired coat, complimented by their eyes and ear tufts. The eyes of the Siberian cat can be gold, green, or blue. The Siberian breed closely resembles the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat, except that the Siberian cat has a rounder head and body frame.
Because this breed does not mat or tangle like other long haired breeds, Siberians will only require combing or brushing one to two times a week. During the spring when cats shed their winter coat, you may need to do it one more time per week than usual.
As with all breeds, care should be taken to trim the claws every three weeks so that the claws do not overgrow into the pad. Ear cleaning should be done weekly with a cotton ball and a commercial ear cleanser. Bathing does not have to be done often but considering the fact that this breed loves water, you are welcome to give your cat a bath every now and then. Bathing may also be considered if your cat is old or aged which can cause a cat to inadequately groom.
Make sure to use a cat shampoo as human shampoo can cause skin problems. It is possible that this may even become a bonding time for you and your cat. Some cats will have some mild tearing, especially white cats that show it more easily. A damp wash cloth works well for removing any eye matter.
The biggest selling point for the Siberian is the fact they are more hypoallergenic than other breeds. To be exact, the Siberian breed produces less of the primary allergen in dander and saliva, referred to as the fel d 1 protein. Fel d 1 stands for Feline domesticus allergen number one. Cats in general will produce less of this protein when they are fixed, but this breed is promoted to manufacture significantly less than that. Domestic cats are noted to have around 8 to 10 mcg of this protein, and can have up to 34 mcg. Siberian cats have been reported to have levels as low as 0.79 mcg.
The Siberian is mostly a very healthy cat breed but have one breed problem that owners need to be aware of. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be a concern of Siberian cats, which is a heart condition that can cause the heart to enlarge.
Most cats that come from reputable breeders are already fixed. If you receive a cat that is not fixed, you should fix the cat around 4 to 6 months old to prevent health issues that can occur as a result of not fixing them.
Because cats grow the most within their first year of life, feeding kitten food is ideal up to one year of age. Kitten food contains a higher protein content that will facilitate his growing needs and high activity level.
You will want to provide plenty of opportunity for exercising and accustoming him to new situations. I recommend supplying scratching posts, cat towers, cat tunnels, and catnip mice. Providing interactive play sessions 3-4 times a day to the tune of 10-15 minutes is also a great way to get started on the right foot. Click here to see what toys work best for interactive play sessions.
Under one year old is a great time to introduce him to walking on a leash, nail trimming, and bathing. Your cat should ideally see your veterinarian once per year for a physical examination so issues can be detected early and treated as needed. Monthly flea prevention starting at about 8 weeks old and yearly vaccinations are highly recommended after the first round of shots are done.
Brush the teeth daily to prevent periodontal disease and tartar formation. Clean the ears once a week with a ear cleaning solution from the veterinarian to prevent ear mites or debris build up.
The litter box should be cleaned twice a day to reduce odor. Use a non-clumping cat litter for cats under 4 months of age.
The Siberian is very affectionate and loves to be around people. You can expect this breed to follow you all the time, happily assisting you with paperwork, watching television, and reading a book. Because of their love for water, you might expect to see him pawing at his water dish, drinking from the water faucet, and jumping in the shower with you. This breed also loves to be combed, brushed, and petted while he sits on your lap.
The Siberian cat is also notorious for being a clever and quick thinker. Because of his physical frame, agile reflexes, and his curious nature, it is ideal to have items that are not suited for cats put away. It might even benefit this breed well to provide some challenge and reward based training such as teaching him to walk on a leash or teaching him to jump through a hoop.
The Siberian cat is brave and bold, not typically being a shy or fearful cat. Even loud noises and new situations won’t startle him or throw him off his game. The Siberian is also very playful and may be seen chasing a laser pointer, cat nip filled mice, and invisible prey across the kitchen floor.
The Siberian’s personality is extraordinary. The Siberian has a very laid back demeanor and seems to go with the flow. The Siberian may also be seen sleeping with you, your children, or the dog as this is a cat that is going to get along with everyone. Overall this is a very healthy, playful, and ideal breed for people who may also suffer from allergies as levels below 4 mcg often elicit little to no allergic reactions
- Social Requirements
- Children Friendly
- Stranger Friendly
- Pet Friendly
- Health Issues