This race is approximately 1000 old. Declared to be Russia’s national cat, the Siberian cat is part of the natural races. Its origins are found in the remote Siberian forests and it has lived for 200 years in its natural environment, developing without any human intervention. Even though the Siberian cat has started to be bred in the last years, it has still kept all the characteristics of a cat that lives in a hostile environment.
The Siberian cat is medium sized, has a very muscular body and short legs. Due to its dense and massive bone structure, it is considered to be one of the most imposing cats.
A short history of this race
Being a very old race, its existence was documented for the first time starting the tenth and eleventh centuries. According to those sources, the Siberian cat used to live in Russia’s western part and in Siberia. The evolution of this race is similar to that of other long-furred cats, like the Norwegian one or Maine Coon, the main factor being its adaptation to the cold climate. Thus, it is relatively large-sized, with a very thick, impermeable fur, also having its paws protected by tufts of hair and a long tail and very thick skin. The only written document about the Siberian cat is found in the “Brehm Tierleben” encyclopedia of natural sciences dating from 1925. This book mentions the existence of a red cat with Siberian origins and called Tobolsker, with a robust body and a very long and thick fur, which is cited among the semi long haired races from Caucasus.
The race was discovered in 1989 by Hans and Betty Shultz during an animal fair, which took place in Moscow. They took a few individuals of this race with them as part of a cultural exchange.
The Siberian cat is middle-sized, growing extremely slowly, usually taking 5 years to reach its maximum size. The body is muscular and the legs are short. The tail is also thick and covered with long fur, long hair tufts also being found between its fingers and around the ears. These are characteristics of the adaptation to the cold climate.
The males can weigh up to 9 kilograms, while the females rarely reach 6.
The Siberian cat is considered as being one of the most imposing cats in the world, due to their dense and massive bone structure. Because of the climate they had to live in for a long time, these cats have developed extraordinary survival characteristics, such as the thick skin, the water-resistant fur, the long thick hair, which doesn’t form knots. Their heads are flattened, while their eyes are extremely expressive, in their various colors: intense green, yellowish green or amber.
Concerning the color of the fur, the Siberian cat is found in a large variety of shades, including grey, chestnut, brick-red, blue, white or beige, with or without stripes. All colors are admitted in exhibitions, including the combinations with shades of white, the tabby markings being quite common. The colors that are obviously caused by hybridization, like lilac or chocolate shades, are excluded.
The Siberian cat’s temper
Many times this race has been described as very similar in temper to a dog, as they are very loyal, friendly, loyal and in want of being the best friend a man could have. Despite its half-wild aspect, the Siberian cat proves to be the perfect companion, even in an apartment. It is very warm and sociable, never insistent and rather independent; more than this, this cat is very intelligent, always being able to learn new things and adapt to different environment conditions. It can prove to be very patient with children and friendly towards other cats or other animals. The Siberian cat is usually suspicious towards strangers, also hating strong noises; when it hears an annoying sound, it tends to sniff strongly. This cat has a very strong sense of property on its territory, being used in the past as a “guardian cat” due to its determined, distrustful character. The Siberian cat is a natural born hunter, enjoying large spaces and nature, being preferable for it to have garden access.
This cat has a great advantage for allergic cat lovers. It is hypoallergenic, the Fel-d1 protein in its saliva being in such a small concentration that there is little risk to start an allergy.
How to take care of a Siberian cat?
Considering the environment in which these felines have developed and lived, their immune system is very powerful. The Siberian cats are strong, robust, long-lived, with little need for special care. Their fur, even if very thick and rich, is easy to clean, so it just has to be combed once a week. No genetically transmitted diseases have ever been mentioned and birth defects; it is simply a cat that doesn’t demand special care.
The Siberian cat – with the dignity of a princess
The cats belonging to this race amaze through their elegance and intelligence, despite the conditions they have developed in. They aren’t as wild as their name might suggest, but they are smart felines, mannered and expressive. Lovable and full of affection, they never prove to be capricious or boring.
The Siberian cat is a balanced cat, also providing equilibrium to both its home and its master.