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About This Breed


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Siberian cats are a Russian national treasure. They have been documented in Russia for hundreds of years and are mentioned in Russian fairy tales and children’s books. The breed also appears in Harrison Wier’s book Our Cats and All About Them, published in 1889. Russian families relay fond tales of their Siberians and their amazing loyalty and personalities, but these cats also have played a practical role on farms as rodent control. When the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States ended, the doors opened for the Siberian cat to be exported worldwide. The first Siberians arrived in the United States in June 1990. The Siberian was accepted for registration by CFA in February 2000 and advanced to championship status in February 2006.

The Siberian is a medium to large cat with the overall appearance of excellent physical condition, strength, balance, power, and alertness, modified by a sweet facial expression. Their eyes vary in color from gold to green and all shades inbetween. Some have two different colored eyes, and some even have blue eyes. Siberians are a natural breed and reflect the climate in which they developed, with their very dense, medium to long, water repellent triple coat. This coat is accented with a ruff around the neck, full fluffy britches, and a bushy tail, normally carried up with pride but also quite useful to wrap around the face and paws to keep warm. Lynx tipping on the ear is allowed, and full ear furnishings are required. This means that the tops of the ears can have hair, which makes the ears look pointed when in fact they are rounded, and that the inside of the ear has hair that protects it from the elements. This glorious and quite useful fur comes in all colors and combinations, with or without white markings, and tends to remain relatively tangle-free, requiring only occasional brushing. Fortunately, Siberians like to play in water, so if bathed regularly as kittens they may actually enjoy the attention of a bath.

This is a cat designed by nature to survive, with no extremes in type. The Siberian can take up to five years to mature, with females generally being smaller than the males. The general impression of the body is one of circles and roundness, rather than rectangles and triangles.

Although it has not been proven scientifically, many people believe that the Siberian is hypoallergenic. In fact, many allergy sufferers have a sensitivity to FelD1, and some Siberians have a lower than average occurence of FelD1 in their saliva. When a cat licks its fur, the saliva dries and flakes to create the dander to which people are allergic. This can vary from cat to cat and person to person. If you are allergic to cats and want to test your allergic response to Siberians, it is best to test with the Siberian you are thinking of getting. Spend time with it and find out how you react. There are no guarantees, but there is hope for allergy sufferers.

Siberian cats are very personable and want to be near their owners. They enjoy the company of children, dogs, and other animals. They are fearless and easygoing. Not much disturbs their natural calm and equanimity. They seem to know when they are needed for psychological and moral support and spend time with the person who needs that support. They are a quiet breed that expresses itself in a melodic way through sweet mews, trills, chirps, and lots of purring. All types of toys intrigue them. Some learn to play fetch, while others are intrigued by the moving cursor on the computer screen or sit and watch, entranced, as you type. Acrobatic by nature, the Siberian will play hard, often executing amazing somersaults in pursuit of a feather toy. An over enthusiastic kitten may need to be rescued while attempting to climb the bricks on the fireplace or jump to the top of a bookshelf. Siberians stay playful throughout their lives.

In selecting a Siberian kitten, consider what characteristics are most important to you and discuss them with the breeder who knows each kitten and can help match you with the right one. Kittens are usually available between 12 and 16 weeks of age, by which time they have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential to maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.