ABOUT THE SIBERIAN BREED
Siberians are one of the most ancient breeds of cats and began as the Russian Forest Cat. They originated in Russia and the Ukraine. They run wild today in the Taiga Forest in Siberia. The Siberian is thought by some to be the original ancestor of all our long haired cat breeds. The first Siberians were brought into the United States in 1990 by Elizabeth Terrell, with the first litter being born in October of that year.
Below: photo of first Siberian cats in the U.S. — origin of photo unknown
Siberians have amazing personalities. They are playful, easygoing, friendly, affectionate and endearing. But best of all, they have dog-like personalities. They are very secure and confident, which is the reason they will run towards the door bell and company instead of running away from it. They love being the center of attention and meeting new people.
They make loving companions, are intelligent, observant, and curious. They are generally quiet and if they do speak, do so with meows, purrs and/or chirps. They get along well with other cats, dogs and with children. I truly believe that Siberians have the best personality out of any cat in the world.
BREED FAMILY AND CHARACTERISTICS
Siberians are in the Forest Cat Family with Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats. The Siberian is a medium to medium-large cat with a triple coat and surprising heft for its size. Their appearance should be one of strength, presence and alertness, with a sweet facial expression. They should have a medium/large modified wedge head with rounded contours. Their ears are medium/large, round, wide at the base and should tilt slightly forward. Their eyes should be medium to large, set more than one eye’s width apart and almost round. Their chin is well rounded and in line with their nose.
Siberians should have a barrel body with the hind legs slightly longer than the front legs. This breed may have a moderate stomach pad or famine pouch on their lower abdomen. So please do not let your vet tell you your Siberian is fat and needs to be on a diet because of this pouch.
Siberian cats go through a “teen stage” at approximately 5 to 6 months where they tend to look long and lanky and may lose a lot of their coat. This is perfectly normal for the breed. By age one they will start to fill out and start growing their adult coat. It takes a Siberian four to five years to fully mature.
The Siberian comes in a rainbow of colors and patterns. Because of their triple coat, they do shed seasonally. Siberians require some grooming or matting can occur. Some coat textures (like creams) require more grooming than others. A thorough combing (not brushing) with a good steel Greyhound comb once a week is recommended. Be sure to comb down to the hair roots. In spring, Siberians shed their dense winter undercoat to make way for their summer coat. In fall they shed their lighter, summer coat to prepare for their heavier winter coat. During these seasons additional grooming may be needed.
Siberians have been tested and have been found to have low levels of the allergy-triggering FEL D-1 protein usually found in feline saliva and skin secretions. This is thought to be the reason why many people with cat allergies can tolerate them. But that is not the case for everyone. If you do have cat allergies, you must test with a Siberian breeder before purchasing a kitten. You can read more about the Siberian and allergies under my Hypoallergenic Tab.