Weight: Compared to other cats, Siberian cats are quite large. Adult males weigh between 5 and 8 kg, whilst the females tend to weigh between 3.5 and 6 kg.
Head: Wide, medium in size, round-shaped.
Eyes: Large, set slightly oblique and wide apart. Their eyes make them unique.
Body: A Siberian cat is a medium to large cat with a muscular build especially around the trunk and legs. Males are more muscular than females. Their feet are large and rounded.
Tail: Large and very furry, moves very elegantly.
Hair: Siberian cats are classed as semi-longhaired cats. Some of them, however, are very long haired especially on the abdomen, neck, legs and tail. Their coat thick and glossy, water repellent and tangle-free. This impermeability has allowed the breed to survive in cold climates. A common misconception is that they shed their hair in the summer, while in fact their coat are majestic all year round. Siberian Kittens are fairly short-haired from birth to 3 months.
Colours: Siberian cats come in a variety of colours, except chocolate, cinnamon, lilac and fawn. There is a sub-species called Neva Masquerade that has similar colour points to Siamese cats.
Classification of Feline International Federation (FIFE): Siberian cats belong to category II: semi-longhaired cats.
General Classification: Semi-longhaired cats.
Genetics: Siberian cats are considered to be hypoallergenic as they produce very low levels of protein Fel D1, which has been proven to be responsible for 80% of all cat allergies.
Siberian cats originate from the forested areas of Russia. They were named after the place they inhabited, cold Siberia. However, there is evidence that they have lived in other areas close to Siberia. They are also called ‘forest cats’.
Compared to other breeds, the origin of the Siberian cat is not particularly well-documented. They are thought to have appeared more than 1000 years ago. Siberian cats are a cross-breed of wild cats that used to live in Siberian forests and Russian cats. They came into existence without human intervention, which might explain why the breed is so healthy and there are no birth defects.
Siberian cats were highly valued in Tsarist Russia (1853-1917) when they were no just kept for company, but also because they were excellent hunters, they controlled were responsible for controlling the plagues of rats.
However they did not become widely popular until the fall of the Soviet Union. During the communist era, keeping pets was prohibited. However, some farmers managed to keep them hidden. They lived like wild cats, which accounts for their natural outdoor origins.
In 1990, Siberian cats left their country of origin for the first time. However, it was not until 1997 that this magnificent breed was recognised by Feline International Federation (FIFE). Since then its prestige and popularity have increased worldwide not only because of its great beauty but also intelligence. This breed is particularly popular in Russia, the US and Germany.
One of the main reasons why Siberian cats have become so popular is because they are hypoallergenic. They produce low levels of protein FelD1, which is why over 80% of people allergic to cats are not actually allergic (or much less allergic) to this particular breed.
The breed is very similar in looks to Forest cats: quite large, strong and agile, weighing up to 8 kg. They are also very similar to Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cats. They all have long or semi-longhair in common due to their origins from forested areas. They are able to survive in very harsh habitats, and can even endure sub-zero temperatures as low as -30°C.
Kittens are short-haired at birth. They become long-haired at about three months of age. During winter months they have more hair to protect themselves from the cold. During summer, they shed some of their hair but are still very beautiful.
A Siberian cat has remarkably soft and furry tummy, neck, legs and tail. The tail is also long, with a pointed tip and elegant movements. The coat is glossy and water repellent.
A Siberian cat’s physique is strong and muscular, which enables it to be very agile, an excellent hunter. It has a wide face, big, oval and slightly parted eyes, beautiful features and a rounded snout, much more marked in the case of females. The rounded shapes of its face makes it look very sweet.
Its back is slightly curved and rounded. It has a medium-large head, in proportion to its body.
The ears are medium to large, with a very wide base and rounded tips.
This breed comes in a variety of colours, except chocolate, cinnamon, lilac and fawn.
Siberian Cats are exceptionally active and agile. Like other forest cats, they are wonderful climbers and jumpers.
But even though they look like wild cats, they are incredibly friendly, playful, gentle, warm and enthusiastic.
Therefore they make ideal pets for the whole family, both for adults and children. They also get on well with other animals.
They like to live in open spaces. The ideal home would be a house with a safe garden, so that the cat could move with freedom and explore its surroundings.
One of the main characteristics of Siberian cats is that they are extremely intelligent. They enjoy participating in family activities, and are even capable of imitating what people around them do. They perfectly understand voice tone and clear messages. That is why it is usual to talk to them. They are always compared to dogs because they immediately respond when called by name.
Though they do not require as much attention as dogs, their loyal, familiar and participative character makes them want to be surrounded by people. It is important not to leave them alone for long periods of time as they miss their family.
Unlike the majority of other cat breeds, Siberians really enjoy playing with water. It might be because they come from snowy forests with rivers.
Siberian cats do not require special attention. Descendants of wild cats, they are almost self-sufficient.
They require brushing occasionally (very rarely) so that their coat stays in perfect condition. But as it is waterproof, it is practically tangle-free.
Even though they like water, it is important not to bathe them too often, as the hair might become less resistant to water.
Siberian cats evolved through years of natural selection in the forests of Siberia. Unlike other breeds of cats and other animals, they came into existence without human intervention.
Nature itself has made them perfect, enjoying vitality and good health.
Siberian cats are also ideal for allergy sufferers as they practically do not produce the protein Fel D1, which has been proven to cause over 80 % of animal allergies.