The Siberian Cat, sometimes known as the Russian Siberian Cat or the Siberian Mountain Cat, is a loving feline breed cherished for its adorable appearance and easy-going nature.
While many pets are territorial of their home, Siberians are affectionate towards most other creatures. They love their owners, often forming strong bonds with them, and do not mind sharing their space with other pets.
Active and playful, the breed loves to run. They make great outdoor cats, but also don’t mind being kept inside as long as they have the proper toys or structures.
Siberians are hypoallergenic cats perfect for people with sensitive immune systems. The low dander cats are cherished among allergenic pet owners. In fact, many consider them the best cat for allergies.
Other Names: Siberian Forest Cat, Moscow Semi-Longhair
Height: 13 inches
Weight: 15 to 20 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 18 years
Colors: Orange, Blue, Grey, Black, White
1. Personality & Temperament
Siberian cats, due to their friendly personality, are cherished house pets. The felines love attention, actively get along with most humans, and enjoy playing each day.
They are one of the few breeds that never get bored with games. In fact, they will spend most of their time running around if given the chance. The felines also love learning tricks, especially ones that involve physical activity, and can be taught to fetch.
At their core, the cats are extremely adventurous. They seek out new places to explore and often journey off on their own. That comes with a strong independence that makes them great outdoor pets.
Siberian Cats also love their owners and do not mind lounging or cuddling on slow days. The breed is quite easy-going when not riled up, which makes them perfect for more relaxed households.
2. How to Care for a Siberian Cat
As with most cats, Siberians love meat. The felines will chow down on any type of protein, ranging from fish and beef to chicken and liver. That is important to note because, regardless of which brand you serve your feline, it needs to be meat-forward.
All quality cat food works for Siberians. Just do your best to avoid unhealthy additives like corn or grains whenever possible. Protein-packed meals will give your cat the energy it needs to move around.
When it comes to serving size, kittens need a bit more food than adults. Three small meals a day works perfectly for a Siberian kitty, while adult cats should get two every twenty-four hours.
Despite their fluffy appearance, Siberian are anti-allergy cats that do not require as much grooming as other breeds. Their long coat rarely tangles, and they only need a weekly brushing to keep it clean during the colder parts of the year.
However, daily brushings are extremely important while they shed their coat during the spring.
The felines take great care of themselves, but they do not mind a quick bath every now and then. There is no time frame for this ritual. Just give them a dip when your feline smells or looks dirty.
Routinely trim down your cat’s nails (roughly once a month) and always wipe down their face and ears.
Siberian cats are physical animals. They love to play, love to exercise, and love to run. As such, you should make sure your feline lives an active life.
You can let your cat run around outside. However, if they are an indoor pet, it is often best to play games with toys, such as wands or laser pointers. Even if they do run around the yard or neighborhood, inside games can keep them lean and healthy.
Siberian cats are much more responsive to training than similar breeds. They not only love to learn tricks, but can be taught much more complicated ones than other cats.
The trick when training your Siberian is to start small. One word commands go a long way to get you and your cat on the same page. From there, you can steadily build up to more interesting movements.
Just make sure to keep your training fun. Boring routines, or simply doing the same thing over and over, will quickly bore Siberians.
3. Common Health Issues of the Siberian Cat
Siberian cats have a wide life expectancy range. Though some only make it to around ten, others can live up to eighteen years. Monitoring known health issues will help your feline reach the back end of that range.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common heart disease in Siberians. It is a condition that occurs when the heart muscle thickens and enlarges to a dangerous size.
Many people believe HCM comes around from a poor diet, but it is actually hereditary. Though not always fatal, the condition can lead to heart failure if left unchecked for an extended period of time.
There are no obvious symptoms, which means it is not easy to detect. Rather, it is best to take your Siberian kitten into the vet for a screening early in life.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
PKD is a disease that commonly affects older Siberian cats. That is because the disease is a slow degenerative condition that worsens with age.
A hereditary disease, PKD is marked by cysts that form during your kitten’s birth. Though harmless at first, they steadily fill with fluid in a way that hinders the kidney’s normal functions. Cats with the condition commonly lose weight, eat less, drink a lot, and experience increased urination.
Unfortunately, while PKD can be detected at any stage in life, there is no cure. The best way to avoid it is to screen your breeder and get your cat from a trusted source.
4. Children & Other Pets
Siberians are some of the friendliest cats on Earth. That loving, affectionate nature makes them great with both children and pets.
The breed is incredibly patient. So much so that they get along with all types of children, regardless of how calm or hyper they tend to be. However, be sure to keep an eye on such interactions. Siberians are quite fragile when young and can become injured if not properly handled.
Unlike other cats, Siberians also get along with other house pets. While you never want to mix them with birds or rodents, the felines do great alongside dogs and other cats.
Of course, such interactions are better when pets are raised together, but Siberians are quick to invite other animals into their home.
5. The History of the Siberian Cat
Siberian cats are an extremely old breed. Records show they were first around as early as 1000 A.D. in what is now Russia. However, they did not gain world popularity until the late 19th century when they became featured in British cat shows.
It would then take another hundred years for them to cross into the states. They reached America in the 1990’s, and breeders took to them instantly.
That is because their look greatly differed depending on what part of Russia they came from. The White Siberian Cat, Siberian Blue Cat, Grey Siberian
Cat, and Black Siberian Cat all look quite different, but all belong to the breed.
Since that time, Siberians have only grown in popularity as a result of their affectionate and pleasant personality. However, as they cost quite a lot to get out of Russia, they are not quite as big as other cats.
6. The Regular Expenses of Owning a Siberian Cat
Siberian cats routinely go between $1000 and $2000. However, you can find ones for a bit less at Siberian Cat adoption centers.
7. Siberian Cat Rescue Groups
There are a wide range of Siberian Cat rescue groups that actively work to bring the kittens into loving and happy homes.