Siberian cats also known as Siberian Forest cats or Moscow Longhairs, are native to Russia and are one of the oldest cat breeds: maybe even the ancestor of all longhaired breeds. Siberians have a medium to large muscular build and are considered a Russian national treasure.
The Siberian cat can be seen in Russian paintings and literature dating back hundreds of years. However, they were more or less unknown outside of Russia until the 1980s, when they were first registered in St. Petersburg. Despite their long history, Siberian cats were not introduced to the United States until the 1990s because importing them was very challenging. Initially, in Russia, Siberians acted as rodent control for homes, farms, and shops. However, because of their striking appearance, it wasn’t long before they became centerpieces for cat shows and competitions. Today Siberian cats are very popular and are accepted in all registries.
At first glance, the Siberian resembles the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat, but they are differentiated by having a more rounded body and head. Their eyes are mostly round and can be any color, though some Siberians have blue eyes or one eye of a different color. Their ears appear pointed because of extra hair found in and around the ears, but the edges are rounded and may have Lynx tipping. The Siberian coat comes in many colors and patterns, but brown tabbies seem to be the most common. The tail is bushy and usually carried high off the back. The triple layer coat is water-repellent, matt-resistant, and features medium to long hair, depending on the season. Their hind legs are longer than the front to give them impressive jumping power in their acrobatic movements and high leaps.
Siberians are quiet, fearless, playful and calm. Siberian cats are very personable and want to be near their owners and family members. They also generally get along with children, dogs, cats and other animals. They’re also very creative and intelligent. Many of them seem to know when they’re needed for moral or psychological support. They’re a unique breed which melodically expresses itself through sweet mews, trills, chirps, and lots of purring.
What Makes The Siberian Cat Unique
- Athletic: The Siberian is a climber of great heights, a madcap adventurer, and may leap wide expanses as he or she makes their way through their home. Fortunately, their well-muscled bodies are not only powerful but also agile.
- Social: Siberian cats are very good parents and often have larger than average litters. Male Siberians take to parenthood well if allowed into the nest with their kittens. Breeding pairs are often very strongly bonded and may even mate for life. Because of this tendency to form strong bonds, Siberians tend to be a good breed to own in pairs. They also tend to adjust to life in a busy family well, if introduced with care.
- Aging: While they can mate and produce kittens early in their lives, it can take up to five years for them to fully mature.
- Fur: The Siberian has water-shedding fur and is more likely to play with water more than some other cat breeds. They do have seasonal periods of heavy shedding (when the length of daylight changes), during which you’ll need to groom more frequently.
- For allergy sufferers: there’s some scientific evidence that the Siberian cat produces less dander than other cats. Also, while there’s no truly hypoallergenic cat or dog, there was also a study that showed that many of Siberian cats produce less of the protein Fel d 1 (which can cause allergic reactions in people) than some other cat breeds.
While Siberians are not as widely-known or available in the US as some other breeds, they’ve been shown to be great additions to any family. They are the perfect combination of beauty, power, agility, and fun.
At Meowtel, our favorite breed is Rescued. Here are some Siberian Cat rescues that you can support, or where you may be able to find a new friend: