General Description: The majestic Siberian is a strong, powerfully built cat with strong hindquarters helping them jump exceptionally high. They are a slow-maturing breed reaching full magnificence at about 5 years of age. Siberians are large cats with a substantial rounded body reminiscent of a barrel and heavily boned legs to support the substantial body structure. Their paws would do a heavyweight boxer proud! But for all their powerful strength, these are gentle cats that enjoy playing and clowning around with their families.
History: Siberian cats have existed for a long time (The earliest known reference is from 1000 AD). They come from the Siberian Taiga. At the end of the 1600, the Russian immigrants brought the cats with them to Siberia. In the harsh Siberian climate, through natural selection they became a healthy breed where only the strongest survived. When they eventually came to Moscow and St. Petersburg, the breed clubs discovered fantastic qualities of Siberian cats, which were genetically separated from the European cats for over 100 years. The 1980s saw the rise of the cat fancy in Russia and records began to be kept. Kotofei Cat Club in Moscow created the first standard and used 2 cats as the model for it: Mars-a blue lynx point and white--and Roman--a brown tabby and white. In 1990 first 3 cats were imported to the USA, followed by first color-point Siberians imported in 1997. The Siberian cat breed is recognized by most cat organizations, including TICA and CFA. TICA accepted them into the New Breed program in 1992 and in 1996 granted them championship status.
Personality: Siberians use their incredible intelligence to solve all kinds of problems-like determining to how to open a door to be with the owners they adore, how to get to the cat food for an extra meal, or how to recover the favorite toy their owner thinks they have so cleverly hidden out of reach! They are powerful agile cats that can leap great distances and heights, sometimes appearing to fly through the air, but despite their size, they are adept at negotiating obstacles in their path without knocking them over. At the same time, they love to play and will entertain you with their clown-like antics. They adore their human families and their visitors-with children holding a warm spot in their hearts. They have a wonderful depth to their purr and talk to you with a chirping sound, particularly when they are coming to greet you when you have been out.
Traits: While considered a semi-longhair, the Siberian's coat varies with the season. In the winter, it will have a thick, rich, full, triple coat that would have protected it from the elements in its native Russia. In the summer, they shed the heavy winter coat for a shorter, less dense coat. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including pointed, with deep intense colors and rich patterns that make them a dramatic stand out from the everyday cat. The Siberian is a large, strong cat with heavy boning and a powerful musculature that takes up to 5 years to reach full maturity. They have rounded contours to the body resembling a barrel and rounded, gentle contours to the modified wedge head. Their eyes are almost, but not quite, round and will appear rounder when the cat is alert or startled. Their hind legs are slightly longer than their front legs giving them the powerful lift they need to get to those high places they just have to reach! The overall impression of the mature Siberian is one of the balance, circles and roundness.
Allergies: Siberian cats are considered to be hypoallergenic, which means that they cause less or none of an allergic reaction in most individuals allergic to cats. The Siberian cats are low in the Fel d1 protein, which is produced in the saliva, tear ducts, glands and skin of cats, and which causes reactions in individuals sensitive to Fel d1. There are other allergens produced by cats that people can react to, therefore, it is recommended that you visit a Siberian cattery before purchasing a kitten. Breeders of Siberians cats have been very successful in placing their cats in households with allergic individuals, and there are other measures that can be taken to improve your chances of success with a Siberian cat: use HEPA filters, vacuum often, keep the litter box in an isolated room, use allergen reducers, keep your cat away from your sleeping area, bathe your cat once a month and wipe him down with a wipe once a week.