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Is the Siberian right for you?

The basics:
This warm-hearted breed from a chilly climate is definitely a show stopper - with his considerable size and generous coat, the Siberian is hard to miss. With an affectionate, attentive, and people-loving personality, this breed is also hard to ignore. Easy-going and even-tempered, the Siberian takes life as it comes, and isn’t overly fussed by bustle and noise. They’re social and not easily put off by strangers. Their fondness for a warm lap and their implacable calm have made them good choices for therapy cats, and few comforts could be greater on a sick day that cuddling with a Siberian.

There are some claims that the Siberian is hypoallergenic to one extent or another. Though limited research has been done, the largest study found that while all Siberians do still produce the protein responsible for most allergic reactions, about 50% of Siberians seem to produce the protein to a lesser degree. Interestingly, silver coated Siberians seem to produce the highest level of the allergen. Regardless, allergy sufferers are encouraged to spend time with the parent cats and kittens before choosing to adopt a Siberian based on these findings.

The Siberian originally hails from Russia, where they have appeared in artwork and folklore for 1000 years. They’re a naturally developed breed, a working cat from the subarctic forests of Siberia, prized for their hunting prowess and ability to keep mice and rats from the food stores. Siberians have been owned by Soviet presidents and Russian Prime Ministers, but only found their way to the United States in 1990. Though gaining in popularity, the Siberian is still hard to find outside of Europe.

Appearance / health:
The Siberian is a medium to large cat, powerfully built with a heavy frame. The torso is well muscled and barrel-shaped with slightly longer hind legs that give the back a slight arch. The feet are considerable, big and rounded with tufts of fur between the toes and pads. The tail is somewhat shorter than the length of the body and is full and fluffy. Atop a well-muscled neck sits a somewhat wedge-shaped head, broad at the top and narrowing slightly to a well-rounded, but somewhat short muzzle. The contours of the head are rounded with a rounded chin. The ears are medium-large and broadly set with rounded tips. The hair on the back of the ear is short and thin, but the hair from the middle of the ear is longer, covering the base of the ear. The ears may be lynx-tipped. The eyes are almost round, large, and slightly angled. The eyes may be of any color.

The Siberian’s thick coat is moderately long with 3 layers. The tight undercoat is thickest during cold weather and moults once or twice a year. The Siberian has both intermediate awn hairs, and longer, outer guard hairs. The hair on across the shoulders and on the lower chest is shorter and thicker, while a thick ruff should frame the head. They hair may be somewhat curly on britches and belly. The texture of the Siberian’s coat can vary from course to soft, depending on season, and sometimes even dependent on color. The Siberian comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including tabby, solid, tortoiseshell, and colorpoint. Some registries differentiate the colorpoint Siberian as a different breed, the Neva Masquerade.

Behavior / temperament:
The Siberian is a people-loving, affectionate, and playful cat. They want to be where the action is, whether that’s on your lap watching tv, on your newspaper during breakfast, or maybe even dipping his paws into your bath: the Siberian has a fondness for playing in water. The Siberian is confident and social, and will likely greet your guests at the door. A busy household doesn’t bother the Siberian, and this breed does particularly well with children. They tend to get along well with other cats, and cat friendly dogs, although the Siberian does like to be in charge.

Active, athletic, and playful the Siberian has a reputation as a bit of an adventurer. They like to climb, and they’re particularly adept at powerful jumps. Clever enough to manipulate doors and cupboards, you’ll need to keep the treats well hidden. They often do well with puzzle toys, especially those that reward with favorite bits of food. The Siberian loves nothing more than games that involve his people to, and he’s not above games of fetch or chasing a mouse on a string. Though not clingy, a bored Siberian drop a few hints by dropping his toys in the water dish. Despite their size and activity level, the Siberian actually does relatively well in small spaces, and fairs well as an apartment cat.


gentle cat, beautiful long-haired breed, hypoallergenic qualities, affectionate, intelligent


bit territorial, daily grooming, additional bonding time, dominant cats, newby breeders


hunters, harness adventures, clicker training, slow maturing cat, wonderful purrers, soft chirp

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