Siberian cat

Other names: Siberian Forest cat

Siberian cat

This large Russian breed adapted to the harsh climates of southern Siberia, hence their name. They are very rounded cats, and their fur is much thicker in winter than in summer. If you love large cats with mid-length hair, this is the breed for you!

Key facts about the Siberian cat

Life expectancy :

10

25

15

20

Temperament :

Affectionate Playful

Type of coat :

Naked Short Long

Origins and history

Siberians (native to southern Siberia), are most likely descended from cross breeding between wild cats and domestic cats in the region. It wasn’t until the late eighties that a couple of breeders imported the first Siberians from Saint Petersburg to start breeding them in Germany. In 1990, the first Siberians arrived in the United States where they were recognised by TICA as a breed 8 years later.

Physical characteristics of the Siberian cat

    Adult size

    Female : Approximately 12 in

    Male : Between 12 and 14 in

    Siberian cats reach adult size around the age of 3.

    Weight

    Female : Between 9 and 13 lb

    Male : Between 11 and 18 lb

    Coat colour

    Black
    Brown
    White
    Red
    Cream
    Blue

    Type of coat

    Long

    Eye colour

    Blue
    Yellow
    Odd-eyed

    Description

    Siberians are large cats with muscular physiques and dense skeletons which make them rather heavy! People often affectionately refer to them as barrel-shaped. They have thick mid-length hair and a thick undercoat, and are crowned with beautiful collars of hair around their heads, which are particularly noticeable in winter.

    Good to know

    Siberians are described as hypoallergenic, as they don’t produce much of the FELD1 protein, whose amino acid sequence causes allergies.

    Temperament

    • 100%

      Affectionate

      Their fur is incredibly soft and perfect for when you’re cuddling them! It is even thicker in winter!

    • 100%

      Playful

      These cats need to run around regularly to develop and maintain their impressive muscles. They also need to expend as much energy as possible. If you arm yourself with a feather duster you’ll find your feline friend will charge around the house behind you!

    • 66%

      Calm

      Despite their strength, Siberians enjoy peace and quiet which means they often calmly settle down with their owners.

    • 66%

      Intelligent

      Siberians are always trying to work out what you expect from them. For example, they’ll quickly learn tricks (such as a high five) in exchange for a good treat!

    • 66%

      Fearful / wary of strangers

      Despite their size, Siberians can be suspicious of strangers, particularly if a person comes to disrupt their family routine. Nevertheless, curious individuals will be friendly and will parade themselves in front of their new friends.

    • 66%

      Independent

      They love to be left alone away from all noise and activity. However, they will also try and rest near their owners when they feel like it.

      Behaviour of the Siberian cat

      • 33%

        Chatty

        Due to their size, Siberians are hard to miss. Fortunately, they don’t also feel the need to express themselves with noises!

      • 100%

        Need for exercise / Sporty

        These domestic cats have to work very hard to avoid being bored and to avoid the temptation of eating too much food. By varying independent and interactive activities, you can offer them sufficient exercise and keep them in good health.

      • 66%

        Tendency to run away

        Their fur offers great protection against the cold and rain, and these big cats can withstand most climates. Thanks to their size, they have the strength to climb out of your garden so you’re definitely going to have to keep an eye on them!

      • 66%

        Greedy / Gluttony

        Their appetites are proportional to their size and levels of daily activity.

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        Compatibility

        • 66%

          Siberian cat and cats

          These cats definitely prefer living alone without any other cats. However, they can get along if respectful presentations are made and the interior layout of the property allows both parties to have their own space.

        • 100%

          Siberian cat and dogs

          To start with, they’ll probably try to hide or find a high spot from which to observe this new animal that has interfered in their daily life. But by presenting them gradually (under supervision), they are able to adapt themselves excellently to life alongside a canine companion.

        • 100%

          Siberian cat and children

          To start with, they’ll probably try to hide or find a high spot from which to observe this new animal that has interfered in their daily life. But by presenting them gradually (under supervision), they are able to adapt themselves excellently to life alongside a canine companion.

        • 66%

          Siberian cat and the elderly

          Their calm nature makes them good companions for elderly people. It’s recommended that you seek advice from breeders in order to select the least rowdy individuals. Also, Siberians are more active when they’re young.

          Price

          On average, Siberians cost between £150 and £650. This price varies depending on their lineage, breeding, age and sex. On average it costs £35 per month to keep them in good health, meet their needs, and ensure they get high quality food.

          Grooming

          Weekly brushing is sufficient, except during their spring moulting, when daily brushing may be necessary.

          Shedding

          During their spring moult, these cats lose a lot of their thick protective winter fur which they don’t need during milder seasons.

          Nutrition of the Siberian cat

          To keep them healthy, their diet should be of high quality, and must adapted to their living conditions (exercise levels etc.).

          Health of the Siberian cat

          Life expectancy

          They have a life expectancy of between 15 and 20 years.

          Strong / robust

          Their fur and undercoat give them excellent protection against both rain and cold weather. They also have a reputation for being generally healthy cats. However, they don’t particularly appreciate hot weather, even if their coat does adapt accordingly.

          Tendency to put on weight

          Their body type is already rounded at the ribs and it is important to avoid attributing these natural curves to weight gain! Therefore you must ensure that their diet is well adapted to their lifestyle to avoid them becoming overweight. Particularly as it isn’t easy to notice their weight gain due to their thick hair.

          Common illnesses

          Siberians can develop the same diseases as other cats, such as oral diseases.
          Other diseases that may appear include:

          • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: it is a condition which causes the heart muscle to thicken. This disease can cause heart failure that can result in arrhythmias or even lung aedemas. You can screen for this with an echocardiograph repeated annually. 
          • Pyruvate kinase deficiency is a hereditary condition that causes anemia. If the cat is affected, their life expectancy can be shortened to a year, or they can stay alive for up to 10 years. A DNA screening test can be carried out to find out if the cat is carrying one or two alleles that cause the disease.

          Reproduction

          On average, they have 4 kittens per litter.
          Cross breeding is banned.