A sociable cat and immediately recognizable by its thick coat
The Siberian cat can be a good companion animal, faithful and sociable. Here’s what you should know if you decide to have one indoors.
When you think of the Siberian cat, the first image that comes to mind is that of a cat with a reddish and thick coat, a lover of cold.
Originally from Siberia, this breed spread to USA much later. Let’s find out its history and its main physical and behavioral characteristics.
Siberian Cat : its story
Even about the Siberian cat, legends are lost in time. Some say that its origins can be traced back to the wild cats of the taiga and that during the Middle Ages they were the protectors and guardians of monasteries in Siberia.
The Siberian cat as we know it today was probably born from the crossing of local cats with cats brought by some settlers in Siberian Russia, during the sixteenth century. Other theories, in vogue especially in Russia, are based on ancient written records, dating back to the seventeenth century, which call it the “Bukhara cat” (Central Asian region along the Silk Road, in present-day Uzbekistan).
The probability that the settlers had come into contact with the Central Asian merchants is concrete, as well as it is possible that they immediately noticed the usefulness of this cat in hunting the mouse, the real scourge of those times.
On the other hand, some scholars and researchers have advanced the hypothesis that this was the first long-haired species present in the world. A much older origin than the Russian colonization of Siberia.
In the USA this cat arrives very recently. In 1989 the spouses Hans and Betty Shultz decided to import some specimens from St. Petersburg and also founded the first breeding. However, it will be necessary to wait until 1997 to obtain the official recognition of the breed.
In Russia, however, the Siberian cat (Сибирская кошка) is the national cat. The last president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, owned a Siberian cat, as did the current Russian Prime Minister Medvedev.
Siberian Cat : appearance and size
The Siberian cat, coming from a cold region, had to adapt to the harsh climate by strengthening its thick fur.
The body is particularly muscular and this makes it agile and dynamic in its movements, even if the female tends to be more lazy. Being a cat large breed, the male reaches 7-9 kg, while the female from 4 to 6 kg. However, full development does not occur before 5 years, which is quite a long time compared to the average.
The legs of the Siberian cat are round and well planted on the ground, covered with hair to protect themselves from the snow and not to sink. The head is proportionate to the rest of the body, the eyes are large and can be of different colors, from amber to blue or green. It has many morphological features in common with another Northern European cat, the Norwegian Forest cat.
The coat is water repellent and the coat is semi-long all year round. It is a hypoallergenic cat, therefore ideal for those with cat allergies. In fact, its sebaceous glands are unable to produce the Fel d1 protein which is commonly released on the hair during daily grooming. It is this protein that triggers allergic reactions in us humans.
All colors are acceptable , from classic brindle red to black, with the exception of lilac, chocolate, cinnamon and fawn. Siberian cats with “colorpoint” coloring with a Siamese motif, that is, with the darker ends of the body, are called Neva Masquerade . Over time they have been recognized as the “sister” breed of the Siberian cat.
Siberian Cat : Character ( a “sweetened” wild)
The Siberian cat has partly retained its wild instinct . Independent and solitary, good hunter, it loves to socialize and be pampered. It is very attached to its family and the territory in which it lives, so much so that in the past some even used it as a “guard cat”.
This cat tends to become attached to one person in particular , of whom it becomes the faithful companion and guardian, but in general it is quite affectionate with everyone. If you raise a Siberian cat at home, rest assured that you will find it in every room. Some believe that the character resembles that of a dog in many ways.
Over the years, with the selection, the character has gradually softened, to adapt to a lifestyle completely different from that of the past. Today it is even used as a pet therapy animal, helping people in difficulty in healthcare and hospital contexts.
Siberian Cat : care and breeding
Being able to find a Siberian cat in Europe at a kennel is not exactly easy. This breed is widespread in and around Russia, of which it has become the national mascot.
The price is around $1100 USD for a pedigreed cat. before buying it also check the ZTP Test to make sure it meets all the standard features.
The Siberian cat does not need special care. In fact, it does not need to be brushed except once a week, it cleans itself by itself. It has a sturdy build that protects it from many diseases, so it tends to live a long time (on average 15 years).
If you have other cats or dogs in the house, the Siberian adapts to coexistence , while the presence of small animals, such as rodents or birds, could become a problem. Also ideal for families with children.
If you decide to breed it indoors, make sure the puppies are pampered in the first few weeks of life. They need to feel physical contact. Once adults, take into consideration that the males, if left free, could go away even for several days.