Have you ever heard of the Siberian cat? If not, it’s time to get familiar with these amazing felines! In Russian, “Ya tebya lyublyu” means “I love you,” and you’ll definitely want to learn that phrase to tell the first Siberian cat you meet just how special they are. These cats are strong, intelligent, and have a gentle nature that makes them perfect for any household – even ones with dogs!
Siberian cats, sometimes called Siberian Forest cats or Moscow Longhairs, are a semi-longhair breed that typically weigh between 15 and 20 pounds for males and slightly less for females. Their coats are lustrous and their round eyes are full of curiosity. As a landrace breed, they have adapted over time to survive harsh Russian winters, which explains their thick fur.
These cats have amazing personalities and are quite low maintenance, making them the perfect addition to any home with kids and other pets. Don’t miss out on the chance to meet one of these incredible cats!
The origin of Siberian cats can be traced back to the dense forests of Siberia over a thousand years ago. Many experts believe that these beautiful felines are the ancestors of all modern longhair cats. Although their early stages are not well documented, they were probably domesticated by seeking refuge in farms, shops and monasteries to escape the harsh Siberian winters. Their hunting skills were highly prized by their first pet owners, as they kept rodents at bay. It is believed that Siberian cats were brought to the UK by Russian immigrants, but the exact date is unknown. They were mentioned for the first time in Harrison Weir’s late 19th-century book Our Cats and All About Them, where he described them as participants in early cat shows. It may come as a surprise, but Siberian cats were not introduced to the US until 1990. They were expensive to import, but an enthusiast from Baton Rouge, Louisiana named Elizabeth Terrell managed to negotiate terms to bring a few over by exchanging four of her Himalayans. She welcomed one male, Kaliostro Vasenjkovich, and two females, Ofelia Romanova and Naina Romanova. Despite their growing popularity, Siberian cats are still relatively rare in the US.
Siberian cats have a unique set of attributes that make them stand out from other cat breeds. They have a stocky yet agile build with strong hind legs that allow them to jump and play like incredible athletes. Their round heads, large paws, and distinct round eyes in green or gold give them a friendly expression. Their most remarkable attribute is their thick, three-layered coat that consists of coarse and straight guard hairs, thin and wavy awn hairs, and a wooly down undercoat. Siberians come in a variety of colors and patterns, including solid, tortoiseshell, and color point.
Siberian cats are energetic and adventurous problem solvers, with high intelligence levels. They love climbing and leaping and enjoy playing with puzzle toys and learning tricks. While they are devoted, they are not clingy and will patiently wait for cuddles. They are not bothered by noises or strangers as much as most cats and can cohabitate with kids, dogs, and other home occupants if introduced properly. So if you’re a pet parent to a Siberian cat, expect to have a fun-loving and affectionate companion around you.
Caring for Siberian Cats
Siberian cats are fluffy and adorable, but you may think they require a lot of grooming. However, this is not the case. Despite having a three-layered coat, Siberians have glossy fur that only needs brushing once or twice a week to prevent tangling and matting. They shed heavily at the end of winter and have lighter shedding in the summer, so it is best to brush them daily during these times.
It is recommended to trim your cat’s nails weekly and check their ears for any redness or unpleasant smells. If there is any build-up, clean it gently with a damp cotton ball and consult your veterinarian in case it indicates an ear infection. You should also brush your feline friend’s teeth a few times a week.
Are Siberian Cats Hypoallergenic?
Some people believe that Siberian cats are hypoallergenic and do not cause allergic reactions. While Siberians produce less of the protein (Fel d1) that causes allergies, even small amounts can trigger allergic reactions. They also produce dander, which can irritate allergies.
Tips for Special Siberian Care
Siberian cats are not clingy, but they enjoy being around other cats. Therefore, if you’re thinking of adopting one, consider adopting two. They thrive when they have a feline companion.
Siberians are known for their daredevil antics, but you need to protect them from potential dangers. Avoid displaying glass ornaments or fragile objects on high shelves, and invest in a ceiling-height cat tree to keep your furry friend entertained.
Siberian cats are generally healthy due to their natural breeding. However, they may be at risk for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a common heart disease in cats that causes thickening of the heart muscle and can lead to heart failure. It is recommended to have your Siberian cat screened for this condition by a veterinarian. These cats reach reproductive maturity early and can produce larger litters, so it is advisable to have them spayed or neutered as soon as possible to avoid unwanted litters.
Siberian cats are known for their lovable personalities and adventurous nature, and there are many interesting facts about them. They are the national cat of Russia and their molting is triggered by changes in daylight hours rather than temperature. Kevin Spacey played a character whose mind was trapped inside his daughter’s Siberian cat in the movie Nine Lives. These cats take parenting seriously, with mama cats typically mating with only one male and the dads playing an active role in caring for their kittens. Additionally, Siberian cats have water-repellant coats and enjoy water, so don’t be surprised if they try to join you in the shower!
Selecting a name for your Siberian cat can be a daunting task, especially considering their big personalities. To make the process easier, you could consider naming them after famous rivers and lakes in Siberia such as Lena, Amur, Obie (after the River Ob), Yenisei, or Baikal. Another option is to name them after Elizabeth Terrel, who introduced Siberian cats to the U.S., or Naina, one of her first Siberian cats. Alternatively, you could opt for names inspired by adventurous explorers who share the spirit of the Siberian, such as Magellan, Lewis, Boone, Leif, or Yuri. No matter what name you choose, it’s essential to ensure that your furry friend is protected from head to paw. So why not get an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance quote today?