Siberian cats, also known as Siberian Forest cats or Moscow Longhairs, are native to Russia and are one of the oldest cat breeds: maybe even the ancestor of all longhaired breeds. Siberians have a medium to large muscular build and are considered a Russian national treasure.
Russian paintings and literature have featured Siberian cats for several hundreds of years. However, they were more or less unknown outside of Russia until the 1980s, when they were first registered in St. Petersburg. Siberian cats were not introduced to the United States until the 1990s because importing them was very challenging. Initially, in Russia, Siberians acted as rodent control for homes, farms, and shops. However, because of their striking appearance, it wasn’t long before they became centerpieces for cat shows and competitions. Today Siberian cats are very popular and are accepted in all registries.
At first glance, the Siberian resembles the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat. However, Siberians have a more rounded body and head. Siberians’ eyes are mostly round and can be any color, even blue! The Siberians’ ears have rounded edges but appear pointed due to long tipping hairs. Their coat comes in many colors and patterns, but brown tabbies seem to be the most common. The tail is bushy and usually carried high off the back. The triple layer coat is water-repellent, matt-resistant, and features medium to long hair, depending on the season. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs which gives them impressive jumping power and helps them accomplish acrobatic movements and high leaps.
Siberians are quiet, fearless, playful and calm. Siberian cats are very personable and want to be near their owners and family members. They also generally get along with children, dogs, cats and other animals. They’re also very creative and intelligent. Some just know when they’re needed for moral or psychological support. They’re a unique breed which melodically expresses itself through sweet mews, trills, chirps, and lots of purring.
A Siberian Cat with ears that look pointy because of the tipping hairs.
Five Unique Things About the Siberian Cat
They’re Athletic: The Siberian is a climber of great heights and a madcap adventurer. They may leap wide expanses as he or she makes their way through their home. Fortunately, their well-muscled bodies are not only powerful but also agile.
They’re Social: Siberian cats are very good parents and often have larger than average litters. Male Siberians take to parenthood well if allowed into the nest with their kittens. Breeding pairs often bond very strongly. Some Siberian cats even prefer to mate with only one partner for life. Because of this tendency to form strong bonds, Siberians tend to be a good breed to own in pairs. They also tend to adjust to life in a busy family well, if introduced with care.
They Stay Youthful: While they can mate and produce kittens early in their lives, it can take up to five years for them to fully mature.
They Have Amazing Fur: The Siberian has water-repellent fur and is more likely to play with water more than some other cat breeds. They do have seasonal periods of heavy shedding, during which you’ll need to groom more frequently. Their shedding depends on the length of daylight during the day rather than temperature.
They Might Be Great For Allergy Sufferers: There’s some scientific evidence that the Siberian cat produces less dander than other cats. Also, while there’s no truly hypoallergenic cat or dog, there was also a study that showed that many of Siberian cats produce less of the protein Fel d 1 (which can cause allergic reactions in people) than other cat breeds.
While Siberians are not as widely-known or available in the US as some other breeds, they are great additions to any family. They have the perfect combination of beauty, power, agility, and fun.
At Meowtel, we love all breeds of cats, but our favorite is Rescued. Here are some Siberian Cat rescues that you can support. Maybe you’ll even find a new friend: