The Siberian cat is Russia's national cat. This large, long-haired breed evolved naturally in the harsh climate of Russia, and they appear in a lot of local children's tales and myths. It's impossible to know how long these cats have been around Russia, but experts think it's been more than 1,000 years. They were recognized as a proper breed only in the 1980s and became famous all over the world after the fall of the USSR. The Siberian cat is the perfect pet if you are looking for a sociable and loving companion.
Even if they have become fully domesticated only in the last few decades, Siberian cats are extremely friendly with humans. They'll greet you at the door when you get home, and spend a lot of time on your lap. Unlike other breeds, Siberian cats are not shy with guests, so if you have people over they'll be happy to hang out with them.
These cats are professional attention-seekers. It's not the best idea to leave your Siberian cat home alone for too long, or they might get quite depressed. They are truly happy when they have someone with them, and they will follow you around the house. They aren't very vocal, though, so they will try to get your attention by asking for pets and rubbing against you.
If you want to make sure that your Siberian cat doesn't get lonely, you can always adopt two. Ideally, it's better to get two siblings from the same litter, or a male and a female. This way, you don't have to worry when you leave the house for too many hours at a time or for a night. Because of their affectionate character, Siberian cats also get along well with dogs.
Because of their wild ancestry, Siberian cats are very active and agile felines. They like to climb, explore, and play, and they are equally fond of outdoor and indoor. If you are looking for a cat that you can take on walks, the Siberian is the one you are looking for. Also, make sure you can set aside some time to play with them on a daily basis since these animals need a lot of mental stimulation. Because of this capacity to establish bonds with humans, they are also very trainable cats.
The Siberian's coat has three layers to protect them from Russia's extreme weather. Guard hair is the outer fur and is long and thick. Awn hair, the second layer, reinforces the guard hair and protects the third and deeper layer, called down hair, that prevents the cat from feeling cold. This incredible coat can come in many colors: solid, tabby, tortoiseshell, and even point coloration.
While they grow fond of their humans and are especially good with kids, Siberians can be very attached to their feline families. Females can get pregnant younger than other breeds, and they usually have big litters. Even fathers stick around to take care of the kittens and to teach them to hunt and play. Additionally, it's quite usual for Siberians to have only one mate for their entire lives.
To know what to feed your Siberian cat, it's better to consult your veterinarian. A cat's diet varies with age and size, so follow your vet's instructions and be ready to adapt to your feline friend's changing nutritional needs. Generally, it's better to feed them high-protein and high-quality wet food, and do remember to always have a bowl of fresh water available. Even better, get them a little water fountain, as cats prefer running water over still.
Siberian cats shed twice a year, once in the spring and once in the winter. In order to reduce the amount of hair around the house, brush them every other day during the shedding seasons, and a couple of times a week during the rest of the year. Occasionally bathing them can reduce hair loss and remove dust and dirt. Clean their litter every other day to make sure they don't get angry about not having a clean bathroom and don't leave you unwelcome surprises around the house.
Given their natural evolution, these cats are usually super healthy. They aren't especially prone to common feline diseases, but they can sometimes develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an enlargement of the heart muscle. Given that this is often genetic, responsible breeders try to avoid it being passed down to future generations. Siberian cats also have a very good life expectancy, with individuals living up to 18 years.
Siberians are considered somewhat hypoallergenic. Their coats have a decreased dander quality, meaning that they don't produce as much dander, which is the primary allergen in cats. If you or someone in your family is allergic, but you really really want a furry feline friend, a Siberian is a great option.
Get your paws on the latest animal news and information