The Siberian Cat, which is also known as the Siberian Forest Cat, is a breed of cat that was developed in Russia. The original breed was developed from stray cats that were brought into people's homes and domesticated.
While the breed was developed in the 1960's, there has been much evidence linking the breed to cats seen in Russia for centuries.
The Siberian is considered to be one of the largest breeds of cats in the world. It is known by its semi-long coat, affectionate nature and energetic personality.
While it is still fairly unknown, the Siberian Cat is gaining some popularity throughout the world. It is the official cat of Russia and this title has led many to discover this great breed.History
The Siberian has a rather short history if you are looking at the breed specifically and not at the roots of the breed. It was developed in the 1980’s officially; however, the breed is believed to have been developed sometime in the 1940's.
Originally, the Siberian Cat is believed to have started in the streets of Leningrad and other cities throughout Russia. Centuries ago, when Russia was overrun by rats, cats of varying breeds were imported into Russian cities to help catch the rats.
While the cats were imported for a purpose, the majority of cats in Russia became strays. They would find shelter and food on their own and often became adopted by families, which made them domesticated.
It is from these stray cats that the Siberian Cat was first developed and there is very little information on what breeds went into the creation of the breed.
The Siberian was first developed in the 1960’s and breeding began on a little scale in Moscow and Leningrad. The breeders who developed the Siberian Cat created them from strays that they had domesticated.
During the 1970’s, breeding of these cats slowed and it wasn’t until the end of the 1980’s that breeders returned to creating the Siberian Cat.
By 1987, a breed standard was created and registrations for the Siberian Cat began in St. Petersburg under the Kotofei Club. Shortly after that time, the Fauna Club began registering the breed in Moscow.
Since then, efforts have been made to keep the Siberian a purebred cat. These efforts continue with a breed standard and also with showing the breed to ensure breeders are educated about what a healthy Siberian Cat should look like.
While it is still fairly unknown, the Siberian Cat has been imported into Western Europe as well as North America where it is quickly gaining popularity.General Facts
Before we look at how to care for your Siberian, it is important to be aware of some quick facts about the Siberian. Later on in this book, I will go over temperament and other facts about the breed but these general facts will give you a good idea if the Siberian Cat is the right breed for you.
Is the Siberian Cat a wild cat?
The Siberian Cat is often called the Siberian Forest Cat and it is this name that often confuses people. While it was developed from stray cats in Russia, the cats were domesticated and were not actually wild cats.
It is important to note that there are breeders who claim that the Siberian Cat is wild in nature and comes from a small, wild cat; the theories on how it was developed link it directly with stray cats in Russia and you do not find the breed in the wild.
Do Siberian Cats make good pets?
Absolutely. Siberian Cats are friendly, affectionate and usually very active. They are very much a cat breed that can fit into any lifestyle and they are usually very easy to care for despite having a longer coat.
Are Siberian Cats good with children?
The answer is yes, without a doubt the Siberian Cat is excellent with children. They are usually very patient with children and will often seek them out for attention. That being said, if a child mishandles a Siberian Cat, it can become timid and even aggressive towards kids so it is important to teach children how to handle the cat.
Are they clean?
Cats, in general, are clean animals and will constantly groom themselves to maintain a clean coat. Siberian Cats are no different and are considered to be clean.
That being said, they do shed hair, however, they are considered to be low shedders with only two shedding periods in the year. In addition, all cats will have kitty litters, which can be quite messy, especially if they are not properly cleaned.
Can they live in any type of dwelling?
Yes, Siberian Cats can live in any type of dwelling and don't have many extra needs as a breed.
Are they noisy?
No, Siberian Cats are a quiet breed and while they will meow, they usually communicate with soft mews and chirps instead of through loud crying.
What is the lifespan of a this breed?
A Siberian Cat has a long lifespan and it is not uncommon for them to reach the age of 12 to 14 years of age. Many live much longer than that and some can reach the age of 18.
Are they illegal to own?
Since Siberian Cats are not actually developed from wild breeds, they are not illegal to own. That being said, make sure you check with your own local bylaws to ensure that the Siberian Cat is not restricted.
How big do Siberian Cats get?
Siberian Cats are considered to be one of the biggest breeds of cats alive today. They usually average between 8 to 15 pounds and many can weigh more.
How long do they take to mature?
The Siberian Cat usually reaches sexual maturity at the age of 6 months for females and 10 months for males. However, they are not considered to be fully grown until they are 1 year of age.
Are Siberian Cats expensive to own?
In general, Siberian Cats are no more expensive to raise than other breeds of cats. There is the initial purchasing expense, however, when the Siberian Cat is an adult, its average cost of ownership is about 500USD or £300 per year. This equals roughly 40USD or £25 per month and includes food, yearly medical costs, toys and miscellaneous items a cat may need. During the first year of your Siberian Cat's life, the cost goes up slightly and can range from 650 to 800USD or £400 to £500. This is due to the added medical care necessary, paying for altering and the initial supplies that you need.
One thing that should be mentioned is that some breeders will sell their kittens altered, which means that they are already spayed or neutered. This means that those initial, first year costs are not as high for you.
Do they cost a lot?
When you look at the cost of Siberian Cats compared to an average housecat you purchase from the newspaper, they can be quite expensive. On average, Siberians cost around 900 to 1200 USD or £550 to £800. The price varies depending on the terms of the breeder and the area that they live in. In addition, many breeders spay or neuter their kittens before sale and the price often reflects this practice.
Should they be indoor pets?
While there is a big debate on whether a cat should be indoor or outdoor, Siberians can thrive as both an indoor and outdoor cat. That being said, cats do much better as indoor and providing them with a safe enclosure outside is much better than allowing them to roam.
Are they good ratters?
Yes, Siberian Cats are active and this gives them the athleticism to be excellent ratters. In addition, since they have been developed from stray cats, the Siberian Cat still has many of the instinctual drives needed to be a good ratter.
Can they live in colder climates?
Siberians do very well in colder climates.