With semi-long triple-coat fur and a full collar ruff, there is no question that the Siberian cat is built for harsh cold climates.
The Siberian breed is indigenous to snowy Russia where temperatures can reach below zero. Siberian cats are also identified by a thick bushy tail that they use to wrap around their face and paws to keep warm.
They are believed to have been around for a thousand years, even appearing in old Russian fairy tales. This breed was then introduced worldwide following the end of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States.
Siberian cats were bred in the U.S. since 1990 and were officially recognized as a breed in 2000 by The Cat Fanciers’ Association.
Buy from Certified Breeders
When choosing your Siberian cat, contact a breeder affiliated with reputable cat organizations such as The International Cat Association (TICA).
Purchasing from certified breeders improves your chances of owning a healthy kitten. These breeders are committed to responsible breeding. They will provide kittens that are well-socialized and are up-to-date on vaccinations.
If this is your first time getting a cat or this cat breed, recognized Siberian cat breeders will expertly answer all your questions and guide you in raising them.
For those living in the East Coast, Olexsys Cattery in New York prices a Siberian kitty at $1,800 with a non-refundable $300 reservation fee. In Texas, Dr. Zoo Little Cattery has available kittens at $1,500 each with an additional $350 shipping fee.
Adopt from Local Shelters
If the Siberian cat price is a little out of your budget, you can always consider adopting one for a lower cost. Getting a cat from local shelters or foster homes will also help curb the overpopulation of homeless cats.
The possibility of owning a low-quality breed Siberian cat is a risk you will have to take when adopting. Siberians available in shelters may not be of champion-quality but they will love and care for you just the same.
Check out local rescue shelters or foster homes near you to see if they have any available. Siberian cats, however, are not typically found in adoption homes, but there’s no harm in trying.
You can also check out online adoption databases such as Petfinder or Adopt-a-Pet. These websites coordinate with animal shelters across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico which increases your chances of finding that dream Siberian kitty.
Physical Attributes and Personality
Siberian cats are usually mistaken for Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest cats, but a keen observer will note that they have rounder heads and larger paws. Their bodies create an arch due to their hind legs being slightly longer than the front ones.
These characteristics greatly improve their agility and they certainly love climbing and leaping. Their expressive eyes are large and round; typically in a shade of green, gold, green-gold or copper.
A key feature of Siberian cats is their dense three-layered coat consisting of a short downy hair undercoat, thin and wavy awn hairs, and a longer outer-coat layer. Their fur, which can come in a variety of colors and combinations, also becomes thicker and longer in the winter and will shed during fall and spring.
If you’re looking for a cuddle buddy, Siberian cats are perfect for you. These gentle giants can weigh up to 25 pounds, can grow up to 13 inches at the shoulder, and are regarded as one of the largest cat breeds.
Siberian cats mature at a slow rate and full physical development may take about five years. Don’t worry about missing out though, because they have a long lifespan – with some reaching 18 years.
The Siberian breed will give dogs a run for their money. With a canine-like temperament, these cats are devoted to their owners but are not clingy and will allow them space until they are ready for cuddling.
Siberian cats welcome the company of other people and pets if introduced properly. Socially speaking, you will not have any problems with this breed.
Diet and Nutrition
Cats are carnivorous creatures that thrive on a regular diet of meat. For Siberian cats in the wild, catching prey like birds, insects, and lizards will usually satisfy their protein requirement.
For house pets, however, it’s a bit more complex. With an endless array of cat food in the market, choosing the best for your pet can be a seemingly impossible task.
Avoid buying cat food with carbohydrate-based ingredients, including grains, corn, and soy as cats do not benefit from these. Look for those with high protein content and low synthetic additives.
Cat food products of this nature tend to be more expensive, but you will get a better bang for your buck.
Kittens will need to be fed wet food for the first few months of their lives, so keep them stocked.
- Ziwi Peak Dry Cat Food (14 oz.): $19
- Sheba Perfect Portions Wet Cat Food – 24 pack (2.6 oz Twin Pack Trays): $14.50
- Temptations Cat Treats 30z: $16
Grooming Siberian cats are relatively easy. Weekly brushing of their coat should suffice since it does not tangle often. When it does tangle, you can brush their fur once or twice a week when they are non-shedding or every day during shedding season.
Many cat owners report living harmoniously with a Siberian cat despite being allergic to felines. Although not scientifically proven, Siberian cats are considered hypoallergenic.
It turns out; allergies are not caused by the cat hair, but dander, which is found in the cat’s skin cells as well as in saliva and urine. Siberian cats seem to produce less dander than other cat breeds and are ideal for mild allergy sufferers
Bathing them can also reduce allergens if you are still having hypersensitivity reactions. Siberian cats have a water-resistant coat and are not afraid of getting wet – some even enjoy a bath or two.
Healthy cats are generally self-groomers; they are low maintenance on that department. However, cats ingest two-thirds of the hair they shed and you should always watch out for hairball.
- Catit 2.0 Long Hair Grooming Kit: $40
- Nutri-Vet Feline Paw Gel 3oz: $5.68
To keep your home clean, a cat needs to be litter or toilet trained. Cats are naturally tidy animals and like to bury their waste to hide their smell from potential predators.
For Siberian cats, it is better to select your litter sand specifically for their type. Long-haired cats are prone to having litter stuck on them and might track them all over your floor. A special litter sand for long-haired cats will prevent this.
To further avoid litter tracking, make sure to get a litter box with a size proportional to your cat. There are also mats that you can place at the litter box entrance that will trap any sand stuck in their paws or fur.
- Healthy Pet Okocat Natural Wood Litter: $35
- DuraScoop Jumbo Cat Litter Scoop: $13
- Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan: $28
- Gorilla Grip Cat Litter Mat: $17
With their active and playful disposition, it is a must to have toys nearby. Siberian cats are great climbers and can always be found leaping and running around. Their athletic builds are powerful but nimble, so you won’t have to worry about anything breaking in your house.
As with any other feline, Siberians love to scratch and sharpen their nails. Provide a scratching post to get their attention so they don’t destroy any of your beloved furniture.
You will also need a pet carrier when transporting your cat to the vet or on a trip to the park. Find one that is sturdy and large enough to house your cat comfortably and to ensure that they do not destroy it and escape.
- Go Pet Club 62-Inch Cat Tree: $70
- Pioneer Pet SmartCat Scratching Post: $42
- Sleeko Luxury Pet Carrier: $35
Due to their natural breed and hundreds of years of gene development in Russia, Siberian cats are generally healthy. Inbreeding is rare among the Siberian population due to a diverse gene pool among the population. This makes them less likely to inherit genetic diseases.
They do have one hereditary issue that is common to most cats, which is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This condition thickens the heart muscle and could lead to heart failure. Visit your veterinarian to screen for HCM.
Of course, regular check-ups and vaccinations are also necessary when owning a cat. This will help prevent common feline diseases and for them to live a long happy life with you.
VIP PetCare provides preventative care services through community clinics hosted at local pet stores. It has the following rates:
- Kitten Vaccination Pack: Up to $69
- Adult Cat Booster Vaccination Pack: Up to $67
- Microchip: $19
Before You Buy
If you didn’t already know, cats are the ultimate addition to your family. Siberian cats, in particular, will positively transform your everyday life.
They are low-maintenance and full of life. These furry animals are loyal companions; friendly to children, dogs, and other pets.
You will be able to pick up your kitten from a breeder when they are 12-16 weeks old, this age ensures that they have been litter-trained and weaned.
The cat’s age will vary if you’re adopting. Communicate with the foster home or shelter to make sure you are well acquainted with its needs and personality.
Moving to a new home is very stressful for any cat. Follow the breeder’s instructions thoroughly and don’t be afraid to ask any questions. The first time you bring home your new kitty, take the necessary measures to make it more comfortable and help ease your cat’s transition.
Keep in mind that Siberian cats are social creatures. If you’re planning to adopt and don’t have any other pets at home, why not adopt two? They will certainly enjoy each other’s company.
What do you think? Are you convinced this Russian breed is the right fit for you? There are endless reasons for choosing a Siberian cat as your next pet. The real question is, what should you name your adorable new Siberian cat?