Siberian cats history
Despite the fact that Siberian cats breed is natural and is the national cats breed of Russia, finding written information in Russia is fairly difficult.
Siberian cats were common cats roaming the Russian markets and the countryside of their homeland of Siberia. Cats were first brought into Russia by Nobles because they were considered to be exotic pets. The domestic cats mated with the European and Asian wild cats (Felis Silvestris) that were already there. Only a few of those cats who were strong adapted to the harsh Siberian climate and survived Russian immigrants were said to have carried this breed with them as they journeyed to cold Moscow and St. Petersburg leaving the cold inhospitable climate of the North. The breed continued to survive the harsh winters and climate and developed a thick fur and waterproof, oily coat. During this time no one bothered to develop the Siberian into a pedigreed cat. Russia did not allow citizens to own any kind of household pet, pedigreed or otherwise, because of the food shortage.
The Siberian cats breed was first noted in Harrison Weir's late nineteenth century book, "Our Cats and All About Them", as one of the three longhairs represented at the first cat show held in England in 1871. The second written proof was in 1925 from the book "Brehms Tierleben" where a stocky longhaired red cat named Tobolsker originating from Caucasus is mentioned. Siberians can also be found in Russian paintings that are hundreds of years old.
The reason why such an old breed was not officially registered until recently was that ownership was not allowed by the Russian Communist regime. In later years after the end of the cold war in Russia, cat clubs became fashionable, and citizens were allowed to own pets. Many cat clubs developed, among which St. Petersburg Kotofei (pronounced COT-ah-fay), a division of ACFA. Kotofei was established in 1987 and was named after a fabled Russian character that had the head of a cat. Breeding records, therefore, started being kept and the first cat show in Moscow was held in 1988.
The Siberian cats were brought to the US in 1990 and on February 6, 2000 were accepted into the Miscellaneous class by CFA.
Siberian cats personality
Siberian cats are gentle and affectionate creatures. They get on very well with children, they will readily accept other household pets and will stand by the door to greet the guests. They are very people-oriented cats and love blending in every family activity. On the other hand, they become depressed if left alone for a long time. So if you are a workaholic or have to travel a lot, it is highly recommended to get another pet to keep your Siberian company.
Siberian cats are also very smart cats and can easily be trained to respond to the calling of their name or even perform tricks. They are also very playful, retaining their kitten personalities throughout their whole life. They like high places and are powerful leapers. Their sharp wit and muscular bodies enable them to be good hunters and excellent mousers. However, without regular physical and mental stimulus they can become bored and mischievous.
If not given cause to fear water, they love fresh running water and will drink from a running faucet, preferring it to a water bowl. Siberian cats even invent water games, such as throwing their toys in their water bowl or finally supervising your bath or shower.
Siberian cats breed standards
According to the Fédération Internationale Féline, Siberian cats are medium to large sized with the females possessing a generally smaller body than the males.
Their head is a little bit longer than broad, softly rounded and massive.
Siberian cats have a broad and slightly rounded forehead, and their cheekbones are well developed.
Their nose is of medium length and broad, showing a slight indentation in profile.
The chin is slightly slanting back, creating a curve from the upper line of the nose when viewing the Siberian cat in profile.
The ears are medium sized, well open at the base, with rounded tips and well-developed hairs and tufts. They are set well apart, tilting slightly forward.
Siberian cats possess large and slightly oval shaped eyes, set widely apart. All eye colors are permitted.
Their body has a well boned and muscled structure, with a powerful neck and a broad chest.
The legs are strong and of medium height, adding to the body a rectangular effect. The paws are large, round and well tufted between the toes.
Siberian cats possess a medium length and thick tail that ends to a rounded tip.
As for Siberian cats coat, this is semi-long, well developed and very dense. The undercoat is not flat, actually it sticks out of the body to insulate it, while the overcoat is water repellent and a bit hard to touch.
All coat colors and patterns are permitted for the Siberian cat, except for the pointed patterns with chocolate, lilac, cinnamon and fawn.