77b2a3bf f7ad 4ac0 90eb 7f875b309e61 Siberian Cat

Siberian Cat

Confident / Playful / Sweet

If you’re looking for a tough breed with a tender side, Siberian cats may be for you.

Known for their blue eyes and full-collar ruffs, they can be found cuddling in their owner’s lap, playing around the house, or playing in the bath. These confident cats are also versatile and affectionate.

77b2a3bf f7ad 4ac0 90eb 7f875b309e61 Siberian Cat

Health

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Personality

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Lifetime Care

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Breed Profile

Height

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  • 10 – 12 inches

Weight

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  • Males: 9 – 18 pounds
  • Females: 8 – 15 pounds

Lifetime

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  • 11 – 18+ years

Health Risk

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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

What is it?

Cardiac disease is a common health problem in cats (though not as much as in dogs), with the most common form of heart disease being HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy).

Unfortunately, these Russian cats are predisposed to this condition and are at higher risk than other breeds. Knowing the signs can help pet owners seek prompt treatment to manage the symptoms so their cat can continue a high quality of life.

% Cats affected:

10-15% of all cats

Clinical signs:

Sometimes asymptomatic, otherwise labored breathing, hyperventilation, weakness, lethargy, pain or paralysis in hind limbs, collapse, shock, blood clots

Treatment:

Medical therapy, nitroglycerine

Other risks:

Treatment manages symptoms, but there is no known cure

Average Vet Bill

$1000

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


90% = $900

80% = $800

70% = $700

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.

Personality

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Sweet

This breed is often considered a lap cat breed, and they enjoy cuddling and showing affection to their humans. A Siberian cat shows affection towards strangers and other animals.

Playful

These affectionate cats love to play with their humans and other pets if they have siblings. They have a high energy level but also know when it’s time to relax. They won’t meow endlessly to tell their owners they’re bored.

Independent

This breed is close to the perfect balance of affectionate and independent. Most individuals are not clingy and will allow you time and space when needed, although they still should not be left alone for too long.

Loyal

The fierce looks of the Siberian cat accompany a fierce loyalty to family.

Quiet

Siberians may be strong, independent, and confident with strangers, but they don’t walk much. Vocal expression isn’t particularly common nor loud — just occasional chirps, trills, and purrs.

Lifetime Care

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Coat:

Coat

These cats have a long triple coat with water-resistant and weather-proof qualities. Siberian kittens and cats have an undercoat, awn hair, and guard hair that is not prone to matting.

Colors

Wide colorpoint variety ranging from white Siberian cats to calico, tabby, black, brown, lilac, gray, and cream, with many in between. They can also have almost any pattern.

Hypoallergenic

Siberian cats may produce fewer Fel-D1 allergens than other breeds, but they are not hypoallergenic.

Grooming

Any longhaired cat breed should be groomed frequently. For Siberians, at least three times a week or more is acceptable, and finding a comb that can reach deep to keep all layers of their triple coat clean and untangled is ideal.

Training

Thanks to their high intelligence and friendly disposition towards humans, Siberian cats are generally easy to train. They may not be as sensitive as other breeds, but you should still use positive reinforcement and avoid harsh treatment.

Living Space

Siberians can thrive in apartments or homes but thoroughly enjoy outdoor time and even playing in the water.

Colors:

Hypoallergenic:

No

Grooming:

Daily brushing, occasional bath, regular nail trims

Training:

Easy to train.

Life Time Care Cost:

$43,000

Siberian Cat: Breed Information Guide

Cats come from all over the world, but many of the most popular longhaired breeds come from cold regions in Europe and Asia. One such breed is the Siberian cat.

Siberian cats are strikingly beautiful and easily catch the eye of potential owners. Still, first impressions can never replace diligent research to ensure a breed is a good fit for your home. This large domestic cat has a size comparable to the Maine Coon or Norwegian forest cat.

With the help of our Spot Pet Insurance breed guides, you can step into pet parenthood fully equipped to give your Siberian cat the highest quality of life.

Meet the Siberian cat

Long hair and large bodies are the first things most people notice about the hardy Siberian cat. It’s clear they come from a northern region where the weather is harsh, and their ancestors had to adapt.

However, those who have been around a Siberian cat know that their instincts don’t quite reflect the hardened nature of their original environment. This breed tends to be sweet, social, and gentle, having a perfect temperament for families and most cat owners in general. 

Breeders intended these cats for the cold weather of the Siberian forests in Russia, but their personality is utterly opposite to their environment of origin: warm, friendly, and playful.

For these reasons, Siberians frequently find a place in top cat breed rankings around the world, although they are still somewhat rare in the U.S. 

Where does the Siberian cat breed come from?

As their name implies, Siberian cats originated in the cold upper regions of Russia, known as Siberia.

This breed can arguably be traced back over 1000 years. However, records of cats generally were not well kept until the last two or three centuries, and it wasn’t until quite recently they came into official standing with large organizations.

There were some references to Siberian cats in the 19th century, but it wasn’t until the late 20th century that things picked up speed.

In the 1970s and 80s, Siberian cats in Russia got their first standard thanks to the Kotofei Cat Club and Kis Cat Club in St. Petersburg.

By the 90s, the breed had made its way to the United States, but even today, despite the love the breed receives, it is still fairly rare.

Are Siberian cats affectionate with family?

Yes, Siberian cats are a very affectionate breed. Most individuals would qualify as lap cats, meaning they love attention and like to rest on their owners while they receive it.

However, the disposition can always vary between individuals. In general, while Siberians shouldn’t be left alone for too long, they are not a clingy breed and enjoy a bit of time to themselves. Seeking a balance in terms of attention given to your cat is ideal for this breed.

Are Siberian cats intelligent?

Yes, Siberian cats are an intelligent breed. They can learn concepts quickly and remember them easily, which is helpful during training. However, they have a bit of independence as well.

Siberians are also very observant and often use their intelligence and attentiveness to learn things you may not want them to, such as how to open doors. The breed isn’t particularly known for their mischief, but you should be aware of doors that could lead to trouble or escape.

Intelligence doesn’t always equal streetwise. Be sure to keep an eye on your cat while they are outside, as they don’t always know what to avoid.

Do Siberian cats do well with children?

Families with children can thrive with a Siberian cat in the household. Since the cat is fairly tolerant of being picked up and petted and has a gentle but playful nature, many consider it an ideal breed for children.

As always, until your child is older and experienced with handling animals, you should supervise any interactions between your cat and child. 

How are Siberian cats with strangers?

Socialization is the best way to ensure any breed does its best around strangers. Thankfully, a socialized Siberian easily warms up to strangers. 

Once a stranger is welcomed in, they are treated like family. Until that time, you may find your Siberian a bit standoffish and shy, but like all traits, this could vary from cat to cat.

Do Siberian cats get along with other pets?

Other pets can be a great fit for a Siberian cat home. They enjoy spending time with other animals as well as humans, whether those animals be cats or dogs.

This friendliness isn’t always reciprocated as easily, so you should be careful to properly introduce new pets anytime you add to your fur family.  

How to be the best pet parent for a Siberian cat

Siberian cats may be a very adaptive, easy to care for breed overall, but there’s still a lot of responsibility for a pet parent, and knowledge is the best tool to that end.

Check out our Spot Pet Insurance Blogbowl for helpful information addressing a huge range of topics, from lifestyles to insurance questions and breed guides, like this one.

How much does a Siberian cat cost?

Adoption fee: $500-4,000

First year: $710-2,600

Following years: $660-2,400

Basic training and behavior etiquette for your Siberian cat

Thanks to their impressive intelligence, Siberian cats can be trained in a number of ways. Potty training is one common form of training almost every parent pursues, and Siberian cats can easily accomplish this.

Behavior training to avoid opening doors or other unwanted activities your Siberian may pick up on is also recommended. Once you teach them to avoid such behaviors, they generally respect the lessons since they aren’t the most mischievous breed.

Leash walking is more difficult for cats than dogs but can be a great way to keep your cat fit if they are willing to learn it!

What types of foods should Siberian cats never eat?

Siberian cats need a healthy diet, as with any breed. Ask your veterinarian to determine exactly what diet is best for your cat.

In addition, there are some foods that all cats should avoid. Whether unhealthy or toxic, these foods are a hard “no” and shouldn’t be left in easy to access areas either. Here are just a few common examples:

  • Chocolate
  • Dairy
  • Bones
  • Tuna
  • Raw eggs, meat, or dough
  • Caffeine
  • Coffee grinds
  • Alcohol
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Marijuana

Exercising tips to keep your Siberian cats staying fit and healthy

Siberian cats are active with a high playfulness level, which thankfully makes them easy to keep in shape

They are naturally athletic and enjoy climbing and jumping, so getting them a big cat tree helps reduce climbing on the furniture or jumping up to perches where you may not want them around the house. Cat trees and other playgrounds are generally perfect for this breed. You can even build your own!

Some breeds need constant stimulation from their humans to stay active, but the Siberian can keep itself entertained as well, so a balanced approach of actively playing with them and giving them toys to use on their own is best.

Sources:

Siberian Cat Breed Information & Characteristics | Daily Paws

Siberian | The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc

Siberian at a Glance | TICA

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A Spontaneous Large Animal Model of Human HCM  | National Library of Medicine

Are They Hypo-allergenic? | Siberian Cat Club

Hereditary Diseases of the Siberian Forest Cat | PetHelpful

Heart Disease | Siberian Research Inc.

Harmful Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat: Tuna, Milk, Raw Fish, and More | PetMD