Distinctive and characterful, Siberian cats boast impressive double coats and are semi-longhaired. Despite their feral origins, they are friendly felines who enjoy human company and love to explore outdoors. Unusually, Siberians like water and love to dig. They need to be entertained when they aren’t napping and have become popular in the UK since first arriving in the noughties.
Siberian breed history
A striking breed with a long history, the Siberian cat was originally a feral feline that inhabited forests in northern Russia. References to this type of cat date back more than 1000 years but they weren’t exported until after the Cold War. In their native land they began to be domesticated in the early years of the 20th century. The first Siberian arrived in the UK in 2002 and the breed has garnered many fans.
Siberian breed characteristics
Boasting a highly weather-resistant semi-long double coat, The Siberian is an attractive cat which is also extremely agile. That stunning coat thickens in winter and can be a variety of colours. Males are noticeably larger than females but both sexes have nicely defined cheekbones and a somewhat exotic look. Their ears are medium in size and their bodies medium to large. These cats have powerful legs with large paws and tufted toes. Their tails are reasonably fluffy and moderately long. Siberians tend to mature slowly and may only reach their full size at five years of age.
Siberian cats are often fascinated by water and will paddle in ponds and puddles. Intelligent, playful and inquisitive, they are appealing characters who love exploring. However, they can adapt to life as indoor pets, if they are kept entertained. They have been likened to dogs, as they are prone to digging! They aren’t terribly vocal but when they do talk the sound is more of a chirp than a meow.
- Lifespan: 11-15 years
- Weight: up to 7kg
- Semi-long double coat
- Variety of colours
- Males larger than females
- Defined cheekbones
- Powerful legs
- Large paws
- Like water
- Love to dig
Health issues with the Siberian
Siberian cats are generally robust and healthy. However, they do have a slightly higher risk for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy than other breeds.
What sort of owners does the Siberian suit?
Naturally patient and tolerant, Siberian cats are fabulous family pets. They enjoy human company and like to be involved in everything that happens around the home. They form strong bonds with their owners and learn tricks easily. But they need plenty of stimulation and are not suited to households where everybody is out all day. They are happiest if they can explore in the great outdoors but potential owners who love their gardens should remember that Siberians love to dig!