The Siberian, Russia’s native forest cat, first appeared in recorded history about the year 1000 and is unique to Siberia’s harsh climate. Nature built this cat to live, with no extremes in type. The Siberian cat is a medium to large, triple-coated cat with surprising heaviness for its size. With a lovely facial expression, the whole appearance should be one of strength, presence, and alertness. The breed matures exceptionally slowly, taking up to 5 years.
Siberians are friendly cats with lots of personality and fun. They are easy to handle, and Siberians are known to have a love with water, frequently dropping toys into their water bowls or inspecting baths before they are dry. Siberians appear to be exceptionally bright, with the ability to problem-solve in order to obtain what they desire.
They are incredibly agile and exceptional jumpers, capable of leaping tall bookcases in a single bound despite their size. Siberians are extremely people-oriented and require close proximity to their owners. When you get home, they’ll greet you at the door, tell you about their day, and want to hear about yours.
Siberians are communicative, although not as chatty as Oriental breeds; they express themselves through gentle meows, trills, chirps, and lots of motorboat-style purring. Musculature is strong and robust. Another favorite pastime is bringing a toy to throw over and over again. They enjoy all kinds of toys and will construct a toy out of almost anything. Nature programs with chirping birds or squeaking mice will send your Siberians racing; they’ll place their soft paws on the screen and try to grab the fluttering images.
This breed is new to North America, however it is not new to the rest of the world. Longhaired Russian cats have existed for hundreds of years. It is unknown when and how longhaired cats came in Siberia, but the breed is thought to have arrived with Russian emigration. Some Siberian fanciers believe that Russians fleeing (or being deported) to Siberia brought their cats with them.
Long hair appears to have evolved in three distinct areas: Russia, Persia (Iran), and Asia Minor (Turkey). However, it is probable that the longtresses mutation happened in Russia and that Russian Longhairs traveled from Russia into Turkey, where they crossed with local cats to form the Angora, and into Persia, where they crossed with native cats to create the Persian. If this is the case, all longhairs are descended from the Russian Longhair.
Domestic cats’ long fur looks to be an adaptation to cold, and it’s certainly chilly in Siberia. Because of the harsh conditions, these cats evolved or gained longer hair, all-weather coats, and larger, stockier bodies through mating with the native cats. The cats survived and evolved into a sturdy, longhaired breed capable of withstanding the harsh environment of the region.
According to Russian legend, Siberian cats previously weighed up to 45 pounds and guarded their human companions and families. The varieties of longhaired cats that existed in his time, and were presented in his famous contemporary cat show in July 1871 at the Crystal Palace in London, were the Russian, Angora, Persian, and Indian, according to Harrison Weir’s 1889 book, Our Cats and All About Them.
Weir, renowned as “the Father of the Cat Fancy,” said that the Russian Longhair varies from Angoras and Persians in several aspects, including its greater size, longer mane, large conspicuous bright orange eyes, and long, dense, woolly textured coat, including a thickly covered tail. The Russian longhairs who shared the spotlight at the show, on the other hand, may or may not have been Siberians, as no records of these cats were kept in Russia at the time.
Because of housing and food shortages, the authorities of the former Soviet Union forbade its inhabitants from owning home pets until the 1980s. House pet prohibitions were relaxed in 1987, and breeders and fanciers formed cat organizations and began collecting breeding records. The first Russian cat show was held in Moscow in 1988.
On June 28, 1990, Terrell shipped four Himalayans to Nelli Sachuk in return for three Siberians: one male (Kaliostro Vasenjkovich) and two females (Ofelia Romanova and Naina Romanova). Soon after, she received the kittens’ metrukas (birth certificates), which included their names, birth dates, and colors and patterns. The Siberian quickly charmed Terrell’s affections and pocketbook strings. She spent thousands of dollars and countless hours acquiring more Siberian cats and establishing the Siberian as a recognized breed in America.
Only a month after Elizabeth Terrell acquired her Siberians, breeder David Boehm imported a large number of his own Siberians. Instead of waiting for the cats to arrive, he flew to Russia and purchased every Siberian he could find. He returned on July 4 with a collection of fifteen cats. His Siberians were instrumental in expanding the Siberian gene pool by producing the first litter in North America.
The body is medium in length and well-muscled, with a back arched slightly higher than the shoulders and a barrel-shaped, strong belly that gives the impression of solid weight. A moderate stomach pad or hunger pouch on the lower belly is permissible.
A slight doming between the ears and a nearly flat area on the forehead are ideal. They appreciate sitting on your lap while getting groomed, which is a hobby they like.
Medium/large wedge with rounded curves that is proportionate to the body. The top of the skull is wider than the bottom and narrows somewhat to a full-rounded muzzle. The cheekbones are neither prominent nor high set. The boneing is considerable. However, the chin is well-rounded, not projecting, and has a decent nose.
Muzzle is medium in length, full, and rounded. The muzzle has a small curvature, but the transition from the side of the head to the muzzle is delicate and unobtrusive. When viewed in profile, the op of the head can be practically flat, with a tiny nose curvature of a modest slope from the forehead to the nose and a slight concave curve before the tip. Neck is rounded, strong, and muscular.
Medium-sized, rounded, with a wide base and a slight forward tilt. The ears should be placed on the sides of the head as well as on top. The hair behind the ear is short and thin. The furnis definitelyhings develop longer and cover the bottom of the ear from the middle of the ear. Ear tipping is permitted.
Medium to huge in size, almost circular. The outside corner angled slightly towards the ear. The eyes should be placed apart by more than one eye’s width and should be open, alert, and expressive. Except for color points with blue eyes, there is no link between eye color and coat/color pattern. Green, gold, green-gold, or copper-colored eyes are ideal. White cats and white cats with white fur may have blue or unusual eyes.
LEGS & PAWS
Legs are of middle length. The legs should be heavily boned, with the hind legs being slightly longer than the front legs. Toe tufts are attractive, as are large, rounded feet.
Medium in length, slightly less than the body’s length. It should be wide at the base, tapering gradually to a blunt tip with no thickening or kinks, and provided uniformly and thickly.
Cat with a triple coat that is quite long to longhaired. Hair on the shoulder blades and lower chest should be thick and slightly shorter. In adults, a full collar ruff sets off the head. Make room for warm-weather coats. Curly hair may thicken to form curls on the belly and britches, although a wavy coat is not typical. The texture ranges from coarse to soft, depending on the color. In mature cats, there is a dense undercoat that becomes thicker in cold conditions.
All colors and combinations, with or without white, are acceptable. White is permitted in any quantity and in all regions. Tabbies’ chin, breast, and stomach may be white or off-white. Buttons, pins, and lockets are permitted. Strong colors and distinct patterns are preferred. Tarn will not be penalized for being behind on silvers.
While the qualities listed below are common for this breed, cats are individuals with unique personalities and appearances. For more information about a specific pet, please contact the adoption group.
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