Breed Introduction: Siberian Forest Cat
Siberians are an excellent choice for families with kids!
Siberian Forest Cat Breed
This particular breed loves people and wants to be near them, so expect this affectionate cat to follow you around, including TV viewing, computer work and meal prep. Sitting in your lap while you comb his fur may well be the highlight of its day. Besides being loving and attentive, the Siberian cat is also active and playful. It will instigate games of fetch by bringing you a favourite toy to throw.
Any item can become a plaything for this clever cat, so keep jewelry or other potentially intriguing items out of his sight. Teaching tricks is a fun and easy way to challenge its agile brain. Its calm nature gives him the potential to be a therapy cat. If nothing else, he will be happy to snuggle with you when you’re down with a cold or other illness.
Siberian Forest Cat Introduction
The cats have been known in Russia for some 1,000 years and often appear in Russian folk tales. As in every culture, the cats were prized for their hunting ability by householders and shopkeepers. They kept mice and rats well away from stores of grain and other foods. Siberians were first imported to the United States in 1990 and were recognized by The International Cat Association in 1996. The American Cat Fanciers Association accepted the breed in 1999, followed by the Cat Fanciers Association in 2006.
Siberian Forest Cat Characteristics
This cat typically weighs 8 to 17 pounds and can go up to more.
Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. Siberians are generally healthy, but one problem that has been seen in the breed is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a form of heart disease that causes the heart muscle to enlarge. Siberians are one of the breeds that may be affected by this disease.
The Siberian’s thick triple coat should be combed or brushed a couple of times a week to prevent tangles or mats. The coat will shed seasonally in the spring and fall, and you may need to groom more frequently during that time. Siberian Cats do not need to bathe often which is a good thing because the coat is highly water-resistant. It can be difficult to get a Siberian wet enough to shampoo him.
You need to check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.
Most of the Siberian’s growth occurs in his first year and a half of life. Your kitten’s breeder may recommend that you feed him kitten food during that time to make sure it gets enough nourishment.
4. Coat Color and Grooming
The Siberian is notable for having a long triple coat with guard hairs (the outer coat), awn hairs (the middle part of the coat) and a downy undercoat. It has an abundant ruff around the neck, thick but slightly shorter hair on the shoulder blades and lower part of the chest, and thick fur on the belly and britches (the upper hind legs). The undercoat thickens in cold weather. The coat comes in all colours and combinations of colours, with or without white.
It looks powerful and alert, but gazes out at the world with a sweet expression. His head is a modified wedge with rounded contours—broad at the top and narrowing slightly at the muzzle. Medium-large ears are well furnished with tufts of fur. The nearly round eyes can be green, gold, green-gold, or copper. White Siberians or Siberians with white patches may have blue or odd eyes.
5. Behaviour towards children and other pets
The Siberian has a bold temperament, and nothing much ruffles his composure. These characteristics make him an excellent choice for a family with kids. No nighttime monsters will get past the Siberian on guard at the foot of a child’s bed. He is happy to live with other cats and cat-friendly dogs, too, as long as they recognize that he’s in charge. Introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that cats and dogs get along together.
Updated: September 21, 2017.