You may have heard of a place called Siberia in your history classes years ago. It’s the place where Stalin sent millions to the gulags in order to “work”. Not a pretty story from history, but Siberia is beautiful country nevertheless, beautiful and wild, and the native home of the great Siberian cats.Siberian cats are big. And, they are quite distinct looking with their rounded ears, large slanted eyes, and plumed tails. To many in North America they may looking decidedly Asiatic?These big cats weigh around 15 to 20 pounds, which is definitely big for a cat. The only cats that are bigger would be maybe Maine Coon Cats and Norwegian Forest Cats (who are similar genetically to the Siberian).
Other unique features of the Siberian cat is their ability to jump great distances and their ultra thick coat of fur. These animals were born to survive in the frozen tundra wilderness and have developed, through long years of evolution, a double thick coat of fur. They have both an outer and an inner coat of fur which makes these cats virtually impervious to cold weather, they had to be in the deep, dark woods of the Siberian wild.People may be wondering about the personality of the Siberian cat, well, in general they can be very friendly and attentive, and they are quite happy outdoors, especially in the winter, as should be no surprise. They thrive in cold weather climates, in fact, owning one in, say, Florida, is probably just not a good idea at all, some might even call it downright torture.
Siberians are loyal like dogs, and have similar qualities to many dogs not to other cats. You will not find the typical standoffish cat personality in most Siberians. They won’t jump up and lick you in the face either, they are cats, but it’s pretty amazing to see how dog-like these cats are. Some folks will love this quality and others might find it disturbingly un-cat-like. It’s hard to say for certain who will gravitate towards these magical animals.The coloring of these cats will vary a good deal because of a lot of interbreeding between different packs, both in the wild and with licensed breeders. The most common color will be a brown tabby color, but they can also be tortoiseshells (torties).
Siberian Cats have been termed hypoallergenic. For me this is true. The definition of hypoallergenic is lower in allergens, not allergy free. Each and every cat is Siberische kat as is each and every person. We have 5 breeding cats here at Kings Choice Siberians and one neuter plus kittens off and on. I am highly allergic (hives, asthma, allergy, etc.) complete with the allergists’ test to prove it. I can live with 2, no problems. This many, I do need some slight medication. I bath them every 2 – 4 weeks – Siberians can be bathed and in fact many enjoy the water, it removes any small amount of Fel d1 and after I always indulge myself by burying my face in their clean, dry fur. In my home, I have no curtains just blinds and carpets are throw only. I also don’t let my cats sleep in my personal bedroom, to create a free zone. Finally, I assign litter duty to others and have rolling self clean litter boxes in case I do end up doing it. With all of that, I do fine. Temporarily, until the kittens are homed – we have 10. I am currently sitting here fine typing this, in the spring no less, not clawing out my eyes like I would be in the home of someone with just one domestic cat. Each person and cat differs. I do get slight itching when a kitten’s claw punctures me, but they are very young and covered in momma saliva. Just a touch of Benadryl cream and it is gone.
Vacuum, bath them and invest in an actual purebred Siberian – not a shelter cat. Honestly it is very doubtful any purebred Siberians are in shelters. If you are willing to take medicine occasionally and/or Benadryl cream for scratches (assuming you are very high allergy like me) you should do well. Customers with lesser allergies tell me that they have no symptoms whatsoever. As I said, all cats and people differ. We raise traditional Siberians only. The difference between a traditional and “not” is that the others have a color-point gene. They received this somewhere in their backgrounds by crossing to Siamese. These, I shy from as I do not wish to add any potential allergy level to what is already an amazing breed. They have been named Nevas, Neva Masquerade, Color Point Siberians, CP or even Lynx – all are the same. Some allergy sufferers also claim to do well with the Nevas, but for me, it is not worth the risk. You will know them immediately by their white coloring and Siamese style markings. Traditional Siberians come in every tabby color and many solids. Cinnamon, lilac and fawn are the only non-allowed colors. The reason for that is that again it was produced through out-crosses. They are not natural traditional colors for Siberians.
I have people ask me about Fel d1 testing. This is not a great way to choose your Siberian. The testing facility will tell you they have a 50% error margin on perfect tests. That percentage of failure actually increases with any errors in the collection. This makes the test worthless. It is also very expensive. Breeders offer these numbers more to please the public than for any real worth. Fur testing is also useless as the breeder could have bathed the cat 1st. Bathing with the month before voids the test. Another cat may have licked the test cat transferring saliva with Fel d1. So how does this boil down? Well, NOTHING is allergy free. They have recently discovered people can be allergic to cold air. So to say allergy free is to lie. However, as I said hypoallergenic means lower in allergens. Yes, it is possible for a Siberian to be hypoallergenic. Even a sever allergy sufferer like myself can live happily with a cat of their own. You have to be willing to do the footwork to investigate your cattery of choice, to pay the fees required for the breeding of such a miracle animal and to take cleanliness precautions so that you can live a long happy life with a wonderful pet that often lives past 20 years. If you always wanted a cat – it’s your dearest wish and you’d be willing and responsible, then I do suggest you check out the breed. It might be just what you always wanted.…