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31.08.2022

Siberian cats—one stop for all the info

Previously known as Siberian Forest cats, Siberians are a cheerful and charismatic breed. Many cat parents describe them as dog-like because of their loyalty and love of cuddles. These qualities, paired with their beautiful looks, make these felines incredibly sought-after yet rare kitties. Before you welcome them into your home, it's wise to learn more about the breed to determine if a Siberian is a good choice for your family.

To help you on your journey, Untamed presents all you need to know about Siberian cats in one place. Keep reading to find out what Siberians are like and how to take the best care of them.

Siberian cat—main characteristics

Let me strike a pose here, and you can take a photo of me.

Source: Piotr Musioł

Siberian cats are beautiful. They are on the larger side but can't be categorised as big felines. Their lush fur meant to withstand harsh Siberian winters is their most prominent physical feature.

Check out the table below for more details about a Siberian cat's appearance:

Characteristics

Description

Height

23–28 cm

Length

43–63.5 cm

Weight

Males: 5.4–6.8kg

Females: 3.6–4.9kg

Coat

  • Medium- to long-haired
  • Triple coat
  • Full collar ruff and long belly hair
  • Coarse to soft

Body

  • Medium length
  • Muscular
  • Arched back, slightly higher than the shoulders
  • Barrel-shaped but strong belly

Legs

  • Medium length
  • Strong boned
  • Hind legs are slightly longer
  • Large and round paws

Tale

  • Medium length
  • Wide base
  • Tapered with a blunt tip
  • Thickly furnished

Head

  • Modified wedge
  • Rounded
  • Well-rounded muzzle
  • Prominent jowls usually present in males

Eyes

  • Green, gold and all shades in between (blue eyes are rare and usually present in colour point Siberians)
  • Medium to large
  • Rounded, but outer corners are angled slightly towards the ears

Ears

  • Medium-sized
  • Wide base and rounded tips
  • Tilted forward
  • Ear tipping may be present

Shedding

  • Moderate
  • Good option for cat allergy sufferers as Siberian cats produces lower than average amount of Fel d 1 protein (the most common allergen)

Lifespan

12–15 years

Siberian cat colours

Siberian cats come in many colours but have one thing in common—they are all gorgeous!

Source: Ivan Jevtic

Siberian cats come in various colours and patterns, and they are all equally stunning. What characterises these kitties are prominent furnishings on their ears, toe tufts, mane-like ruff in the collar area, and long hair on their belly and breeches.

Here is an overview of typical Siberian cat colours and patterns:

Feature

Colours and combinations

Colours

Solid Siberian cats are one colour from head to toe, with little or no shading. They come in the following shades:

  • Coal-black
  • Pure white
  • Slate blue
  • Brilliant red
  • Buff or cream

Patterns

  • Chinchilla—Light undercoat with black on the tail, legs, flanks, back, and head. Possible colours are:
  • Shaded—White or light cream undercoat with a darker mantle on the tail, sides, and face. Possible colours are:
    • Silver
    • Gold
    • Cameo
    • Red
    • Tortoiseshell
  • Smoked—The light coat has many different shades visible when you part their coat. Possible shades include:
    • Black
    • Blue
    • Cream
    • Red
    • Cameo
    • Tortoiseshell
  • Tabby—This pattern comes in many colours and has several variations:
    • Classic
    • Mackerel
    • Patched
    • Spotted
    • Ticked
  • Point—The body is one colour with darker points (mask, ears, tail, and legs). Common colours include:
    • Seal
    • Blue
    • Cream
  • Lynx point—Same as the point pattern, but the darker points also have clear dark stripes
  • Bi-colour—A combination of any colour or pattern and patches of white. Common combinations include:
    • Solid and white
    • Tabby and white
    • Smoke and white
    • Shaded and white

Siberian cat personality

Siberian cats are famously charming and adaptable. They are also:

  1. Affectionate and outgoing
  2. Playful
  3. Intelligent

How affectionate are Siberian cats?

Siberian cats love to give and receive affection and attention. They enjoy being around people and often express their satisfaction with gentle melodic chirping. Although they like to vocalise, they are nowhere near as talkative and loud as their Siamese cousins.

These kitties are incredibly friendly with practically anyone they meet, making them wonderful companions. They are amazing with other cats and will easily befriend gentle dogs and well-behaved kids.

Even though these felines adore attention and thrive when they have company, they are not clingy. Still, if you spend a lot of time away from home, you should consider getting another cat to keep them company.

Are Siberian cats playful or mischievous?

Me? Naughty? Don’t be ridiculous.

Source: Inna Kupchenko

Siberian cats are outgoing and playful, so they are fun to be around. They may occasionally attempt to break into a cupboard or get into a space they deem interesting but are not overly mischievous. Their favourite pastime is following their beloved human, watching their every move, and chiming in from time to time. Siberians also enjoy water, so don't be surprised if your kitty decides to jump in the shower with you.

Best of all, these kitties remain kitten-like for a long time because it can take them up to five years to reach full maturity. Once they are fully grown, they become quieter and laid-back.

How clever are Siberian cats?

Siberians are exceptionally intelligent. These kitties need a lot of physical and mental stimulation, so provide them with fun, interactive toys and play with them every day.

Their superb intelligence makes Siberians easy to train and teach tricks. They will enjoy quality time spent with you, so introduce training sessions into their routine. It's a great bonding opportunity and a fantastic way for your kitty to stay cognitively stimulated.

Siberian cat health

Siberian cats are a sturdy and resilient breed, but they are at a slightly higher risk of:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Feline lower urinary tract disease
  3. Dental problems

Heart disease

There are two types of heart disease:

  1. Congenital—a condition your kitty is born with
  2. Acquired—resulting from the environment and lifestyle

Heart disease is the most common health problem in Siberian cats. They are particularly prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the thickening of the heart ventricle caused by a gene abnormality. It makes the heart work harder to pump blood through the body.

Felines can live with this condition for a long time without showing any symptoms. In more advanced stages, HCM leads to fluid accumulation in and/or around the lungs, which causes difficulty breathing.

An even more serious consequence of HCM is the formation of blood clots in the heart. These clots travel through the bloodstream, obstructing the blood flow to other body parts. In felines, clots mostly block the blood flow to the hind legs. This causes acute pain or hind limb immobility in more severe cases.

Early diagnosis can help manage the condition successfully and prevent life-threatening blood-clot formation. It’s critical to take your kitty for checkups regularly. Once a year is usually enough for younger kitties, while two vet visits a year are necessary for older felines. Your Siberian cat can have a happy and long life with veterinary guidance, diet change, and meticulous care.

Usual symptoms of HCM include:

Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD)

FLUTDs include various issues, such as:

Dehydration is a common cause of urinary tract problems because felines are not big drinkers. You must ensure your Siberian cat gets enough hydration through food. The best way is to give them at least two wet meals per day because cat jellies and gravies contain much more moisture than dry food.

Urinary tract problems can be tricky to spot unless you pay close attention to your kitty's litter-tray habits, so watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Painful and frequent urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Avoiding the litter box
  • Behavioural changes

The symptoms of urinary problems often clear out within a couple of weeks, but they can be painful and uncomfortable to felines. Don't miss visiting the vet because they may need to prescribe some antibiotics and a diet change.

Dental problems

Neglecting oral hygiene in your Siberian can lead to severe health problems. Your kitty may stop eating, especially if you feed them kibble, because of the pain. In the worst-case scenario, an infection of teeth or gums can spread to the jaw. Untreated infections can even be fatal to the kitty as they can also spread from the mouth to the kidneys, joints, or heart.

Here are the usual symptoms of dental problems:

Common dental problems

Usual symptoms

  • Bad breath
  • Plaque or tartar buildup
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty eating
  • Gum bleeding

Regular oral hygiene can alleviate dental problems. Feeding your kitty an occasional dry meal can also assist in removing buildup from the teeth.

Siberian cat care

Believe it or not, I’m pretty low-maintenance.

Source: Sergey Semin

Caring for Siberian cats includes:

  1. Grooming
  2. Exercise
  3. Diet

Grooming

Siberians have a thick, triple-layered coat consisting of:

  1. Long outer hairs 
  2. The second layer of long, awn hairs
  3. A short, downy undercoat

Despite being long, Siberian cats' fur doesn't tangle much, so grooming them is pretty simple. You will need to brush them more often in autumn and spring when they shed more. Other than that, you should:

  • Brush your Siberian once a week to remove loose hair and dander
  • Bathe them every six to eight weeks or when your kitty gets dirty 
  • Trim their nails when necessary
  • Brush their teeth daily (if possible)

Exercise

Siberians are incredibly active, have superb jumping abilities, and love to show off their athleticism. You should provide a sturdy cat tree that can support their weight when they jump onto it. Your Siberian will appreciate a large scratching post and wall-mounted shelves where they can lounge.

During your Siberian cat's formative years, you won't need to push them to exercise much, but as they age, some encouragement may be necessary. Unless they get ample exercise, your feline companion can easily become obese (especially if you are too generous with food), and obesity entails many other health problems, including:

Diet

I’m not fat, it’s the fur. It’s poofy!

Source: Lydia Koh

Your Siberian cat's diet should be:

Check out the ingredients you should prioritise, serve in moderate quantities, and avoid altogether in the following table:

What to feed your Siberian cat?

What to serve in moderation?

What to avoid entirely?

Good fat sources:

If your kitty is constipated:

Getting the percentages right

Your Siberian will thrive on a diet with:

  1. More than 50% animal protein
  2. Up to 20% animal fat
  3. Less than 3% carbs

Wet or dry food?

Many cat parents pick dry food because it is more affordable and convenient. Kibble is fine in moderation as it can help prevent dental problems, but it shouldn’t be your kitty’s regular food because it:

  • Typically contains less protein
  • Includes too many carbs and filler ingredients needed to maintain the consistency and prolong the shelf life of the product
  • Is overprocessed
  • Isn’t hydrating enough (contains only about 10% moisture)
  • Often has artificial supplements that can do more harm than good for feline health

High-quality wet food usually contains suitable amounts of whole meat and fish, and kitties digest it more easily. Canned food is also more hydrating, with over 70% of moisture. This is crucial because dehydration can lower the skin elasticity, cause dander accumulation, and increase shedding, which severely affects cat parents suffering from cat allergies despite Siberians’ low Fel d 1 production.

Pick Untamed—the best you can do for your Siberian cat

I don’t know what to try first!

Image (c) Untamed

Does your Siberian frown at wet food or struggle with food allergies and weight fluctuations? Untamed has got you covered!

We have created meals perfect for felines at all stages of life. Whether your Siberian is a growing kitten, a playful adult, or a senior struggling to maintain optimal weight, we have a tailor-made solution for you. You can be confident that your kitty is getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Every Untamed tin is:

Try Untamed and watch your Siberian thrive!

How to order

You can order top-quality food for your Siberian online by following these simple steps:

  1. Visit our Try Now page and share some details about your kitty
  2. Choose the products that suit your feline friend's needs
  3. Place your order

The packet will arrive in a day, and when your kitty chooses the meals they like the most, we can send regular supplies every month!

If you want to change, postpone, or cancel your order, you can do it from your account.

What to expect once your Siberian switches to Untamed

Many satisfied cat parents whose feline companions have already switched to Untamed say you can expect the following results:

Timeline 

The Untamed results

After a week

After two months

  • Great mood
  • Normal energy levels
  • Better muscle tone

Within four months

Long term