Siberian cat

A forest breed originating from Russia. It is a large cat with long hair.

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
female: 4—6 kg
male: 7—9 kg
female: 33 cm
male: 40 cm
requires little time
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
3—4 kitten
Russian Federation
in 16 century
Life span
Life span:
15—20 years


Siberian cats are energetic and independent pets. Because of originating from forest, they like hunting and protecting their territory. They rarely show aggression. A Siberian cat will not attack without a reason. But if there is a threat, it will protect itself.

Siberian cats are not intrusive. They like watching what is going in the house from distance. If the cat is in a good mood, they will play and run around. And if the pet does not react to their owner showing affection, it is better to leave it alone. 

Siberian cats are friendly towards people. They are also moderately affectionate while playing with small children. However, it is important to be careful and watch the kid. Siberian cats do not tolerate bad attitude. They react aggressively to it.

Siberian cats do not get on well with other pets. They will hunt rodents and small animals. That is why it is not recommended to buy a Siberian cat for families who already have a pet, especially a dog. These pets can get on well with other animals, but their behavior is hard to foresee.


Siberian cats are of large size. Their body is powerful and strong. These pets develop physically until they turn 5 years of age, and can weight 9–12 kg.
Long, stiff and hypoallergenic. Their undercoat is thick. Hair of Siberian cats changes according to the season. In winter time, it is: long, a fluffy cuff grows on the chest, and downy “pants” grow on hind legs. In summer time, it is: short, only tail is left being fluffy. 
Only solid colors, patterns and color-points are allowed. The most popular are: tortoiseshell, tabby, smoky and golden. White color is less common. Patterns including white colors are divided into four types: spotted, bicolor, harlequin, van.
Of medium and large sizes. It is of trapezoidal shape, wide on top, gets thinner down to the nose. Cheekbones are wide and muscular.
Big, of round shape. They are wide-set, get thinner near the base of ears. The color of eyes does not depend on coat color. The most common ones are yellow and green.
Small, wide at the base, with rounded tips. 
Short, with well-developed muscles.
Big and muscular. Hair buns grow between fingers. 
Long and bushy. Wide at the base, gets thinner down to the tip.

Basic Care

Siberian cats need much time to be groomed. Their long hair needs to be brushed at least once a week. During the moulting period — in spring and fall — two times a week, using a special brush for thick and long hair.

Siberian cats are neat pets. They do not need to be given a bath very often, even though these pets like water. It is enough to wash them once in three months. The temperature of water needs to be 39C. Use a special shampoo for long-haired breeds for that. Put your cat in a bath tub, rub it with a wet sponge and shampoo and rinse with water. They dry your pet with a towel. Eyes and ears need to be cleaned with cotton pads once a week. Siberian cats are innate hunters. Their claws are long and strong; they do not need to be trimmed, though. Buy a claw-point so that your cat does not damage furniture and wallpapers. 

It is better to feed your Siberian cat with natural food. The most important thing is that their diet should contain a lot of proteins. Cats of this breed like: not greasy meat — chicken , beef and turkey; boiled grains — buckwheat, rice and oatmeal; sea fish. Less often can be given: egg white, not fatty cottage cheese, goat milk. To add something different to your cat`s diet, you can also give them dry food of premium quality. It contains vitamins and minerals needed for your pet`s health. However, it is important not to mix natural and dry food into one portion. 

Siberian cats like freedom. They enjoy walking and hunting. These cats will not feel free in a flat. That is why it is recommended to take them outside for walking and sharing their energy. If a cat lives in a flat, your should walk it in street once a week. If it lives in a private house — it can be let walk outside every day.

Health and Illnesses

Siberian cats can live up to 20 years if treated well. It is a breed of long-living cats. It appeared naturally, and that is why health of Siberian cats is strong. The most common health illnesses include: urolithiasis, conjuctivitis, intestinal problems, helminths and rabies. Urolithiasis might lead to kidney failure, conjuctivitis — to loss of eyesight. If your pet goes potty too often, or its eyes tear constantly — you should consult a vet. 

Siberian cats like walking outside. That is why it needs to be vaccinated from helminths and rabies in time. Hair of these pets is long, that is why ticks and fleas often get into it. If your cat itches often — take it to a vet. Also, long hair of Siberian cats often gets into stomach. If a vomiting reflex starts, give it a tablespoon of vegetable oil. It will stop vomiting.

History of the Breed

A Siberian cat was first mentioned in the 14th century, on the territory of Russia. At that time, it was called «Bukhara cat». The breed was forming in tough Siberian conditions. Snowstorms, severe frosts and strong winds made this breed get used to living in such conditions and grow long hair. 

There are few versions considering origination of this breed. Some people assume that a Norwegian Forest cat was an ancestor of the Siberian cat. The Norwegian Forest cat was brought to territory of Russia by immigrants from the North. The second version suggests that Siberian cats were brought to Russia from countries of Central Asia. Russian merchants from Veliky Ustyug were trading with China in the 16th-17th centuries. One of the most popular goods at those times was Chinese tea. With tea, Siberian cats were brought to Russia.

Cat owners from Moscow and St. Petersburg started standardizing the breed in 1986. In 1996, the WCF accepted the standard of the breed. In 1996, an American organization called TICA accepted Siberian cats, and one year later, they were recognized by the FIFe. Some associations regard Siberian cats with the color-point pattern as a separate breed — the Neva Masquerade cat.