1. Key Characteristics
- Height: 13 inches
- Weight: 10–20 pounds, with some males weighing up to 25 pounds
- Life expectancy: Around 15 years
Siberians are medium to large muscular cats originating from Russia. Their eyes are mostly round and can be any color, though some Siberians have blue eyes or one eye of a different color.
Their ears appear pointed because of extra hair found in and around the ears, but the edges are rounded and may have Lynx tipping. According to Kate Conley, author of Siberian Cats, the “ears and toes may have tufts, or a bunch of small hairs. These hairs would have protected its ancestors from harsh weather.”
The tail is bushy and usually carried high off the back. The triple coat is water-repellent and features medium to long hair, depending on the season. Any color or pattern is possible, including pointed coats.
2. Where They Came From
The earliest known reference to Siberian cats was recorded in the year 1000 A.D., according to the International Cat Association. The cats started appearing in conformation shows in the 1870s and were referenced at Madison Square Garden in 1884. After that, several books mentioned the breed, including:
- Harrison Weir’s Our Cats (1889)
- John Jennings’s Domestic & Fancy Cats (1898)
- Helen Winslow’s Concerning Cats (1900)
The first breed standard was written and published by the Kotofei Cat Club in Moscow. After the Cold War ended, the cats were exported to America. The first 3 Siberians were imported in 1990 by Elizabeth Terrell. The first 3 colorpointed Siberians arrived in 1997, when Dana Osborn imported a male and female, and the next year the cats produced the first colorpoint litter in America.
The Siberian cat breed was first registered with the International Cat Association (TICA) in 1992 and later by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 2000. TICA awarded the breed championship status in 1996, and the CFA awarded the same recognition in 2006.
3. How Friendly Are They?
Siberians are fearless, quiet, playful and calm. They can take up to 5 years to fully mature but remain playful throughout their lives.
These cats love to be close to family members and get along great with children, dogs, cats and other animals. They are more likely to chirp or trill than meow. They are also very creative ad intelligent; Siberians are problem solvers. They also exhibit dog-like behavior; they will greet people at the door, come when called and enjoy playing fetch.
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