- Siberian cats are national treasures in Russia — They’ve been around for more than 1,000 years!
- There are a few common personality traits in this breed — Siberian cats are known to be affectionate, vocal, playful, adaptable, and bold.
- Siberian cats have a triple-layer coat — You should brush your Siberian cat at least twice a week to keep their coat shiny and knot-free.
- Siberians require high-quality food — They need a diet that’s high in protein to fuel their energetic bodies.
If you’re considering adopting a cat, a Siberian could be your breed. But what can you expect in Siberian cat personality? And how do you care for this breed?
Let’s take a look.
What is a Siberian cat?
Siberian cats are native to Russia, where they’ve thrived in forested regions for at least 1,000 years – you may even hear reference to them as a Siberian forest cat. With Russia’s harsh, snowy climate, this breed relies on their heavy coat and bushy tail to keep warm.
Even though it’s an old breed, Siberian cats didn’t hit the U.S. until the 1990s and their popularity has grown ever since. Modern long-haired cats are actually said to be descendants of the Siberian cat.
Siberian cats have medium to large, muscular bodies. Their average weight is 15–20 pounds, and they can measure 17 to 25 inches in length. Siberian kittens don’t reach full adulthood until they’re about five years old.
Healthy Siberians can have a lifespan of between 12 and 15 years.
Because Siberians are a fairly rare purebred, their purchase price is often higher than that of other kitties. You can expect to pay between $1,000 and $4,000 for a Siberian cat.
What does a Siberian cat look like?
As mentioned briefly above, Siberian cats have a long, thick, triple-layered coat that comes in a variety of colors, including gray, orange, black, red, blue, and brown. Their coats can have different textures and lengths, depending on their breeding.
When the weather cools down, Siberian cats get a full winter coat. In summer, their fur is less thick.
You can also expect a Siberian’s fur to be multi-colored. For example, your cat may have a tortoiseshell pattern, white markings, or a tabby coat.
If you have cat allergies, a Siberian may be a good option for you since it’s considered hypoallergenic. However, you can still expect some shedding.
These little lions have big paws and large, pointed ears. They look similar to several other breeds, including Norwegian forest cats, Maine coons, and Balinese cats.
Siberian cats’ eyes are round and can be green, copper, golden, or blue. Sometimes, their eyes are two different colors.
What can you expect from the Siberian cat personality?
Not all cats are the same, and the way you raise your Siberian can make a difference in their personality. For example, a cat that’s been socialized from a young age will typically be more comfortable around kids and other pets.
Even though every cat is as unique as their owners, there are a few personality traits that are common for this breed. Here’s a look at some of them.
While Siberian cats have a wild history of roaming subarctic climate forests, these cats make affectionate household companions and adore their pet parents.
Siberian cats enjoy snuggles and will sit happily on your lap. They’ll follow you around and welcome you when you get home after being away. Despite this, this is a patient breed that’s not overly possessive of its owners.
If they’re bought up around children and other pets, your Siberian will be the best of friends with them. They’re usually not shy around strangers and are content in most living environments.
If your cat isn’t as cuddly as you’d like, there are a few things you can do to encourage snuggle time:
- Pick the right moment. Before you pick up your cat, make sure they’re in the right mood. A cat that’s hungry or on high alert probably won’t be looking for a cuddle. Instead, find a time when your kitty is calm and relaxed.
- Get down low. Cats can get startled easily, and they’ll typically feel more comfortable if you meet them at their level. Squat down and start by giving your furry friend a pet.
- Gently pick up your cat. If your cat is ready, you can pick them up. Support their body with one hand under their front legs and the other at the back.
- Get comfortable. Sit somewhere comfortable and bring your cat close to your chest. They might want to be able to look at your face. If they start to wriggle, let them go and try again later.
Siberian cats can be vocal. Your feline friend will tell you when they’re hungry and when they’re in pain. If you’ve just arrived home after being gone for a while, they might be extra chatty.
These intelligent kitties will remember your reactions to their vocalizations. If you respond to their sounds by giving them what they want, they’ll keep doing it.
The Siberian cat is a breed that also purrs a lot. Purring is a sign that they’re happy and comfortable in their living environment. You can expect your kitty’s little motor to be going while you cuddle!
Cats from the Siberian feline family take longer to mature than other breeds. This means that your cat will act like a kitten until they’re around five years old.
Siberian cats can be very playful and enjoy exploring. They’ll be curious about new toys but aren’t usually destructive, but make sure you have a scratching post available for them to flex their claws whenever the urge strikes.
While they love to play, they have more of a medium activity level, so you’ll still get plenty of downtime if you own one of these felines.
Siberian cats also provide excellent rodent control and will hunt down any mouse that dares to enter their line of sight.
With this big personality, it’s important for Siberian owners to keep their fur babies entertained. Spend some time each day playing with your cat – they’ll likely enjoy chasing feather toys and lights, and a cat tree will help keep them happy when you’re away from home.
Another common personality trait for this breed is adaptability. As long as your Siberian cat is with their favorite people, they won’t care where you live.
Siberian cats will usually adjust quickly to — and even welcome — new family members, whether that be a baby, partner, or pet.
These felines aren’t typically skittish either. If you have a household full of loud children, for instance, your Siberian cat will usually adapt.
Siberian cats are typically cool, calm, and confident. This bold breed is friendly and in tune with their owner’s emotions.
If you have a visitor to your house or there’s a noise, your brave kitty may come out to investigate rather than run and hide.
Your cat will be devoted and loving but still independent. As long as your Siberian has toys and a comfortable place to sleep, you’ll be able to leave them home alone during the day.
How much grooming does a Siberian cat need?
Siberian cats have thick coats but only molt twice a year – otherwise, they typically don’t shed too badly. You can expect your fur baby to lose hair during the spring and fall to make way for warm and cold weather.
Aim to brush your Siberian cat at least twice a week to prevent knots and mats. This breed also typically doesn’t mind water — in fact, they may even appreciate having a bath once a month.
You’ll also need to look after your Siberian’s claws by using a cat nail clipper on them every two weeks. If you’re nervous about cutting your kitty’s nails for the first time, ask your vet to show you how to do it.
It’s also important to brush your Siberian cat’s teeth twice a week and take them for yearly checkups. Keeping your cat’s teeth and gums healthy will reduce the risk of dental disease. You should also look in your cat’s ears every week and gently wipe away any wax or dirt that builds up.
How much space does a Siberian cat need?
Siberian cats need daily exercise, especially when they’re young. But unlike dogs, these cats can get enough activity indoors.
If you live in a small space, such as an apartment, make sure to keep your cat entertained with playtime and toys.
There are also benefits to having an indoor cat. You’ll be keeping your fur baby safe from traffic and predators, and they won’t be able to hunt birds and other native animals.
For those with a backyard that would like to let their Siberian cat outside, an outdoor enclosure, like a “catio,” is a good option. Your Siberian can get some time outside without any risks.
What does a Siberian cat eat?
Cats are obligate carnivores and need a meat-based diet. Look for cat food that’s high in protein — specifically beef, lamb, or chicken. You can also add fish to their menu once a week.
You can give your Siberian cat wet cat food twice a day — in the morning and evening. Make sure they always have fresh water. This is especially true if you opt for dry kibble over wet food.
The amount you feed your Siberian cat will depend on the cat’s age, weight, and activity level. Males are usually bigger than females, so they’ll typically need extra nutrients.
If you purchase your cat from a breeder, you can ask them for diet tips. You can also speak to your veterinarian for advice.
Cats have sensitive stomachs, and there’s a long list of foods you should avoid giving them, including milk, onions, garlic, chocolate, and grapes.
What health issues can Siberian cats have?
Siberian cats are generally a healthy breed. However, you should still take your cat to the vet at least once per year for a checkup. These visits will flag any problems before they get worse.
One of the most common health concerns in this breed is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a form of heart disease. As your cat ages, they’ll also be at risk of urinary tract disease, polycystic kidney disease, diabetes, and cancer.
If you adopt a kitten, you should follow a vaccination schedule from six weeks old. There’ll be multiple vaccine appointments before your cat hits one year, and these will protect your fur baby from serious health conditions such as rabies, feline viral rhinotracheitis, and feline leukemia virus.
Cats can also get periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly and taking them for yearly dental care appointments can help them maintain good oral health.
What type of owner does a Siberian cat best suit?
Siberian cats are social creatures and enjoy company. They’re best suited to homes with owners who can spend time with them.
While your cat will be content being alone while you’re at work, you shouldn’t leave them by themselves for more than 24 hours. If you go away for longer than that, make sure you ask someone to check on and feed them, or consider boarding them.
As mentioned earlier, Siberian cats can live in a home of any size. They’re also typically comfortable around children and adapt well to homes with dogs and other pets.
Don’t worry – if you’re single, part of a couple, or a senior, a Siberian cat can still be a good choice for you.
Still not sure if this is the right breed for you? Check out our list of the best cat breeds for every owner to explore other breed options.