Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Purrfect 10: Fun Facts About the Sensational Siberian

We love reading and researching anything and everything about cats, and wanted to find a fun and unique way to share the interesting facts we learn with you! Since top 10 lists are very popular in the blogosphere, we created The Purrfect 10 as a way to present 10 educational or fascinating tidbits about a wide variety of cat-related topics, everything from health issues to cat breeds to famous felines.

Last month I attended our local cat show and the breed that made the biggest impression on me this time around was the Siberian. Coincidentally, I also just started reading the Inca Cat Detective series of books for children which stars a Siberian as the lead feline character, so that's how they became the subject of this month's edition of The Purrfect 10...

1) Siberians (also known as Siberian Forest cats and Moscow Semi-Longhairs) have been in existence for over 1,000 years and serve as the national cat of Russia. They were first mentioned in Harrison Wier's book Our Cats and all About Them, which included information about one of the earliest cat shows held in England in 1871.

2) Siberians play an important role in the Russian folklore. They were used to perform rodent control on farms and in shops in the past, but are kept mostly as house pets today. In Russian fairy tales, magical cats protect children and open gateways to unseen realms.

3) The breed first arrived in the United States in 1990 following the end of the Cold War. They are still fairly rare in the US and most breeders have waiting lists for their kittens.

4) As a result of the harsh Siberian climate they originate from, these cats have a luxurious triple coat to protect against the cold which grows thicker during the winter months even in indoor cats. Their densely muscled body is also suited to their environment. As with most other cat breeds, Siberians come in just about all colors and patterns although brown tabbies are most common. Their coat tends to resist matting, but they do go through a "molting" period in both the spring and fall. Interestingly, this molting is not triggered by a change in temperature but rather by the change in daylight hours.

5) Considered one of the largest cat breeds, the Siberian matures slowly, sometimes not reaching their full stature until the age of 5!

6) The Siberian has water-repellent fur and is more likely to play with water more than other cat breeds.

7) Known for their agile jumping skills, Siberians are athletic and energetic, highly intelligent and devoted to their humans. Their easygoing nature make them the purrfect addition to any household, including busy families with young children and other pets. They are also very serious when it comes to parenting - many mother cats will have only one mate for life, and Siberian fathers are very nurturing and play a huge part in caring for their kittens.

8) There are claims that the Siberian is hypoallergenic and produces less Fel d1 (the primary allergen present on cats and kittens) than other cat breeds, making them safe for allergy sufferers. This has not been scientifically proven though so plan to spend extra time with any cat you plan to bring home to gauge your reaction to them.

9) The International Cat Association (TICA) accepted Siberians into the New Breed program in 1992 and in 1996 granted them championship status. The were accepted for registration by the Cat Fanciers Association in February 2000 and advanced to championship status in February 2006.

10) Famous Siberian cat owners include Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. They've even made their way into pop culture thanks to the 2016 movie Nine Lives!

Have you ever had the pleasure of meeting or being owned by a Siberian cat?


Mickey's Musings said...

These cats do look pretty impressive!
We are glad mum is happy with us ;)
Good facts about this breed too.

Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

Summer at sparklecat.com said...

My human loves Siberians, but with their heavy coats, they are too high maintenance for her - plus our climate is too warm for them!

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

What amazing creatures!

Patricia T said...

Wonderful information, Melissa! I was not aware of this cat breed. The two, in your photos, are beautiful.

Eastside Cats said...

Hubba hubba!

World of Animals, Inc said...

Thanks for sharing all the wonderful facts on the Siberian. They are gorgeous looking kitties. We love that they have a triple coat to protect against the cold. Great post. Have a wonderful day.
World of Animals

pilch92 said...

Great post! I have never heard of that breed.

The Island Cats said...

We didn’t know anything about Siberian cats so thanks for sharing these facts!

Three Chatty Cats said...

What a gorgeous breed!

The Menagerie Mom said...

I think I'm going to go read me some Russian fairy tales. I would love to know more about those magical kitties who open gateways to other realms!