The Siberian is a medium to large cat that can take anything up to 5 years to reach full maturity. It's substantial bone structure, broad chest and big paws give a general appearance of substance and strength – definitely a cat with 'heft'.
Silver Shaded Siberian Male
Often likened to the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat; the Siberian Cat is easily distinguished by its more barrel shaped body and its broad, wedge shaped head, giving an overall impression of circles and rounded contours.
The Siberian Cat is classed as semi-longhaired and has a distinctive coat that changes with the seasons and is unique to the breed. The topcoat consists of a layer of long waterproof guard hairs beneath which is very dense, soft undercoat. The coat is considerably longer and thicker in winter; complete with a full ruff, fluffy breeches and a big bushy tail to tackle those cold Siberian winds! Other examples of this cat’s wild heritage can be seen in their tufted paw pads and the lynx tips on their ears.
The Siberian Cat comes in a huge variety of colours and patterns. Recognised colours are brown, black (with its dilute version which is blue) red, (with the dilute version of cream) and white. Patterns are solid, tabby, and tortie, Silver gene can be present which also gives smoke and shaded patterns. Colourpointed cats are allowed in all colour varients and all colours and patterns are recognised both with and without white. This gives a total count of 124 possible colour variations!
A Siberian Cat’s bright eyes greatly contribute to its alert, intelligent expression; they are large, slightly oval in shape but with a rounded lower line, set wide apart and slightly oblique. Eye colour ranges from coppers to greens, with blue being permitted only in the Neva Masquerade varieties.
The GCCF Standard of Point can be found in our Showing pages.
Siberian cats are real fun-loving felines. They are energetic and always ready to play a game with you, but never let you win! They are particularly fascinated by water and often you'll find them enthralled by a dripping tap or nonchalantly strolling in soaking wet after they fell in the fish pond!
Brown Tabby and White Siberian
Being intelligent and, like most felines, incredibly inquisitive they like to get involved in all aspects of the household - helping dig holes in the garden, sitting on the newspaper you're trying to read or just fooling around with the bubbles in the washing up bowl - they're always around to lend a paw and make you laugh.
This breed is often described as having many 'dog-like' traits (just never let your cat catch you saying it!) so can be a good alternative for those couples where one is a 'cat person' and the other is a 'dog person'. They are extremely loyal to their owners; a real best friend who's there greet you when you get home, play with you when you're happy and hug you when you're down. Quick to learn they can be taught to walk on a lead (great for those who don't have a secure outdoor space from them to play in) and some of them even like to play fetch!
Despite having huge reserves of energy, Siberians are caring, gentle souls who never have a bad word to say about anyone. This combination of playfulness and patience makes them the ideal choice for families with young children. It has also been found that they mix well with other animals, including dogs.
Siberian cats have a sweet chirruping voice and an impressive purr.
Siberians are happy being kept as either indoor or outdoor cats, but indoor only cats will need lots of toys and stimulation to keep them happy. Providing access to a secure garden or outside cat pen can be a great compromise; you're sure of their safety and they have the chance to feel the wind in their whiskers as they watch the world go by.
Colours and Patterns
This gallery contains numerous examples of the different coat colours and patterns that are recognised by the GCCF.
We aim to keep adding to this gallery until we have an good example of every colour. If you are a member of the club would like to submit good quality photograph for use in this gallery or elsewhere on the site please contact our Website Administrator, Kirstin Williamson (please note that space on the site is limited so we cannot guarrentee to use every photograph that is sent in).
It has been found that some people who normally suffer from cat allergies are able to live happily with a Siberian Cat.
Most (but not all) cat allergies are cause by the FelD1 allergen, transferred from a cat’s saliva onto the coat when they wash themselves, flakes of which then become airborne causing irritation. Research has shown that the Siberian Cats' fur contains less FelD1 than other breeds. However, as everyone responds differently, if you suffer from allergies it is very important that you have an allergy test. This involves visiting a breeder and sitting with their cats for an hour or two, this also gives you a chance to learn more about the breed and meet some of their cats and kittens.
Whether you are an allergy sufferer or not Siberians make fun and loving companions who show a great deal of devotion to the their adopted families.
SCC Allergy Advice
PDF Download containing more detailed information about Siberians and Allergies.
Although a very ancient breed (with written records dating back to 13th century), the Siberian Cat has only become a pedigree breed relatively recently.
Mars: One of the foundation Siberian males
Siberians could be found living wild in the streets and hanging around the markets as well as in the countryside and the forests of Siberia. After the fall of communism in Russia, these feral cats were taken in and domesticated by the local population. Recognising their wild magnificence people began to take the cats to shows and the Siberian Breed was established as the Aboriginal Cat of Russia.
The first breed standard was developed in 1987 based on the stud 'Roman' who was one of the foundation cats and appears in many current pedigrees. Exportation to Europe and the USA began in the 1990’s, but it was not until 2002 that the first Siberians put their paws on British soil. Since then the number of breeders in the UK has increased very quickly as word spreads about this wonderful breed.
SCC The Siberian Cat
PDF Leaflet about the Type, Temperament and History of the Siberian Cat.