Siberian Forest Cat Price

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This breed may be new to the United States, but it's far from new to the Asian continent and to Europe. Exactly when and how the Siberian made his way to Siberia (and subsequently to Moscow and St. Petersburg) is not known, but it is theorized that the breed arrived with Russian emigrants. The cats survived and developed into a hardy, long haired breed able to withstand the unforgiving conditions of the region.

The breed then spread throughout Europe, and the Siberian was noted in Harrison Weir?s late nineteenth century book, Our Cats and All About Them, as one of the three longhairs represented at the first cat show held in England in the 1700s. Breeder Elizabeth Terrell of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is credited with bringing the Siberian to the American cat fancier. As a Himalayan breeder and aficionado of Russian culture, Terrell responded to a 1988 article in a cat publication asking for breeders willing to donate or trade Himalayans to help establish the breed in Russia.

She contacted Nelli Sachuk, a member of St. Petersburg's Kotofei cat club (pronounced COT-ah-fay), which is a member of the international division of ACFA. Kotofei, named after a fabled Russian character that had the head of a cat, is one of the few Russian cat clubs that extend official pedigrees. Until recently, Russia did not allow citizens to own any kind of household pet, pedigreed or otherwise, because of the housing and food shortage.

It wasn't until 1987 that Kotofei was formed and breeding records started being kept. The first cat show in Moscow was held in 1988. Terrell sent four Himalayans to Nelli Sachuk and in exchange received three Siberians from Sachuk on June 28, 1990, one male (with the impressive name of Kaliostro Vasenjkovich) and two females (Ofelia Romanova and Naina Romanova). Before long, the Siberian had captivated Terrell's heart and pocketbook.

She found herself investing thousands of dollars and long hours into obtaining more cats and establishing the Siberian as a recognized breed in America. Other breeders and fanciers joined her and they began the long process of winning association acceptance. Terrell based the American standard on the Russian standard, adapted to American cat fancy terms, of course. Terrell's concern about the breed was that getting true stock was difficult and time-consuming, and not every feline called a Siberian was actually pedigreed.

Unless the cat is registered with one of the Russian cat clubs, complete with a metruka (certificate of birth), he could be merely one of the domestic mixed breed cats available very inexpensively in the Russian markets. Since it's become known that Americans will pay hard currency for Siberians, some cats may be misrepresented. Other people, uninformed about the differences between pedigreed and mixed breeds, will represent their cats as Siberians, just as many Americans will call any long haired cat Persian or Angora.

Obtaining a Siberian from Russia from now on, says Terrell, will be a little like playing Russian roulette. Terrell has formed an inter-registry breed club called Taiga (pronounced Tie-GAH, named after the Taiga forests of Siberia) to help maintain the breed's purity and to promote the breed in the cat fancy. While this breed is still rare, fanciers have shown interest and the response has been positive.

Full acceptance should be only a matter of time. Copyright © 1998 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based onENCYCLOPEDIA OF CAT BREEDS by J. Anne Helgren.

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Siberian cats are a Russian national treasure. They have been documented in Russia for hundreds of years and are mentioned in Russian fairy tales and children’s books. The breed also appears in Harrison Wier’s book Our Cats and All About Them, published in 1889. Russian families relay fond tales of their Siberians and their amazing loyalty and personalities, but these cats also have played a practical role on farms as rodent control.

When the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States ended, the doors opened for the Siberian cat to be exported worldwide. The first Siberians arrived in the United States in June 1990. The Siberian was accepted for registration by CFA in February 2000 and advanced to championship status in February 2006. The Siberian is a medium to large cat with the overall appearance of excellent physical condition, strength, balance, power, and alertness, modified by a sweet facial expression.

Their eyes vary in color from gold to green and all shades inbetween. Some have two different colored eyes, and some even have blue eyes. Siberians are a natural breed and reflect the climate in which they developed, with their very dense, medium to long, water repellent triple coat. This coat is accented with a ruff around the neck, full fluffy britches, and a bushy tail, normally carried up with pride but also quite useful to wrap around the face and paws to keep warm.

Lynx tipping on the ear is allowed, and full ear furnishings are required. This means that the tops of the ears can have hair, which makes the ears look pointed when in fact they are rounded, and that the inside of the ear has hair that protects it from the elements. This glorious and quite useful fur comes in all colors and combinations, with or without white markings, and tends to remain relatively tangle-free, requiring only occasional brushing.

Fortunately, Siberians like to play in water, so if bathed regularly as kittens they may actually enjoy the attention of a bath. This is a cat designed by nature to survive, with no extremes in type. The Siberian can take up to five years to mature, with females generally being smaller than the males. The general impression of the body is one of circles and roundness, rather than rectangles and triangles.

Although it has not been proven scientifically, many people believe that the Siberian is hypoallergenic. In fact, many allergy sufferers have a sensitivity to FelD1, and some Siberians have a lower than average occurence of FelD1 in their saliva. When a cat licks its fur, the saliva dries and flakes to create the dander to which people are allergic. This can vary from cat to cat and person to person.

If you are allergic to cats and want to test your allergic response to Siberians, it is best to test with the Siberian you are thinking of getting. Spend time with it and find out how you react. There are no guarantees, but there is hope for allergy sufferers. Siberian cats are very personable and want to be near their owners. They enjoy the company of children, dogs, and other animals. They are fearless and easygoing.

Not much disturbs their natural calm and equanimity. They seem to know when they are needed for psychological and moral support and spend time with the person who needs that support. They are a quiet breed that expresses itself in a melodic way through sweet mews, trills, chirps, and lots of purring. All types of toys intrigue them. Some learn to play fetch, while others are intrigued by the moving cursor on the computer screen or sit and watch, entranced, as you type.

Acrobatic by nature, the Siberian will play hard, often executing amazing somersaults in pursuit of a feather toy. An over enthusiastic kitten may need to be rescued while attempting to climb the bricks on the fireplace or jump to the top of a bookshelf. Siberians stay playful throughout their lives. In selecting a Siberian kitten, consider what characteristics are most important to you and discuss them with the breeder who knows each kitten and can help match you with the right one.

Kittens are usually available between 12 and 16 weeks of age, by which time they have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential to maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life.

For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Hazel Gordon

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