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Feline Breed Spotlight: Siberian

The Siberian Forest Cat!

History

The Siberian or the Siberian Forest Cat is a native cat from the taiga of Siberia. These cats are known to have been present in Russia for 1000s of years and are often seen as figures in old Russian folktales. They were often kept by shopkeepers to keep mice away from grain and other food. The breed had made it’s way to North America in the 1990s, but it still is not a very popular breed due to the costs associated with exporting a cat from Russia.

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Temperament

This breed is very friendly and loves to be close to their family members. They also get along well with other family pets.  They are very playful even well into adulthood (fetch being one of their favorite games to play). They are also very calm and are not bothered by loud noises and busy, active households. They are quick learners and need challenging mental stimulation. They also love jumping and climbing to great heights.

Is this breed right for you?

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  • Weekly brushing will keep their coat nice and shiny. Even though they are long haired, their fur does not tend to tangle easily.  They do shed their winter coat in the spring, so there will be extra shedding and grooming requirements during the warmer months. The good news is that Siberians tend to produce a lower amount of dander compared to other domestic cats, so a seasonal shed may not trigger allergies as much.
  • Siberian cats love to play in water, so if you are also a fish owner or have a fish pond this may not be the best cat for you.
  • Siberians are very playful, active, athletic cats. They have higher exercise requirements than other cats. Providing them with a lot of vertical space for climbing and jumping is necessary to keep them happy as well as daily play and exercise sessions.

Health concerns

Both pure-bred and  mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be either influenced by genetics or environmental factors. Overall the Siberian is a healthy, hardy breed of cat.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common form of heart disease in cats, and has shown slightly higher occurrence in Siberians . This disease causes a thickening of the heat muscle and can lead to congestive heart failure.

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