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About the Breed

The Siberian Cat... 

Our Siberian veteran Bars

Siberian cats have existed for a long time. The earliest known reference is from 1000AD. In the 1870s they appeared in the first cat show and we also find a reference to Siberian cats at the 1884 show in Madison Square Gardens. They have medium-length triple layered coats with which a weekly brushing is suggested, they produce less of a protein called FEL D1 in their saliva than most other cats which makes them great pets for people with allergies as they are hypoallergenic. FEL D1 is the protein that people with allergies react to. The cats make great companions to young and old alike. They are loyal, friendly, playful and are very smart. If consistency is used most can even be trained to do tricks! TICA featured the Siberian breed in 2009 as being the 5th most popular cat of 2009.

“Where does Siberian cat came from? Of course from Siberia” – could you answer undoubtedly. But it is not true. The native land of these cats is the Far East (in ancient times all territories outside Ural mountains were called Siberia, so the name Siberian cats came from this). Bright evidence of that are handsome cats brought there from. The population of cats lived in these forests 200 – 300 years ago for a long time was existing separately. The coupling these cats with Far East wood cats could not be excluded. To the moment when people were appeared in these territories, a specific type of a cat was formed here already, which became a basis of "Siberian cat" breed.
Unfortunately, there are no beautiful legends around Siberian cat which are connected with its origin. In this sense she is not so lucky, as other native breeds. There is a legend about Meincun, that the beginning of the breed is connected to a raccoon (English "ńîîn" - the constituent of a word "raccoon", that is translated as "raccoon”) who has probably coupled with cats of state Mein, and the Norwegian wood cat was named as "goblin cat" as it was thought that he is a hybrid of a lynx with the house cat.
But in Russian fairy tales all cats undoubtedly were Siberian cats. A power and a grace, an independence and a tenderness, a quick-mind and a concern, a fine character and a confidence of a native cat, who had passed a long, centuries-old route near to the people is surprisingly combined in these cats. Anyhow, but the nature has presented to us a magnificent Siberian cat and probably nobody will argue with it.


They are different breeds: Siberian cats and Neva Masquerade cats...

Neva Masquerade cat Antony

"Siberian cat" is the native breed of Russia. The natives are the radical inhabitants: the people or animals that live within the limits of one territory or in one country. The native land of the Siberian cats is the Far East. The population of cats that lived here a thousand years ago, was living separately for a long time. Before the people had come to these territories, there was already a standard type of a cat, which became a basis of breed "Siberian cat". Nobody have never met Siamese cats especially Himalaya Persian in our woods.
« Neva Masquerade cat » is the cultural or artificial breed. It is selected by adding of blood of the Persian cats of Himalaya color (the color-point color) to Siberian cats.
The Persian cats of Himalaya color were brought to Russia in the 80s. In the USA these colors named as the Himalaya colors, in Europe they traditionally named as the color-point cats. Then, soon, cats very like with Siberian cats had appeared, but with color-point color, they were named as Neva Masquerade cats. These cats were met with a big interest. Dark marks on the muzzle, ears, paws and a tail looked very elegant.
The cattery owners wanted to change only the color. But a gene of Siamese color (is more exact allele- сs, tyrosinase) are transferred to posterity not in itself, but only by an essential part of a genetic material. That is why together with color, the type of a cat has been changed- there appeared the features of the Persian breed: a convex forehead, a round skull, small ears, round eyes and etc. The hair thus became longer, than at Siberian cats. The axis hair became soft, not typical for the Siberian breed. Less often Persian cats were crossed with the brought Siamese cats. Kittens, born after that often had significant defects such as breaks on the tail. Such crossings were not very popular, so signs of east features such as the direct structure, the light body, large straight ears and etc. could be meet less often at Neva Masquerade cats, than features of the Persian breed.
Today many experts and cattery owners (for example O. Mironova, T. Pavlova) approve the Neva Masquerade cat as “the Siberian native cat”. They forgot their statements and we found many articles in the magazines.
We read the article of chairman of club “Kotofei” of the WCF-judge O. Mirinova “The Siberian cats” in the magazine "A Friend ", № 1, 1995, on page 16:
“Siberian cat has an interesting color variety - Neva Masquerade cat. As in the Persian breed there are Himalaya cats, and in Siberian breed there are color-point cats. Thus, Neva Masquerade cat is an Siberian cat of Siamese color. Certainly, this color is introduced and it is also known how it was introduced. In due time S.V. Obraztsov brought to Russia some Siamese cats and thus the population of our Siberian cats was replenished with a new gene “.
We can read in the article of T. Pavlova “The Siberian cats are a pride of Russian Felinology”, the president of Association of amateurs of Siberian cats, in magazine “Between a cat and a dog “, №12 (116), 2001 on page 9 the following:” For the first time Neva Masquerade cats appeared in Petersburg and at once they attracted attention of public. Typical features of color, taken from Thai cats (old Thai cats), at skilful cultivation and selection do not worsened type of Siberian cat, but also brought the elegant charm and exotic into breed … “.
The Neva Masquerade cat is a beautiful and interesting cat, but it isn’t a Siberian cat. The
Neva Masquerade cat should have the other standard by descriptions of the breed.
Don’t you ever think about, why in Maine Coon and Norwegian breeds the color-point colors are forbidden by the standard? These native breeds belong to the same SLH-group, as Siberian cats. Cattery owners of these breeds understand that the Siamese gene can be only introduced in these breeds and it is unavailable for native breeds.
« In fact the same Americans who wanted to have a fluffy cat of Siamese color but not the cat of Persian type, selected the cat breed "Ragdoll", instead of starting to cross color-point cats with Maine Coon to get «Hudson festival cats»( extract from the article “The crossing in breed: where the road goes? “of E.Shevchenko, the expert of IFА-ICEF-IFC) .
Even if the kittens from the Neva Masquerade cat according to phenotype are Siberian cats, according to genotype they are different. See you! Tatiana Mamedova.

The materials on this page was used by permission of the author Tatiana Vasiljevna Mamedova.
Tatiana Vasiljevna Mamedova is the instructor-felinologist,
She has 10 years of breeding experience.

You can contact her by Email: sib-adagio@mail.ru


In Siberian Meow cattery we are not planning on breeding Neva Masquerades and our breeding program will include only traditional Siberians without mixing them with Neva Masquerades. The Nevas became very popular after the Russian president Dmitry Medvedev acquired one.

Even the popular Animal Planet show "Cats 101" mixes up the Nevas with Siberians and shows them as one. You may ask "why?" we are not planning on breeding them and here is the answer: They are two different breeds and it creates a lot of problems in the genetic pool as well as their effectiveness to be hypoallergenic cats. Unfortunately, many cat federations do not recognize these breeds as separate, including TICA of which we are a part of. It increases the chances of eventually eradicating the Siberian breed altogether. Fortunately, there are a few catteries around the world that understand this problem and are fighting to keep the Siberian as a separate breed.

We are by no means saying that the Neva Masquerade is a bad breed because we owned them and loved them very much, what we are saying however, is that they are a different breed that has it's own gene pool, somewhat similar to the Siberian. Think of a Labradoodle, it's a mix of a Labrador and Poodle, the Neva Masquerade is the same way, they were artificially created from several breeds, including the Siberian. One may even say it's a sub-breed of the Siberian.

Think about this: What if someone mixes a Labradoodle with a Poodle?

Siberian Cats*

General Description

The majestic Siberian is a strong, powerfully built cat with strong hindquarters helping them jump exceptionally high. They are a slow-maturing breeding reaching full magnificence at about 5 years of age. Siberians are large cats with a substantial rounded body reminiscent of a barrel and heavily boned legs to support the substantial body structure. Their paws would do a heavyweight boxer proud! But for all their powerful strength, these are gentle cats that enjoy playing and clowning around with their families.


Siberians use their incredible intelligence to solve all kinds of problems-like determining to how to open a door to be with the owners they adore, how to get to the cat food for an extra meal, or how to recover the favorite toy their owner thinks they have so cleverly hidden out of reach! They are powerful agile cats that can leap great distances and heights, sometimes appearing to fly through the air, but despite their size, they are adept at negotiating obstacles in their path without knocking them over. At the same time, they love to play and will entertain you with their clown-like antics. They adore their human families and their visitors-with children holding a warm spot in their hearts. They have a wonderful depth to their purr and talk to you with a chirping sound, particularly when they are coming to greet you when you have been out.


While considered a semi-longhair, the Siberian's coat varies with the season. In the winter, it will have a thick, rich, full, triple coat that would have protected it from the elements in its native Russia. In the summer, they shed the heavy winter coat for a shorter, less dense coat. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including pointed, with deep intense colors and rich patterns that make them a dramatic stand out from the everyday cat.

The Siberian is a large, strong cat with heavy boning and a powerful musculature that takes up to 5 years to reach full maturity. They have rounded contours to the body resembling a barrel and rounded, gentle contours to the modified wedge head. Their eyes are almost, but not quite, round and will appear rounder when the cat is alert or startled. Their hind legs are slightly longer than their front legs giving them the powerful lift they need to get to those high places they just have to reach! The overall impression of the mature Siberian is one of the balance, circles and roundness.

*Information was taken from official TICA website

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Last updated: December 08, 2014