Siberian cats—one stop for all the info
Previously known as Siberian Forest cats, Siberians are a cheerful and charismatic breed. Many cat parents describe them as dog-like because of their loyalty and love of cuddles. These qualities, paired with their beautiful looks, make these felines incredibly sought-after yet rare kitties. Before you welcome them into your home, it's wise to learn more about the breed to determine if a Siberian is a good choice for your family.
To help you on your journey, Untamed presents all you need to know about Siberian cats in one place. Keep reading to find out what Siberians are like and how to take the best care of them.
Siberian cat—main characteristics
Let me strike a pose here, and you can take a photo of me.
Source: Piotr Musioł
Siberian cats are beautiful. They are on the larger side but can't be categorised as big felines. Their lush fur meant to withstand harsh Siberian winters is their most prominent physical feature.
Check out the table below for more details about a Siberian cat's appearance:
Siberian cat colours
Siberian cats come in many colours but have one thing in common—they are all gorgeous!
Source: Ivan Jevtic
Siberian cats come in various colours and patterns, and they are all equally stunning. What characterises these kitties are prominent furnishings on their ears, toe tufts, mane-like ruff in the collar area, and long hair on their belly and breeches.
Here is an overview of typical Siberian cat colours and patterns:
Colours and combinations
Solid Siberian cats are one colour from head to toe, with little or no shading. They come in the following shades:
Siberian cat personality
Siberian cats are famously charming and adaptable. They are also:
- Affectionate and outgoing
How affectionate are Siberian cats?
Siberian cats love to give and receive affection and attention. They enjoy being around people and often express their satisfaction with gentle melodic chirping. Although they like to vocalise, they are nowhere near as talkative and loud as their Siamese cousins.
These kitties are incredibly friendly with practically anyone they meet, making them wonderful companions. They are amazing with other cats and will easily befriend gentle dogs and well-behaved kids.
Even though these felines adore attention and thrive when they have company, they are not clingy. Still, if you spend a lot of time away from home, you should consider getting another cat to keep them company.
Are Siberian cats playful or mischievous?
Me? Naughty? Don’t be ridiculous.
Source: Inna Kupchenko
Siberian cats are outgoing and playful, so they are fun to be around. They may occasionally attempt to break into a cupboard or get into a space they deem interesting but are not overly mischievous. Their favourite pastime is following their beloved human, watching their every move, and chiming in from time to time. Siberians also enjoy water, so don't be surprised if your kitty decides to jump in the shower with you.
Best of all, these kitties remain kitten-like for a long time because it can take them up to five years to reach full maturity. Once they are fully grown, they become quieter and laid-back.
How clever are Siberian cats?
Siberians are exceptionally intelligent. These kitties need a lot of physical and mental stimulation, so provide them with fun, interactive toys and play with them every day.
Their superb intelligence makes Siberians easy to train and teach tricks. They will enjoy quality time spent with you, so introduce training sessions into their routine. It's a great bonding opportunity and a fantastic way for your kitty to stay cognitively stimulated.
Siberian cat health
Siberian cats are a sturdy and resilient breed, but they are at a slightly higher risk of:
- Heart disease
- Feline lower urinary tract disease
- Dental problems
There are two types of heart disease:
- Congenital—a condition your kitty is born with
- Acquired—resulting from the environment and lifestyle
Heart disease is the most common health problem in Siberian cats. They are particularly prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the thickening of the heart ventricle caused by a gene abnormality. It makes the heart work harder to pump blood through the body.
Felines can live with this condition for a long time without showing any symptoms. In more advanced stages, HCM leads to fluid accumulation in and/or around the lungs, which causes difficulty breathing.
An even more serious consequence of HCM is the formation of blood clots in the heart. These clots travel through the bloodstream, obstructing the blood flow to other body parts. In felines, clots mostly block the blood flow to the hind legs. This causes acute pain or hind limb immobility in more severe cases.
Early diagnosis can help manage the condition successfully and prevent life-threatening blood-clot formation. It’s critical to take your kitty for checkups regularly. Once a year is usually enough for younger kitties, while two vet visits a year are necessary for older felines. Your Siberian cat can have a happy and long life with veterinary guidance, diet change, and meticulous care.
Usual symptoms of HCM include:
Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD)
FLUTDs include various issues, such as:
Dehydration is a common cause of urinary tract problems because felines are not big drinkers. You must ensure your Siberian cat gets enough hydration through food. The best way is to give them at least two wet meals per day because cat jellies and gravies contain much more moisture than dry food.
Urinary tract problems can be tricky to spot unless you pay close attention to your kitty's litter-tray habits, so watch out for the following symptoms:
- Painful and frequent urination
- Blood in the urine
- Avoiding the litter box
- Behavioural changes
The symptoms of urinary problems often clear out within a couple of weeks, but they can be painful and uncomfortable to felines. Don't miss visiting the vet because they may need to prescribe some antibiotics and a diet change.
Neglecting oral hygiene in your Siberian can lead to severe health problems. Your kitty may stop eating, especially if you feed them kibble, because of the pain. In the worst-case scenario, an infection of teeth or gums can spread to the jaw. Untreated infections can even be fatal to the kitty as they can also spread from the mouth to the kidneys, joints, or heart.
Here are the usual symptoms of dental problems:
Common dental problems
Regular oral hygiene can alleviate dental problems. Feeding your kitty an occasional dry meal can also assist in removing buildup from the teeth.
Siberian cat care
Believe it or not, I’m pretty low-maintenance.
Source: Sergey Semin
Caring for Siberian cats includes:
Siberians have a thick, triple-layered coat consisting of:
- Long outer hairs
- The second layer of long, awn hairs
- A short, downy undercoat
Despite being long, Siberian cats' fur doesn't tangle much, so grooming them is pretty simple. You will need to brush them more often in autumn and spring when they shed more. Other than that, you should:
- Brush your Siberian once a week to remove loose hair and dander
- Bathe them every six to eight weeks or when your kitty gets dirty
- Trim their nails when necessary
- Brush their teeth daily (if possible)
Siberians are incredibly active, have superb jumping abilities, and love to show off their athleticism. You should provide a sturdy cat tree that can support their weight when they jump onto it. Your Siberian will appreciate a large scratching post and wall-mounted shelves where they can lounge.
During your Siberian cat's formative years, you won't need to push them to exercise much, but as they age, some encouragement may be necessary. Unless they get ample exercise, your feline companion can easily become obese (especially if you are too generous with food), and obesity entails many other health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Joint problems
I’m not fat, it’s the fur. It’s poofy!
Source: Lydia Koh
Your Siberian cat's diet should be:
- High in protein—Meat and fish are the only viable sources of essential amino acids (such as taurine) cats need for:
- Strong muscles
- Proper organ function
- Efficient immune response
- Moderate in fats—Siberian cats will benefit from food containing suitable amounts of Omega fatty acids, which support healthy skin and coat. Fat also gives food a delicious taste, ensuring that even fussy kitties enjoy their meals
- Low in carbs—Cat food with a lot of grains or vegetables should be off the table. Carbs can be hard on your Siberian's stomach and cause:
- Hydrating—In the wild, cats get their water from freshly caught prey, such as birds, mice, frogs, slugs, and large insects. Domesticated cats will do fine on wet food consisting of meat or fish
What to feed your Siberian cat?
What to serve in moderation?
What to avoid entirely?
Good fat sources:
If your kitty is constipated:
Getting the percentages right
Your Siberian will thrive on a diet with:
- More than 50% animal protein
- Up to 20% animal fat
- Less than 3% carbs
Wet or dry food?
Many cat parents pick dry food because it is more affordable and convenient. Kibble is fine in moderation as it can help prevent dental problems, but it shouldn’t be your kitty’s regular food because it:
- Typically contains less protein
- Includes too many carbs and filler ingredients needed to maintain the consistency and prolong the shelf life of the product
- Is overprocessed
- Isn’t hydrating enough (contains only about 10% moisture)
- Often has artificial supplements that can do more harm than good for feline health
High-quality wet food usually contains suitable amounts of whole meat and fish, and kitties digest it more easily. Canned food is also more hydrating, with over 70% of moisture. This is crucial because dehydration can lower the skin elasticity, cause dander accumulation, and increase shedding, which severely affects cat parents suffering from cat allergies despite Siberians’ low Fel d 1 production.
Pick Untamed—the best you can do for your Siberian cat
I don’t know what to try first!
Image (c) Untamed
We have created meals perfect for felines at all stages of life. Whether your Siberian is a growing kitten, a playful adult, or a senior struggling to maintain optimal weight, we have a tailor-made solution for you. You can be confident that your kitty is getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Every Untamed tin is:
- Full of meat or fish—Our dishes contain two times more animal protein than most commercial products
- Formulated by vets—We collaborate with vets to create a perfect protein-to-fat ratio
- Free from known allergens—We don't use any problematic ingredients and even offer single-protein-source meals for sensitive kitties
Try Untamed and watch your Siberian thrive!
How to order
You can order top-quality food for your Siberian online by following these simple steps:
- Visit our Try Now page and share some details about your kitty
- Choose the products that suit your feline friend's needs
- Place your order
The packet will arrive in a day, and when your kitty chooses the meals they like the most, we can send regular supplies every month!
If you want to change, postpone, or cancel your order, you can do it from your account.
What to expect once your Siberian switches to Untamed
The Untamed results
After a week
After two months
Within four months