Siberian Cat Breed – Facts and Personality Traits

The Siberian cat is a social and affectionate cat that has been a big favorite with the Russian people for hundreds of years.

If you are looking for a nice companion cat with a playful mind and calm temperament, this is the right cat for you.


The Siberian cat originates from the Russian forests, where it was primarily popular as a pet for the nomads, fishermen and hunters who inhabited Siberia. In Russian literature and folk tales it is often attributed magical properties, and it is said to have existed for at least a thousand years.

In the Siberian forest, the breed developed into a fantastic hunter with thick and waterproof fur, perfectly adapted to the cold, inhospitable climate. The breed has long been very popular in Russia, but due to the strict export control, it was not recognized internationally until the 1990s. The first Siberian cats came to Sweden in 2000.


This beautiful breed is perfect as a companion cat in the family. It is an active cat that is at the same time social and has a mild temperament. It thrives in the company of people without being particularly demanding or in constant need of attention. Usually it is very happy to just be close to you and keep track of what you do. The Siberian is also talkative and communicates with adorable, low-key yawning and chirping. It goes well with both children and adults, and usually also with other cats and dogs. It may be a bit reserved for strangers at first, but as soon as it gets used to it, it wins everyone’s hearts.

This is an intelligent and smart cat who likes stimulation in the form of learning tricks and it appreciates interactive toys. Because of this, many people resemble the Siberian cat in a dog. It loves to climb and likes to lie down in high places to keep an eye on its domains. If you do not always want to see the cat balance at the top of the bookshelves, it is good to invest in a cat tree.

Size, weight and appearance

The Siberian cat has a muscular body with large paws, a long tail and a short, strong neck with a sturdy fur collar. The head is slightly rounded with tufted ears and large, oval eyes that sit wide apart.

The Siberian cat is a medium to large breed that develops slowly and usually does not reach its full physique until several years of age. The male weighs 7-9 kg and the female 4.5-7 kg.


The coat can have many different colors and patterns. The eyes are either green, golden yellow or copper colored. There are Siberians with blue eyes, but it is unusual and usually occurs in combination with white fur.

Fur care

The dense, half-length coat has three layers where the outer coat is water-repellent and feels slightly hard to the touch. Siberia requires relatively little fur care as it is not so prone to developing tangles. An occasional brushing is usually sufficient.

Special characteristics of the breed

Siberian cats actually like water, so do not be surprised if you find the cat splashing in the birdbath.

Are Siberian cats allergy friendly?

The Siberian cat is sometimes considered an allergy-friendly breed. People who are allergic to cats often react to a protein called Error d1. This protein is secreted in saliva and skin, among other things. Many Siberian cats secrete lower levels of Fel d1 than other breeds, which is why some allergy sufferers react less to the Siberian. However, there are no guarantees whatsoever that you as an allergy sufferer can tolerate this cat breed because the amount of Error d1 that is excreted differs significantly between individuals and the sensitivity of allergy sufferers varies.

Hereditary diseases

Siberian cats are generally healthy, but hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) occurs in the breed. HCM is the most common heart disease in cats and means a thickening of the heart muscle, which in the long run can lead to complications such as heart failure or blood clots. There is no cure for HCM. Many breeders choose to have their breeding treasures ultrasounded regularly to ensure that they have no changes in their heart. In this way, you can prevent the offspring from getting the disease.

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) also occurs in Siberian cats. This disease causes cysts (fluid-filled cavities) that develop over time. This leads to enlarged kidneys, impaired kidney function and eventually to kidney failure. The disease is diagnosed with the help of an ultrasound examination, something that is recommended before breeding. There is also a genetic test that can determine if the animal carries a gene for PKD (PKD1), but since the disease can arise as a result of changes other than PKD1, a negative genetic test does not rule out that the cat carries the disease.


As with other cats, feeding should be based on age, size and activity level. It is an advantage to feed the cat a varied diet, where soft food is an important component. Always consult your veterinarian if you are unsure about which food is best for your cat.

5 fun facts about Siberian cats

  • The Siberian cat is a social creature that loves his family and usually works well with other cats and dogs.
  • The breed has existed for hundreds, maybe even a thousand, years in Russia, but it was not recognized internationally until the 1990s.
  • The coat is long, thick and water-repellent – perfectly adapted to cold weather.
  • This playful cat loves to climb trees and play with water.
  • The Siberian cat is considered by some to be an allergy-friendly breed, but there are unfortunately no guarantees that you as an allergy sufferer can tolerate these cats.