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Sibi Breed Description

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Breed Organization

TICA Executive Office

The Cat Fanciers' Association

Native Country
Russia, Ukraine

Other Names
Siberian Cat

Coat Length

Life Expectancy
Approximately 10-18 Years

General Description

The Siberian is a domestic cat breed that has been present in Russia for centuries. A longer name of the breed is Siberian Forest Cat, but it is usually referred to as the Siberian or the Siberian cat. Another name for it is the Moscow Semi-longhair. The cat is an ancient breed that is now believed to be ancestral to all modern long-haired cats. The cat has similarities with the Norwegian Forest Cat, to which it is likely closely related. It is a natural breed of Siberia and the national cat of Russia.

Breed Standard

Head: Medium-sized, broad, triangular, with rounded contours. Flat top of the head. Slightly curved forehead. Cheeks not pronounced or prominent. Rounded, moderately long muzzle. Nose broad between the eyes, receding toward the tip, with a slight curve. Round chin. Long, thick whiskers.
Eyes: Large, nearly round, well-spaced, set at a slight slant. Traditional adult Color: green to yellow, but blue in colorpoints. No relationship to coat color.
Neck: Moderately long, rounded, thick, very muscular.
Body: Compact, moderately long. Long back, slightly curved or arched. Well-rounded chest. Strong bone and muscle structure.
Paw: Hind legs slightly longer than forelegs. Heavy-boned, very muscular. Large, round paws with tufts of hair between the toes. All claws but one are retractile.
Tail: Moderately long, rounded, thick, very muscular.
Coat: Semilong to long hair, fluffy, oily, waterproof, effectively protecting the cat from bitter cold. Stiff guard hairs. Long hair on the belly, slightly shorter on the shoulders and part of the chest. Long, well-furnished ruff. Thick undercoat. All traditional colors and color combinations are accepted except chocolate and lilac. Colorpoint specimens are known as Neva Mascarade.
Fault: Straight profile. Narrow or pointed muzzle. Almond-shaped eyes. Very long legs. Disqualify: stop on the nose.


His pedigree must indicate his Russian origin. This large cat lived in the wilds of Russia for quite a while. It might be the product of crosses between domestic cats brought to Siberia and the Ukraine and local wild cats. Its thick, insulating fur is adapted to its harsh native climate. Mussa, a female red and white tabby, and Tima, a tom, were purchased in St. Petersburg and brought to Berlin in 1987. Hans and Betti Schulz bred the first Siberians in their Newski Cattery. In 1990, some fifteen specimens were recorded in western Europe. The Siberian has been established in France since 1991. It was recognized by the F.I.Fe. in 1997. In 1990, Elizabeth Terrell imported the first specimens of the breed to her Starpoint Cattery in the United States. T.I.C.A. recognized the Siberian and published a standard in 1998. The breed is quite uncommon outside eastern Europe and the United States.


These large cats exude quiet strength. They are quite lively and can be highly active. Despite a strong personality and character, Siberians are very friendly toward other cats. They are playful and get along well with children. They are affectionate and very attached to their owner. They have a soft voice. These hardy, water-loving cats are good climbers and excellent jumpers. They are not fully grown until the age of five. They are easy to groom, since their coat resists matting. Normally, weekly brushing is enough. During heavy shedding in the spring, daily brushing is required.


While both HCM and "FUS" do appear in the Siberian breed, it is important to realize the disease is no more prevalent than the general cat population.

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