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Information about Siberian cats and cat ownership

Siberian Cats

Personality: Siberian cats are good natured and confident cats. They are very affectionate and loyal and often called "the dog" of the cat world. They enjoy cuddling with their special people, and are generally unafraid of others. They are playful and active throughout their life. Siberian cats are highly intelligent and curious. They like toys with problem solving and they like to play with water. Siberian cats get along well with other cats and other pets. They are relatively quiet pets, and when they "talk" their vocal pattern has a pleasant burble quality to it.

Size: Siberian cats are a medium to large cats with the males being substantially larger and more muscular than the females. Siberian cats can take up to five years to attain their full growth, although most growth will occur in the first 18 months. They should be fed kitten food for the first eighteen months because of this. Siberian males average 10-17 pounds and rarely some are larger. Neutered males are larger than unneutered males. The males are powerful leapers and enjoy high perches. Siberian females average 8-13 pounds.

"Dogs and Pups / Cats and Kittens" Siberian breed profile.

Characteristics of the Breed

Activity Level - 6

Affection toward owner - 7

Intelligence - 8

Playfulness - 8

Vocalism = 3

Independence - 6

Need for Attention - 5

Docility - 3

Health and Hardiness - 9

Need for Grooming - 3

Compatibility with Children - 8

Compatibility with other Pets - 8

Here are links to Siberian breed standards from various cat organizations; they differ slightly.

CFA breed standard, TICA breed standard, FIFe breed standard, ACFA breed standard, AACE breed standard, Russian breed standard

Diseases of the Siberian Cat.

What diseases run in Siberians? During the communist era, it was illegal to keep and breed cats. Most cats were on the streets and had to fend for themselves. Food for humans and thus help from humans was scarce. It was a heavy winnowing which may have contributed to the breed's innate hardiness. However since that time some cats which carried HCM have been used extensively as studs in breeding, due to excellent type. So Siberians are at risk for the genetically transmitted disease HCM, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Many other breeds of cats run this risk as well, such as Maine Coons, Ragdolls, Domestic Shorthairs, Oriental breeds, Himalayans and Persians. There is a genetic test only for Maine Coons out of all these breeds. To avoid purchasing a kitten with this lethal condition, buy from a cattery which scans the parents with echocardiograms yearly.

A second problem which has been identified in Siberians is also common in all breeds. That is feline lower urethral tract disease or feline urethral syndrome. I know of no comparative numbers between breeds. Given a choice, it would be wise to choose kittens from lines with no or little history of FUS, but it is not clear if this is strongly a genetic illness. (excerpted from breed profile to run in Dogs and Pups, Cats and Kittens).

Cats and Gender.

When a group of Siberian breeders were polled, those that answered recommended a male kitten for a first kitten. Dr. Bruce Fogle, a veterinarian who has studied gender based behavior of cats concluded that there is minimal difference in behavior of neutered male and female cats. He concluded that neutered males were slightly easier to handle and a little more affectionate than females, and were slighltly friendlier to other cats in the household. He also state that there was no difference in their demand for attention, hypgiene, level of activity, destructiveness, use of voice, excitability, or playfulness. Read about it in his book "The Cat's Mind" which you can buy from many places including Amazon. I include their link because they no longer freeze your computer when you go there, unlike the other seller which I started to link to.

Benefits of Owning a Cat.

Benefits of cats' purr:
Read about the benefits of cat's purr in the following articles (1), (2), (3).

Children and Cats or Pets:

For young children, or infants, these links supports cat or pet ownership to develop tolerance instead of allergies to cats. Kids who had a cat at home in the first year of life were less likely to develop allergies.

On sensitivity to pets and acquired immunity and

On exposure and sensitivity in infants and children.

However puppies are a risk factor for children under 3 getting campylobacter. Owning a pet decreases the incidence of gastroenteritis in children.

Children find owning pets is one of their five most special relations. They are especially important for confiding secrets, comfort when ill, support, self-esteem, and sharing. Child-pet relationships are characterised by affection, trust and an absence of conflict. For more information on this research in easy to read language see this article.


This study shows substantial benefits in comfort from owning a cat, but not a dog in men sick with HIV.


This study shows that women living alone were much less lonely if they had a pet.


This is a general review article that mentions several of the benefits of cat ownership.

Petting your cat releases oxytocin which is a calming and loving hormone in your body.

Cat lovers are more sensitive, and open minded, and smarter says Dr. Denise Guastello. This is also humorously referred to by Dr. Becker.

Owning a pet leads to less health care needs for the pet owner, adding up to savings of $11 billion for Americans.


One study suggested that cat ownership protected against leptospirosis.


The CAST studies confirmed that pet ownership extended lifespan after acute myocardial infarction.

Cat owners are less likely to die from a stroke or heart attack.

The Elderly:

experience happiness and joy and overcome passivity with pet ownership; and have better health if they own a pet.

Look at what Dr. Andrew Weil has to say about owning pets. (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6). In fact he has 5+ pages of references touting the benefits of pets. Pet owners also recover from serious illness faster. He concluded with facts I hadn't dug out. Studies have shown that pet owners, particularly the elderly, have lower blood pressure, are less likely to be depressed, and have higher self-esteem than people who don't have pets. Among the more tangible rewards: A study in New York, Missouri, and Texas found that medication costs dropped in nursing homes which allowed pets. And still another study found that 70 percent of the families they surveyed reported an increase in happiness and fun as a result of acquiring a pet. Perhaps those will offset the initial expense of a Siberian kitten. Here is a link from Immune, a website on coping with chronic illness about the power of having pets.

On Cost of Ownership.

Here is a discussion of costs of owning a cat. I think the number given is high for healthy well behaved animal, but not for an unhealthy or ill behaved animal. The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven is about $6,400. When I took our kittens in for their last kitten shots, I met a man who was bringing in his cat. He has six. He adopts strays, and saves them. The cat he had with him had cost him over $1000 in the first month because of the various illnesses it had had, and had then introduced to his other pets. While this is only hearsay to you, if you have a vet, you could call and ask about the possibility of this.


Here is a link to an article on breeders. We encourage you to look it over and look at our HEALTH GUARANTEE: Siberian Gatos' health guarantee says that a kitten will stay healthy for the first two weeks after you get it, if not exposed to other cats. If it gets sick, bring it back to us and we will take care of it and return it healthy or pay for a visit to our vet. If you live more than a two hours' drive away, call us or our vet and we will advise you how to take care of it and if it must be seen by another vet. If either we or our vet who has seen the kitten at around age 12 weeks and given it a clean bill of excellent health says to take it to another vet, we will pay that initial vet bill and discuss the treatment with you for further decisions if the vet calls us at the time of examining the kitten. If your kitten dies of a genetic defect any time in the first 10 years of life as determined on autopsy by a licensed veterinarian, we will return the purchase price or get you another, similar kitten. We accept that hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic defect. We can provide references from our vet and our clients. Check out other catteries' health clauses as you investigate. We have a waiting list for our kittens and do not mind if you buy elsewhere, but we urge everyone to check the health contract that is offered.


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