History of the Siberian Forest Cat
The Russian Siberian cat was first mentioned in a book by Harrison Wier, which included information of the earliest cat shows in-England in 1871,The Russian Siberian cat, a true friend, a gentle giant, who is strong, athletic, yet Soft and loving, with his love of human companionship.
From Russia with love: that’s the Siberian, a glamorous native cat from the Taiga of Siberia, a forested area with a subarctic climate that no doubt contributed to this cat’s long, thick, protective coat.
Siberian cats are a Russian national treasure. They have been documented in Russia for hundreds of years and are mentioned in Russian fairy tales and children’s books. Russian families relay fond tales of their Siberians and their amazing loyalty and personalities, but these cats also have played a practical role on farms as rodent control where their large size meant they could take on any known rodent. When the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States ended, the doors opened for the Siberian cat to be exported worldwide. The first Siberians arrived in England in 2002.
This is a cat designed by nature to survive, with no extremes in type. The Siberian can take up to five years to mature, with females generally being smaller than the males. Despite their size they are very gentle.
Siberian cats are very personable and want to be near their owners. They enjoy the company of children, dogs, and other animals. They are fearless and easy going. Not much disturbs their natural calm and equanimity. They seem to know when they are needed for psychological and moral support and spend time with the person who needs that support. They are a quiet breed that expresses itself in a melodic way through sweet mews, trills, chirps, and lots of purring. All types of toys intrigue them. Some learn to play fetch, while others are intrigued by the moving cursor on the computer screen or sit and watch, entranced, as you type. Acrobatic by nature, the Siberian will play hard, often executing amazing somersaults in pursuit of a feather toy. An over enthusiastic kitten may need to be rescued while attempting to climb the bricks on the fireplace or jump to the top of a bookshelf. Siberians stay playful throughout their lives.
We get a lot of questions about allergies and Siberians. Hopefully the information below will help you understand and decide if a Siberian cat is an option for you.
Every cat has allergens. There is no such thing as a non-allergic cat. A common misconception is that allergen levels is caused by cat hair, which is why a lot of people do not believe a long hair breed, such as the Siberian cat, can be hypo-allergenic. The majority of cat allergies occur because of the major cat allergenic glycoprotein called Fel d1. This glycoprotein is found in cat saliva, dander from sebaceous glands in the skin, fur and also within the anal sebaceous glands. Other cat allergens including albumin are found in the urine, saliva and blood. It is well documented that when a cat licks their fur, they spread the primary culprit – the Fel d1 protein. As this Fel d1 protein is quite sticky, it then glues itself onto dust particles, the home, your clothing and also onto the cat`s fur. Later, as the protein dries it has the capacity to become airborne and it is this airborne form of the protein which causes the extreme inflammatory response in certain individuals.
The more things a person is allergic too the less likely is the chance of tolerating a Siberian. In addition to the Fel d1 there are also Fel d2 (serum albumin) and Fel d4 (lipocalin). People who react to Fel d2 usually also have allergies to dogs and/or egg white. People who react to Fel d4 usually also have asthma. It is important to note that there are currently no tests for Fel d2 and Fel d4 levels in cats, only Fel d1 levels can be tested. So a cat that has low levels of Fel d1 might still not be an option for people with allergies to Fel d2 and Fel d4.
SIBERIANS AND ALLERGIES
It has been claimed that Siberians produce much less of this Fel-d1 allergen protein than any other breed. Because of this, the Siberian cat is often mentioned as a good choice for allergy sufferers but it really depends on the individual and her or his allergies. It is important to note that there are currently no real proof of the lower allergen level of the Siberian cat as tests have proven inconclusive.
As with any cat breed, kittens have lower allergen levels than and adult cat and spayed/neutered cats have lower levels than a whole cat. Please remember that it takes the Siberian up to 5 years to mature so the allergens build up over a long time. There is no correlation between cat colours and level of allergens!