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CFA Pedigreed Breed: Siberian

Recorded history shows that the Siberian breed has been around for at least 1,000 years. They were first mentioned in Harrison Wier's book "Our Cats and all About Them," which included information about one of the earliest cat shows held in England, in 1871. However, finding written information in Russia is fairly difficult. Despite the fact that the Siberian is a natural breed and is the national cat of Russia, its very ubiquity makes it taken for granted rather than worthy of note in Russian literature. Add to this the vast expanse of Russia, which encompasses 13 time zones as well as a multitude of ethnic and cultural diversity, and you have a cat that seems as difficult to standardize as the country that gave rise to it.

The Siberian is considered a semilonghair, with a rich full coat in the winter, while the summer allows for a somewhat shorter less dense coat. They can come in just about every color of the rainbow, but because of the rarity of the breed those colors may not be available in your neighborhood.

Siberians tend to be both great problem solvers and also, rather like dogs, loyal to their adopted families, which is why they are so well suited to the households in which one spouse professes to be a dog person, not a cat person.

Siberians are extremely agile and can leap great distances and heights to fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Their agility also means they can usually navigate potentially breakable bric-a-brac without leaving a path of destruction in their wakes, though prudence dictates that one would still want to think twice about placing a Ming Dynasty vase on the mantel. The Siberian is a delightful combination of the flying Walendas and the comical sleuth from "The Pink Panther." Expect the unexpected when sharing your home with one.

Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc. (c) 2011

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