If you have always thought of yourself as a dog person but for whatever reason will struggle with the time and effort involved with having a dog, then a Siberian cat could be the perfect pet for you. Siberian cat personality traits are known for being the most “dog-like” of all cat breeds due to their fun and infectious personalities.
Indeed, I had always thought of myself as a dog person until I met a friend’s Siberian and fell in love. I went on to get a Siberian of my own – our Chief Cat Officer Alexei – and it is one of the best decisions that I have ever made. I had no idea that there were such friendly cat breeds and that cats could be so loving, affectionate, and fun.
11 Siberian Cat Personality Characteristics
1. Siberian Cats Are Affectionate
Siberian cats love their families, including other pets and children, and they love to snuggle with their family. My Siberian cats spend half of their lives on their backs, waiting for me or someone else to rub their tummies and have cuddles with them. They will also come and cuddle up near you on the couch or on your bed if you let them.
Do Siberian cats like to be held? Siberians are generally quite happy to be picked up and cuddled – as long as you make sure that their paws are free so that they can escape if they want. My Siberian doesn’t like to be held like that when I am sitting down but loves it when I am standing up. I think this is because it allows him to see more of the world.
2. Siberian Cats Are Independent
Whilst Siberian cats like to cuddle and have fun they are definitely not needy. They do like their own space as well and have no problems letting you know when they would prefer to be alone. Siberians want to be respected and treated with dignity.
3. Siberians Are Energetic
Their high intelligence level plus their physical agility means that Siberian cats can be quite energetic. My black Siberian cat, Alexei, sleeps a lot less than I expected for a cat. He tends to be quite active day and night and is seldom in one place for a very long period of time.
4. Siberian Cats Tend to Meow Less – And Love to Purr
This is a relatively quiet breed that tends to communicate through cute meows. My Siberian mostly meows when he wants a cuddle or attention. They also have a deep almost multi-level purr. The more content your Siberian the deeper and more multi-layered their purring will be.
Read more about why cats purr.
5. Siberian Cat Intelligence
A Siberian cat will often come when called and can be quite easily trained to walk using a harness. Their high levels of intelligence mean that they like puzzle toys, and I use a puzzle feeding mat for my Siberians as well.
6. Siberian Cat Personality Is Naturally Calm
Whilst they love fun and hijinks, at their core, Siberians are almost serene in their natural state. Siberian cats are one of the calmest cat breeds. They are quite patient and kind, which makes them great with children as well as other animals. It is often said that it is best to get two Siberian cats as they tend to do best with a cat buddy.
In 2021, I introduced a new feline friend to my home, another Siberian named Vladimir.
7. They Are Inquisitive
Siberian cats love to know what is going on, and if they aren’t allowed access to an area they will be determined to figure out a solution to the problem. My Siberian likes to follow me around the house, is fascinated by household cleaning activities, wants to go inside every cupboard and open the door, and generally wants to know what is going on at all times.
Siberian cats don’t generally like being left on their own for too long. They are very social and are happiest when they are with their humans. Whenever I am away from the house for more than a few hours, my Siberian will refuse to look at me for about the first ten minutes that I am home, as if to say how dare you leave me?
He does, however, allow me to hold and cuddle him during this time.
Read more about how long can you leave a cat alone.
8. Siberian Cats Have Adventurous Personalities
Siberians are quite fearless and love to explore their territories. They are particularly agile for cats, so this means they have no problem accessing tricky areas. I got a GPS collar for Alexei and Vladimir as they love to climb on neighboring roofs and want access to everywhere.
9. The Siberian Cat Temperament Is Playful
Siberian cats love to play – but they are unlikely to let you win! They love to play with toys and keep their passion for play long past their kitten years.
Many Siberian cats also like to play fetch. My Siberian Alexei loves bringing me a ball or a small cat or bird toy for me to throw and for him to return.
Alexei and Vladimir love to play “hunting” games. They love feather toys and any scratching post that have a bird or mouse toy dangling. Indeed, a toy bird that he “killed” by pulling it off its string is one of Alexei’s favorite toys.
Siberians will turn any item into a game! My Siberians love grabbing the tie on my bathrobe, pulling my ponytail, and grabbing any loose strings or ties that may be around.
Read more about why cats love string.
These cats love new tricks and tend to learn fast. Puzzle toys are generally a big hit with Siberians as they love trying to solve a problem – particularly if it allows them to get to a treat or a mouse.
Games that involve jumping will be enjoyed by your Siberian. Their hind legs are very strong and slightly longer than their front paws. This means that they are fantastic jumpers by nature.
Alexei and Vladimir love their cat tree as they can run and jump up and down it. I have also placed it near the tv so that they can play on the tree whilst also monitoring the room and its inhabitants.
They also tend to love bookshelves, curtain rods, and some of the highest points of any room that they are in, including chandeliers and light fittings.
I am amazed that Alexei hasn’t broken anything in the house… yet. He jumps and runs and explores everywhere yet manages to have a great sense of balance and care.
10. Siberian Cats Want to Be a Part of the Household
Siberian cats love being involved with their households. The inquisitive nature of the Siberian cat personality means that they like to know what is going on and ideally to also be involved in any and all activities.
They love climbing on laptop keyboards, sitting on newspapers or magazines, or pointing a paw at the phone their owner keeps using. This breed of cat is very loyal and will come and meet you when you get home and sit with you when you’re having a bad day or not well.
Siberian cats will often follow their owners from room to room – Alexei certainly does this with me. This gentle and loving breed will also enjoy lying near you on the couch. Alexei likes to be a little bit away from me but not so far that I can’t stroke him constantly.
11. They Are Good With New People.
Are Siberian cats friendly? This breed tends to handle all guests well and is naturally curious and calm with new people. Even as a kitten Alexei was quite happy to be held and cuddled by anyone including small children. Noise and activity don’t tend to bother these forest cats.
Activities With Your Siberian
Siberian cats are adventurous by nature. It is definitely an option to get your cat walking on a harness and lead. They are fast learners and will also figure out how to open doors, pull out drawers etc.
A Siberian Cat Personality Quirk
Unlike most other felines, Siberian cats tend to love water. They like getting their paws and underbelly wet – and they may even join you in the shower. This is perhaps because of their Siberian forest past.
History of Siberian Cats
The origins of the Siberian cat breed are steeped in mystery. It is believed that the wild forest cats of Siberia mixed with cats brought by Vologda merchants. The resulting cat had triple layers of fur and ears with tufts. They became watch cats for Russian monasteries and were known for chasing mice in markets, particularly in St Petersburg.
Siberian cats have also been called Siberian Forest Cats or Moscow longhairs. The breed almost became extinct in World War 2, but it is thought that their amazing triple coats kept them going. The breed was exported to Europe and the USA in the 1990s and arrived in the UK in 2002.
Siberian cats are still relatively rare in the United States. Today, Siberians are the national cat of Russia.
Siberian Cat Characteristics and Appearance
Siberian cats tend to weigh between 12 and 15 pounds and come in a wide range of colors. Siberian males tend to mature slowly and can continue to grow until the age of 5 and weigh up to 25 pounds.
Their triple-level coats and strong bodies can be attributed to their Russian heritage. Their coats are water resistant, and they are known to be one of the most hypoallergenic cat breeds. This is due to the fact that their coats are said to contain less of the FelD1 allergen that causes cat allergies. However, do note that no cat breed is 100% hypoallergenic. Siberians just have less FelD1 than most other cat breeds.
Siberian cats tend to have green, golden, or copper eyes. However, a white Siberian cat is likely to have blue eyes. Their eyes tend to be round in shape.
Siberian cats do shed quite a bit – generally twice a year. In spring they will shed their long winter coat and then in the fall they will lose their short summer coat. Interestingly a Siberian cat’s molting is triggered by a change in daylight hours rather than a change in temperature.
Read more about cats that don’t shed.
In addition to their awesome coats, Siberian cats will also develop a quite majestic ruff around their necks, particularly in the winter. They also tend to have quite magnificent fluffy tails.
They rarely need bathing due to their thick coats, but they do need to be brushed at least three times a week to prevent mats from building up.
Siberian Cat Health and Physique
Siberian cats tend to live up to 15 years of age and are generally a healthy breed. The biggest genetic risk among Siberians is a condition called Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is a condition where the heart muscle enlarges and then functions less well.
The hind legs of a Siberian cat are longer than their front legs. This makes them very skilled jumpers and athletes.
Read more about how long cats live.
The loving and affectionate Siberian personality traits make these furry felines delightful. They are the perfect cat for busy households and families as they tend to be easygoing. Getting a Siberian cat was one of the best decisions that I ever made, and I just had to get a second one.
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