The Siberian Forest Cat is a friendly, cuddly giant.

The Siberian Forest Cat is a friendly, cuddly giant.

Mr. Rebel in a Santa hat holds a white Siberian forest cat

This large cat originates from Russia, Siberia to be specific. An area known for its cold winters. To withstand this difficult environment, the Siberian Forest Cat is equipped with a wonderfully thick, weather-resistant coat. But that is not the only special characteristic of this breed of cat. Want to know more? Read on!

Origin and history of the Siberian Forest Cat

Little is known about the exact origin of this Russian icon. Descriptions of the Siberian appeared in old Russian fairy tales and children’s books. Some even say that this breed is at least 1000 years old. Because of the long history of this cat in combination with its very hard fur and gentle temperament, this cat has become the national cat of Russia. Only after the fall of the Soviet Union in the 90s, this breed was exported all over the world. It was only in February 2000 that the Siberian Forest Cat was recognised by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).

Siberian forest cat in living room

The special appearance of the Siberian

This natural mouse hunter has a medium to large build with excellent athletic ability. Very strong legs and a muscular body were important for this cat to survive in the Siberian landscape.

But not only a strong body is important for survival. One of the most characteristic features of this beautiful breed of cat is its beautiful coat. This coat is not just for show, as it has many practical properties. This three-layer coat provides protection against extremely cold temperatures and strong winds. To ward off the cold Siberian rain, this coat is also water repellent. But a thick coat does not come without compromises, as this cat sheds twice a year. If you like brushing, then look no further!

Another superpower: the coat is generally considered hypoallergenic. Many people with cat allergies claim that they do not get sick in the presence of this breed. Of course, this is not true for everyone, so always do your own research when adopting a cat. This breed comes in many different colour combinations. The Neva Masquerade is one of them. Read more about it on this website

Forest cat versus forest cat

The Siberian Forest Cat is often confused with the Norwegian Forest Cat. However, there are some differences between these two northern cats. Usually, Siberians have a round head and Norwegians a triangular one. Both breeds often have lynx-like floss on the end of the ears (as with Maine Coons), only Siberians have slightly smaller and rounder ears. Norwegian Forest Cats have a two-part coat while Siberian Forest Cats have a three-part coat. They also have a different personality: usually Norwegians are more independent and need less attention than Siberians. Of course, this can vary from one cat to another.

Difference between Norwegian Forest Cat and Siberian Forest Cat
Left: Siberian Forest Cat – Right: Norwegian Forest Cat

Character traits of the Siberian Forest Cat

Because of its athletic body, this cat loves to climb and jump. This active hunter loves to be outside and to jump around. Where other cats often take shelter when it rains, this cat likes to explore the outside world in extreme weather conditions. Their excellent coat protects them from it. But don’t worry, this breed is generally less active than for example the Bengal.

But this cat also has a calm side. His heart is as warm as his home is cold. Siberians are very social and bond very well with their owners. That does not mean that they leave it at that; they often do well with children, dogs and visitors. Many owners describe this breed as affectionate without being clingy.

They are also very curious and quickly take an interest in toys. Siberian Forest Cats are very smart and with some patience can learn a lot of tricks.

Care of a Forest Cat

A long coat means a lot of combing. Three times a week is recommended, but more often is always possible. They shed twice a year, so make sure you have a good hoover! Cats don’t need bathing very often, but because of their excellent coat, this breed will need bathing even less than the average cat. That’s not to say they won’t voluntarily jump in the shower with you, they love water!

As with any cat, you should make sure its nails are trimmed and its teeth are in good condition. Also, one visit to the vet a year is a must. As long as you do this, plus give them enough stimulation and attention, nothing can go wrong.

Mr rebel and siberian forest cats in the lookout 198 scratching post

Diseases and disorders

Like many cats, this breed is at risk of HCM, a disease that causes the heart muscle to thicken. Read more about it on the Cornell website.

Good breeders scan all their cats for health problems, so if you want to adopt a pedigree cat, always adopt it from a certified breeder.

Facts and Figures

1.            The Siberian Forest Cat is one of the few hypoallergenic breed cats

2.            This is the national cat of Russia

3.            Of all cat breeds, the Siberian is the most cold-resistant

4.            In the centre of the town of Tyumen there is a square dedicated to Siberian cats.

Buying a Siberian Forest Cat

It is logical that you do not buy a cat from a bread breeder. These breeders breed for profit, and not for health, welfare and love of the breed. Buying a cat on Ebay is often not a good idea either. Look for a licensed cattery, certified breeder, or a good shelter. Although it is tempting to take home the first cute cat you come across, it is wise to inform yourself before you adopt.


Petrebels is not a vet or a behaviourist: all content, information and tips on this blog are meant to inspire you and are of an informative nature. Does your cat have complaints or problems? Or do you have doubts about your cat’s health? Always go to the vet or a behaviourist.

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Katten slapen gemiddeld 16 uur per dag en doen dat vol overgave: er wordt gerekt, gestrekt en schaamteloos gegaapt. Heerlijk. De Luie Rebel is er wel héél goed in. Die laat rennen en spelen liever aan een ander over en ploft met gemak overal neer voor een overheerlijk dutje. Maar het liefst ligt deze Rebel in een lekker zacht mandje of hangmatje.

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Katten hebben van nature de behoefte om hun nagels te scherpen. Ze markeren daarmee hun territorium en worden er ontspannen en blij van. De Krabbel Rebel weet van geen ophouden als het om krabbelen gaat. Maak van je huis daarom een feestje voor deze Rebel en zet één (of meer) goede krabpalen neer.

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Buitenkatten houden van hun vrijheid en van avontuur. Ze verstoppen zich vaak in struiken en houden de hele buurt in de gaten. Ze kunnen zich uren vermaken met rondvliegende insecten en nemen – als het even meezit – een echte muis voor je mee naar huis. De Outdoor Rebel komt thuis om gezellig met de baasjes te kroelen en rustig te eten. En stelt het op prijs als er een fijn plekje is om uit te rusten voor het volgende avontuur.

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Sommige katten blijven liever binnen. Of het baasje wil dit graag. Indoor Rebels vinden het heerlijk om naar buiten te kijken – naar al het spannends wat zich daar afspeelt. Je maakt deze katten blij door het binnen net zo spannend te maken als buiten. Prikkel hun instincten met speeltjes en krabmeubels waar ze lekker in kunnen klimmen, want dan blijven ze gelukkig en gezond.

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Cats sleep up to 16 hours a day with full commitment: lots of stretching and shameless yawning… Mhmm, delicious. The lazy Rebel masters this trait like no other and prefers to leave the running and playing to someone else. This lazy napper is able to lie down anywhere to take a well-deserved rest, but they prefer a nice and soft hammock or basket.

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Cats naturally have the need to sharpen their nails. This way they mark their territory. It also makes them relaxed and happy. The scratching Rebel will never stop when it comes to this. Transform your house into a “scratching paradise” for this Rebel and supply it with one or several good cat trees.

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Outdoor cats love adventure and freedom. They often hide in bushes to keep an eye on their surroundings. They can entertain themselves for hours with bugs flying around and they might even take home a real mouse for you! The outdoor Rebel will come home to cuddle with its owner and to eat peacefully. This adventurer would appreciate it if there is a nice spot in your house to rest before the next adventure.

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Some cats prefer to stay inside, this can also be a decision made by the owner. Indoor Rebels enjoy watching the outside world – and everything exciting that happens there. You can make these cats happy by making the indoor world just as exciting as the outdoor world. Stimulate their senses with toys and cat furniture in which they can climb. This way they remain healthy and happy.

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Katzen schlafen durchschnittlich 16 Stunden pro Tag und tun dies voller Hingabe. Sie strecken sich, dehnen sich und gähnen unverhohlen. Herrlich! Der faule Rebell ist sehr gut darin. Er überlässt das Toben und Spielen am liebsten jemand anderem und macht stattdessen lieber ein kleines Nickerchen. Am liebsten bevorzugt dieser Schläfer ein weiches Sofa oder ein gepolsterte Liegefläche.

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Katzen haben von Natur aus das Bedürfnis, ihre Nägel zu schärfen. Damit markieren sie zum einen ihr Territorium und verhindern zum anderen, dass die Nägel zu lang werden und einwachsen. Kratzen, wetzen und schärfen macht sie entspannt und glücklich. Der Kratz-Rebell kennt dann auch kein Halten mehr, wenn es ums Wetzen und Kratzen geht. Mach dein Zuhause also zu einer Partyzone für diesen Rebellen und stelle einen (oder mehrere) gute Kratzbäume mit viel Wetzmöglichkeiten auf.

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Freigängerkatzen lieben die Freiheit und das Abenteuer. Oft verstecken sie sich im Gebüsch und behalten die ganze Nachbarschaft im Auge. Sie können sich stundenlang mit fliegenden Insekten vergnügen, streunen herum und bringen im schlimmsten Fall eine Maus als Geschenk mit nach Hause. Der Outdoor-Rebell kommt nur nach Hause, um mit den Besitzern eventuell zu kuscheln und sich sein Fressen servieren zu lassen. Und er schätzt es über alle Maßen, wenn er einen schönen, gemütlichen Platz am liebsten auf einem Kratzbaum zum Ausruhen für das nächste Abenteuer angeboten bekommt.

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Einige Katzen sind reine Indoor-Rebellen. Entweder, weil sie es vorziehen in einem warmen und gefahrlosen Zuhause zu leben oder weil der Besitzer dies so möchte. Indoor-Rebellen lieben es nach draußen zu schauen – und das aufregende Leben draußen aus sicherer Entfernung zu beobachten. Diese Katzen sind glücklich, wenn man drinnen die gleichen Abenteuer simuliert, die sie draußen beobachten können. Stimuliere deren Instinkte mit Spielzeug und Kratzmöbeln, in denen sie herumklettern und toben können, damit sie gesund, agil und glücklich bleiben.

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