The Siberian cat is obviously very similar to the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest cat. Nevertheless, there exist certain differences that distinguish it beyond any doubt, above all when it's an adult animal that clearly corresponds to the standard of the breed.
Some would consider it boring to study the standard of a breed, but for breeders it's the foundation of their work. Any animal that does not totally correspond to the standard, or that shows the slightest defect, should not form part of a breeding programme. Once neutered, it will become a charming pet.
In natural breeds, above all, it is important to recognise the differences and to improve the characteristics of each breed. The best Siberian will always be, without a doubt, the one that is most representative of its breed.
ISABEAU VON DEN SCHWARZWALDTIGERN / Germany
The following is the standard according to the WCF:
Body: Medium sized to large cat, well-muscled and heavily built. Neck short and substantial, legs also muscular and of medium length; feet big, compact, round and well tufted. Tail as long as to reach the shoulder blade, slightly tapering, furnished bushy.
Defects: Square contours, back legs much longer than the front ones, body too compact, delicate legs and feet, lack of tufts between the toes, neck long or too long, tail too short, short hair on the tail.
Head: Head short and broad with low set wide cheek bones, rounded muzzle and chin, forehead slightly curved, gently rounded contours and slightly curved profile. Nose of even width from bridge to nose leather.
Defects: Straight profile or with stop. Persian type head or in the form of a narrow triangle, absence of cheeks, weak chin, square muzzle.
Ears: Medium-large, wide at base with slightly rounded tips. Set wide apart and tilted slightly forward.
Defects: Ears too large, too far apart, inserted too low or too far back. Base too narrow or too straight.
Eyes: Large, slightly oval shape and rounded lower line, set slightly oblique and wide apart. Eye colour to be uniform and harmonizing with coat colour. Any shade from yellow/gold to green is accepted. In whites and vans the eye colour may also be blue or odd-eyed. In pointed cats the eye colour is blue on principle, the deeper the blue the better.
Defects: Small, completely round, too close together, sunken in.
Coat: Coat is of medium length; very dense undercoat, soft and fine, covered by a coarser, more substantial top coat. The dense smoothly flowing top coat is waterproof and glossy, of coarse, crisp texture, completely covering the back, flanks and the upper side of the tail. Undersides of body and back side of hind legs have only undercoat. Particularly long hair on neck, chest, breeches and tail.
Defects: Coarse or oily hair covering the whole body. Excess of undercoat.
Colour varieties: The pointed variety is named Neva Masquerade. Chocolate and cinnamon and the according diluted colours (lilac and fawn) are not accepted in any pattern combinations (solid, bi-colour, tri-colour, tabby), either in the Neva Masquerade or in the Siberian. Burmese pattern is also not accepted. Any other colour is accepted, the descriptions of colours are listed in the General Colour Guide. Any proportion of white is allowed.
Note: On 08/03/2002 the WCF General Assembly decided at their meeting in Milan that, as of now, cross- breeding of extraneous breeds to the natural breeds Maine Coon, Norwegian, Turkish and Siberian depend on the permission by the judge's commission.
So far the standard of the WCF. To finish we would like to emphasize the most important differences between the Siberian and the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cats.
Scale of points :
|Colour and markings||
The body of the Siberian is robust, strong and large, but the contours must always be rounded. The flanks must not be as deep as in the Norwegian, nor as square as in the Maine Coon, and in general smaller. The male weighs between 8 and 10 kilos, some larger specimens can be found, and the female between 5 and 7 kilos. There mustn't be any straight or triangular lines. The head is broad and short, never straight, triangular, narrow or elongated. The expression is harmonious and sweet.
The ideal muzzle is trapezoidal, rather short, with wide cheek bones. The muzzle of an adult Maine Coon is voluminous and square. In a Siberian a straight forehead would be a defect; it must be rounded. Clear differences can be seen, above all, in the ears: Maine Coon and Norwegian ears are very big, very straight and high, the distance between them is narrow, the forehead straight, and sometimes there are numerous ear tufts. The Siberian ears, on the other hand, are medium sized, with rounded tips. They may have ear tufts but they are not usually very abundant. The ears are well separated on a rounded skull.
The legs are not very long, but muscular. The back legs are usually longer than the front ones, which gives them an unmistakable elegant gait. The tail is spectacular: long, wide and very thick. They carry it like a chimney when they are happy.
There's a great difference between the winter and the summer coat. In summer the Siberian looses a large amount of its undercoat. It has no problem tolerating the high summer temperatures in Spain. The coat doesn't need any special care.
It has the peculiarity of being shorter on the shoulders, which emphasizes the beauty of the collar in winter. The “trousers” are also typical, which consist of an abundant undercoat on the back legs.
KSENIA CHINGA TURA / Russia