Siberian (cat)

The Siberian is a domestic cat breed that has been present in Russia for centuries.[3] The full name of the cat is the Siberian Forest Cat[2][dubious – discuss], but it is usually referred to as the Siberian or the Siberian cat.[3] The cat is an ancient breed that is now believed to be ancestral to all modern long-haired cats.[3] The cat has similarities with the Norwegian Forest Cat, to which it is likely closely related.[3] It is a natural breed of Siberia and the national cat of Russia.[citation needed] While it began as a landrace, it is selectively bred and pedigreed today in at least five major cat fancier and breeder organisations. There are claims that it is hypoallergenic and produces less Fel d1 than other cat breeds. History The cat was first mentioned in a book by Harrison Wier, which included information of the earliest cat shows in England in 1871.[4] Legend says that the cats were originally bred as a kind of watchdog in Russian monastaries.[2] The cat was first imported to the United States in 1990 and, despite being well known, the breed has been relatively rare in the US, although in the 2000s and 2010s, it has been more popular. The cat was registered by the Kotofei cat club in St. Petersburg in 1987.[5] A Siberian cat, Dorofei, is owned by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and another by former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.[6] WBZ-AM talk radio host Steve LeVeille mentions his Siberian "Max" on his Boston-based program.[6] [edit]Body Known to be an exceptionally agile jumper, the Siberian is a strong and powerfully built cat, with strong hindquarters and large, well rounded paws. They have barreled chests and medium sized ears, broad foreheads, and stockier builds than other cats.[1] They also have a slight arch to their body. [edit]Hypo-allergenic Siberian sleeping in its cage during the 2008 CFA International Cat Show in Atlanta. Hypoallergenic qualities of the Siberian coat have been noted and commented on for almost ten years. While there is little scientific evidence, breeders and pet owners claim that Siberians can be safe for ma

y allergy sufferers. Since females of all feline breeds produce lower levels of Fel d1, breeders often suggest that allergic families adopt female cats. Allergy sufferers are advised to check their reactivity directly with the parent cats from whom they plan to adopt a kitten.[7] Many people believe that the breed produces less Fel d1, the primary allergen present on cats.[4] In 1999 Indoor Biotechnologies tested the fur of four cats for Fel d 1; a mixed breed, two Siberians, and an Abyssinian.[8] The results showed the Siberian and Abyssinian cat fur as having lower Fel d 1 levels than the mixed breed cat.[8] Indoor Biotechnologies cautions that the Siberian levels were still high, and that the mixed breed sample was "exceptionally high."[8] Indoor Biotechnologies warns against using these results to make decisions of pet ownership.[8] This test of fur allergen levels is cited by many Siberian breeder websites as evidence the breed is hypoallergenic. Critiques include that the sample size is below statistical significance, was submitted by a Siberian breeder, and as mentioned, one cat was found to have Fel d1 allergen levels of 62,813 micrograms (roughly 60x higher than any published professional study).[9] A not-for-profit association of breeders, (Siberian Research Inc), was founded in 2005 to study allergen levels and genetic diseases in the Siberian breed. As of March 2010, fur and saliva samples from over 300 Siberians have been submitted for analysis, many directly from a veterinarian. Salivary Fel d1 allergen levels in Siberians ranged from 0.08-27 mcg per ml of saliva, while fur levels ranged from 5-1300 mcg. The high-end of these ranges is consistent with results from prior studies, though the low end is below expected results. All Siberians tested were found to produce some Fel d1, with the highest levels being found in Siberians that have silver coloured fur. About half of Siberians were found to have Fel d1 levels lower than other breeds, while under twenty percent would be considered very low. Within the low group, males and females had comparable allergen levels.