Our Siberian kitten at 12 weeks old
I thought we would never own a cat. My husband is allergic. And my son is allergic. So we put pet ownership out of our heads until some how we came across the Siberian cat breed. My husband spent all sorts of time researching Fel-D1 levels and everything he could about cats and allergies. He was convinced we could do it.
So we began our search. First of all, you should know that there aren't very many Siberian cat breeders. At least on in our area. We called and emailed a few but they all had super long waiting lists and were hours away from our home. Then we found two that were close to home. They also had long waiting lists, but were close enough that we could go visit.
We visited two separate breeders. We found them both to be very loving homes filled with cats. Soft, lovey, playful cats. But my both my husband and son had severe reactions after visiting the homes. Click here to see results of our first breeder visit.
Even still, my husband was convinced we could do it. Or...that at least we wouldn't know whether or not we could do it until we tried. So we put a deposit on our cat and waited a long 4 months for her to be born. And then a long 10 weeks for her to be ready to come home.
We had a plan in place. We were going to make it work. You can see a detailed rendition of our plan (which I have stuck to!) but the biggest adjustments included regular baths for kitty, daily vacuuming, and instant litter box cleaning. In case you're wondering, those are all my jobs.
Once she was born, we paid $800 and brought her home. She hid the entire first day. Even still, she managed to get loved up enough that both my husband and son had allergic reactions. And we persevered.
We've only owned our cat for 2 months, but here are some truths about the Breed (from my experience) that I think might help you if you are considering adopting a Siberian Cat.
Siberian Cats are Expensive - Our cat cost $800 and I think the range is between $700-$1000. The waiting lists are usually long and you will have a very hard time finding one of these cats in a shelter. I searched the 5 state area daily for 5 months without finding a single Siberian. You can buy retired moms for a little less, but I never found one that was "for sale."
Allergies - They may or may not be hypoallergenic. My husband, son, and a few of our neighbors with allergies have all reacted to our cat. But - they can live with her. The first few days were rough for them. Maybe it was psychological. Maybe it was all the intense love she received. But whatever it was, they were allergic. They even started taking medicine. Then, we starting skipping doses.
Within a few short days, they had weaned off of the meds entirely. My husband occasionally complains of "itchiness" but my son rarely does. For the most part, they've adapted. They are medicine free, do not have runny noses or itchy eyes, and are living with her just fine. And she spends a lot of time with each of us. She sleeps in our bed and sits on our laps often.
Personality - According to all sources I've read, Siberian cats are considered "dog cats" because they are so loving and involved. I'm not sure if it's just because of the breed or because of the excellent socialization done by our breeder, but our cat is indeed loving. She purrs often. She wants to be in the same room with us. She's playful and she's tolerant. She has been dressed up, carried, smooshed, clipped, worn false nails, and all sorts of things - all with very little complaint.
She is indeed dog-like in the way she shows affection and plays, but she is also very cat-like. She pretends not to listen (or is in fact not listening) when being spoken to, she fights at-will, and she does whatever she pleases.
Size - Siberian cats are the second biggest cat breed. As a kitten, our cat is pretty big. And she's gaining weight quickly. How big will she get? I'll update this when I know for sure. As of this writing, she is only 15 weeks old and 5 pounds.Since they are larger, they need a larger litter box (just for their bodies to fit!) I have loved this hidden litter box, when we have cat sitters they can't find the litter box! That's how you know it's good. Plus our cat likes it, it keeps things cleaner and is less smelly.
Shedding - For the entire first month, our cat didn't shed at all. But now that summer has hit, her fur is coming off in puffs. Our breeder said she'd have two "molts" a year. This must be the first one. Even still, with daily combing and vacuuming, it hasn't been a big deal.
If you have questions about adopting a Siberian cat, I'd be happy to share what our experience has been. My husband and son do have allergies. And they are allergic to our cat. But we are living with her - without medication or misery (except for the drape climbing!)