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The FURRY TRUTH about Siberian Cats April 11, 2010

Posted by makingyourdashcount in Uncategorized.
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It’s been about a year since my utter frustration with Siberian cat breeders advertising that their cats were low shedding animals, because this was not our experience.

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Chloe, who is about 6.5 years old and 12 lbs., sheds a mountain of fur, as evidenced in the photo.  This is about one year’s worth of fur collected from daily brushings.  If you are considering a Siberian, which we consider to be an AMAZING breed of cat,  also know that whether or  not you  brush your baby daily this fur will not only end up everywhere in your house, but you will also be cleaning up daily hairballs.  (Chloe still gets hairballs, especially twice a year during her fall and spring molts.)

So why adopt a Siberian if they are so fur intense and hairball prone?

Although not all Siberians are created equal, as a breed they produce less of the allergen inciting protein, FEL d 1, that humans cannot tolerate.  Because of our daughter’s allergies, we had pretty much given up ever getting a cat.  When we found out about this breed, it was as if all of our cat dreams came true.  Now Chloe is an integral part of our family. Even when she sleeps with our daughter, there are no reactions.

Talk about playful!   Even at 6.5, Chloe plays hide and seek, chase and other games that most relegate to dogs.  When she was younger, she would fetch and slide down inclined planes with glee, although it has been quite awhile since we have tried either of these.

The doorbell rings and Chloe is front and center seeing who it is.  Everyone is a new best friend, even the pizza guy!

Animal Planet explored siberians on one of their shows. Search animal planet siberian on youtube and you might find their clip (They moved the link that I used to  list here.  I was happy that Cats 101 was truthful about the Siberian coat and shedding, because it was the first time that I had actually seen that.  They did a nice job in summing up the wonders of the Siberian breed.

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Comments»

1. Dawn @ Pendraig Siberians - April 11, 2010

fantastic! They do shed and as a breeder of Siberian cats I too am so frustrated with the claims by some people that they do not shed. All of this is to make a quick buck on unsuspecting buyers and they do not care if the cat may lose it’s home later for not being as advertised. It is unscrupulous and criminal.

I am glad to see someone refuting the claim. =) I will be linking to this on my guides and information about the breed.

I wish you many years of joyful Siberian Cat ownership… fur and all. =)

makingyourdashcount - April 12, 2010

Thanks Dawn. I think it would be impossible NOT to have joyful years as a Siberian owner. Chloe’s antics make us laugh daily. What I did fail to mention is how she follows us room to room wanting to be in the middle of the action. We will always choose Siberians. Best of luck with your business.

2. Pam - April 8, 2012

I think it depends on whether you’ve had cats or pets before. And maybe what you feed them? I’m just an owner, not a breeder.

Before having Siberians I had regular indoor cats – either from the Humane Society or strays. I fed them regular hard cat food from the grocery store. The shedding from them was mountains more. Often we brush our Siberians and get nothing much – maybe a few stray hairs. During the shedding time we can never get more than a brush full at once. The regular cats could give us more than a brush full every day. So, while this looks like a lot of hair, it’s nothing compared to what you’d get from a regular cat. That could be just a month’s worth of hair for a non-Siberian cat. And from my Yellow Labrador Retriever dog, this is just one day’s worth of hair. We could make a new puppy every week with his hair. 😦 My siberians have never had a hairball (my non-Siberians had about one a day). My first Siberian ate Pet Guard Super Premium hard food. I have fed the last 2 Siberians a can of Fancy Feast Classic for breakfast and a snack sized bag of raw chicken for dinner. Maybe that makes a difference?

Even seeing this picture, I’d still say they REALLY hardly shed, but I’ve owned non-Siberian cats before. I think it’s great that you have this on the internet for those researching before purchasing, though.

Every time I visit someone that has a non-Siberian cat I love on them, but it always makes me thankful for my Siberians who shed so much less!

My personal pet peeve is the breeders who say Siberians are hypoallergenic. I encourage everyone to see http://www.siberianresearch.com for more info on allergies and Siberians.They say that about 50% of Siberians have lower levels of the Fel d1 allergen than average cats. (That means that 50% have the same levels as regular cats!) Between 15-20% of Siberians have levels that are low enough for severely allergic people. They also say that Fel d1 is the reason for 60% of people’s allergies to cats.

My husband is allergic to cats. Of our 3 Siberians, 1 seemed to him to be about the same as our old house cats but she did not bother our neighbor’s allergies. 1 was less bothersome to my husband’s allergies. Our current Siberian sleeps on his feet and he has noticed no allergic reaction to her at all. We ran across this page when my daughter was researching Siberians for her 5th Grade Persuasive Essay!

makingyourdashcount - April 8, 2012

What is the topic of your daughter’s essay? 🙂 Why Siberians are a better pets than turtles? They definitely are!

I will admit that Chloe is our first non-shorthair cat. We brush her 2-3 times a day and get a handful each time. She has a terrible issue with furballs. :/ If that is a light harvest, I would HATE any other breed.

We feed her a mix of Science Diet mature HairBall and Purina Pro-Plan food. She gets a can of fancy feast once a week; but half the time she ignores it. 🙂

Suzanne - March 24, 2013

try Natural Balance pate canned foods in turkey mix and chicken mix, our Siberian digs in with gusto everyday never fussy and some wet food is very good for them

3. Cristiana - June 20, 2012

what I believe has been overlooked is that siberian cats come from a selection of house and feral cats from ex USSR and for this reason have a big variation of genetic traits in their pool.
Some bloodlines will have lower allergen production level than other bloodlines. Some lines will have heavier shedding than others and so it goes.
Looking at your Chloe’s picture with the shedded hairs it does seem that her fur must be very soft wich is a trait that is not close to the standard of the breed that ask for a coarser outer hair.
But I believe that what is more important than shedding is the fact that she enables the allergic person to avoid a reaction.
I breed siberian cats in Italy and we joke that in our house cat hair is the major seasoning … and our cats are not heavy shedders 😀 our domestic short hair used to shed much more all year around.
Enjoy the best part of Chloe and thanks for posting this as all cats shed – even the hairless breeds and curly haired breeds DO shed. Less probably, but still they do shed.

4. Gabi - September 11, 2013

Hi, I am also allergic to cats and I would love to have a siberian, but my mom despises the hair… If I brush him daily, will there still be hairs glued to the couch and chairs and everything? Even if I constantly groom him? Is there anything I can do to minimize shedding? It’s my dream to have a cat but that’s the main problem… My mom has never wanted cats just because of the hairs, and now I find out that the actually do shed a lot… because I have read in some places that they didn’t shed that much, which actually surprised me considering all the fur they have. Please help! I don’t want to have to wait to move out and get my own place before owning a cat…

Natalia - February 23, 2017

I love Siberians, but I also have a Bengal cat. She has minimal shedding.

5. makingyourdashcount - September 11, 2013

Gabi, sorry to tell you that they do shed. I brush Chloe daily and we STILL have fur everywhere. Your mom will be very unhappy. If you are near Ohio you are welcome to visit Chloe whenever you wish. 🙂

Gabi - September 11, 2013

Oh… I’m sad to hear that… I live very very far away, in Spain… But thank you for offering (: I wish I could see her!

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7. Ruth C - March 23, 2015

Just to add my 2 cents, I grew up with moggies and now have a Siberian and they do shed A LOT LESS. With the moggies their sleeping spots would soon get covered in a layer of fur and just stroking them would mean a hand and lap covered in hair. My Siberian barely sheds at all out of shedding season, there is nothing really noticeable in his sleeping spots for a weeks or so in warrant vacuuming. . Now it’s spring yes he’s shedding an awful lot every day, but tbh it’s as much as I would expect from a moggie every day throughout the year. Im just making sure I give him a good groom once or twice a day to keep on top of it. The other good thing is the hair tends to fall out in clumps so instead of having a fine layer of hair that continuously builds up, you can easily spot a lot of the hair loss that happens between grooms and just pick it up. As you say it’s wrong to say they dont shed at all, that’s just silly, we shed a lot every day too and we have a lot less hair, but they are much much better than ‘normal’ cats. Plus they are amazing. I didnt think i could love a cat as much as I love my Siberian, he really is the sweetest gentleman.

8. Edyta - June 26, 2015

How about trimming his her for summer? I know that people do this for dogs but I am not sure if it would work for a cat. Any ideas? Or giving them a bath. Would that help with shedding?

I am considering this breed because my daughter and I are allergic to cats.

Lisa - April 24, 2016

Lots of breeders offer allergy visits so you can see if you get a reaction before you buy.

9. Donna - February 2, 2016

Hi! I’m happy to read this. My lovely “Hazelnut” Siberian is just over a year old. I noticed just before the fall (late summer), she seemed to shed her mane, and then she grew a THICK lush mane over the fall and had a few months with a beautiful coat. Interestingly, in late December, she already started shedding her mane again! She doesn’t seem to shed anywhere BUT her mane. I comb her almost daily, she has little fur coming off her from anywhere else…..but she will have 3 or 4 dangling clumps of fur hanging from her mane every day. It’s February 2 and she is still shedding her mane. She still has a lovely coat everywhere else, but the mane is definitely thinner than it was, though still gorgeous!

I’m surprised how early she started to shed it, and wondered if it was due to this crazy “winter” of ours, which has been so much warmer than usual (she does go out in an enclosure). I guess I shall see in the coming years!

Thanks for your info!
Cheers
Donna

10. Donna - February 2, 2016

PS…and I fully agree with Ruth, she doesn’t seem to shed much, as my daughter’s cat does daily, no handfuls of hair. However I do vacuum with my Roomba every other day and there is plenty of very fine hair picked up by that machine (which I highly recommend to keep the dander away for my allergic husband)

He has asthma attacks with most cats, instantly. When we first brought Hazelnut home, he had one every few days, but must have developed a tolerance for her as he hasn’t had one in months now!

Still, no cat is hypoallergenic!! Impossible!

11. Olivia - April 17, 2016

But what specifically could cause them to lose much more fur than usual? My friend in Sweden had their local pet store close& it took a while to find another source. In between the substitute food made both her Norwegian Forest cat & her Siberian sick. They both lost a LOT of fur, but only the Norwegian has gained it all back. They haven’t gotten a clue on why their Siberian hasn’t. Their Vet can’t imagine why. Can you help?

12. parleenc - September 1, 2016

I have a beautiful, amazing Siberian which sheds a lot. She is in the shedding cycle right now. When I’m holding her, or she rubs against me she leaves hair all over me, and everything she rubs against, clumps of hair are
on the floor all the time. So they do shed, a LOT!!

13. Em - December 12, 2016

I bought a Siberian cat from a breeder here in Ontario (Sonja at Ontario Siberians), and let’s just say, she’s just in it for the money. I am allergic to the cat, albeit not hugely, but enough to make my life miserable at times, Through her facebook page, I have seen other families have to return their cats to her for re-homing because she sold them on a lie. Either way, she makes a buck selling the cat to the first family, and then to the next. She also gets rid of her too-old-to-breed female cats…like they’re damaged goods. Suffice to say, her cats are not purebred, and they likely have a higher degree of the allergen. So no, I would definitely not recommend owning any cats at all if you are allergic. This breed is not completely hyper-allergenic – its only potentially hypo-allergenic – the difference being hyper is no allergies and hypo is some allergies. So don’t get duped! Don’t get any furry pets if you have allergies. Get fish, or a lizard or something.

14. parleenc - December 12, 2016

You are absolutely right! My Siberian sheds mountains of hair. I thought I was getting a breed that didn’t shed much. But I love her too much to be without her, so I just have to get use to!


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