The Silver Siberian Cat sports a beautiful silver coat. Most people are aware that Siberian cats come in a variety of different colors, but silver is one of the more unknown colors. Today, we’re going to attempt to shed some light on this historically underappreciated color.
We’ll go over a brief history of the silver Siberian cat, the different kinds of silver Siberian cats that exist, what causes the silver coloration, and much more. Let’s get into it.
A brief history of the Silver Siberian Cat
The Silver Siberian Cat’s history starts, as the name suggests, in Siberia, Russia. It’s a natural cat breed, meaning that it began as a landrace that was developed into a formal breed that’s recognized by major cat breeder associations such as the CFA, and TICA.
The Siberian cat is most well known for its beautiful long coat. This coat was an absolute necessity for them to have in order to survive the freezing colds of the Siberian forests in the winter. Their coat naturally comes in many colors, including silver.
The Siberian first arrived in the US in 1990. They’re rapidly becoming a popular breed due to their playful nature and beautiful appearance. However, they’re quite expensive because they have to be imported.
What causes a Siberian Cat to be Silver?
The color of a cat is determined genetically. The formation of a silver coat in Siberian Cats is caused by the Melanin inhibitor gen I/i. The dominant form of this gene causes a suppression of melanin production. In tabby Siberians, this turns their ground color into a beautiful, sparkling silver while leaving the color of their stripes intact. On solid Siberians it turns the base of their hairs pale, creating a silver smoke Siberian cat.
According to the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri: “Silver is seen in random-bred cats and may be a very ancient mutation, pre-dating the development of breeds and the cat fancy.”
Types of Silver Siberian Cats
The Cat Fancier’s Association recognizes several different kinds of Silver Siberian cats. Below is a table of all the silver Siberian Cats along with a description of what they look like:
|Chinchilla Silver||Chinchilla Silver Siberian Cats have a pure white undercoat. The coat on its flanks, back, tail, and head tipped with black to give a characteristic sparkling silver appearance. Only the hair tip is colored, the shaft is silver.|
|Shaded Silver||Shaded Silver Siberians have a white undercoat with a mantle of black tipping shading down their sides, face, and tail. About half of each hair is colored, the rest of the hair shaft is silver. They have a much darker appearance than Chinchilla silvers.|
|Silver Patched Tabby||Silver Patched Tabby Siberians have a ground color that’s a pale silver with dense black, red, or cream tabby markings on their bodies and extremities.|
|Silver Tabby||The Silver Tabby Siberian cat has a pale, clear silver ground color. Their markings are a dense black.|
|Blue-Silver Tabby||Blue-silver tabby Siberian cats have pale, clear silver ground color. They have deep blue markings.|
|Blue-silver patched tabby||Blue-silver patched tabby Siberians have a pale, clear silver ground color. Their markings are deep blue, giving good contrast with the ground color. They also have patches of cream fur on their body and extremities.|
As you can see in the table above, there are quite a few different silver Siberian variations. More than you probably expected! This is good news though because it means that if you’re looking to adopt a Silver Siberian Cat you have much more options to choose from.
Do Silver Siberian Cats Make Good Pets?
Silver Siberians can be excellent pets depending on what you’re looking for. First, I think it’s important to note that there’s no scientific evidence that the color of a cat’s coat affects its personality. However, their breed definitely does affect their personality. Therefore, the question of whether a Silver Siberian Cat makes for a good pet should really be whether Siberian Cats make good pets.
The personality of the Siberian cat is often described as playful, kind, affectionate, and very energetic. Siberians stay “young” much longer than other breeds. According to Vetstreet, the “Siberian matures slowly, sometimes not reaching his full physical development until he is 5 years old”. This also applies to their mental development, meaning they stay playful much longer than other breeds.
Furthermore, Siberians produce less of the Fel-D1 protein that’s responsible for allergies. While no cat is truly hypoallergenic they do invoke a lowered allergic response in allergy sufferers.
They’re also often described as being one of the most beautiful cat breeds, not in small part due to their beautiful long-haired coat.
On the other hand, while their coat is very beautiful to look at it does mean that this breed requires more grooming than short-haired breeds.
If you’re looking for a cat that’s active, playful, big, and very beautiful then the Siberian might be a great pet for you. However, if you’re looking for a more serene, calm, and low-maintenance cat a different breed might be a better fit.
How much does a Silver Siberian kitten Cost?
The price of Siberian kittens is quite high. While the breed is growing in popularity, there are still relatively few breeders in the US. This means that the cats aren’t in very high supply. On average, a Siberian kitten costs anywhere from $1500 to $4000 from a reputable breeder.
This price of course depends on your location, the pedigree of the kitten you buy, and other factors but it’s a good ballpark to shoot for.
Adoption is also a great option but purebred Siberian cats will not often be found in shelters.
Other Siberian Cat Colors
Siberian cats come in a wide range of colors and patterns. Here are some of the colors that the Siberian cat can have:
- Red (Orange)
- Blue (Grey)
- Various point colorations such as Seal point, Tortie point, and Flame Point
Silver Siberian Cat Videos
I’ve placed several images of beautiful silver Siberians throughout this article. However, if you really want to get a good idea of what the Silver Siberian Cat looks like, take a look at these videos: