Do you feel that cats can't compete with dogs? Think again. In 2003, Rachel Tucker of Baker City, OR, entered her two hundred strong Siberian cat sled team in the Atta Boy 300 sled dog race as a publicity stunt. Much to the amazement and embarrassment of the Husky competitors, Tucker's cats ran the three hundred mile course in just over twenty-two hours, not only winning the race, but beating out the nearest dog team by about an hour. No one thought she had a prayer, except for Tucker of course. "I told the puppy lovers to watch out, that these cats were for real, but they thought I was joking," said Tucker. Centuries ago, Siberian cats were initially bred as watch cats and used in Russian monasteries.
Siberians are beautiful breed large cats that are a natural product of Russia, typically found in Leningrad and St. Petersburg. They did not have it easy, either. Not only did they have to endure the harsh Russian climate, but for a number of years it was against the law for Russians to own and feed pets. These cats had to run the streets surviving 'underground' and eventually finding refuge in the local monasteries. They weren't introduced into the United States until the 1990s.
Siberians are semi-longhaired cats with thick undercoats and come in all color patterns, usually taking up to five years to mature. As illustrated above, they have powerful muscles and are great leapers, with hind legs, when extended, slightly longer than the front ones. Their paws are large and powerful as well. But in spite of all this strength, they are extremely agile, and have the sweetest facial expressions. They are very vocal and can be heard giving off a soft chirping sound. Siberian cats have quite a regal bearing.
But one of the most fascinating things about Siberians is that people who are typically allergic to cats, who experience sneezing, wheezing, hives, and watery eyes as well as other symptoms, have absolutely no allergic reaction to a Siberian. For a shaggy cat, that is quite an astounding fact. People who in the past have even been hospitalized because of an allergic reaction to cats can comfortably cuddle with a Siberian and suffer not a single sniffle.
Siberians have wonderfully affectionate natures and are quick to give a kitty massage or bath to their owner when they're feeling sad or down. They also have been said to have dog-like qualities, especially when it comes to protective behavior. For all of their power and protectiveness, Siberian cats are absolutely wonderful around children. So if you happen to have children with allergies or asthma, but you would love to give them a pet, a Siberian Cat is just the ticket.