When most people think about cat breeds originating in Russia, they usually think of the Russian Blue, although that’s not the only Russian cat breed out there. There are actually dozens of feline breeds and sub breeds native to this Slavic country, all of which come with their own unique temperament and physical characteristics.
Despite its bulky appearances, the Siberian is extremely agile and is an excellent jumper. With a thick furry coat, large extra fluffy tail and sturdy body these creatures are surprisingly common among cat owners suffering from cat allergies. Regardless of its looks, the Siberian produces significantly smaller amounts of the Fel d1 allergen (the one that triggers allergic reactions) than most feline breeds. Generally healthy and easily adapting to people, the Siberian makes a good choice for a domestic pet.
Even though most feline associations don’t recognize the Neva Masquerade as a separate breed, these kitties aren’t just a colorpoint variation of the Siberian cat. They are notably rare and as such, not enough research has been carried out on whether they’re as hypoallergenic as the true Siberian. Their cream-colored fur gives off the impression that the Neva Masquerade is a mixture between a Siberian and a Siamese – which is exactly what this breed is, according to some feline clubs.
Russian Hairless, Don Sphynx, Don Hairless or simply Donskoy – this breed is famous under many names. The very first Donskoy kittens were the product of European Shorthair cats and a female kitty which started losing its fur and went bald around the age of 4 months due to a naturally occurring gene mutation. Sadly, they are a problematic breed and come with various health risks, including ectodermal dysplasia disorders.
Peterbalds emerged in the late 1900s when a Russian breeder decided to mix a Donskoy and an Oriental Shorthair. The result? A brand new hairless cat breed that is extremely social, demands constant attention and is unconditionally loyal to its owners. The Peterbald possesses the elegance of the Oriental Shorthair and the striking “bald” looks of the Donskoy, so it naturally turns heads and attracts curious stares wherever it goes. Unlike the Donskoy, the Peterbald has a thin layer of velvety fluff, so it’s not quite as bald as its name implies.
Russian Blue cat
And here comes the most popular Russian breed of all times – the widespread Russian Blue. Beauty and brains come in a package deal with these silvery, shorthaired and highly intelligent furballs. Favored by many for their long lifespan, adaptability to apartment living and susceptibility to training, Russian Blue kitties are desired as pets even in families with small children. The famous Nyan Cat was actually based on this breed.
As its name suggests, the Toybob is indeed a toy breed, meaning that it’s miniature in size. Often dubbed as the smallest feline breed on the planet, this kitty came to existence thanks to a spontaneous mutation that gave it its compact size and bobbed tail. Sweet-tempered and affectionate towards humans, these creatures don’t outgrow their playfulness, curiosity and goofiness as they grow out of kittenhood and enter adulthood.
Another Russian bobtailed breed is the Kurilian, which is a relatively new feline breed. Unlike most cats, Kurilian Bobtails are known for not being repulsed by water basins. That’s right, contrary to popular belief, some cats do enjoying swimming and this is one of them. Another fascinating fact about the Kurilian is that despite its unkempt, savage and stumpy looks, it’s noteworthy gentle and amiable.
Ever heard of Ussuri – not the Russian river, but the Russian cat? No? It’s only because Ussuri is an extremely rare breed that may look like it falls under the exotic and designer category, but it’s a completely natural breed. Its wildcat looks come from the DNA ancestry of its Amur wildcat genes. Some researchers claim it might even be extinct because no breeding programs have focused on it since the 1990s.
As its name suggests, this breed bears the signature gene of all Rex breeds – the ruffled wavy fur coat. Ural Rex furballs have been known since the 1940s. They have a mild temperament that allows them to adapt easily to people and other animals, making them a suitable fit for a multi-pet household. Unlike its Rex cousins, the Ural Rex is not widespread, even though it has an official championship status granted by the World Cat Federation.