Average Weight / Size
This question has come up before and did again with one of my favorite Siberian Kitten owners. There seems to be a varied interpretation of the various breed standards for the Siberian Cat and what it should mean in reference to actual numbers for ideal weights. Add to that the fact that many veterinarians are unfamiliar with this breed and confuse the correct, big boned build with proper heft as being overweight or worse, obese. Then on the other side of that there are many lines, and we’ve had this problem when we first started with some of the USA lines that run smaller than they should lacking the necessarily heft and “barrel shape” to the torso that signifies a Siberian cat.
Though these particulars aren’t going to make or break the beauty of a Siberian cat to a pet owner it is part of the distinctive look that makes this breed unique especially compared to the often confused breeds that some mistake for Siberian cats such as other forest cat types – Norwegian Forest Cats and Maine Coons or even the man made breeds like Ragamuffins.
These cats should not be huge, they are not Maine Coons. But they should have a decided feeling of “heft” as the standard calls it. Almost as if they are partly made of lead somewhere in there. They should not be overly long cats, more stocky of build with shorter legs and tail but those legs should be heavily boned and the chest broad between. Younger cats will of course often lack this broadness but the hints should be there.
Actual weight ranges will vary by many factors including and especially diet. We find with cats as obligate carnivores, meaning they must consume animal products only to be healthy that obesity (and diabetes, kidney disease, urinary tract disorders) come hand in hand with commercial food diets especially the grain based products. The lower carb, grain free products are much better but not ideal. With our cats raised purely on our natural rearing model we see a more even growth with less strange growth spurts, larger (but not obscene) birth weights and fuller boning. They tend to be large as adults without an exaggerated “famine pouch” (common for our breed, a pocket of fat in the lowest part of the belly and not necessarily a bad thing unless it’s pronounced).
To use the average weight ranges for males would be 12 – 18 lbs with ideal being 15 – 18. Some few males may reach greater than 18 lbs but not many that aren’t indeed overweight or obese. If your cat is tipping these scales check to make sure there isn’t too much padding on the ribs or a noticeable swing in the belly when the cat trots or walks. Consider switching at least to a grain free diet if not an entirely raw diet. This can take time and effort especially since the cats with more problems tend to also be addicted to the commercial foods (due to the opioid peptides in the grains, similar effects occur in humans and we tend to be addicted to foods that are toxic to us in the long run).
Females are usually much smaller than males and we find a healthy range to be between 9 – 14 lbs with our preferred size 12 – 14 lbs. Though we’ve had some small queens at 9lbs and a couple that were smaller once put on a raw diet they packed on another pound of two of dense muscle and also produced larger kittens even with the same sires. Lily was one such girl and once we had our cattery fully into Natural Rearing with all raw diets her last few litters had increased birth weights and now as their 1 and 2 year old reports come in we are seeing larger sizes in the maturing adults. Again, a female much over 14 lbs may be obese though not always. Check for signs of obesity but don’t let your veterinarian assume your cat should look like a typical domestic long hair from the shelter. In perfect form they will be stocky, full chested and broad gals not slinky waifs.
A good article on Recognizing Feline Obesity and one from a great website CatNutrition.org on Feline Obesity and last but not least the Feline Nutrition Education Society has a few articles on the subject but this can get you started, Feline Obesity: A Cat as Big as Omaha.
Remember, malnutrition goes both ways and just because a cat is fat does not mean he or she is receiving proper nutrients but can in fact be as deprived of vital minerals and vitamins as an emaciated cat. Diet pet foods are deadly, upping the carbs and lowering the quality fads they need so steer clear of those. We will do a more in depth discussion about cat obesity and nutrition later and it will be featured also in my upcoming book.