Domestic cats have been in America for many centuries (which are believed to have originated in Europe), but Siberian, and Siberian “Seal Tabby Point” (Neva Masquerade), an offspring of cross breeding Siberian, Siamese and Birman cats are still rare in America and Russia. The Siberian cat has a long history which dates back to the 17th century, living on the tree tops in the dense Siberian forest. Over the centuries this breed adapted to Siberia’s harsh climates which no other breeds could do. Siberians have a triple fur coat; guard hairs, awn hairs, and down, which enabled them to withstand the harsh climates of Siberia. Siberians, and in particular, Siberian Neva Masquerade cats, are known to be one of the most intelligent cats in the world, although they have very humble beginnings. With a long history of survival in the harsh climates of Siberia, these cats have proven their endurance and worth many times over and now have reached championship status with many feline clubs around the world. In the 1930s, Siberians were discovered in the south central area of Russia, living on the streets of Novosibirsk and nearby small towns. Breeding with Siamese and Birman cats (whether naturally, or with man’s interaction) the Siberians offspring is known as a Seal Tabby Point, due to its color. Soon after, this breed was transported to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and announced as a “New Breed” called Neva Masquerade. This name was derived from the nearby Neva River, and the masquerade parties so prevalent among the wealthy people living near the river. My source, and the owner of siberianking.org nursery is an expert with Siberians who has owned, handled, and bred this breed of feline for more than 40 years in her native Novosibirsk, Russia and is very familiar with Siberian’s and the later arrival of Siberian Neva Masquerade’s. My source also told me that she first begun seeing the Siberian Seal-tabby-point (Neva Masquerade) long before 1993 and it was first born in her home town of Novosibirsk. The Neva’s traits are pointed coloring (different coloring on their feet, nose and tops of the ears), with much white fur and blue eyes. The origins of the color point is obviously met with some dispute, but as long as proper records have been kept (1980’s), color points are noted to have been produced, although to this day the jury is still out on its true origins. Siberians take five years to fully mature physically, but keep their kitten-like personalities throughout their life. The first Siberian was imported to America in 1991, and the first “Neva Masquerade” was imported in 1996. Although Neva Masquerades (Seal-tabby-point) where imported later to America and became quite popular with cat fanciers, they are still rare in the United States, and many breeders have waiting lists for their kittens. The Siberian was accepted into TICA (The International Cat Association) New Breed program in 1992 and given championship status in 1996. In the world of cat show competition, all standards that apply to the Siberian Cat, apply to the Color point (Neva Masquerade) variety, according to TICA. In January 2009, the Neva Masquerade was accepted into the Fife registry (Fédération Internationale Féline) as a new breed known as “Siberian Color Point”. Siberian cats were accepted for registration by CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) in February 2000 and advanced to championship status in February 2006, although some countries still do not accept color point Siberians as a variety of the Siberian cat breed. Although Siberians do shed and require regular grooming, the coat is not inclined to mat which makes grooming easier and quicker than most longhaired cats. Siberian and Siberian Neva Masquerade’s, are considered hypoallergenic due to the lower levels of a protein in their system (Fel d 1). Most cats have approximately 63,000 microns while Siberians have a mere 200 microns of this protein in their systems, which is a source of allergies with all cat breeds. Although Siberians are less likely to trigger allergic reactions, its best to spend some time around one before considering adoption.Neva Masquerade’s, as well as all Siberians, adjust easily to their lifestyle surroundings and make a very good house pet. Siberians are very sociable cats and want to be near their owners. They will usually greet you at the door when you come home, not unlike the family dog. Often described as dog-like, the Siberian is loyal and not shy around guests, they are intelligent animals and quick to learn. Their meow is sweet, and when they come to greet you, they make a unique chirping sound. Many Siberians find water fascinating and like to be around it and watch running water, it’s said that some like to bring their toys and drop them in their water bowls. They also will not only monitor your shower or bath, but possibly join you, too. This affectionate breed makes an ideal lap cat and a wonderful companion who will bring their owner years of happiness, as their lifespan can exceed 16 years. Siberians and Neva Masquerade’s are completely trusting of humans, making it quite a responsibility when placing these kittens in new homes, according to the owner of siberianking.org nursery. A social breed which loves the company of humans, and enjoys other animals, along with all the other fascinating traits the Neva Masquerade has, let it not go without saying, this breed is so intelligent it learns different languages very fast too. Since the Neva’s of siberianking.org cattery are transported directly from the south center of Siberia and then raised in a multi-lingual household, they understand both Russian and English languages, according to this nursery’s owner. She also went on to say that this cat really understands different languages, and not just the tone of a person’s voice. The fact is, she said, is that no matter what tone is used with Neva Masquerades (Siberian Seal-tabby-points), they understand the language and respond better than most dogs. The following are some fascinating facts about all domestic cats as well as Siberians, which you may not have known: Domestic cats can run about 30 miles (48 kilometers) per hour. The cat's tail is an extension of its backbone, and the flexible tail helps a cat keep its balance and land on its feet when it falls. A cat can move each ear independently, and improve its hearing by aiming the cup of its ears in the direction a sound is coming from. Although domestic cats have lived for centuries in Europe and America, the Siberian Neva Masquerade is still very new and unique to most Americans. From its wonderful personality to its incredible disposition, and dog like attitude, the Neva Masquerade is one breed that is sure to warm the hearts of cat lovers, and maybe make some Dog lovers (who never thought they would care for cats), into cat fanciers as well.