Siberian cats come from an ancient lineage as they are believed to have inhabited the forests of Siberia a thousand years ago. However, they weren’t mentioned in the history books until the late 17th century and were always considered to be predominately outside cats.
Since their domestication, however, their outside origins have largely changed, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t allow your Siberian cat to go outside, nor does it mean that you should always keep them indoors. If you let yours out, exercise caution.
Siberians are notoriously high climbers, despite their body weight (they’re one of the largest domestic cat breeds), and they are also extremely friendly, affectionate, and trusting. All of those features are great inside the home and none of them are good outside of the home.
Precautions to Take When You Let Your Siberian Out
Siberian cats are large cats, weighing up to 17lbs for the male, with only a slight drop off for the female. They are also incredibly fluffy, medium to long-haired, and overly friendly cats. The latter trait is where the problem lies.
If your Siberian ranges too far from home or out of your sight, someone with a keen eye for a beautiful cat may be more than happy to snatch your Siberian up. Due to their friendly nature, your cat probably wouldn’t even know what was happening while it’s snuggling up to the thief.
Of course, if you live out in a very rural location, that may not be a problem. Many Siberian cats in rural situations are allowed to roam, especially on large farms and large properties. They are very smart cats and will be able to find their way home without a problem.
However, another concern is their climbing ability. A Siberian will be more than happy to climb well out of your reach and stay up that high for a long period of time, no matter how much you call up to it to come back down.
Since they love to climb and jump so much, it wouldn’t be a surprise to catch them climbing the nearest tree in a jiffy. If yours is trained to come when it’s called, that may not be a problem. If not, you’ll have to rely on its love for spending time with its family to eventually overcome the exhilaration of being up so high.
Can You Walk Your Siberian?
So long as you take the time to train your Siberian cat to accept a leash and collar, they’ll be more than happy to walk with you. Siberians love to spend time with their family members and fellow pets and taking it for a walk will be a fun time for it, especially if you bring your other pets along.
As we mentioned above, Siberians are large cats, so you’ll want something bigger than a collar in general, although a collar will work just fine as well. There are several options to choose from, especially if you’re looking to fit your feline’s personality with colors and different aesthetics.
- Harness and bungee leash
- Tactical, escape-proof harness
- Colorful harness and leash set
- Standard collar and leash
The harness and bungee leash is a little bit less constraining, especially if you are graduating from a collar to something a little more secure.
The tactical escape-proof harness is specifically designed with the wily cat in mind. Most cats are escape artists and can contort their bodies enough to give themselves a decent opportunity to escape. Not so with an escape-proof harness.
The colorful harness and leash set is just a prime example of going for something that fits your Siberian personality. Since Siberian cats are such happy, family cats, those personalities are often wide open and a little bit different for each one.
The collar and leash option is for one of two things. It’s a great beginner’s collar and leash for a Siberian who has never worn one before. It may not be the most exciting thing for it and it needs time to adjust and understand that you are not putting it on to cause harm.
The other reason is it is a minimalist choice for a Siberian cat who isn’t interested in trying to escape. For cats, escaping from a collar or getting twisted up in the collar and leash as an escape attempt, is far easier than trying to do the same in a harness.
Training Your Siberian to Walk Outside on a Leash
The most important thing is to start early, and if you are too little too late for that, you should start very slowly. Whether your Siberian is a kitten or a full-grown adult, you should introduce them to the harness or collar first. Let your Siberian sniff it and satiate its curiosity.
While it is doing so, go heavy on the praise and the cat treats so that your Siberian will immediately associate the collar/harness with happiness, love, affection, and treats. Next, put it on but don’t strap it. You don’t want to scare it away from the idea because it is restrictive.
Remember, to go heavy on the praise, reassurance, and treats so that your Siberian maintains that association. Do it for several days, just putting it in the harness without strapping it and rewarding it with treats.
Once enough time has gone by, you can go ahead and fasten the buckles together. Remember, plenty of praise and treats. Constantly reassure her that this is a happy experience. Then you can introduce the leash.
This part may take a long time but just take it slow and remember to always make it a positive experience and give your Siberian plenty of treats, especially when she reaches certain milestones or time within the collar/harness/leash.
Most Siberians will love the great outdoors, especially if you’re a part of it and coming along for the ride. Out away from heavily populated areas, it’s a lot easier, but even in neighborhoods, you can teach your Siberian to wear a harness with time, affection, and plenty of treats.