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Neva Masquerade Cat Breed: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

Neva Masquerade cat in shiny blue bench

Height: 10–12 inches
Weight: 10–20 pounds (males are larger)
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Colors: Pointed
Suitable for: Families looking for an active, playful cat
Temperament: Playful, people-oriented, friendly

The Neva Masquerade cat is a pointed variation of the Siberian cat. The only difference between this “breed” and a normal Siberian is the coloration. Beyond that, this breed is the same as the Siberian. For this reason, it is often presented as a “sub-breed” of the Siberian cat.

With that said, how this breed is officially recognized varies. Some organizations see them as their own breed, while others mark them as a different Siberian coloration. Sometimes, they aren’t even recognized at all. While the Neva Masquerade is loved by many, some Siberian cat enthusiasts feel that the coloration is a threat to the Siberian breed. After all, pointed Siberians did not exist until recently.

For the most part, the Neva Masquerade cat acts just like a Siberian cat. Their coloration does not affect their needs or overall behaviors. Let’s take a closer look at this unique feline combination.

Neva Masquerade Cat Kittens

Little Neva Masquerade kitten
Image Credit: Antonov Serg, Shutterstock

Siberian cats are pretty rare in themselves, especially in the United States. There aren’t that many breeders, which leads to a lower number of kittens.

Neva Masquerade kittens are even rarer. Not only do you have to find a Siberian cat breeder with available kittens, but you also have to find one that specializes in this specific coloration. Luckily, once this coloration is established in a breeding program, most kittens end up pointed.

Typically, you cannot find these kittens in shelters or animal rescues. They are too rare. Instead, you’ll have to seek them out from a qualified breeder, which will likely help you end up with a healthier kitten, anyway.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Neva Masquerade Cat

1. They may or may not be their own breed.

No one can honestly agree on whether or not this breed is its breed or just another Siberian cat coloration. Different organizations have them registered differently, with some organizations not recognizing them at all!

2. The Neva Masquerade is quite rare.

Due to the specificity of their coloration and the high cost of importing cats from Russia, these cats are exceedingly rare. For this reason, you often have to search for a while before finding an available kitten. Expect to sit on a waiting list for a bit.

3. They are incredibly similar to Siberian cats.

Because this breed is only one step away from a Siberian cat, they are extremely similar. The only difference is that this breed has a pointed coat instead of the typical Siberian coloration. For this reason, many people don’t consider them their own “breed” at all.

Neva masquerade cat sitting on linens
Image Credit: Tania__Wild, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Neva Masquerade

Often, these cats are described as having dog-like personalities. They get very attached to their people and love to follow them around the house. Many will greet their owners at the door after returning home from work, which only adds to their dog-like image.

Due to their “wilder” nature, the Neva Masquerade is exceptionally playful. While they will sit in your lap, they are also very athletic. Most like to bond through play, and some are even reported to bring their owners toys to play with. If you’re looking for a feline that will lay around the house all day, this breed probably isn’t for you.

Due to their people-oriented nature, these cats can quickly learn tricks of all sorts. It isn’t odd for them to walk on a leash without much of a problem. Of course, we do recommend starting training early. This breed is known for being loud and loving to talk. They can produce many different sounds and will often follow their owners around the house making them. However, they aren’t necessarily as loud as some other breeds.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

In many cases, these cats get along just fine with children. They are generally pretty fearless, and their larger size prevents them from quickly becoming injured. Of course, socialization is still required. A cat that is never around children probably won’t like them very much. They may even be scared off by the child’s exuberant behavior.

Though they can often get along with children, it is still essential that all interactions are supervised. While the cat likely won’t hurt the child, the child can easily harm the cat. One injury may be all the cat needs before deciding that they don’t actually like children very much!

We do recommend this feline for families that tend to spend much of their time at home. Because they are very people-oriented, this feline often isn’t happy to just be left at home all day. Instead, they need regular interaction and plenty of playtime.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

If a Neva Masquerade is around other cats from a young age, they will likely get around other felines just fine. However, if they are not, then they may be a bit fearful and territorial upon introduction. Truthfully, they act much like you would expect a cat to act around other, strange felines. After taking some time to warm up to a cat, they are often excellent, though.

Due to their fearless nature, this breed is often great with cat-friendly dogs. Of course, they will not like getting chased, just like any other cat out there. Therefore, only cat-friendly dog breeds should be introduced. Because of their high prey drive, we cannot recommend the Neva Masquerade for homes with small pets. Often, they will attempt to hunt just about anything that may look like a prey animal.

They should never be left alone with anything they may interpret as food.hepper single cat paw divider

Things to Know When Owning a Neva Masquerade:

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

Despite some misconceptions, this breed doesn’t have any specific dietary needs. While they may be a landrace breed, that doesn’t mean that they require a raw diet or anything of that sort. Instead, all they need is a high-quality, commercial diet. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they evolved to thrive mainly on meat. Therefore, they need high amounts of protein and fat, the primary macronutrients in prey animals.

Preferably, your cat’s food should contain mainly animal products. Of course, that doesn’t mean that cats don’t need any carbohydrates. Healthy carbs are often a good option. However, you don’t want their diet to contain primarily carbohydrates.

Be sure to feed your feline a diet that corresponds with its life stage. Kittens should be fed a kitten diet, as they need different nutrients than adults. After all, they are growing and developing.

Exercise 🐈

The Neva Masquerade tends to be a bit more active than most cats. However, they aren’t precisely hyperactive either. Instead, they prefer playing to lay around all day. Like all cats, they can develop obesity if they are not exercised enough. While they will often fulfill their own exercise needs as kittens, they can become lazy as they grow older. Often, it isn’t enough to leave them to their own devices.

Therefore, we recommend investing in plenty of toys and climbing structures for these felines. A wide variety of toys can prevent boredom. You may even want to consider regularly rotating toys to keep things “new.” Your cat will likely do some exercise by themselves throughout the day, but it is also essential that you play with your cat as well. Plan on playing with your cat at least twice a day for 15 minutes. These play sessions will help ensure that your feline is getting the exercise they need.

If you aren’t available or you have an obese feline, we recommend interactive toys. Some cats won’t play with interactive, motorized toys, but others love them. If your cat falls into this latter category, then electronic toys can help them increase the amount of exercise they receive.

Training 🧶

The Neva Masquerade can be trained—and often takes quite well to it. Because these cats are both intelligent and people-oriented, they can often be trained similarly to dogs. While they aren’t terribly food-driven, treats often work just fine for these cats. Some prefer to play, however. If your cat seems disinterested in food, see if they’ll perform tricks during a game of fetch.

We recommend starting training early. The earlier you introduce your feline to the idea of training, the more likely they are to enjoy it. While there are plenty of tricks you can teach your feline, we recommend starting with leash training. Out of all the tricks a cat can learn, this behavior is likely the most practical. Exceptionally, it can be beneficial should your feline become obese and need some extra exercise.

After the cat has mastered a few commands, you may want to work on a recall. Again, this command is convenient, especially if your feline decides to bolt out the door one day. In some cases, this command can even be lifesaving.

With that said, the Neva Masquerade will not be as trainable as some other cats (or dogs). While they are very people-oriented, they also tend to be stubborn and independent. Therefore, they probably won’t always listen to you, especially if they don’t have anything to gain from the situation.

Grooming ✂️

Due to their long fur, these cats do require some grooming. They are one of the few breeds that actively change their coat length depending on the seasons, which can complicate grooming a bit. Their summer coat is relatively short and often doesn’t require any extra care. However, their winter coat is quite long and thick, so it often needs to be groomed to prevent matting.

Plus, they do shed a lot when they are switching from their winter coat to summer coat. You’ll likely need to brush them even more during this period to help move this process along. Otherwise, they may not get rid of their winter coat soon enough, and you’ll end up with fur all over your house.

We recommend getting these cats used to regular grooming early. Otherwise, they may decide that they don’t like it very much when they are older. You should treat these early grooming sessions like training. Your primary purpose should be to help your cat get used to the grooming session—not necessarily getting much grooming done. Use lots of treats and keep the experience positive.

Once your cat gets old and needs the grooming session, it won’t be hard to convince them to stay still.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Little health information is known about the Neva Masquerade specifically—likely due to the breed’s rarity. However, we have some information about the Siberian, which is very similar to the Neva Masquerade. For the most part, this breed is relatively healthy. They spent much of their development without the interference of people, which caused them to develop into very healthy cats.

For instance, they weren’t explicitly bred for any dramatic appearance traits. Instead, they evolved naturally, with the healthiest cats living the longest and reproducing the most. With that said, they are prone to a few different health problems today. However, for the most part, these are pretty rare.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the only serious condition that the Siberian cat is known to be predisposed to. This heart condition causes the heart muscles to thicken. Eventually, this thickening affects the flow of the blood, which can eventually lead to heart failure. This condition does seem to have a genetic basis. There have been many studies done on exactly how these diseases are inherited. However, nothing conclusive has been discovered yet, and there is no genetic test for this condition.

With that said, these felines are susceptible to other common cat diseases as well. They should be vaccinated against panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and rabies. They can also get fleas and ticks, as well as a variety of internal worms.

Minor Conditions
  • Skin irritation (from poor grooming)
Serious Conditions
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Male vs. Female

For the most part, the males and females of this breed are identical. The males are a bit bigger in some cases, but this isn’t always true. You can find larger females that are bigger than the smaller males. Personality-wise, these genders are identical.

Of course, females will go into heat, while males may yowl and pace should they smell an in-heat female. Spaying or neutering your cat does prevent some of these conditions from occurring, significantly lessening the differences between genders.

Due to their rarity, it may be in your best interest not to get too caught up in the gender kitten you adopt. In many cases, there may only be one gender available. Being set on a specific gender may increase your wait time.

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Final Thoughts

The Neva Masquerade is a rare breed, though some people don’t refer to it as a breed at all. In many ways, it is simply a unique coloration of the Siberian cat breed. Besides coloration, both of these breeds are identical. This feline is known for being active and quite dog-like. They bond closely with their families and tend to get along with just about everyone. Often, they are suggested as family pets for this reason.

They are pretty healthy and have very few genetic predispositions. However, their rarity does make them difficult to find. Expect to pay slightly more than you usually would for a purebred cat and sit on a waiting list for longer.

Featured Image Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock

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