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Siberian Cat Grooming: Vet-Approved Step-by-Step Guide

Brooke Bundy

By Brooke Bundy

siberian cat_claudia125_Pixabay

Vet approved

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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The Siberian cat has long hair that’s prepared for harsh Russian winters with its three coats. Siberians are rare in the United States, but the cats flourish in their native country, and it is believed that they still live in clans in Siberian forests. They only recently crossed the Atlantic in 1990, following intense negotiation with cat breeders after the Berlin Wall fell and opened up Russian trade.

They are also thought to be ancestors of all long-haired cats and is the only long-haired cat considered hypoallergenic, meaning they produce less dander than others. Their lengthy, triple-layered coat may look intimidating to maintain, but it is quite easy. Your Siberian cat will only need brushing a few times a week and bathing no more than once a month to look its best.

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How to Groom Your Siberian Cat

Siberians are the only long-haired cats considered hypoallergenic. However, unlike hypoallergenic dogs, Siberians still shed. On the plus side, you don’t have to cut their hair. Siberian cats have three coats: a downy undercoat, wavy awn hairs, and coarse guard hairs on their outer coat.

In a normal week, your Siberian will shed a moderate amount, and you’ll need to brush them once or twice a week to maintain their coat. It’s best to use a combination of a slicker brush, soft brush, and metal comb to care for their three coats.

During the late winter and the summer, your Siberian will go through molting seasons where they’ll lose more hair than they do the rest of the year. You’ll want to brush them daily when they are molting, so they don’t become matted.

You don’t need to give them a haircut. It’s best if you don’t cut any cat’s hair unless they’re excessively matted. Cats take pride in their appearance and do not like being shaved.

woman grooming a siberian cat
Photo Credit: Sergio Photone, Shutterstock

How (and When) to Bathe Your Siberian Cat

Cats clean themselves for hours daily. Siberians produce oil to keep their coats nourished in the winter and cool in the summer. Washing their fur strips that oil, so your Siberian cat really should only be bathed as needed, and no more than once a month. If you suffer from cat allergies, you may prefer to bathe them at least once or twice a year to reduce the dander trapped in their coats, but brushing is the best method to combat loose fur and dander.

To wash your Siberian cat, you’ll need to:
  • Gather your supplies ahead of time: Your cat may have nine lives, but they don’t want to waste any time when it comes to grooming. To bathe your cat, you’ll need a cat-friendly shampoo, a couple of towels, a slicker brush, a soft brush, a metal comb, and a hairdryer. Some cat owners prefer to bathe their cats in buckets set in the tub. This helps your cat stay in a contained space that’s easier to control. You can also use a collar and leash attached to the tub to hold them in place. If you suspect your cat might claw or bite, you can use rubber gloves to protect your hands and arms.
  • Brush out the tangles: Using a slicker brush, remove the excess fur to prevent tangles and make the drying process easier.
  • Slowly lower your cat into the dry tub or lower them into a semi-full bucket of lukewarm water: There are two methods for bathing your cat. One is to set them in a bucket of warm water immediately, and the other gets them acclimated to the tub before turning the water on. Choose the most appropriate one based on how you think your cat will respond. Either one you pick, encourage them with praise and slip them a couple of treats to teach them that bath time is a good time. This is also when you’d attach them to the leash if you’re using one.
  • Turn the water on if you’re using a tub: Reassure them with a calm voice and turn the water on. Make sure it’s not too hot or too cold (about the temperature you’d bathe a human baby).
  • Gently wet them: Make sure the water is penetrating all three of their coats by running your wet hands through their fur. Just don’t get any water near their face. Water can damage their sensitive ears!
  • Massage a cat-friendly shampoo into their fur: Rub the cat shampoo through all three layers for a couple of minutes to let it do its job.
  • Rinse out the shampoo: Make sure you get all of the shampoo out, so it doesn’t cause build-up. If your cat is afraid of the shower head, you can use a cup to scoop water and pour it over their body.
  • Towel dry your cat: Lift your cat out of the tub or bucket and wrap them in a towel. You can rub them dry or use a hairdryer on the lowest setting, depending on their tolerance to noise.
  • Brush your cat: Starting with the metal comb, gently untangle your cat’s fur. Switch to the soft brush as their coat dries to create a fluffy appearance. Your cat will look like they’ve been to the salon by the time you’re done!

There are a lot of pet shampoos on the market, but not all of them will keep your pet's skin and coat happy and healthy. The Hepper Pet Shampoo products are pH balanced and made with natural, safe ingredients like soothing oatmeal and aloe vera. Our shampoos will keep your pet clean, smelling fresh, and fully moisturized! The hardest part is deciding whether to get to traditional shampoo or the rinse-free version! Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right option for your pet’s next bath!

Hepper Oatmeal pet shampoo
Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo

Hepper Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo
Natural cucumber & aloe scent
Natural cucumber & aloe scent:
Natural cucumber & aloe scent:
Safe for cats & dogs
Safe for cats & dogs:
Safe for cats & dogs:
Rinsing required
Rinsing required:
Rinsing required:
Free of harsh chemicals & nasty ingredients
Free of harsh chemicals & nasty ingredients:
Free of harsh chemicals & nasty ingredients:
Lathers easily
Lathers easily:
Lathers easily:

 

Other Grooming Requirements

In addition to frequent brushing and occasional bathing, your Siberian cat also needs their teeth brushed several times a week and their nails trimmed. Please don’t declaw your cat. This inhumane process amputates the last bone in their paws and gives them little hope of survival if they were to run away. Declawed cats are more likely to bite you since they can’t scratch.

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Conclusion

Despite their fluffy, multi-layered coats, Siberian cats do not require a lot of grooming. If you brush them several times a week and bathe them only when they need it (no more than once a month), your cat will clean itself. A Siberian cat is a perfect friend for an allergy sufferer because they’re considered hypoallergenic. Even so, you’ll probably want someone else in the family to do the brushing because they still shed.


Featured Photo Credit: claudia125, Pixabay

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