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Neva Masquerade Cat History, Character, Health, Breeding & more

Neva Masquerade - a mysterious name for a mysterious beauty! Neva Masquerade is the point variant of the Siberian cat and shares many features with this breed.

Neva Masquerade Cat History

The Siberian cat has been systematically bred only since the 1980s and has been pleasing cat lovers in America since 1990. The Neva Masquerade is said to be indistinguishable from Siberian cats except for its point pattern. Also, the history of the Neva Masquerade is similar to that of the Siberian cat.

Long-haired cats have always been a large component of the feral domestic cat population found in Russia and Siberia. Why this is so, provided for a long time for discussion in research circles. While some scientists assumed an independent mutation, others rely on crossings with long-haired animals from the Orient, which resulted in wild domestic cats with long fur. The name "Sibirskaja koschka", "Siberian cat", referred to these muscular domestic cats with lush, plush fur. They are clearly different in physique and coat texture from the African dun cat, which is considered the ancestral mother of all domestic cats. For this reason, it has long been assumed that Caucasian wild cats are close relatives of Siberian cats and that they are not descended from the dun cat. However, a few years ago, a team of researchers from Oxford University found that all domestic cats found on the five continents are descended from the dun cat.

Long-haired cats were a rarity in Europe until the 19th century. So it is no wonder that the long-haired cats from Siberia caught the eye of traders and travelers and were imported to Europe. The Siberian cats were described as early as 1864 in an edition of "Brems Tierleben", after that they appeared sporadically in European publications. The longhaired animals from Siberia were also part of the first cat exhibition in the Crystal Palace in London in 1871. After the first exhibition in the Crystal Palace, the breed nevertheless fell into oblivion for the time being. This had different reasons: Longhaired animals occurred only rarely and were thus often crossed with each other. The Siberian cat was lost in the gene pool of popular breeds like Persian and Co. The political situation in Soviet Russia did the rest to let Russia disappear for the time being from the cat breeding history.

In the '80s the Siberian cats and with them the Neva Masquerade nevertheless experienced a new beginning. In 1985 an experimental breeding was started in the GDR with "Trassenkassen", which were imported from Russia. From 1986 the longhaired animals were also exhibited. In 1987 the breed then called "Siberian Forest Cat", was officially recognized. In the same year, the first breeding pair of this breed arrived in the Federal Republic of Germany. After the first registered litter in 1989, the breed found more and more admirers, also overseas. At the same time, systematic breeding was started in Russia, from where the first specimens were exported to America in 1990. However, the high cost of import from Russia ensured that the population of Russian longhair cats in the USA remained relatively small.

Today the Siberian cat is bred worldwide. Its name was changed from "Siberian Forest Cat" to "Siberian Cat" in 1991 to better distinguish it from the "Norwegian Forest Cat". In 1992 the breed was officially recognized by the World Cat Federation, in 1998 by the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe). Depending on the umbrella organization, the Point variety, called Neva Masquerade for several years, is bred independently. In plain language, this means: Only Neva Masquerade may be mated with each other, crossbreeding of Siberian cats of other colors is undesirable. This naturally leads to an extreme reduction of the gene pool and to an increased risk for the development of hereditary diseases. Therefore, ideally, Neva Masquerade should be crossed with Siberian cats. Since the point gene is passed on recessively and can thus remain unrecognized in the gene pool for many generations, Neva Masquerade can spontaneously appear in a litter of solid-colored parents. Today, however, there is already a gene test for point mutations, so that breeders can specifically search for carriers of the popular point gene.

Neva Masquerade Cat Appearance

The Neva Masquerade is a cat that attracts attention! As a point variant of the Siberian cat, the breed impresses with its original appearance: A long, dense coat with collar and ear tufts, a muscular body, and bushy tail give the Neva Masquerade the appearance of a wild cat in miniature. No wonder, the Siberian cat and thus the Neva Masquerade belongs to the forest cats!

Apart from its coloration, the Neva Masquerade should not differ from the Siberian cat. As a point variant of this breed, the medium-sized animals weigh up to nine kilograms. Therefore they are late-developers and only grown-up for about three years. The semi-long coat consists of a water-repellent, robust topcoat and a plushy undercoat. A special feast for the eyes is the dense collar around the head and neck! In summer, the Neva Masquerade sheds the dense undercoat that keeps her warm in the Siberian winter - her summer coat thus appears much shorter and less lush. However, any tufts of hair on the ears and between the toes, as well as the long, bushy tail, should be retained during the warm summer months. Like the Siberian cat, the Neva Masquerade has a rather rounded skull with a rounded forehead, large eyes, and medium-sized, wide ears. The eye color of the Siberian cat should be uniform and match the coat color. In the Neva Masquerade, a bright blue is preferred.

Her coloring makes The Neva Masquerade something special: She belongs to the Point cats. This makes it the only forest cat breed where "points" are allowed! The "cold" points of the cat's body (ears, tail tip, legs, and face) are colored according to the basic color of the cat, the rest of the body appears lightened. The cause of this unusual coloration is a mutation that leads to a deficient function of the enzyme tyrosinase, which would normally be responsible for the production of the pigment melanin. This leads to a so-called "partial albinism". In the Neva Masquerade, good contrast between points and the light body color is desired. The eyes should be intensely blue.

There is also great variability of coloration within the point coloration. Thus, in the Neva Masquerade, all basic colors permitted in the Siberian cat are permitted as point colors, even a tabby striping ("agouti", wild color) is permitted. Solid-colored animals may show so-called ghost markings. By crossbreeding Somali and Burmese, attempts have been made for some time to achieve new variations in coloration - the colors Cinnamon and Fawn as well as their dilutions Chocolate and Lilac are particularly popular. However, such crosses have a disadvantage: they are not allowed in forest cat breeds like the Siberian cat according to the breeding standard. Despite their interesting coloration, these new color creations are therefore often not recognized by the respective breeding clubs. In addition, the possible introduction of hereditary diseases into the previously very robust gene pool of the Siberian cat.

Point cats like Neva Masquerade have the following color variations:
  • Seal-point: Neva Masquerade seal-point shows a black base coloration, which shows in the "cold" body points.
  • Blue-point: The black base color is here diluted to "blue" and shows in the point tips of the cat.
  • Chocolate-point: Neva Masquerade with a brown base color is called "Chocolate-point".
  • Cinnamon-point: The red base color of the Neva Masquerade is only visible in the point tips.
  • Fawn-point: The red base color "Cinnamon" appears weakened - it is diluted to "fawn".
  • Lilac-point: The dilution of brown is called "Lilac" - it is only visible in the body points of Neva Masquerade "Lilac-point".
  • Creme-point: The dilution of red is called "Creme" - Neva Masquerade creme-point shows cream-colored points and therefore appears particularly bright.
Other well-known point breeds are the Birman and the Siamese. The Neva Masquerade, like all Point breeds, is born very light, its color darkens with advancing age.

Neva Masquerade Character

As a pointed variety of the Siberian cat, the Neva Masquerade shares a breeding standard with this breed. This is reflected not only in the appearance of the cats but also in their character.

Just like the Siberian cat, the Neva Masquerade is original not only in its appearance. Its character is also considered to be uncomplicated and unbred. Like the Siberian cat, the Neva Masquerade is blessed with good instincts and is accordingly a good hunter. She likes to jump and climb, loves water, and wants to be mentally and physically exercised. The pure apartment attitude is therefore not ideal for the movement-joyful animals - a cat-safe balcony or garden is already better suitable!

The intelligent cats are curious and have their own head. Consistent education is therefore essential! To keep your Neva Masquerade mentally busy, intelligence games and clicker training are suitable. Also, food search games are gladly accepted!

Neva Masquerade Cat Attitude and care

The long, dense coat of the Neva Masquerade gives it a mysterious appearance and adds to the fascination of this breed, but can be quite high maintenance! Fortunately, cats do most of their own grooming of their shorter summer coats, but during the winter months and the shedding season, masters and mistresses must reach for the comb and brush from time to time. After winter, the Neva Masquerade loses its dense undercoat almost completely. Help with grooming can thus help keep loose fur away from clothing and upholstery, and minimize gastrointestinal distress from swallowed hair. Giving malt paste or appropriate treats and cat grass can help the natural shedding of hair in the gastrointestinal tract before hairballs develop!

As nature boys who love to move, Neva Masquerade loves the outdoor life. They are absolutely not squeamish about it and insist on their excursion into nature even in rain, storm, and snow. The intelligent cats love to sneak through the undergrowth, climb, ambush birds and small rodents, and are considered good hunters. They are only conditionally suitable for living exclusively in the apartment. Therefore, the perfect home for a Neva Masquerade offers it enough opportunities to let off steam psychologically and physically - indoors and outdoors! A secured garden is ideal, but calmer nature will also be happy about a secured balcony with a big outdoor cat tree and many possibilities to play.

Neva Masquerade diet

Apart from that, a species-appropriate diet is the best guarantee for a long, healthy cat life. As carnivores, cats depend on food with a high proportion of healthy protein. They can only utilize a small proportion of carbohydrates. For you, as a cat owner, this means: Eyes open when buying food! The right cat food for your cat should contain a lot of meat and only a few vegetable by-products. When looking at the food label, meat is therefore at the top of the ingredients list.

Neva Masquerade Cat Breeding

The breeding of Siberian cats and with it Neva Masquerade is relatively young. Therefore, the breed has so far been spared from a preposition for certain hereditary diseases. It is the responsibility of breeders and owners to keep it that way! Therefore, please trust only a professional breeder and do not buy your Neva Masquerade from so-called "breeders", who offer "pedigree cats for a small price" - often at the expense of the animals.

Cat breeding is an expensive hobby. From the mating of the parent cats to pregnancy, birth, and rearing of the kittens, the breeder incurs certain costs that he must cover with the selling price of his cats. This includes stud fees, health care and veterinary costs including possible tests for hereditary diseases, a good diet, membership in a cat breeding club, rearing food and vaccinations of the kittens, health care of the kittens and and and... The breeding papers are only a small part of the bill. But if you care about the well-being of your animals, you will not save money on the biggest item: the veterinary costs. A responsible breeder has his parents taken care of by a veterinarian. He also has the kittens checked by a veterinarian, takes care of the basic immunization against the most important infectious diseases, and can provide you with the documents for this.

All this leads to the fact that a Neva Masquerade cannot be bought from a professional breeder at a bargain price. Friends of this breed have to put around 700 Euros on the table before they can give a Siberian beauty a home... Alternatively, you can visit the animal shelter. There, many cats, including pedigree animals, are waiting for a wonderful new home! Shelter cats are often given away for a small protection fee, which covers a small part of the costs incurred for vet visits and vaccinations.

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