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The Neva Masquerade Coat Color

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

The Siberian Forest Cat has two distinct coat color lines. The traditional Siberian Forest Cats are primarily tabby while the Neva Masquerade is considered a "Color Point". Nevas have bright blue eyes and darker coloring on their ears, faces, tails, and paws.

How did this happen?

In the 1980's many Siberian breeders crossbred with Siamese cats to get this striking and magnetic coat variation. As a result the Neva Masquerade coat color emerged. Neva's are still Siberians but this history of crossbreeding has caused purists some discontent.

The Term "Neva Masquerade" Became used for these cats due to the location of the first Siamese Siberian breeding, being located near the Neva River that flows through the St. Petersburg, During the 1980's masquerade parties were very popular and in full swing and so the name stuck as the dark areas on the Siberian cat's face look like a mask with a cat about to bust a jig at a masquerade ball.

The Neva Masquerade Siberian was and is a highly coveted animal that showed social standing in the aristocracy. Members of government and royalty used to give each other these elegant cats as an act of good-will in diplomatic relations.

Neva's are born white and then as they get older their color-points start to darken. This genetic variant decreases the production of melanin because they lack the enzyme tyrosinase. This results in the primary white coloring with darker pointed features. Despite the misconception that white cats with blue-eyed cats become blind and deaf this is not a health risk of these lovely cats. Neva's are still considered hypoallergenic, or low-allergen but every Siberian cat has varying levels of this protein.

Please see Pixie and Sage from the July 25, 2023 litter for an example of birth and development of a Neva Masquerade.

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