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Siberian Cat: Unmasked

By Alex Kolesnikov, PhD in molecular genetics, Sibaris cattery, Russia.
(Reprinted with permission)

Part III

The third topic is the problem of Neva Masquerades and their relation to Siberians. This topic is actually a part of the previous one, and all the facts described above account for this very issue. Neva Masquerades have been accepted as a color variety of the Siberian breed in a number of cat associations such as WCF, CFA, TICA etc. Main grounds of acceptance were arbitrarily described as “long persistence of said color variety among aboriginal semilonghair cats in Russia”. No genetic analysis and analysis of actual origins of Neva cats was possible at the time of recognition. Participation of SLH colorpoint cats from the very beginning of SIB breed in Saint Petersburg (without careful analysis of their origins) has been considered as sufficient ground for the inclusion of Nevas into the forming Siberian breed. Let us (with huge delay, but there is some excuse for that, as a reader can understand from this article) try to perform at least part of such an analysis in order to better understand the roots of Neva Masquerades.