About the breed

Nevas come from Leningrad, modern-day St. Petersburg which lies on the Neva river. With time, as other breeds (including Himalayans, Siamese, Persians etc.) were imported into this area, the traditional Siberian cat got bred with cats that had white, color-pointed hair on their ears, tails and paws, and from these, a new version of the Siberian cat developed, with dark markings on their ears, tail and paws which got the name of Neva masquerade. Some claim that their appearance was spontaneous, others claim that humans were involved. In any case, the color point Siberian cat, the Neva masquerade is today acknowledged as a separate breed by international felinology organizations like CFA and TICA, and also FIFe (Fédération Internationale Féline), whose members include us.

Appearance and standard

Sky blue eyes, a gracious, confident walk and a fan-like tail in the air were among the first reasons why we fell in love with the breed. It can take up to five years for the cat to fully grow and mature. Representatives of the Neva masquerade breed are medium sized, females are a little smaller than the males. They have a muscular body, a short, wide neck, the hindquarters are significantly larger than the front ones, the paws are large, with tufts of hair between the paw pads. The head is longer, gently rounded with low-set cheekbones, a wide, rounded and short nose and chin and a mildly convex forehead.

The ears are medium sized, wider close to the head, slightly rounded towards the side, leaning lightly forward and covered with hair.

The eyes are large, oval shaped and always blue in color. The breed standard allows all shades of blue, from light to dark.

The hair is three-ply medium length, the top layer is waterproof. According to the back of the hair, the tail is a little bit more towards the drier to the touch. The more shorter days during the year when winter comes nevam grows longer hair on the neck, chest, and tail.

The hair has three layers, the upper layer is water resistant. On the back, towards the tail, the hair is slightly coarser. As days get shorter in the year and winter approaches, the Nevas get longer coats in their neck, chest and tail area.

The Nevas have a thick tail, slightly narrower towards the end, well covered with hair and a rich undercoat.

Color variations (allowed by FIFe)

Seal point- seal tabby point and blue point- blue tabby point are among the most frequent color variations in the breed. Red, cream, seal/blue tortie, smoke, silver/golden are also allowed. All these color variations are also allowed in a white combination.

sealpoint

SEAL POINT

Face, ears and tail are dark, the body can be almost white to dark, often light beige or beige-gray in color. The light part of the body must be clearly differentiated from the extremities (ears, face, tail).

tabby

SEAL TABBY

We speak of a tabby cat when there are obvious stripes on the head and paws. A  tabby Neva can also be recognized by the so-called eyeliner markings (white border around the eyes).

bluepoint

BLUE POINT

The Nevas have a lighter colored body compared to the blue tinted parts (head, ears, tail, paws). This type of coat color means that the cat will have light blue eyes. The paler the eyes, the better.

ostalo

BLUE TABBY WITH WHITE

Blue tinted parts with stripes on the head and limbs, eyes are bordered with white (eyeliner), the paws are white.

Care

The Neva masquerades have a thick, medium long coat which has to be brushed once a week. Claws are trimmed as needed. The cats groom themselves very well, but should still be bathed occasionally (3-4 times per year), more often for show cats. Ears have to be cleaned regularly, eyes if necessary and regular dental checks should be performed. If a cat is used to grooming since it was a baby, then the cat is not stressed by it and grooming only becomes a method of bonding with the owner.

Character

A Neva masquerade cat likes human companionship and likes to play. They adore water, they will often wash their feet in the water bowl before drinking and sometimes, you will find cat toys inside the water bowl. The cat is patient with children and other animals, when company is not appreciated, the cat will discreetly remove herself to her chosen spot (a shelf or a cat tree).

They are quick to bond with humans and will usually create a special link with a single person. They like to “talk” to their owners, and even more so to curl up in the owner’ lap as to relax her/him after a hard day. They are quick to adapt to the daily routine, they become their owners’ shadows, they are always close, but not pushy and so soon you get to the point of not being able to imagine life without a cat.

Health and breeding

At the moment, the Neva masquerade is defined as a very healthy breed, without any genetic or general health issues, but that does not mean that they don’t require veterinary care. As members of the ZFDS (Association of Slovene felinology societies) and in accordance with the FIFe breed standards, our cats (in addition to regular check-ups and required vaccinations) were also given a mandatory breeding soundness examination (at 10 months of age for the male, at 12 months for the female). We performed mandatory and certain recommended tests which guarantee that our cats are healthy. Due to a late development of the breed, it is advisable for the first mating to take place when the female is 14-16 months old.

For a good shape and health, high quality food must be provided. That consists of dry cat food (kibble), wet food (canned), raw meat several times per week. Fresh water must be provided at all times. Treats are also required, such as vitamin paste – all the good stuff, the cats deserve it.

It has been proven that Siberian cats have less of the Fel d1 allergen in their saliva, which is a component in allergic reactions, but that does not mean that it is true for all Siberians and Nevas.

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