Neva Masquerade (NEM) is a very intelligent and curious colorpoint variation of the Siberian cat breed (SIB). Like the Siberian cat, the Neva Masquerade breed origins from Russia and it is named after the river Neva in St. Petersburg, where it first was developed somewhere around the late-1970s / early-1980s.
You may have wondered why you’ve never heard about the Neva Masquerade cat until quite recently. A common answer for that is because of its approval as its own breed, it wasn’t until the year of 2011 Neva Masquerade was fully recognized by FIFe(Fédération Internationale Féline) as an official breed.
Life span: 12-15 years.
Neva cats have been growing in popularity over the past 10 years, both as a pet and among cat breeders like myself. I’ve done some digging about its population-by-country, which you can find at the end of this article. We will also take look at how much the average cost for a Neva Masquerade is today.
What is a Neva Masquerade?
The Neva Masquerade (NEM) is a Siberian cat with point coloration and is in my opinion, an extremely interesting cat breed. It’s just like the Siberian Cat, a very happy and family-friendly cat that loves to be around you as much they can (except when they are grumpy!). They are typically very gentle around children, and if you or your kid wants someone to play with, a Neva will most likely be happy to assist.
It’s a Cream colored long-hair, medium/big-sized breed, that normally weighs in around 4-9kg (8,8-20lbs) when fully grown.
Weights to expect:
Females: 4-5,5kg (8,8-12lbs)
Males: 5,5-9kg (12-20lbs)
The thing that makes a Neva Masquerade very interesting, and unique in its own way is the point coloration. It usually has a very light colored fur when it’s young and it normally darkens as the cat ages, the same rules apply for all color point cats. This is also a reason to why you might not see the Neva’s true point coloration when it’s newborn, or very young. This, of course, goes with a lot of other breeds and animals as well, so don’t be too worried or upset if you haven’t seen any changes in the first few weeks!
More on its color variants and eye color can be found a few blocks down in this post.
History and birth of the Neva Masquerade
As mentioned before, the Neva Masquerade was developed in St. Petersburg Russia back in the late ’70s or early ’80s. This was also the very beginning of when Siberian cats started being systematically bred.
The “Siberian Forest Cat”, today more known as “Siberian Cat” was first brought and discovered outside of Russia, in Germany somewhere in the mid-1980s. This is when an experimental breeding mission began with this beautiful new long-haired breed from Russia. Not long after, in fact within the first year, the breed was brought to Western Germany, and by 1989 the first “Siberian Forest Cat” was registered and started to receive a lot of attention.
Because of all the attention and many admirers it got from abroad, the new breed began to expand all over the world, and to be able to more easily separate the new breed from the “Norwegian Forest Cat”, in 1991 they decided to change the name from “Siberian Forest Cat” to today’s “Siberian Cat”.
The Siberian cat breed got officially recognized by WCF(World Cat Federation) in 1992, and later on in 1997 by FIFe(Fédération Internationale Féline).
The color pointed Siberian cat (Neva Masquerade) started to show up in many different countries by 2010 and is getting more and more worldwide attention each day. However, they are still very often seen as the traditional Siberian cat. So if you see a Siberian with point coloration, you may just have stumbled across a Neva Masquerade (don’t forget to say hi, they love to socialize!)
Suggested article: The Average Weight and Size for a Neva Masquerade
Colors and how to spot a Neva Masquerade
In short: Normally, a Siberian cat with point coloration will most likely turn out to be a Neva Masquerade, and the different color variants are all very similar or the same as other point cats, such as the very popular Ragdoll or Siamese cat for example.
Eye color: A Neva Masquerade has a very deep blue eye color.
A coat pattern is when the coat is darker on certain body parts. It is likely caused by a gene that makes the coolest parts of a cat’s body to become visually much more darker in color. Studies show that color point cats are born without the darker markings, but develops them with time as they grow and age.
An experiment done by scientists shows that newborn, or young color point cats kept in a warm environment will eventually never develop its full markings, or in some cases never at all. (Your point colored kitten needs variety to be able to grow its beauty)
List of the most common color point patterns today:
- Blue-Point: Gray color points which we call blue, is the diluted form of Seal-point coloration.
- Cream-Point: Cream-point is a very light color and is the dilution of red.
- Chocolate-Point: A light brown, or brown base color for Neva’s. But also brown colored point zones are known as Chocolate-point.
- Cinnamon-Point: For Neva Masquerades, this is when the red base color only can be seen within the point areas.
- Fawn-Point: Fawn-point is a weaker color version of Cinnamon-point, and the red base color should appear more light.
- Flame/Red-Point: Red-Point(Correct term) is when a cat has orange points and is commonly mentioned as “Flame-point color”.
- Lilac-Point: Very light gray points, and is the dilution of brown. In other words, the diluted form of Chocolate-Point.
- Lynx-Point: Often referred to as Tabby, or tabby points, is when the cat has stripes. The stripes are usually most visible on their tails.
- Seal-Point: Normally very dark points and has a darker base coloration than usual.
- Torti-Point: Red and black points: If you ever hear the term tortoiseshell point coloration, Torti-point is what they refer to.
Related article: Neva & Siberian – Full List of the Different Colors
An important key to remember, especially if you are, or planning to become a breeder of point colored cats. Different countries have different rules to which color patterns are recognized and acceptable within each cat breed. Don’t forget to doublecheck which terms of acceptance apply in your country for your breed.
List of colorpoint breeds:
- British Shorthair
- Colorpoint Shorthair
- Ragdoll (and Ragamuffin variant)
- Siberian (Neva Masquerade)
Neva Masquerade character, behavior and temperament
I want to start by saying that pretty much every Siberian or Neva Masquerade I have had during my time as a breeder, they have all had very unique and different personalities compared to each other.
You can expect an active, playful, and happy cat with a strong character. It is very attached to its owner and wants a lot of company. You will most likely find your Neva or Siberian cuddled next to you when they find an opportunity, and it will many times be the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning
They usually love to swim and are not afraid to take the first dip in the water when it’s young. Don’t be afraid to let your cat splash around a little because it will likely just be happy about it!
They need space to feel good and to be able to activate their playful personality. They also love to jump around and climb trees so I definitely recommend getting a Scratching post if you haven’t already. See what toys and tools we recommend and use to keep our cats active and happy in this article.
I wrote an article with some helpful tips on raising a Siberian or Neva Masquerade here.
Are there any common diseases or health problems within the Neva Masquerade breed?
In general, Neva Masquerade is a very healthy cat breed with only a few known diseases on its records. However, if you are planning on getting any cat, not just Siberian or Neva Masquerade- Always check with the breeder if the parents and kitten are tested for common diseases within that breed, before making a purchase.
You can, and I would strongly recommend to always take a look at the proof of the tests taken. Any serious breeder will test all their breeding cats and kittens and have the examination papers ready for you, or publicly visible (e.g. on their Website, Facebook page or similar).
Diseases found in Siberian cats and Neva Masquerades:
HCM – “Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy” (Heart Disease)
You probably have heard or seen the term HCM before within the world of pets. It is the number one cause for heart diseases found in cats and is most commonly found in young, or middle-aged male cats.
HCM is when the heart thickens, or “grows” at an unnormal rate. It therefore leaves less room in the heart for the storage that handles blood being pumped into the circulation of the body.
HCM can be very hard to spot and is a common cause of sudden death in animals. BUT there are numerous symptoms, such as difficult breathing, less activity, and decreased appetite for example.
Another important thing to remember is: Even if the parents of a kitten has been tested for HCM with good results- it doesn’t mean that the kitten is protected from the disease. Always make sure an HCM examination has been done on the kittens if you’re planning to buy a cat.
There is so much more to learn about this disease, but I don’t want to get too in-depth about it. You can read more about HCM in this article from VCA Hospitals, or get in contact with your local veterinary.
PKD – “Polycystic Kidney Disease”
PKD is not common within the Siberian cat and Neva Masquerade but there have been cases of it. Statistics say, that PKD affects about 5-7% of all cats where it is currently present. The Persian breed is most exposed with 35% or more cats suffering from the disease.
PKD is an inherited disease and is when liquid-filled cysts forms within a cat’s kidneys. The cysts normally multiply and grow over time but can also be a single cyst that grows very large. This can overwhelm the kidney’s normal tissue and cause a very bad kidney failure which can lead to death.
PKD typically affects the kidney’s function around the age of 6-7.
Since PKD is inherited and the cause of it is still unknown until this day, a cat diagnosed with PKD may NOT be used for breeding. This is only common sense and it is the only way of countering the disease, and hopefully, someday finally get rid of it.
With all this being said: A cat diagnosed with PKD can absolutely live a normal happy life without being in pain at all.
Read more about PKD in this article by International Cat Care, or get in contact with your local veterinary.
Also know that there have been cases of Hereditary Cancer, as well as some less dangerous diseases found in Siberian cats and Neva Masquerades. Such as Gum Disease for example which can be treated.
I choose to talk specifically about HCM and PKD because I think every cat owner should know about them.
How much does a Neva Masquerade cost and where is it most popular?
So a few weeks ago, I was thinking about where the Neva Masquerade has had the biggest success so far country-wise. Considering its short amount of time in the publicity, it has been gaining a lot of attention, especially in the past few years.
Having its roots in Russia, we can assume that it is a popular breed over there which is very true. However, there are a lot of other countries where the Neva Masquerade is a very popular breed as well. I tried to list what I’ve found below.
The Neva Masquerade cat crossed the Russian border to make himself known first in Germany and gradually in other countries.
In France, in the year 1991, Siberian male was imported by Mr. GRINGET. The first special Siberian cats on display in France took place on January 22, 2006 in Thiers with 25 Siberian cats (classic and neva masquerade) with the club SFABL and the club Chat-de-Siberia.
Suggested article: 15 Fun & True Facts About Neva Masquerade and the Siberian
In the USA, again in 1990, E. TERRELL imports his first Siberian Cats for his Starpoint cattery in the United States, a trаdе deal bеtwееn him and a Russian brееdеr. Nоw, Siberian саtѕ are rесоgnіzеd as part оf thе Intеrnаtіоnаl Cаt Aѕѕосіаtіоn аnd аrе rеgulаr participants іn іntеrnаtіоnаl cat ѕhоwѕ.
Thе fіrѕt Neva Mаѕԛuеrаdе wаѕ іmроrtеd tо North Amеrіса іn 1990 through the Starpoint Cattery.
Little by little, this breed is spreading. Currently, the Siberian cat has conquered the world to Australia, and South Africa. Asia is not left out, and also has its catteries in Japan, Singapore, and other countries.
Average price of a Neva Masquerade kitten
Today, the Neva Masquerade cat kitten is not a pet too expensive. The kitten can be bought in almost all catteries that breed Russian cat breeds. The price of a Siberian kitten will depend on the sex, the pedigree of the parents, the conformity to the standards of the race, etc.
The price can also matter depending on for example, the age and whether you’re buying a sterilized and chipped kitten, or if you’re buying a cat with the intention of breeding.
- Average Price of a Neva male: 650 to 1,600 €
- Average Price of a Neva female: 650 to 1 450 €
Finally, the Neva Masquerade cat is keen and loves to play. That’s why he appreciates the presence of children. The cat also easily accepts the presence of other animals by his side.