Group 2 silver baby, courtesy of Clare Ferris, Druzhina cattery, UK.

After learning how to search for “nem” in the genealogy of a cat, it is also important to know how to pick the best matches.

There are a few things to take in consideration:

The health of the bloodlines.

Pawpeds is a very important tool that also provides health information and a HCM health program that is CAPITAL for the breed.
Make research on the health of the cats with all the available databases  (like pawpeds or Siberian research) and also talking to the owner (s) of the cats in the bloodlines.

When you buy a cat, you should also test you cat for PK Deficiency and PKD as well as HCM at 1/3/5/7 years old.   Never mate a cat that has not been tested. Some careful breeders might even wait that studs and Queens reach a certain age (normally 2 yo) before to start breeding.

I repeat here that Pawpeds HCM program is very important for the breed because they are neutral and they provide a listing of veterinarians that have the skill as well as the equipment. There is no shame in having a sick cat, the shame is to HIDE the disease especially if you find a pattern from a specific match.

The inbreeding CO.

Every breed is build on a certain amount of inbreeding and line breeding to fix type. With most of our Siberians we don’t need this type of technique anymore and it is enough to pick complementary cats regarding type and use new blood with old blood.  Keep it low and safe.

Mountain de Somarie, Group 3, courtesy of Marie Andree Gagnon, Somarie cattery, France.
The variety of bloodlines.

Very important subject and close to the previous subject about inbreeding.  
We are talking here about maths!  Yes, you should count how many times certain “key”  cats appears in the genealogy before making your matches.  When a cat appears 90/100 times or more in the same genealogy, there is most definitely something  wrong there especially considering the breed has studbook open we have new good cats being brought in and the possibility to look for VARIATION, different lines to match.  Of course you will also look Inbreeding Co but sometimes even when the inbreeding Co stays fairly low, you will see certain cats and lines that have been overused, therefore these cats will appear more times than they should.

If you have a PC, I remind you to go to Pawpeds, enter the pedigree, click on “number 10”  to get 10 generations displayed on your screen and then type  “ctrl + F”  at the same time to open the search bow in which you will enter the “key word” to search the document  (you can search any cat, Gelios, Busik etc but also for golden  NY, Nem etc  see the page “How to search a cat’s genealogy” for a better example). If you have a MAC, I am sorry but I don’t know the command to search the document but you get the idea: open 10 generations displayed and find the command on MAC to search the document.

I personally count how many times Ars Assuri appears in a genealogy.
Other breeders might count Gelios because he acts as a thermometer to check the influence of Onix Gloria in the line. He was like  the “father of golden lines” and some of his offspring overly used.  
Some might count Busik.  Busik died at 14 years old form a AVC in summer during a hard heat wave but it is believed that Busik produced HCM descendants, so some people like to limit the number of times that Busik will show and if possible make matches with Busik in only one side of the genealogy ie: if father has BusiK 2 times, mother will not have Busik in the genealogy. I am personally not extremely worried about Busik.

Observe the pedigree deeply and count, if you judge necessary, how many cats this or that cat appears  according to the bloodline.  On Kranoyarsk cats you can count how many times Yasha, Busik will come up, on OG lines how many times Ars and Gelios come up, On Black lines and Cica that have a bit of inbreeding , you can count how many times same matches appear for example and if they appear in both sides.  The point is: you must STUDY and get to know all Sib lines and make your  research on the health of lines you intend to use in order to be able to pick the best matches.
A passionate breeder gets to know nearly every cat, or at least every “key” cat in the genealogy of their cats.

Study, observe and count in order to pick the best matches with lower inbreeding Co but also matches that will avoid this high REPETITION.

Try to have a variety of bloodlines to be able to make matches that are not only based on ONE blood line like only  OG lines or Black or Kranoyarsk etc  THIS IS probably the MOST important advice on this page  Study, observe and look for VARIETY.

How much is too much?

Same cat repeat 1 to 10 times:  Very good
Same cat repeated 10 to 20 times: Good
Same cat repeated 20 to 30 times: okay
Same cat repeated 30 to 40 times acceptable.

Anything beyond 50/60 times in 10 generations  shows  that you must find a totally non related partner to this cat. For example you have a cat with 58 times Gelios in 10 generations in the ped, then the perfect mating for this cat will come from a totally unrelated blood line.;10:1166561;4:1088919;3:1332069&g=4&p=sib&date=iso&o=ajgrep

 2 times Gelios in this pedigree and you have older Astera cats, Black lines, old Meda Garden lines, Veshiy son lines, Adagio (with Yasha at foundation, so Kranoyarsk lines) and Vasilisa lines.  This type of cat is perfect to match ones with heavy Onyx Gloria influence.

Another good match using Sibaris with strong presence of Og cats:;2:1249610&g=4&p=sib&date=iso&o=ajgrep

 Ilmen has 20 times Gelios and 1 time  Busik and Yuliushka has 2 times Gelios only and 3 times Busik. So it is a reasonable match but I could even better matching Ilmen with Czarina from Cica lines since she has no Gelios or Busik.

Czarina herself has inbreeding on Black lines and she will be only mated with non related partners.

Of course I think I don’t need to say that OG lines are the most common and used everywhere, so be very careful. We want those older OG lines as partners for other lines that need type brought in but we don’t want genealogies with 90 times the same cat in order to get a golden kitty for example at the end.  Golden became a serious problem to the breed exactly because of this.  

To keep the breed healthy, we need this VARIETY of bloodlines being USED constantly.

Complementary cats regarding type.   

Well it is just question of observation! Take a girl with rounded profile if your boy has a straight profile  and vice versa.  It is preferable to try this than using line breeding since we know nowadays that cats with higher  Inbreeding have a weaker immune system and could be more sensitive to diseases like the Corona mutation into FIP for example.

There are also new foundation cats being brought in.

To work with foundation cats you will need a bit of experience (don’t buy a Riex cat if you don’t have the experience) and you will also need several boys and girls or to work in teams.  New foundation cats are a GREAT way to bring new blood in with certain conditions:

Observation and TESTING!  LONG OBSERVATION and GOOD RELIABLE TESTING.  It takes at least 3 good years of observation and TESTING to make sure the new brought is good blood. Also always match old and new.  We don’t want pedigrees with foundation everywhere  IT IS NOT the SOLUTION.  In case of a problem, if a cat has foundation cat everywhere, it would be hard to get to the source of the problem and this could means years of work lost. So new is great but must be combined with old.

Please check out our guidance page on breeding with cats close to foundation.

Observing the genealogy:
Cica Rusalka of Berstuk, Group1, blue blotched tabby, courtesy from Caitlin Esparza from Berstuk Siberians in the USA.

Also when you buy or when you are making a match among your cats, take the time to observe the genealogy  looking match by match.

You should avoid a match where litter mates appear in the same side or in both sides. Basically avoid litter mates in the same genealogy. Litter mattes are very similar genetically speaking, similar genetic material (look for litter mates but also brothers and sisters from same parents of course).

Make your own research about HCM and avoid sensitive cats in both sides!  For example Busik 4 times in each side or even Gelios everywhere on each side.

Avoid matches like the famous “Fan fan Onyx Gloria and Marysya Onyx Gloria” 3 or 4 times in the same genealogy.  One time “Fan Fan and Marysya Onyx Gloria” is enough.

Some people became very wary of OG lines but these lines have been so used and there are so many golden seekers, the fact is that considering the huge AMOUNT of cats sold and stupid moves made in order to get golden, by proportion, the number of HCM cases is is actually low.
Basically our good Onyx Gloria cats (older OG cats I mean) are also precious and the goal is not to avoid Onyx Gloria but simply try to bring variety.  Also several breeders are working on new lines and soon we will have perfect matches to our old good OG cats.

You can also check our pages with “key” cats to get to known them better.

(click on link) 

Daniela Barros.