Neva Masquerade – Breed Information

The affectionate Neva Masquerade cats have become popular among cat lovers and cat breeders in the last ten years, so we decided to find out more about them from some actual owners of such beauties.

Scroll down to our frequently asked questions to find out how is life living with a Neva Masquerade cat, but first, let’s get on with the formalities. 

neva masquerade

Although accepted as just a colorpoint variation of the traditional Siberian breed by most cat registries, in 2011, the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) approved the Neva Masquerade (NEM) as an independent breed from their Siberian siblings (SIB), becoming the only cat registry that acknowledged them as their own breed. 

Some of the largest cat registries are still debating if Neva Masquerade cats could be a breed on their own because they were the result of cross-breeding. Also, they believe the Nevas could endanger the purity of the original Siberian breed, as pure Siberian cats found in the wild do not have a colorpoint variation. 

The history of the Neva Masquerade cat breed

The Neva Masquerade breed comes from Russia about the same time as the Siberian cats were being bred consistently in the early ‘80s. The breed is named after the Neva river in St. Petersburg, where they used to have a lot of masquerade parties at the time and the fur pattern on the face of the Nevas resembles a mask that the guests would wear at these social occasions to disguise. 

neva masquerade name

The Neva Masquerade breed was not found in the wild as their Siberian progenitors, but manmade by crossbreeding Siamese and Siberian cats, probably with the intention of creating a unique appearance on the cats capturing the build and fur thickness of the Siberians and the blue eyes and colorpoint of the Siamese. Some specialists vaguely believe that other colorpoint breeds have been crossed into making Nevas, such as Birman, Balinese, and Himalayans. 

The Nevas became more popular worldwide since 2010 showing up in many countries, but are still confused with the Siberian cats because of their coat, similar physique, and personalities. Yet not many people know that light color Siberian cats with deep blue eyes and point colors around their face, ears, tails, and paws are actually Neva Masquerade cats. 

General characteristics of Neva Masquerade cats

Also called ‘The blue-eyed Siberians’ by some cat enthusiasts, the Neva Masquerade is a medium to a large-size cat, wild-looking with a natural and extremely thick triple-layered coat made out of long guard hairs, a mid-coat, and a dense undercoat like a hard plush that keeps them warm in harsh, cold environments. The fur has a ruff around the neck like a mane. Their coat is also highly water-resistant and should be brushed a couple of times per week to prevent tangles and mats, although the fur does not usually mat, regular grooming helps with shedding.

neva masquerade breed

Neva cats have a well-rounded body shape with lots of muscles and where males can weigh between 4.5kg to 9kg and the females are just slightly smaller. They have a large head, and a full, nicely-formed muzzle. Their ears are medium-sized and rounded at the ends with cute tufts of hairs on the tips. More adorable tufts of fluffy hairs are present on their feet and between their toe beans. Their legs are medium length and powerful and they have bushy tails. 

Neva Masquerades are strong, athletic cats with beautifully sweet expressions. Their fur should be a light color with slightly darker variations across their shoulders, back, and at the top of their hips, but gradually blending into lighter shades on the belly and chest.  The darker points on the face, ears, feet, and tail should be clearly defined and merge gently with the rest of the colors on the legs. The mask of the Nevas covers their entire face and is connected to the ears by bold line-markings. 

You can find here The Breed Standards of Neva Masquerade cats, by FIFe 

The Purrsonality of Neva Masquerade Cats

Just like the Siberian breed, Neva Masquerade cats are very affectionate, friendly, and gentle. They are family-oriented and love to be around people. They get attached to their owners following them around the house and are pretty good at cuddling and being lap cats. You’ll most likely find a Neva cuddling with you whenever it gets the chance and probably will be the first thing you see in the morning. They love to head-butt you and need interaction and attention. 

neva masquerade personality

These cats are slow to mature, taking up to 5 years to reach full maturity. You can expect them to be very playful and active due to their ‘wild nature’ and will bond with you through playing. They love to jump around, pounce, and climb in trees, and they usually like water and are not afraid to swim when small. 

Proud and highly intelligent cats, they get along with other cats and pets, however, they also have a strong character and are not afraid to show you what they want or don’t want. 

neva masquerade playing

Generally, Neva Masquerades are happy cats, described as having a dog-like personality. Not only do they get attached to people, but they also like to greet their owners at the door when they get home, they bring toys to their owners to play with them, they even play fetch and can learn other tricks quite quickly. They also walk on a leash without issues, even better if you start training them as kittens. 

Neva Masquerade cats love to talk and have a lot of different sounds in their vocabulary. In their attempt to chat with you whilst following you around the house they can meow, chirp, shriek, purr, and make other mumbling cat noises, but they are not loud. 

They are perfect for people who want fun interactions with their cats, they are agile, have a ton of energy, and have a healthy prey drive

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Health and nutrition

Like the Siberians, Neva Masquerade cats have an excellent physical condition and good health overall but are prone to a few genetic predispositions like Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). This is a cardiac disease found in cats where the muscular walls of the heart thicken at an abnormal rate making the heart less efficient at pumping the blood into the body. Also, there have been a few cases of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) found in this breed, although not so common for the Neva Masquerade. The PKD is an inherited kidney disease in cats where cysts filled with liquid form, multiply in the kidneys, and permanently grow, leading up to kidney failure that can cause death. This disease starts to affect the kidney’s functions around the age of 6 to 7 years old and the cause of it it’s still unknown. A cat that suffers from such a disease can live a normal happy life with no pain.

food for neva masquerade

The Nevas are hypoallergenic and are less irritating to people with cat allergies. Compared to other breeds, they have a reduced level of Fel-D1 protein sequence in their genes, the protein known for causing allergic reactions in humans. 

As obligate carnivores, Neva Masquerade cats need a propper healthy cat food. High in animal protein, grain-free, and low in carbs. They do well on quality canned cat foods and raw or freeze-dried diets. As well as a clean, fresh source of water provided daily. 

The colors of Neva Masquerade cats

Neva Masquerade cats are born without their point coloration markings and develop them as they grow old. This shading of their extremities is caused by a gene that makes the coldest parts of the cat’s body (face, ears, paws, and tail) become much darker in color. 

red point neva masquerade

According to FIFe, the Neva Masquerade breed is allowed to have only these color point varieties: Seal (brown), Blue (a blueish gray) Red, Cream, Tortie (some females may have red color in addition to other colors), Blue tortie, Seal tortie, Smoke – grayish reflections that darken the fur, Tabby – indicates stripes on the fur, Silver – silvery reflections that lightens the fur, Silver tabby, Golden tabby

All these colors are also allowed with white, like a white blaze, white locket, white chest, white on their belly or on their paws, and the show cats are judged in two color groups: pointed without white and pointed with white. The colors not allowed for a Neva cat are chocolate and lilac, cinnamon, and fawn. 

blue eye siberian

Whereas a blue point also means a gradual shift of beige or gray-beige accents to smoky tones. And a red dot is a combination of beige fur on the main body with a smooth change to a bright red or a fawn brown on the paws and muzzle.

To make more sense to you these types of coloring can be described as:

  • Seal Point: cream/white body with dark brown or black color points
  • Red Point
  • Tortie Point
  • Seal point and white 
  • Red point and white  
  • Tortie point and white
  • Blue Point: cream/white body with blueish or gray points
  • Cream Point
  • Blue Point and cream
  • Blue Point and white
  • Cream Point and white
  • Blue Point and white cream
  • Seal tabby point: cream/white body with dark brown or black color points with stripes
  • Red tabby point
  • Tabby point and white seal
  • Red tabby dot and white
  • Tabby and white
  • Blue tabby point
  • Cream tabby point
  • Blue cream tabby point
  • Blue tabby dot and white
  • Dot and white tabby cream
  • Blue point and white tabby cream
Neva masquerade cat breed

Smoke and silver shades:

  • Seal smoke point: cream/white body with grayish shades and dark brown or black points
  • Red smoke point
  • Tortie smoke point
  • Seal smoke point and white
  • Red smoke point and white
  • Tortie smoke point and white
  • Blue smoke point
  • Cream smoke point
  • Cream blue smoke point
  • Blue smoke point and white
  • Cream smoke point and white
  • Cream blue smoke point and white
  • Seal silver tabby point
  • Red silver tabby point
  • Black silver tortie tabby point
  • Seal silver tabby dot and white
  • Red silver tabby dot and white
  • Black silver tortie tabby dot and white
  • Blue silver tabby point: white/ ivory white body with blueish or gray points with stripes

Well, I will not go on, you should get the gist of it by now.

Some breeders keep on mating Nevas together to maintain their particular point coloration, whilst others are breeding Nevas with Siberian cats to create more special patterns and colors, that’s why Nevas and Siberians can be born as siblings in the same litter. 

Let’s move on to: 

Neva Masquerade Kittens

​Neva Masquerade kittens are born white and acquire their darker color point variations as they grow in age, taking about five years to reach full maturity.

neva masquerade kitten

The kittens are playful and very active. They are considered ‘crazy little monkeys’ due to their eagerness to explore and play, although they are pretty easy to train. They adapt fast to new surroundings and are usually happy to bond with the family, even be held and cuddled by children. 

They pretty much look like a miniature Neva cat, but with a more inquisitive nature. 

5 Fun Facts about the Neva Masquerade cat breed

neva masquerade origin
  1. FIFe is the only cat registry that accepted the Neva Masquerade as an official cat breed
  2. The Neva Masquerade cats are generally considered just a colorpoint variation of the Siberian breed
  3. They always have intense blue eyes
  4. Neva Masquerade cats are named after the mask worn at “masquerade” parties held close to the Neva river in St. Petersburg, Russia ​
  5. Even though they have a lot of hair, Neva masquerade cats do not cause allergies

The difference between the Neva Masquerade and Siberian cats

Even though Neva Masquerade cats have the characteristics, physique, and personality of a traditional Siberian cat, they have a few features that make them stand out.

the difference between neva masquerade and Siberian cats

The Neva Masquerade cat breed is missing the enzyme tyrosinase which normally produces the melanin pigment, that’s how they get their light body color. Neva Masquerade cats are typically white or beige-colored except for various ‘points’ of darker colors on their paws, face, ears, and tail. Because of the lack of this enzyme, Neva cats can have white paws despite their other dark point extremities.

Another difference is found in their eye color. Neva cats always have deep blue eyes whilst traditional Siberian cats have green or yellow eyes.

Frequently asked questions about the Neva Masquerade cats

As we purromised above, we have a few frequently asked questions about Neva cats, answered by our friend Camilla Fors, mother to beautiful Cake, a Neva princess registered with FIFe under her full name SE*Eyefulbeauty’s Blackberry. 

neva masquerade cat

Camilla has her own Neva Masquerade and Siberian cats cattery in Sweeden and if you are looking for a kitten you can contact her on their website: SE*Koski&Pearl  or her Instagram.

Are Neva Masquerade cats hypoallergenic?

Camilla: Neva Masquerade is hypoallergenic for many people with allergies to pets with fur. They have been found to have less of the protein Fel d1 in their fur and saliva. This protein supposedly plays a role in allergies. There are many who have allergies to cats who actually are happy owners of a Neva Masquerade. Before getting one, if you are having allergies, get in contact with a test home where you can visit a home with Nevas to see if you get any allergic reactions. The breeding club for Neva can guide you, so contact them if you want to test your allergy. Cats also are individuals and you might get an allergic reaction to one Neva but not to another. Normally kittens and fertile cats are causing more allergic reactions. 

Are neva Masquerade cats family-friendly? Do they get along with children and other cats/pets?

Camilla: Nevas love their family and are very family-friendly towards all kinds of ages. Of course, make sure that small children are cat-friendly. Our cats love everybody who comes through our front door. They even impress the postman who stays and talks to them. Nevas are said to be dog-like. When it comes to meeting visitors at the front door, definitely yes. They’re super curious and love to be in the center of attention when our family gathers for a film or playing cards.

How much does a Neva Masquerade kitten cost?

Camilla: Today the price for a neva is around 13,000-15,000 sek. (roughly 1,250 – 1,500 Euro)

And the monthly cost with food, cat litter, insurance, and such things is around 800-1,000 sek./month (approx. 75-100 Euro).

In what color category is Cake registered with FIFe?

silver point neva masquerade cat

Camilla: The fur colors are decided with EMS code (Easy Mind System). Our Cake is registered as NEM a21, Neva Masquerade blue tabby point. 

How would you generally describe Neva Masquerade cats?

Camilla: “The Nevas love to be with their family and owners. They’re intelligent, curious, playful, affectionate, and very physical which means they become great jumpers and climbers, and they’re also very talkative. Cake can say “Alva” which is our daughter’s name.”

Recommendations for new owners of the Neva breed:

Neva Masquerade cats love to jump around and climb on things so they will need space to let out their playful nature, so we definitely recommend getting a scratch post for your cat and lots of toys.

kitten neva masquerade

Their coat should be brushed a couple of times per week so it doesn’t get mats, especially in the spring and fall when they shed more fur, so we recommend getting a good brush and a cat detangler spray to help with grooming. Don’t try to bathe your cat, unless it’s still a kitten and will probably even enjoy it, because the coat of a full-grown Neva is highly water-resistant. 

Due to their tendency to get Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, it’s always good to make sure the kitten you want to get has been tested for HCM even if the parents don’t show signs of the disease.

Final thoughts

Neva Masquerade cats have all the physical characteristics and traits of a Siberian cat, but in unique color patterns with deep blue eyes. These fluffs are purrfect for people who are looking for a fun and loving cat. They get along well with families with children and other pets, they have a dog-like personality and love to chat. What more can you want?

Let us know what you think about Neva cats in the comments below.

We wish you a pawsome day!

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