Why is this cat named after the Neva River?

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The Neva Masquerade cat is a subspecies of the Siberian cat, an indigenous Russian breed. It is known all over the world for its fluffy coat, smartness and friendly character.

The Siberian cat has a colorpoint subspecies named after the main river of St. Petersburg, the Neva. On its face, the coloring resembles a mask. Neva masquerade cats are also considered aboriginal Russian breeds. They appeared several centuries ago, when Thai bobtailed cats came to Russia, probably with trade caravans.

It is known that, at the end of 18th century, zoologist Peter Pallas (who discovered the manul, among others) saw and described country cats with a "black mask" during a trip through Penza Governorate. Gradually, other colorpoint cats began to appear in the villages and interbred with Siberian tomcats. These were the most common pets without any breed standards.

Neva masquerade cats were first shown at an exhibition in St. Petersburg at the end of the 1980s. Local felinologists gave the breed its name. And, in the 1990s, the breed was recognized as a separate breed, with its official name being ‘Siberian color point’.

The Neva Masquerade has bright blue eyes and light coloring. But, at heart, it is the same Siberian.

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