Russian Blue Cat: (grey) coat History, Personality, Health 2022

Russian Blue Cat: (grey) coat History, Personality, Health 2022

The Russian Blue is one of the so-called “blue” cats, alongside the Chartreux and the Korat. He has everything to seduce with his slim and elegant body, his triangular head, his mouth that seems to smile constantly, and his big emerald-colored eyes! He is a cat with very pleasant company, very gentle and discreet. He likes calm and comfortable environments and avoids noise and agitation. Once used to you, he will love you without limits!

The Russian blue cat, commonly known as Russian blue, is a breed of cats with colors that vary from a light silver that shine to a darker slate gray. The brief and dense shelter, which stands out from the body, has been the distinctive seal of the race for more than a century.

Russian Blue Identity Card

Hair:  short

Height:  medium

Colour:  blue-grey with silver highlights, solid pattern (plain coat)

Origin:  controversial (Russia?)

Average price:  €650-2,500

Very calm and cuddly cat. Exclusively attached to this master. The ideal companion for the elderly. Does not appreciate the restlessness of children.

Breed history

The Russian Blue is a probably very old natural cat breed, which appeared in northern Russia or Scandinavia.

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The cat from the cold

Most specialists place the origin of Russian Blue in the Arkhangelsk region, a port city on the White Sea, in northwestern Russia. There are stories in this region suggesting that this cat was hunted for its dense and warm fur, used to make clothes.

It would have arrived in England in boats on which it was used to hunt rats and mice, responsible for havoc in the provisions. This introduction in England could date back to the end of the 16th century. However, the first undeniable traces of the presence of Russian Blue date back to the middle of the 19th century.

Some also evoke an even older origin. Russian Blue, which appeared spontaneously in Scandinavia or northern Russia, was introduced to the rest of Europe by Viking navigators.

The Russian Blue and the first cat show.

This gray-blue coated feline was presented in England at the first cat show, which took place in 1971 at the Crystal Palace in London. He was called “Blue Archangel” or “Blue of Arkhangelsk.”

The breed was not immediately recognized, being considered too close to the blue British Shorthair by some. There was already a long-haired variant of this cat, which could take on different colors. Although regularly presented in the exhibition, the Russian Blue did not have the status of a breed in its own right.

Breed recognition

In 1890, a breeder of Abyssinians, British Shorthairs, and Manx named Constance Carex-Cox adopted a Russian Blue. This cat named Kolya was originally from the Kola Peninsula, at the northwestern end of Russia, very close to the Finnish border. The breeder who fell in love decided to popularize the breed in England, showing that the Russian Blue had significant differences from the blue British Shorthair.

The breed was first recognized in 1912 as foreign Blue, then as Bleu Russe in 1939 (Russian Blue).

A cat was saved from extinction after World War II.

Like other breeds, the Russian Blue nearly died out during World War II. Fortunately, in England and Scandinavia, enthusiasts decided to recreate breeding programs. In particular, they resorted to crossbreeding with Siamese. The two lines of Russian Blue, quite distinct for a time, were then harmonized by numerous crosses.

On the other hand, the Russian Blue from American breeding is smaller and lighter than the European, with a more pointed head and green-blue eyes.

White Russian Blue, Black Russian Blue, and Nebelung

In the 1970s, breeders developed new colors of Russian Blue: black and white. LOOF recognizes these varieties but not other feline federations like TICA and FIFé.

Developed in the 1980s in the United States, the Nebelung is the semi-longhaired variant of the Russian Blue.

Physical characteristics of the Russian Blue

The Russian Blue is a fine and elegant cat, remarkable for its thick, shiny gray coat as if sprinkled with glitter. He also seduces with his soft and smiling face, illuminated by large emerald green eyes.

The head

The standard indicates that the head of the Russian Blue is wedge-shaped. Concretely, this means that seen from the front; it has a wedge shape, that is to say, a triangle. She is particularly wide in her upper part with wide and high cheekbones at eye level. If we observe it in more detail, we realize that it comprises seven flat faces, three of which are visible in profile and four from the front. In profile, we can thus distinguish three straight lines:

  • a line from the top of the skull to the forehead, at eye level;
  • a line from the forehead to the tip of the nose;
  • as well as a line connecting the tip of the nose to the tip of the chin.

A convex angle separates the line of the forehead and that of the muzzle at the eyebrows level. From the front, we perceive four facets;

  • two symmetrical faces corresponding to the two sides of the muzzle;
  • two symmetrical faces at the level of the cheekbones.

The muzzle is short, in the extension of the triangle that forms the head, and with rounded contours when viewed from the front. The corners of the mouth are slightly raised, making the Russian Blue look like he is constantly smiling.

The eyes

The Russian Blue has large, well-spaced, walnut-shaped eyes. From a green-yellow tint in the kitten, they become an intense green in adults.

Ears

The ears of the Russian Blue have a height that corresponds to their width at the base. Placed high on the skull and spaced the ear’s width, they are carried very straight. Their outer side is covered with a short, fine coat, while half of their inner side has longer hair.

The body

The Russian Blue has a sleek body, all in length, with a fine bone structure. His muscles are powerful but do not weigh down the figure. Its neck is long and slender. However, the dense fur of the Russian Blue gives it a rather robust general appearance when in reality, it is not. It is particularly the case with the Nebelung, whose mid-length fur makes it more imposing.

The paws

The slender and long legs are well proportioned with the body and end in small round feet.

Tail

The tail of the Russian Blue is of medium length: lying on its back, it reaches the base of the shoulder blades. Its base is rather thick and gradually tapers to a tapered end. In the Nebelung, the tail is very thick.

Hairs

The Russian Blue is distinguished by its very dense double coat, with a well-stocked undercoat. Short and fine, it is particularly soft. In the Nebelung, the undercoat is finer, but the mid-length guard hair is quite thick. The fur forms pants on the legs, and a collarette, especially in males. We also notice feathers on the ears called lynx tips.

The dress and the pattern

As its name suggests, classic Russian Blue is blue! You should still know that, in cats, the term blue refers to the color gray. This preferably rather light gray is very uniform all over the body. The hairs end in a silver tip, making the fur particularly bright and shiny. The nose, charcoal gray, stands out well on the face. The pads are a fairly light pinkish-gray, also called lilac.

In the kitten, the fur is less uniform and can carry phantom tabby markings, that is to say, of color very close to the rest of the dress. Rarer, the white Russian Blue has silvery-white fur, with a nose and pink pads. On the other hand, the Black Russian Blue has a shiny black coat and dark brown or black nose and pads.

Behavior and character of the Russian Blue

The Russian Blue is generally described as a calm and shy cat, very attached to its owner.

Can we know the character of a cat from its breed?

Have you noticed how members of the same family can have different characteristics, despite genetic proximity? Even identical twins can look very different. The same is true for cats of a given breed. Unlike physical appearance, which is almost entirely dependent on genes, an individual’s personality is always unique.

The character of the parents has, of course, an influence on that of their kittens through the genes. But this is far from being the only criterion. Multiple factors, including: determine a cat’s behavior

  • the quality of the bond with the mother during the first weeks of life;
  • the place in the scope;
  • the environment in which the kitten, then the adult cat, evolves;
  • his encounters, his life experiences throughout his evolution;
  • his relationship with his master(s);
  • the composition of the household in which he lives;
  • his health

You now understand that it is impossible to predict the exact behavior of a cat based on its breed. However, there are major trends within the same breed. This phenomenon is reinforced by the work of breeders, who will tend to select breeders with a given character.

Generation after generation, we have therefore been able to define a kind of robot portrait of the typical character of the Russian Blue. However, keep in mind that your Russian blue cat could behave very differently from the one described here!

The Russian Blue, a discreet and endearing cat

Owners of the Russian Blue generally describe him as a particularly calm and gentle cat, which is very affectionate. He is very attached to his master, and he loves to spend hours on his knees or lying at his feet. On the other hand, he is shy with strangers and may take time to accept the presence of a new member of the home.

The Russian blue cat appreciates peace. It is particularly suitable for living with an older adult. This type of home generally suits him better than a family with young children. Indeed, the Russian Blue fears noise and agitation and appreciates being handled delicately. Most of the time, he accepts the presence of other animals well, provided that they do not disturb him too often.

The Russian Blue adapts perfectly to living in an apartment. Like most cats, he still appreciates access to the outdoors. Its dense and waterproof fur protects it well from bad weather and lets it go out in cold weather. However, he will usually come back quickly to get warm near a radiator or by the fireplace!

The health of the Russian Blue

The Russian Blue enjoys robust health. It is not affected by any specific genetic disease. It is also the case for most natural breeds, which are much less prone to these diseases than the new breeds developed by man. Indeed, in nature, genetic mutations responsible for diseases are eliminated by natural selection.

It is all the more true since these ancient races took centuries to develop. New breeds, sometimes created from a single individual, have a much higher rate of inbreeding. The elimination of problematic genetic mutations then requires significant work from breeders.

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Take care of your “Russian Blue.”

The Russian Blue is an easy-going cat that does not require special care. However, like any pet, a cat demands time and attention. It is necessary both for his physical health and his mental balance.

The food

You must not hesitate to pay the price to feed a cat well. First-price croquettes sold in supermarkets, even well-known brands, are generally ill-suited to the real needs of this small carnivore. Manufacturers are replacing a good part of animal protein with cereals to lower the price.

Do not hesitate to turn to the premium croquettes and pâtés sold by veterinarians and specialized sites. You will pay more, but your cat will probably live longer and healthier!

The Russian Blue is a greedy and generally inactive cat; it tends to gain weight easily. So be careful, and ask your veterinarian for advice if in doubt.

Essential accessories

The Russian Blue is a cat that loves comfort! Offer him several very comfortable cushions or baskets, including at least one in a quiet place in the house. He will be able to isolate himself if he is bothered by the presence of visitors or if he wants a moment of tranquility.

Even if he is not a great athlete, the Russian Blue greatly appreciates the presence of a cat tree. This accessory allows him to climb and jump and take shelter! For this shy cat, choose a model with high hiding places.

Also, remember to provide him with a scratching post to space out the claw trimming sessions and protect your sofa against scratches!

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Grooming

The thick short fur of the Russian Blue requires little maintenance. Remember to brush it once a week to remove dead hair and twigs that can create knots. During molting, daily brushing is often essential.

Also, remember to regularly trim the claws of your Russian Blue, who tends to wear them down very little due to his low level of activity.

Finally, regularly check the condition of the eyes and ears, and clean them with a suitable product and a soft cotton ball if necessary.

Veterinary care

Even if his health is robust, the Russian Blue must be vaccinated against cats’ most common viral diseases: typhus, coryza, feline leucosis (FeLV), and possibly rabies. Even if he does not go out, the Russian Blue must receive deworming treatment at least twice a year. If he has access to the outside, he should be treated every three months. It must also be protected against fleas and ticks.

hugs and games

The Russian Blue is a particularly cuddly and affectionate cat with its master. He needs long petting sessions and spending time on your lap for his balance. These moments of tenderness will be as pleasant for you as for him!

Moreover, even if his temperament is naturally calm, the Russian Blue is perfectly capable of playing with his master. He particularly appreciates these moments that strengthen the bond with his beloved human!

You can offer him different toys that imitate prey: balls of feathers hanging from a fishing rod, fake mice. Even a cat as well tamed as the Russian Blue likes to play the great wild hunter from time to time!

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Adopt a Russian Blue

You fell in love with this tender and discreet cat, all in elegance? Many breeders offer Russian Blue kittens for adoption. Remember always to choose a breeder listed by the LOOF, and do not hesitate to go there or at least discuss at length with the breeder. You will be able to judge his professionalism and the living conditions of his cats.

What is the price of a Russian Blue?

A Russian Blue kitten costs between 650 and 2,500 euros depending on its pedigree, conformity to the standard, and breeding reputation. However, the average is generally around 1,000 euros.

This price, which may seem high, is perfectly justified by the work provided by the breeders.

To obtain kittens in perfect health and conforming to the breed’s standard, they must indeed have advanced knowledge of genetics and animal health. In addition, they face significant expenses related to veterinary costs, food, accessories, and maintenance of the premises. In addition, they generally take care of the old breeders until the end of their life.

In addition, before deciding to adopt a cat, you must know that its maintenance will cost you several hundred euros per year. Therefore, it is essential to take these expenses into account in your budget for many years; the life expectancy of the Russian Blue can reach twenty years.

Adopt from a shelter

Rather than adopting a kitten from a cattery, you can also choose to give an abandoned cat a new family. The shelters and associations do a remarkable job of caring for all the animals with whom life has not been kind.

It is sometimes possible to find purebred cats there following the owner’s death. You may not find a Russian Blue with pedigree there. But, with a little patience, you will surely fall in love with a cat with a coat, elegance, and gentle character!

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