Russian Blue

Table of Contents

russian blue cat portrait
Step aside, Hollywood stars! The Russian Blue cat breed is here to steal the spotlight with its mesmerizing emerald eyes and plush, shimmering silver-blue coat. These feline beauties have captured hearts with their enchanting personality—intelligent, gentle, and oh-so-mysterious!

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, care, health concerns, history, and more!

Overview

OFFICIAL NAMERussian Blue
OTHER NAMESArchangel Blue, Archangel Cat
ORIGINRussia
HEIGHT8-10 inches
WEIGHT7-12 lbs
LIFESPAN15-20 years
COAT LENGTHShort
SHEDDING LEVELLow
GROOMING NEEDSLow
SOCIAL NEEDSModerate
ENERGY LEVELModerate
VOCAL LEVELLow
russian blue cat in a park
Photo: OGI75/Getty Images

Appearance

When you first cast your eyes on a Russian Blue cat, it’s hard not to be captivated by their striking appearance. These majestic felines possess a certain regal elegance that’s truly unique, setting them apart from other breeds.

Their beauty is underlined by a muscular, medium-sized body, which typically stands at a height of 8-10 inches and weighs between 7-12 pounds. Yet, despite their robust physique, Russian Blues carry a sense of light-footed grace that’s remarkable to behold.

One of the most distinctive features of these cats is their dense double coat, a plush, silken canvas of shimmering blue. The color can range from a light, airy shimmer to a deep, slate-like hue. The dense coat creates a halo effect, giving the Russian Blue a surreal, almost ethereal glow.

When examining their facial features, their large, wide-set ears are hard to miss. They are more often than not a shade darker than their fur and stand up like vigilant sentries on the top of their round heads. Just below these large ears sit a pair of almond-shaped eyes, glowing with a brilliant emerald green. These eyes are captivating, and they’re often described as conveying an expression of gentle curiosity.

A Russian Blue’s head is a study of symmetry, characterized by high cheekbones and a straight nose that forms a perfect geometric line. Their medium-sized tail tapers from a wide base to a thinner tip, swaying with a rhythmic grace that mirrors their overall elegant demeanor.

Russian Blues are not just a feast for the eyes, but also a delight to the touch. You’d be hard-pressed to find a softer, more luxurious coat in the feline world. It’s a thick, plush, double-layered coat, perfect for withstanding harsh Russian winters.

russian blue cat lying on a pile of books
Photo: Olezzo/Getty Images Pro

Temperament

The Russian Blue is often described as the epitome of cat elegance, wrapped up in a warm, friendly, and intelligent personality. These cats are renowned for their quiet, reserved nature, yet they’re far from aloof. The Russian Blue forms deep bonds with its human family, often developing a particular attachment to one person.

This breed is an exquisite combination of independence and affection. They won’t demand your attention like some breeds, but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested in your company.

The Russian Blue will often follow their favorite people around the house, quietly observing and, occasionally, seeking a gentle stroke or a warm lap to curl up on. Their love is never overbearing; it’s subtle and yet incredibly rewarding.

Intelligence is another major hallmark of the Russian Blue breed. These cats are incredibly quick-learners. They can master new tricks or commands relatively easily, making them a joy to train. Don’t be surprised if your Russian Blue quickly figures out how to open doors, or uses their paw to turn on the tap! Despite their clever antics, they are also known for their amicable behavior and are rarely destructive.

The Russian Blue is also a cautious and somewhat shy breed, particularly around strangers or in unfamiliar environments. They prefer the peace and quiet of a stable household, where loud noises and sudden changes are kept to a minimum.

This doesn’t mean they’re not playful. On the contrary, Russian Blues love interactive games and will often engage in a spirited chase of a feather wand or a laser pointer. But they also appreciate their own space and love to have a quiet spot where they can retreat and relax.

These cats are typically very clean creatures. They take pride in their immaculate fur coats and also expect their surroundings to be just as tidy. Russian Blues are known to be particular about their litter boxes. An unclean or smelly litter box is one of the few things that might coax a Russian Blue into a display of displeasure.

russian blue cat lying in a hammock
Photo: Chalabala/Getty Images

Care

Grooming

Caring for a Russian Blue’s luscious coat doesn’t require any back-breaking efforts, much to the relief of pet owners. Their dense double coat, which gives them their iconic silvery sheen, doesn’t mat, so a once-a-week combing session is usually enough.

This weekly grooming ritual not only helps to keep their coat looking glossy but also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend. Remember, Russian Blues are particular about cleanliness, so make sure to keep their litter box spotless. They also appreciate a good dental routine, so regular teeth brushing will keep their pearly whites in top condition.

Exercise and Play

Despite their reserved nature, Russian Blues are quite athletic and enjoy engaging in bouts of playful activity. Interactive games, such as chasing a feather wand or pouncing on crumpled paper balls, can provide them with the necessary exercise and mental stimulation.

These playful sessions offer an excellent opportunity to bond with your Russian Blue. But bear in mind, they also enjoy their quiet time, so make sure they have a comfortable corner to retreat to when they need some downtime.

Diet and Nutrition

When it comes to feeding a Russian Blue, balance is the key. These cats thrive on high-quality cat food, preferably one that is rich in protein. Whether you choose to feed them wet or dry food, or a mix of both, ensure it’s nutritionally balanced to support their overall health.

You might be tempted to spoil your Russian Blue with treats, but remember, moderation is crucial. Too many treats can lead to weight gain, an issue Russian Blues are prone to. A treat here and there is fine, but it’s best to use them as rewards during training sessions.

russian blue cat sitting in a living room
Photo: bodrumsurf/Getty Images

Health

Russian Blues are generally considered a healthy breed with a substantial life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. That being said, no breed is entirely free from potential health concerns. Here are a few issues that might crop up for your feline friend:

Obesity: A propensity towards a sedentary lifestyle can lead to weight gain, making regular exercise and portion control essential.

Dental Disease: As with most cats, Russian Blues can develop dental issues if their teeth aren’t regularly brushed.

Urinary Tract Issues: This breed can be prone to developing crystals in their urine, which might lead to bladder stones.

Heart Disease: While not extremely common, Russian Blues can suffer from heart diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Genetic Diseases: Although rare, Russian Blues can be affected by genetic diseases like polycystic kidney disease and hip dysplasia.

Keeping your Russian Blue healthy involves more than just a good diet. Regular veterinary check-ups are paramount to track their weight, evaluate their dental health, and catch any potential issues early. Vaccinations are also a key element of their health regimen, protecting them from diseases like feline leukemia, rabies, and distemper.

Remember, every Russian Blue is unique and may have individual health needs. Your vet is the best resource to ensure your furry friend stays in tip-top condition. The adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, is particularly true when it comes to the health of your Russian Blue. As always, a happy cat is a healthy cat!

russian blue cat sitting outdoor
Photo: IVAN KOKOULIN/Photospirit

History

The Russian Blue cat has a history as mysterious and charming as its captivating gaze. Originating from northern Russia, these glorious felines were rumored to be the favored companions of Russian czars and czarinas. Their thick, luxurious coats, perfect for withstanding harsh winter climates, and piercing green eyes made them stand out against a backdrop of other domestic cats.

As seafarers began to explore the world, Russian Blues found their way onto ships, charming the crew members with their grace and beauty.

They sailed across tumultuous seas, reaching other parts of the globe, and eventually made their way to England in the 1800s. Here, their regal appearance and captivating demeanor caught the attention of cat fanciers. They became regular participants in England’s first cat shows, held in the late 19th century.

The breed faced near extinction during World War II. However, a handful of dedicated breeders in Scandinavian countries and England began crossing the few remaining Russian Blues with similar breeds to revive the distinct characteristics. This marked the start of the modern line of Russian Blue we see today.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) officially recognized the Russian Blue in 1949. The International Cat Association (TICA), another major cat registry, followed suit in the 1970s. Both associations praise the breed for its plush double coat of shimmering blue and enchanting green eyes.

Today, the Russian Blue continues to captivate cat lovers with its graceful elegance, playful nature, and loving disposition. Its intriguing history, combined with its unique beauty, contributes to its standing as one of the most cherished cat breeds in the world.

So, whether you’re a czarina or a sea captain, a Russian Blue makes a loyal, loving, and truly magnificent companion.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines that describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breed standards are devised by breed clubs and recognized by various cat registries worldwide.

These standards provide detailed descriptions of the breed’s physical characteristics such as body shape, size, coat type and color, eye color and shape, ear placement, and tail length.

two russian blue cats lying on grass in  a garden
Photo: slowmotiongli/Getty Images

FAQs

Why is the Russian Blue cat breed so special?

The Russian Blue cat breed is special due to its unique characteristics and rich history. Known for their plush double coat of shimmering blue, enchanting green eyes, and playful yet loving disposition, they are considered one of the most cherished cat breeds worldwide. Their intriguing history, from being the favored breed of Russian czars to helping sailors ward off rodents, adds to their mystique.

Why is the Russian Blue cat breed so expensive?

The price of a Russian Blue can be high due to several factors. They are a pure breed with unique traits that are maintained through careful breeding strategies. Their striking appearance, docile nature, and less common allergy-inducing properties compared to other breeds increase their demand, making them pricier than more common cat breeds.

Are Russian Blue cats aggressive?

No, Russian Blue cats are not typically aggressive. They are known for their gentle and affectionate nature. However, like any breed, individuals may occasionally display aggression, which can often be addressed through proper socialization and care.

How much maintenance does a Russian Blue cat require?

Despite their luxurious coat, Russian Blues require low to moderate maintenance. Their double-layered coat doesn’t mat or tangle easily and weekly brushing is usually sufficient to keep it looking its best. They are known for their cleanliness and are less likely to have an odor.

Are Russian Blue cats good with children and other pets?

Yes, Russian Blue cats are generally good with children and other pets. They are known for their patience, tolerance, and gentle nature. However, they may be initially shy or reserved around strangers or new environments, so proper introductions and socialization are important.

Table of Contents