Animal-World > Cats > Natural Cat Breeds > Russian Blue Cats

Russian Blue Cat

Russian Shorthair, Archangel Cat, Foreign Blue Cat

Family: FelidaeRussian Blue Cat, Archangel Cat, Foreign Blue CatFelis domesticusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Justin Brough
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I have a beautiful young female Russian Blue that bred with a grey Tabby. Her Kittens are beautiful and are reversed tabbies , silver blue light grey and are... (more)  Gesia Rosenberg

The lovely Russian Blue, nothing is more luxurious than its rich, thick, silver-sheen blue coat!

This elegant, sleek cat is a breed of romantic legends. Fantastical speculations of the origins of the Russian Blue Cat start from the time of the Vikings, to a ships' cat, the Archangel Cat, sailing the White Seas. It's also found in a Russian legend, being a cat of special qualities bestowed upon it as it became the nursemaid to an infant princess gifted by the fairies. Thus it became the beautiful gifted creature that has evolved for all of us to enjoy and love today. But in a bit more practical sense, this breed may have originated from Russia, Archangel, or Norway. It is now very prominent around the world.

The Russian blue is known for its affection and serene disposition. It is well-loved for its elegant, yet simplistic appearance. It has a slender, elongated yet muscular body and a long, thin tapering tail. This cat breed is known for its gorgeous blue coat, a light to dark gray with a silvery sheen. There are also some variations of white, black and red that are accepted in some countries. This breed requires little grooming, yet remains stunning at all times.

This is an extremely affectionate cat breed. The Russian Blue cat loves being around people, including strangers, and other cats. It is known for being quite gentle and serene, however some have also described it as a temperamental cat. It enjoys staying inside and can be either playful or sedentary, depending on its particular personality. These qualities make it great for either a quiet home, where it can relax, but is also suited to family life, since it is relatively easy going. The Russian Blue is also known for being less destructive than other breeds. It has a very soft, sweet voice and requires little maintenance.

For information about keeping a pet cat, see:
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  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Felidae
  • Genus: Felis
  • Species: domesticus

Background Several theories exist explaining the origins of the Russian Blue Cats.

  • The first states that this breed originated in the northern parts of Russia. The theory further states that the breed adapted to the cold climate by developing a short, thick, double coat. The breed was kept by the Vikings, and eventually brought to Britain. This theory is responsible for the first part of the breed's name.
  • The second theory suggests that the cats were taken from the port of Archangel (now known as Archangel'sk), on the White Sea, as ships' cats, to Sweden and then to Britain.
  • The third theory states that they may have come from northern Norway to Britain.
  • The fourth theory envisions them as being taken from Archangel by visiting British sailors.
  • An interesting Russian fairy tale that also attempts to explain the breed's origin is as follows: Seven fairies gathered around a baby princess's cradle to give her seven gifts. One gave her a fearless spirit, another a loyal heart, the third said she would be slim and beautiful all her life, the fourth that her every movement would be graceful, the fifth said she would always wear silver, silk, and velvet, the sixth brought her two huge emeralds, and the seventh said she would find friends wherever she went in the world. However, these fairies were rather young and inexperienced at bestowing gifts and they could not believe this tiny red screaming baby would ever grow into a beautiful princess. So they gently placed their gifts in another crib where there was only quiet purring. And that is how the Russian Blue came to be such a particularly beautiful and gifted cat!

No matter what its exact origins were, the Russian Blue became a popular breed by the late 1800's. However, it was shown as the same breed as the British Blue in its early years. The combining of the breeds stirred controversy, since Russian Blues were sure to fall short of British Blue standards, even if they met every standard of a model Russian Blue.

In 1912 they were awarded a separate category, though it was under the less desirable name of "Foreign Blue". Finally, in 1939 the breed's name was reinstated as "Russian Blue". After World War II, when the breed was nearly lost, breeders introduced Siamese lines into the breed. But around 1965 British breeders attempted to reverse the trend so that the British Blue no longer looked like an all-blue Siamese. The Russian Blue arrived in America around 1890.

The common names for this natural breed cat are as diverse and far-reaching as the stories of its origin. They include Russian Blue Cat, Russian Shorthair, Archangel Cat, Archangel Blue Cat, Foreign Blue Cat, Maltese Cat, Blue Maltese Cat, Chartreuse Blue, Russo-American Blue, Spanish Cat, Spanish Blue Cat, and Blue Russian Cat.

Description The Russian Blue has a medium-size, slender, elongated, and well-muscled body. The legs are long and slender with round paws. The tail is long, thin, and tapering. The head is wedge-shaped and of medium size. In Britain, the head is rounder than in America. The eyes are large, almond-shaped, and green. The nose is medium length and the ears are large, wide-set, and moderately pointed. The Russian Blue's weight ranges from 7 to 12 pounds, though it is slightly heavier in Britain. They live to be approximately 13 to 15 years old.

Obviously, this breed is known for its blue coat, which can range from light to dark gray with a silvery sheen. However, White, Black, and Red variations are accepted in some countries. They are referred to as Russian Whites, Russian Blacks, and Russian Reds. The coat is short and dense, due to the double coat, consisting of an outer coat of strong guard hairs and an inner coat of water-resistant down hairs.

Care and Feeding No special diet is needed, unless the cat becomes overweight, which is not unheard of with this breed.

Housing Your Cat This breed can survive indoors or outdoors, though many individuals enjoy spending most of their time indoors. This is an ideal apartment cat. However, it can also withstand the harsh, cold weather of northern regions, due to its thick double coat.

Maintenance The Russian Blue requires minimal grooming. Some owners even claim that the longer one waits to brush it, the more radiant the coat becomes.

Social Behaviors This cat loves being around people and other animals. It is especially affectionate with its mate. It may be happiest in a quiet home, where it can relax and observe silently. However, its tranquil nature also suits it well for family life, since it will not be greatly aroused by others.

Activities This breed can be playful or lack the need for activity. However, it can be prone to becoming fat. If it becomes overweight, it should be encouraged to play and exercise.

Breeding/Reproduction Since Russian Blues are especially affectionate cats, they are well suited for mating and parenting. Litters generally contain four kittens.

Common Health Problems This is an especially hardy cat with few ailments. However, some may overeat, especially when presented with dry food, which can cause vomiting.

Availability Russian Blues are available from breeders on the internet and found locally. Prices range from $375 to over $1000.

References

Author: Ruth Bratcher
Lastest Animal Stories on Russian Blue Cats

Gesia Rosenberg - 2012-06-24
I have a beautiful young female Russian Blue that bred with a grey Tabby. Her Kittens are beautiful and are reversed tabbies , silver blue light grey and are reversed tabbies with whithe stripes instead of black or dark stripes. The girls are gorgeous, with all the features of her HER. ONE HAS THE HEAD AND EARS AND SLIM BODY BUT NOT THE PINCH SMILE. THE OTHER HAS THE PINCH SMILE BUT IS TAKING AFTER THE FATHER WITH A ROUNDER HEAD AND STALKIER BODY BUT THE FACE FEATURES AND EVEN THE SOUNDS THEY MAKE WHEN THEY MIAO ARE SPECIFICALY RUSSIAN BLUE. VERY VOCAL LIKE THEIR MOTHER. DO I HAVE SOMETHING SPECIAL. CAN THEY BE RECOGNIZED AS SUCH . TO ME THEY ARE AND JUST THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE REVERSETABBIE MARKINGS MAKES THEM VERY DISTINGTIVE. CAN THEY BE SHOWN ANYWHERE. DOES ANY BODY KNOW OR EVEN SOLD AS UNIQUE AS THEY ARE_

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-25
    In order to show a cat, the cat has to be a recognized breed by the ACFA (American Cat Fanciers Association) or the TICA (The International Cat Association).  You would obviously have to be able too reproduce the kittens you have, have the markings, coloring, size etc stablaized to allow rules for points to be established.  This is a complicated and long term endeavor but you can write either organization and ask them and if interested, how you would go about it.
  • gesia Rosenberg - 2012-06-25
    THANKS FOR RESPONDING. IT IS AMAZING HOW STRONG THE RUSSIAN bLUE GENE IS. I WISH REALY WISH THEY COULD BE SHOWN SOMEWHERE. BUT THANKS FOR THE INFO.I DID SEE IN WILKAPEDIA THAT IN UK, AUSTRALIA AND ANOTHER COUNTRY THE SAME MIX ARE RECOGNIZED AS A NEW KIND OF RUSSIAN BLUE. THE rb GENETIC IS AMAZING. lIKE I SAY BEFORE. tHEY ARE ALL RUSSIAN bLUE IN ALL THE WAYS BUT THEIR FANCY COATS.
  • Kris Nehrens - 2013-07-13
    Ms.Gesia Rosenberg, I know this is quite a few years late. But would you have pictures of your 'babies'? Did you sell any kittens? If so, may I ask:How much? And where are you? I'm in VA. 56 years old, been disabled since I was in car crash at 25. I would be interested in some (2?) of your kittens if you ever have more, and the price is right. (I have very little $,but a LOT of love.) Have 2 dogs, but they are 'daddies babies'! I love them, too, just not the same. Thank-you in advance, Kris Behrens
  • helder - 2014-01-11
    We have a female 8 year old Russian and would like to mate her with male Russian I would like to know if in the area of queens new York there is one. We can talk.
Reply
Eduard Maandi - 2009-10-19
Hi!

I did not find any Estonian Russian Blue breeders on Your site.
Please kindly add my cattery and link to my site on Your page.

Thank You in advance,

Eduard Maandi
Enchanting Deity Cattery



Heki tee 6-21
Haabneeme, Viimsi v.
74001 Harjumaa
ESTONIA

GSM: +372 5333 8000
E-mail: ed@ed.ee
Skype: PotsdamEd
MSN: ed@ed.ee
Homepage: www.ed.ee

Reply
Kathy Reynolds - 2011-03-14
Is there another breed of cat with the title of Russian besides the Russian Blue? This breed is a little longer haired and has a double coat.

  • galla - 2011-04-06
    I have seen one on a webside.it doesn't have russian in it's title, but on wikipedia they describe it as "the breed was best defined as semi-long haired Russian Blue -Nebelung breed". It is longhaired cat,has double grey coat, they come from Germany. Look it up in wikipedia of you want to know more about them.
    galla
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Anonymous - 2008-12-09
I recently rescued a russian blue/domestic mix and she is the sweetest and most well behaved kitty I have ever encountered! She is very affectionate and smart - she can entertain herself very well! She does seem to be wary of strangers but will warm up eventually. Her coat is the most beautiful and soft fur! I highly reccommend this breed! We couldn't afford a purebred but I am so very happy with my halfsie!

  • Anonymous - 2010-04-16
    My cat of 18 years died from kidney failure and I was so grief stricken my husband rescued a half Russian blue/ tabby mix from the local animal shelter. He is the most delightful, affectionate and handsome cat I have ever had. He is very popular at the Vet's office(Recently had him neutered). And everyone wants to hold him and kiss him. I too would recommend this breed or half breed to any cat lover. I love this cat so much. I am thankful to God for this cat's companionship and I pray he will live to be atleast 30 years old.
  • Gesia Rosenberg - 2012-06-25
    What kind of mix are they. Domestic what_ Mine are two gorgeous girls that came out with a reverse Tabby Coat Spots and white. They are all Russian Blue in behaviour, verbalizing and making a funny sound that I have never herd before but that Russian Blue make.
Reply
Anonymous - 2008-10-29
I had two of these marvelous cats. But just today (10-29-08) sombody broke Little Mans nose and left him bleed to death on the side of the rode. Meanwhile I was at school. He was so young (5 monnths of age) too, and I loved him So So So So much.

  • tara golden - 2010-04-20
    So very sorry to hear of the death of your beloved cat.
  • Rosebud - 2011-10-13
    Anonymous and Renata: So sorry you lost your friends, but may I urge you and every cat owner to please, please keep them indoors for life so your losses are not repeated. I have had cats all my life and kept all indoors only. Eventually one loses them to illness or old age, but they live safer and longer lives indoors. Please, fellow kitty-lovers, keep them alive and inside!
    Adopted a 4-month old Russian Blue, had him altered at 6 months yesterday. He is a riotous little scoundrel, playful in the extreme, hugely affectionate, and chronic purr-er, chow-hound, and rock-and-rolling wrestler with my 3-year old Tonkinese. Sleeps on our bed, cuddling and chasing toes. Has demolished a number of glass and pottery items thus far, zooming and leaping around with his buddy. Has a Siamese head, those little mauve toes, quite small and will probably remain small-ish. We named him Boris, but call him BB (Boris the Brat), and he is just a total delight and a wonderful example of his breed.
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