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Russian Blue

Other names : Russian, Maltese Blue, Norwegian Blue

Russian Blue
Russian Blue
Kitten

This elegant feline with a dark blue coat, which appears to be sprinkled with silver, loves to cuddle. Quiet and reserved, the Russian Blue will be the perfect companion to anyone that will offer their time and a tranquil home. This cat is not designed for a hectic and busy life.

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Key facts about the Russian Blue

  • Life expectancy : Between 13 and 20 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate, Calm
  • Type of coat : Short
  • Price : Between £350 and £800

Physical characteristics of the Russian Blue

Adult size

Female cat Approximately 12 in
Male cat Approximately 12 in

Weight

Female cat Between 4 and 7 lb
Male cat Between 7 and 11 lb

Coat colour

Black / seal, blue / grey-slate, white

The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) permits all the above colours. Other federations - such as the American one - only permit blue. In competition, judges generally look for the clearest shades of blue. Blue and white coated cats appear shiny as their hairs are silver tipped. Seal coloured cats have hairs that are black at the root.

Coat patterns

Blue Maltese kittens can have light tabby markings, however these usually disappear early in their lives.

Type of coat

Their coats are short and dense as they have a thick undercoat.

Eye colour

Their eyes should be as intense green as possible.

Description

Russian Blues are elegant cats with graceful and muscular bodies. Their small round feet tip their long, thin legs. Their tails are thick at the base, and gradually narrow into a tapered point. Their physique is well proportioned, and their faces are angular. The corners of their  mouths are slightly raised, giving them their charming smiles. Their straight noses and wide foreheads meet at a convex angle at their eyebrows and their ears are as long as they are wide.

Temperament

Affectionate

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Very loving towards their owners, the Russian Blue can curl up in their owners lap for hours on end.

Playful

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This calm breed can still be active and playful when they want to be. They are also very good hunters.

Calm

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Russian Blues are very calm cats, who love to spend long winters days in front of a fireplace or the next best heat source!

Intelligent

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You may need to tempt them, but they can be good learners due to their liveliness.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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Quite timid in nature, they can often be wary of unknown people. It generally takes some time for them to adapt.

Independent

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They’re generally very attached to their owners and absolutely hate being left alone. A person who has lots of time to dedicate to their cat would be their ideal owner.

Behaviour of the Russian Blue

Chatty

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Their noises are usually sweet and melodious. In general, females are more chatty than their male counterparts but their meows are still so quiet that often they are considered mute! 

Need for exercise / Sporty

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Like all cats, they need daily activity. However, they are generally quite quiet cats and as they normally have big appetites, the use of an interactive bowl is recommended. This will occupy them and regulate their consumption, so it’s perfect for the Russian Blue!

Tendency to run away

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As they’re usually clingy cats, they will rarely venture far from their owners.

Greedy / Gluttony

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Russian Blues have a big appetite, and they’re generally fond of the finer things in life.

Compatibility

Russian Blue and cats

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Their calm nature allows them to easily adapt to life with other cats. However they must be introduced well at the start of their relationship to make sure they get along with each other.

Russian Blue and dogs

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This elegant breed gets on very well with dogs, provided that they are properly presented to one another and that the cat has enough high hiding spots in the house to retire to when needed.

Russian Blue and children

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Due to their calm and timid nature, they don’t really get on that well with children because they generally don’t like the noise.

Russian Blue and the elderly

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Maltese Blues are a perfect cat to keep an elderly person company. They are renowned for easily adapting to living in apartments, as long as they’re sufficiently stimulating and offer them high points and cozy corners!

Price

A Russian Blue kitten costs between £350 and £800  depending on their lineage, upbringing, age and sex. They cost around £25 / month to keep them healthy, and to provide them with high quality food. 

Grooming

A simple weekly brush is enough to maintain the beautiful silver fur of the Russian Blue. A weekly ear and eye cleanliness check is also required.

Hair loss

This breed doesn’t lose much hair. Regular brushing will prevent the formation of hairballs in the cat’s intestines.

Nutrition of the Russian Blue

Due to their big appetites, their food should be chosen with care, taking into account their age and activity levels. Using an interactive bowl to distribute the food will regulate their food intake and therefore limit weight gain. It is important to choose a nutrient-rich and good quality food. They are also very fond of small “homemade” dishes.

Health of the Russian Blue

Life expectancy

13 to 20 years on average. They are generally robust cats.

Strong / robust

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Their fur allows them to resist cold weather. Historically, they were hunted due to the excellent insulating and waterproof qualities of their fur.

Tendency to put on weight

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Their big appetites can cause obesity if not monitored and controlled. Interactive bowls are highly recommended to manage their food consumption levels.

Common illnesses

The Norwegian Blue is not subject to any hereditary diseases, and is not predisposed to other particular disease. They are still at risk of developing the same illnesses as other cats though, such as oral problems.

Reproduction

The GCCF permits cross breeding between two Russians Blues only.

Good to know

There is a variety of Russian Blue with mid length fur. They are known as Nebelung cats, which means "creature of the mist" in German. This variety was born in the 80s in the United States. The blue color is still dominant, although generally a lighter shade but, like its cousin, the Nebelung only exists in blue.

Origins and history

Like many other cat breeds, mystery surrounds the origins of the Russian Blue. No one knows whether it is Soviet, British, Scandinavian or even Mediterranean! One of the first hypotheses, and the most frequently cited, is that several individuals were imported from the Russian port of Arkhangelsk by sailors who sold them to the British in 1860. Like other breeds, the Second World War nearly wiped out the Russian Blue, but British and Scandinavian breeders kept them going. Several cross breeds, particularly with Siamese, changed the standard of the Russian Blue in the '50s. In France, this gorgeous cat appeared over the last century but was only officially recognized in the 80s. Due to the of the colour of their coats, they were for a long time outshone by the Chartreux or even British breeds.

Names

Good names for a Russian Blue cat: Blue, Kim, Pete, Tia