Russian Blue History
This elegant cat is called a Russian blue because it is believed to have been brought to england from the port of Archangel in northern Russia by British sailors working in the town in the 1860s. No-one knows for sure if the cats actually originated in this part of the world but the thick, insulating coats, which are said to be a bit like the glossy coat of a seal, indicate that the story might be true.
What we do know is that the cat was shown at the very first Crystal Palace cat show in 1871 under the name Archangel cat. Although not related to other short haired blues, who apart from sharing a silver blue sheen are quite different in personality, coat and type, they competed in the same category. The stumpy playful British blue was favored over the slender Russians in the competition until 1912 when the Cat Fancying council acknowledged the breed and gave it its one class. The breeds' popularity rose until world war 2 when, like many other breeds, it almost became extinct.
After the war breeders worked hard to bring the Russian Blue back to popularity, breeding the strongest of the survivors with other breeds creating a version of the cat different to those seen before the war. Bluepoint Siamese cats were a popular choice for cross breeding making the sleek foreign body style of the early Russian blues even more extreme. Scandinavian breeders also sought to resurrect the breed using Siamese blues and blue cats from Finland to create a solid coat colors as well as shorter denser coats than the Blue Russians created in Britain. Finally a competition winning breed of cat was created by mixing the British and Scandinavian types Russian blue to create a breed with a good head shape and slender limbs and emerald green eyes.
Russian Blue Appearance
These stylish cats a have a very regal appearance. They have fine bone, lean muscles and long limbs. Their head is described as a medium wedge, shaped a bit like that of a cobra's. They have a flat profile and a medium length nose. Their large round eyes are set widely apart and are a beautiful green color. This can range from a golden green tone to vivid emerald. The have wide perky ears which are set wide apart and quite pointed and a long thick tail.
However the most distinctive feature of the the Russian blue is its lustrous coats. It is very short and dense and feels like velvet. Its dark Grey color shimmers with a blue tinge which is best seen in natural light. The ends of the hairs are tipped with silver giving the coat a glorious sheen. This cat is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful of breeds but owners should take care to groom the coats every so often to keep looking their best.
Russian Blue Character and Temperament
Russian blues have the personality to match their looks. The are quiet, genteel and well mannered � I am sure these cats must have spent time in the company of Russian royalty. They can be quite shy when first introduced into the household or when strangers are around. They love to hide behind the couch or the nearest piece of furniture, but respond well when softly called and cajoled out by an exciting piece of string or a favorite toy. Be patient though these wary creatures like to take time to properly assess the situation and make sure there is no danger around. This cat really likes to keep itself safe which is great news! These cats are also quite clingy. They love to follow their owners around the house and keep a watchful eye on them while they are going about their daily activities but they also are sociable with humans and other cats once they get to know them.
They like food a lot but always seem to stay slim � lucky them! They will let you know when they are hungry with a gentle voice - they are never obtrusive. A distinctive feature of the Russian Blue's personality is that they dislike change. Environmental changes such as temperature and light levels upset this cat more than most breeds so if your Russian Blue is used to sleeping in a warm light corner of the house its best to keep him there. These cats also prefer to have a strict dinner schedule so try to feed them at the same time each day as well.
Russian Blue Lifespan
10 - 15 years
Average Litter Size
The Russian Blue is a healthy breed of cat and many live into their late teens. Like with all breeds they should be checked by the vet yearly for teeth deficiencies and liver problems from about the age of 8 or 9 onwards.