The Russian Blue is a cat species that is characterized by its typical blue-grey coat. It is a cat breed that is calm in character, but nevertheless has its own will. Because of its calm character, the Russian Blue is suitable to keep in a flat. It is not a cat that necessarily wants to go outside. In addition, this cat breed has few problems with breed-typical diseases.
The origin of the Russian Blue
What exactly is the origin of the Russian Blue is unclear. Around 1875 the cat breed was first exhibited in London, England. The story goes that before that exhibition the blue-grey cat was already present in England. The cat was originally from Russia and was taken from here by merchants on ships to chase away mice.
Another story is that the Blue Russian was a real Czar cat in Russia, who was taken to England by the English because of his beautiful coat. That the Russian Blue comes from a somewhat colder country can be deduced from his thick fur. The nice thing about a Russian Blue is, among other things, that the colour and character of the cat are a product of nature. The Russian Blue is a cat breed that has not been created by human activity, crossing different breeds, but in a natural way.
From the exhibition of the Russian Blue in London around 1875 it is known that the cat was bred for the first time. During the exhibition the Russian Blue was presented under the name “Arkhangelsk cat”. This is the area where the cat probably comes from. It was not until 1939 that the name “Russian Blue” was adopted as the official name for the breed.
During the Second World War this cat breed almost died out. During the 1940s and 1950s there were several breeders in both England and Sweden who wanted to breathe new life into the cat breed. But there were not so many cats left to work with. As a result the choice was made to cross the Blue Russian with a so-called ‘Bluepoint Siamese’. Since the Blue Russian already has something of the Siamese in it, these points were strengthened even more. That in itself was a problem, but an even bigger problem was that the Siamese could have a number of genetic abnormalities which were bred through in the Blue Russian.
Because of these disadvantages for the cat breed, the more Siamese Blue Russians were no longer accepted in cat shows around the sixties. Swedish cat breeders then switched to crossing Blue Russians with Scandinavian cats in order to better perpetuate the cat breed. This is also the type of Russian Blue that we know today.
The character: a calm character
The Russian Blue is known for its calm character. It is a type of cat that doesn’t necessarily have to go outside. Because of this the cat can perfectly be kept in a flat. In spite of its calm character the cat needs to be played with. The cat needs to have the space to play.
The Russian Blue is a gentle cat who, like many cats, needs regularity. This cat species gets very attached to its owner. In most cases it is a real lap cat that will cuddle up with you. It is a gentle cat that nevertheless can have a spicy character. The cat may not agree with a certain situation. He shows this, but seldom by biting or clawing. The Russian Blue can stay in a family because of its gentle character, provided the cat is well socialised as a kitten. What always applies with children is that animals and children need to be watched. Children may have unexpected reactions to which the cat may react and vice versa.
Most Blue Russians remain playful and active until a very old age. It is an intelligent cat species that needs to be challenged to stay enthusiastic and cheerful.
Because Blue Russians are very attached to their owners and can even become shy at times, they especially like to play with people. The cat is people-oriented and very social. When you are not at home often, it is good to have two cats in the house. Otherwise the Russian Blue will become very unhappy and lonely.
Despite the fact that certain character traits are very common in the cat breed concerned, the cat develops its own character. This can be influenced by the environment in which the cat grows up as a kitten, how old he is when he is taken away from his mother. The environment in which the cat continues to grow up also plays a role.
The appearance: three kinds of Blue Russians
The Russian Blue is, as the name suggests, a cat that has a blue-grey coat. There are three kinds of Blue Russians. This is because around the Second World War there was more crossbreeding to maintain the breed. Because of these crossbreeds three branches of Blue Russians have been created, all of which are slightly different in stature. You have the:
- Siberian/Scandian species;
- American species;
- English species.
The American species is considered to be the most elegant in terms of physique. The American Blue Russian is medium sized, has a light blue-grey coat colour and has ears that are far apart. The Siberian/Scandian species is somewhat smaller than the American one and has a darker coat. The Siberian/Scandinavian Blue Russian has, just like the American species, an elegant body and far apart ears. This is different for the English Blue Russian. The ears of the English Blue Russian are closer together and the cat generally has a more powerful than elegant physique. A real Blue Russian has bright green eyes.
These bright green eyes lie in a wedge-shaped head. Just like the ears, the eyes are relatively far apart. The head of a Russian Blue looks very friendly. This is due to the so-called ‘whisker pads’. Because of these whisker pads, the cat always seems to smile a little.
The Blue Russian has a blue-grey coat, but besides that blue-grey coat also the soles of the feet and the nose leather have an almost blue-purple colour. When the cat does not have this, it is officially not allowed to speak of a Russian Blue.
The ‘Blue Russian’ generally has a blue-grey coat, but some breed associations also recognise a white and a black coat for the ‘Blue’ Russian. These Russians have the same typical dense, full coat and athletic body that is so typical for the Blue Russian. The White and Black Russians also have bright green eyes. These Russians with a different coat colour are not recognized as real Russians by many breed associations alone.
Independent of the ‘branch’ where the Russian Blue comes from (Siberian/Scandinavian, American or English), the Russian Blue has an athletic and muscular body. It is a medium to small sized cat that has an elegant posture. This is due to the fact that the Russian is a crossbreed in which, amongst others, the Siamese occurs. The Siamese cat is one of the most famous cat species there is. The breed has a very slim and elegant appearance. The English version of the Blue Russian has a more powerful appearance and is therefore slightly less elegant in body.
The Russian Blue has a thick coat. At first the Russian looks a lot chubbier than he really is. The cats belonging to this cat species usually weigh about 3 to 5 kilos and the males 4.5 to 6 kilos.
The coat type
The Russian Blue has a thick coat. This is probably because the cat originated in Russia. Because of the cold climate in Russia a cat needs a good thick coat to survive. The Russian Blue has a double coat and is, as far as we know, the only cat breed that has such a double coat. The coat is also enormously soft because of that double structure. It almost feels like plush. The double coat consists of an undercoat and an upper coat. The hairs of the upper and lower coat have the same length. Because of this the cat feels very soft. The Russian Blue doesn’t or hardly give birth because of that double, plush-like coat.
The coat colour
The coat colour of the Russian Blue is typically blue-grey and even. When the cat has a different colour, a marbling or a different kind of drawing in his coat, it is not a real Blue-Russian according to the guidelines. Besides the fact that three different kinds of Blue Russians came into being (the English, American and Syberian/Scandinavian), ‘Blue’ Russians were also bred with a white and black coat colour. These Russians are only not recognized as Russians by most breed associations. The ends of the hairs in the coat of the Blue Russian have little or no pigment. This means that the Russian has a silvery sheen over it.
The colour of the Russian Blue must always be even. In kittens so called ‘ghost marks’ can still occur. These can be stripes, dots or some kind of marbling. These markings are called ghost markings, because they disappear within a year. The Blue Russian will then get his typical even blue coat.
The upbringing: socialisation is important
As a kitten, the Russian Blue is a very active, playful cat. As with all cats the process of socialisation of the Russian goes on until the cat is about twelve weeks old. If the cat is taken away from the mother earlier, you run the risk that the cat is not properly socialised. This can lead to undesirable behaviour. Examples include biting, hitting and scratching furniture.
The Russian Blue starts very active, but becomes calmer as he gets older. The cat has a calmer character. He remains quite active until old age. The Russian Blue is fond of playing. Especially with people. It is an intelligent cat. That is why you have to keep challenging the cat. You can do this in different ways. For example by so called ‘intelligent’ feeding bowls. With these, the cat has to find out for itself where it can find its kibble. You can also try to stimulate the hunting instinct of the cat with special cat rods.
A Russian Blue is very attached to his owner, but can become shy about it. Pay attention to this in the upbringing. What you can do yourself to prevent this is not to hesitate to invite people. You should also make sure that the cat is not younger than twelve weeks when you take him into your home.
The care: this won’t take you too long
Earlier we discussed the unique double coat of this cat breed. For the owners, this coat goes hand in hand with a pleasant advantage. You spend little time maintaining the coat of the Russian Blue. Brushing once a week with a good comb is enough to keep the coat in good condition. It is also advisable to give the cat enough attention in the form of games. Both mentally and physically this cat breed needs a challenge. This should be offered by the owner. This will result in a happier and healthier cat.
The nutrition: ensure a sufficient supply of protein
The Blue Russians is a strong cat breed. The cat is muscular and athletic, which makes a diet with sufficient protein a must. Cats are real carnivores. Processing carbohydrates does not go well for them. That is why it is advisable to choose a diet with a large proportion of meat.
The Russian Blue is a blessed cat breed. As far as is known now, there are no hereditary diseases in this breed. This is partly due to the fact that the Russian Blue is born in a natural way. This often prevents such problems. Of course it is still recommended to have your cat checked by a veterinarian every year and that the animal gets all his vaccinations. This way you keep your cat healthy.
Average age reaching Blue Russian
On average, a Russian Blue becomes between 15 and 20 years old. He can reach this high age due to the lack of race-typical hereditary diseases. In addition, it is an important task as an owner to keep the cat healthy. Make sure your cat gets enough exercise. In addition, make sure your cat is fed good and healthy food. Then you will be able to enjoy the Russian Blue for a long time and it is quite possible that he will pass the age of twenty.
What do you need to know before you bring in this cat?
Although the Russian Blue is a quiet cat, it is at the same time a cat breed that likes to be busy. It makes little difference whether the activity is physical or mental. The Russian Blue is both intelligent and athletic. As an owner you have to be very busy with your cat. If you are not willing or have no time for this, it is better to choose another breed that is able to keep itself busy.
Do you have a family with children and maybe another pet? The Russian Blue is known for its patience with children as well as with other pets. This makes a Russian Blue is almost suitable for any domestic situation. The most important thing is that there is enough to do and that the cat gets enough attention. That will certainly work out well with children in the house.
Finally, we would like to urge you to always choose a licensed breeder. Such breeders are generally members of a breed club. It is also good when you have to wait until you can pick up the cat. In addition to the first seven weeks, the weeks up to and including week twelve are important for the socialisation of a cat. That’s why they need time around their mother and any brothers and sisters. A good breeder ensures that this process runs smoothly. Besides that you can always check things like the condition of the kitten itself, the deworming and the vaccinations. This way you can be sure that you are not buying a cat in a bag.
What does a Russian Blue cost on average?
A Russian Blue kitten costs on average between $800 and $1200 euro in the United States. Excellent pedigree Russian Blue cats that are from famous breeding farms will cost between $1500 and $2500. This price is higher because of the beautiful eye colours they have. The lower the price, the more questions you have to ask about the quality of the kittens. Breeding cats is an expensive hobby. Especially if you do it thoroughly. So when buying a pet don’t go looking for the lowest price.
Will you also choose the Russian Blue?
Above you can read what makes a Russian Blue so unique. Who knows, you might consider bringing a Russian Blue into your home. Of course, it is also possible that you already have such a great Russian in your house. Whatever your situation, we would love to hear your stories. Why are you considering bringing this cat into your home? If you already have a Russian Blue, why did you choose this breed? We would love it if you would leave a comment on this article!