Russian blue breed portrait

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Origin and breed history

The Russian Blue is a small to medium sized domestic cat with short, plush hair. As the name implies, the coat color is always blue or blue-gray. Its name suggests a Russian ancestry. According to the legend, it should come from the city of Arkhangelsk in the north of Russia. From there it is said to have been introduced to England by sailors as early as 1850. However, there is no solid evidence for this legend. One thing is for sure: The Russian Blue originates at least to a good part from the large pool of blue shorthair cats like with it also the British Shorthair in its blue form, British Blue, and the Carthusian cat.

There have always been breeders who were anxious to form their own peculiarities. Thus, the Russian Blue was created beginning in the 1930s and establishing itself as an independent breed cat after World War II. The Russian Blue was officially recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline in 1949. In the meantime, three lines of the Russian Blue have emerged in breeding: The English type, which is stronger with a medium blue coat color, the Siberian/Scandinavian type, which is slightly smaller and shows a much darker coat, and the American type. The Russian Blue American type is said to be the most elegant and shows a very light coat. However, from the point of view of the health of this cat breed, splitting it into three lines is considered problematic.


The Russian Blue is a small to medium sized pedigreed cat. It has a slender, long build. It should appear graceful, the legs fine and high, the neck long and straight. Size and weight depend greatly on the type or line in which it was bred. Males grow to 3 to 6, cats to 2.5 to 4 kilograms. It has a double coat, plush standing up, soft and silky. This is what the standard requires. As colors only shades of blue are allowed, but there all. These can range from a light to a dark blue-gray. The coat must be solid in any case. The eyes should be very large. The eye color of the Russian Blue is green, ideally vivid and emerald. Their ears should be large and pointed. The tail should be quite long and tapered.

Character and temperament

The adult Russian Blue is a very balanced, calm cat. She can develop a close bond. She is a real family cat. Russian Blue likes to move in nature, but her urge to do so is not so strongly developed. However, she loves to play. Suitable cat toys like a play fishing rod or a feather stick are a must. She is very cuddly and you like her alone ob dear appearance and her fluffy fur especially like to stroke and cuddle. She likes that too. Russian Blue are sociable and get along with other animal housemates without any problems - provided both sides had the chance to get used to each other.


The Russian Blue is a calm house cat. It is very well suited for the apartment. The Russian Blue does not have to be an outdoor cat to feel comfortable. She is intelligent and observes her surroundings closely. The otherwise quiet Russian Blue is astonishing because of her great jumping power. So she manages to open the handle of a door without any problems. This must be kept in mind with her attitude. Otherwise she is undemanding and frugal regarding her keeping conditions. However, she needs the intimate relationship with her two-legged friends. She loves the shared experience with humans or animal partners in her family.


The Russian Blue is easy to train. In the youth sometimes quite impetuous and impudent, she becomes clearly calmer after well one year. If she comes from a reputable breeder who has well cared for and socialized parents and puppies, she will naturally fit into the rules and habits of her family. With a little guidance, she will be housebroken quickly and easily.

Care and health

Coat care

The Russian Blue's coat only needs to be brushed from time to time. With a little feeling and skill, fur brushing can be turned into a social bonding ritual that is emotionally beneficial to both cat and human.

Diseases typical for the breed

Inbreeding is a major problem. The rather small gene pool of the Russian Blue is made even smaller by further splitting into three types (the English, Siberian/Scandinavian, and American types). Other hereditary diseases typical of pedigreed cats can also occur in the Russian Blue.


The Russian Blue is usually a problem-free eater by cat standards. Due to inbreeding, a diet may be necessary.

Life expectancy

A Russian Blue can live 12 years. Inbreeding shortens the life expectancy drastically.

Buying a Russian Blue

If you want to get a Russian Blue, you can first look around in animal shelters. At the breeder's you should make sure that parents and puppies grow up in good conditions, especially with a close social connection to the human family. You should look at the pedigree. Here no ancestor should appear twice, in order to exclude too strong inbreeding. Both parents should be tested negative for the common hereditary diseases of pedigree cats. Serious breeders indicate this in their advertisements. Of course the kittens should be vaccinated, dewormed and chipped several times. A serious bred Russian Blue puppy should cost around 700 Euro.

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