Sweet Russian Blue Cats

A Russian Blue CatThis is Sacha. Photo: Doug Miller

There are plenty of tales and legends about Russian Blue cats. Were they pampered pets of the Tzars of Russia? Was this breed the favorite of Queen Victoria? Did Cossacks ride with Russian Blues perched on their shoulders?

The foundation of this breed is uncertain, but it is thought that Russian Blue cats originated on the fringe of the Arctic Circle and traveled to the west upon merchant ships sailing from the Northern Russian port of Archangel (Archangelsk).

Because of this these cats were known in late nineteenth century England as the Archangel cat.

Russian blues have also been called the Foreign Blue and the Maltese cat.

Regarded as lucky mascots by the merchant sailors these cats were sometimes exchanged for food or other valuable goods in the English ports.

Blue cats were featured at a cat show held at the Crystal Palace, England in 1875. These early blues had orange eyes and were not the blue cats with green eyes of today.

Russian Blues were granted a class of their own in 1912.

The start of the twentieth century saw the introduction of Russian Blues to the United States and in the late 1940s American breeders began a program to combine Russian cats from England with a Scandinavian variety.

This produced the emerald eyed, silver coated Russian Blues of the present.

Russian Blue Cats - Appearance

The double-coat is very dense and plush. It stands out brush like from the body, and is very soft to the touch. There is silvery sheen to the luxuriant coat due to the almost transparent tips of the slate blue hairs.

russian blue cat

The head of the Russian Blue is a medium sized wedge with a bluntish muzzle, a broad face and a flat topped scull. The ears are set wide apart towards the side of the head. They are wide at the base, large and taper to a rounded point.

The eyes are a rounded almond shape, set wide apart, and of a magnificent emerald green. You will not forget staring into the eyes of a Russian Blue.

The mouths of Russian Blue cats look permanently set in a sweet smile due to the slight upturn of the corners. The neck is on the long side but does not appear to be so due to the thick plush coat.

Russian Blue cat's bodies are long, fine boned, graceful, firm and muscular. The legs are lengthy with petite paws that are oval in shape. The tail is long and tapers from a thick base.

Russian Blue Breed - Personality

Saphira, a Russian BlueA very relaxed Saphira. Photo: Roger Luijten

The Russian blue is not a common breed of cat, it is bred mainly for showing and numbers are controlled by breeders.

Those cats that are released to the public are spayed or neutered or sold subject to a spay or neuter agreement. But if you are lucky enough to obtain one as a pet...

... you will have a cat with a very loving, devoted and affectionate nature - that is, when you have managed to win the trust of your Russian.

You will need patience and quite a bit of it, but once a Russian Blue decides that a human is worthy of being its owner/servant then a very special bond is formed.

These cats do fit in well with families, even families with young children (however they prefer the household not to be too noisy), but they do tend to pick out their very special human.

Play time is important to Russian Blues, they are fit, quick and agile.

They will willingly chase anything you care to drag in front of them. A highly entertaining breed that retains many kitten qualities.

Not noisy animals, Russian Blues have a quiet voice but are quite capable of being vocal at meal times. Russians are generally very healthy and easy to care for, grooming is minimal but they will shed a little during the summer.

All in all Russian Blue cats are extremely good looking aristocratic cats that make affectionate, devoted pets.

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