One of the most noteworthy things about Russian Blue cats is their coat.
Extremely thick, double-layered, and so plush that one can trace patterns in it with their fingers, the Russian Blue is considered to be a beautiful animal and quite distinctive.
Although their coat is quite thick, it’s still considered to be a short-hair cat, albeit a very plush one. But can Russian Blue cats have long hair?
Short answer: Er, sort of. Russian Blue cats are generally recognized to be short hair cats; however, careful breeding and taking advantage of a dormant long hair gene in the breed gave rise to a rare offshoot called the Nebelung cat which is also known as the long-haired Russian Blue.
What is a Nebelung Cat?
The Nebelung cat is a long hair offshoot of a Russian Blue cat, though they originally came from a longhaired blue kitten in a litter of kittens between a longhaired black cat and a black domestic shorthair.
The second litter produced a female longhaired blue kitten, and they became the foundation of the breed.
However, it took bringing in Russian blue cats with the gene for long hair to stabilize the breed.
It was given breed status in 1997 by the International Cat Association and Nebelungs are also recognized by the Cat Fanciers Federation and the Traditional Cat Association.
Nebelung cats are relatively new and rare, making them harder to find than straight-up Russian Blue cats.
They have a lot of the Russian Blue traits, including being rather aloof at first, but very loving towards their humans, intelligent, and loyal.
Unlike Russian Blue cats, they don’t do well being ignored, though they can entertain themselves during the day while their people are gone.
They are also food motivated and don’t like change, just like Russian Blue cats.
Unlike Russian Blue cats, they are more demanding of attention when their humans are home and can become anxious or fearful if they are ignored for too long.
Physically, this cat looks pretty well like a Russian Blue, but with longer fur that floats gracefully around them.
They have draping tails and a silvery grey color that is fine and silky. They also sport a ruff around their necks, particularly prominent in males, and fluff ‘pantaloons’ on their hind legs.
Unlike Russian Blue cats, they don’t always have green eyes, though they do tend to have yellowish-green eyes or green eyes.
This is another clear way to tell the difference between the two breeds.
Nebelung cats go for upwards of $1200, though occasionally you may find one in a shelter to be adopted.
They are rarer than Russian Blue cats. Nebelung means ‘Creatures of the mist’ in German, due to their silvery coat.
Can Russian Blue Cats Have Long Hair?
If you have a so-called Russian Blue with long hair, then you probably don’t have a Russian Blue.
You may have a Nebelung (and that’s amazing too!), but otherwise, you likely have a mixed-breed.
The Russian Blue cat is considered to be a short hair cat and while its coat is very thick, plush, and double-layered, making this cat look bigger than it actually is, it is not a long hair cat.
The tail should not have a plume, this breed does not have a ruff or fluff between the toe-pads, and it won’t shed as much as long-hair cats usually do.
Russian Blue cats also have green eyes – if your cat doesn’t have green eyes, it’s probably not a Russian Blue.
Russian Blue cats often end up (accidentally) bred with other cats such as domestic shorthairs. This may give you kittens with the coloring of a Russian Blue but isn’t the right breed.
They can also get bred into longhair cats (such as oriental longhairs) to get the long coat, but again, not breed standard. So no, a purebred Russian Blue cat will not have long hair.
But you might have a Nebelung cat and that’s pretty cool too!
The Coat of a Russian Blue Cat
Russian Blue cats are quite distinctive for their coats. They have a double layer, very plush coat that one can trace patterns into like a thick carpet.
Their coat makes them look larger than they actually are, but they are still short-hair cats. Nebelungs on the other hand have very fine, silky, medium to long hair coats that aren’t as plush.
Visually, both breeds look pretty different from one another, though they have the same coloring.
Both cats don’t require a lot of grooming, but regular brushing prevents mats, and they often enjoy the attention.
Russian Blue cats don’t have long coats. But Nebelungs, which are an offshoot of the breed, certainly do.
So, if you have a long hair cat that behaves like a Russian Blue, you may have a Nebelung and some people would call them a long-haired Russian Blue.
Call it what you like: both cats are very loyal, intelligent, and food-motivated pets that are great to have with families and even other animals.
Curious about the Nebelung cat and want to own one? You may have to look more carefully than you would for a Russian Blue, but it’s often worth the effort. Good luck!
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.