Unless you have a pedigree, it can be hard to tell what sort of breed(s) of cat your cat has in its history.
This can be particularly problematic if you go for rescues, shelter cats, or rehomes – there’s no way of quite knowing what you got, and thus it’s a little harder to tell what sort of health issues you should watch out for, behavioral considerations, and other things.
Some breeds are more obvious than others – Maine Coons, Siamese, Bengals, etc. – but others can be tricky.
One of them is the Russian Blue cat, which is a popular breed but is often mistaken for other breeds, and some people think they are very rare, while others say they are more common.
So, what are the characteristics of a Russian Blue cat, and do you think yours stacks up?
Physical Characteristics of a Russian Blue Cat
Russian Blue Cats are distinctive in a few ways if you are simply looking at them.
Probably the most obvious sign of their lineage is their coat which is always dark grey and tipped with silver.
This is a shorthair breed of cat with plush fur that is very easy to take care of. They have yellow or bright green eyes and a slender build with males being about three to five pounds heavier than females.
Russian Blue cats, although being categorized as shorthair cat, has a very dense and soft double-layer coat, making them look larger than they actually are.
A Russian Blue cat’s coat is so thick that you can use your finger to trace a pattern in their fur and it will stay there until you smooth the fur over! This is probably one of the plushiest breeds of cats out there.
Russian Blu cats also have a triangular-shaped head, large ears, and a long, tapering tail. They have a fairly long lifespan – up to twenty-five years!
Russian Blue cats are also more hypoallergenic than many other breeds of cats – their fur doesn’t have as much of the protein that causes allergies.
Temperament of the Russian Blue Cat
Russian Blue cats are notoriously skittish – if they are not well socialized as kittens, they are liable to be very shy and will run rather than deal with people and other animals.
However, if they are well socialized and have a bit of time to get used to their new family, they prove themselves to be loyal pets who bond readily with at least one person, get along well with children, and can even get along with other animals like dogs and cats.
Russian Blue cats aren’t as vocal as Siamese cats, but they do like to chirp at their owners or chatter at them when they want something.
They are fairly social, once they get to know their people, but still need their quiet time during the day, preferring a quiet, private place to sleep.
They enjoy playing as well, so make sure to dedicate some time every day for play and give them access to toys.
A Russian Blue cat’s hunting instinct is fairly strong, so toys like feather wands are often greatly appreciated. However, also make sure that any toys with strings are kept out of their reach when you’re not playing with them, so they don’t eat the string.
One thing to note about Russian Blue cats: they do not adapt to change very well at all, from minor changes like a different feeding time to massive changes like moves or new people joining the family.
In order to get over the change, they usually need a lot of reassurance, the ability to adapt to the change on their own terms, and some treats wouldn’t go amiss either since they generally enjoy eating.
Care of a Russian Blue Cat
Russian Blue cats don’t require any particularly special care. Their coat, while very thick and plush, is still short and so only requires the occasional grooming.
You should brush their teeth, trim their claws, and of course, make sure you schedule annual vet visits for wellness checks.
Russian Blue cats are prone to a few hereditary diseases, largely due to the relatively small genetic pool that the purebred cat has to draw from. These include:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
- Ocular diseases
- Leucocyte Adhesion Deficiency Syndrome
And of course, like any other cat, they can have dental problems if their teeth aren’t kept clean, gastrointestinal problems, obesity, feline diabetes, and sometimes unexplained weight loss which needs to be checked by a vet.
Overall, though, this breed is generally pretty healthy and has a good lifespan.
Russian Blue cats are most widely known for their plush, thick coat that is a deep grey color topped with shimmering silver and their clear green or yellow eyes.
Personality-wise, they are known for being shy at first, but bonding strongly with at least one person and enjoying the company of others.
They are fairly smart, enjoy playing, are vocal, and appreciate their own private space to retreat to when they are tired, overwhelmed, or nervous.
Purebred Russian Blue cats are relatively uncommon and can cost upwards of $1700.
Have you ever owned a Russian Blue cat? Was it a slightly aloof plushy or did it have some other traits that made it more unique? Let us know!
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.