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March 28, 2013 at 2:22 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Russian Blue

By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Feline 101 Blog Series

Russian Blue CatRussian Blue Stats

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Cat of the Week: The Russian Blue

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Russian Blue Cats

Russian Blue Cat

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Fun Facts about Russian Blue Cats

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  • While there are some beautiful non-pedigree gray cats out there, the Russian Blue is indeed, its own unique breeds with its own unique lineage and characteristics.
  • Though no one is completely sure from where the first Russian Blues hailed, the most widely accepted answer is the port city of Arkhangelsk, Russia.
  • The first documented Russian Blue to be being seen outside Russia was presented at the Crystal Palace in 1875 England and was actually introduced as an “Archangel Cat.” The name comes not from their angelic appearance – emerald green eyes, upturned mouth corners, and silver tipped fur – but from their reputed first stop outside Russia, at the Archangel Isles in 1860.
  • Due to the breed’s scarcity in some parts, Russian Blue breeders had been crossbreding their cats with blue point Siamese and blue British Shorthairs. Today, however, this practice is no longer sanctioned by cat fanciers associations and though those characteristics of the Siamese and British Shorthair have been largely bred today.
  • Russian Blues have been a favorite of royals throughout history. They are reported to have shared homes with several Russian czars and Queen Victoria.

Russian Blue Cats

Russian Blue Cat

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How to Spot a Russian Blue

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Gray Pedigree Cat Comparison

Silver Fur.  If you’re not looking at a beautiful, silver furred cat, you are certainly not looking at a Russian Blue! The breed has a striking, dense, nearly water repellant double coat should actually contain two distinct colors, a dark gray closer to the body with silver tips at the ends. However, the trait the breed is best known for, is the also a trait that leads some people to mistake other cats for Russian Blues.  The truth is, many non-pedigree cats are gray and there are several silver-coated pedigree cat ( as shown above!) as well.  Therefore, to be sure you have a Russian Blue, you’ll need to look for other clues.

Vivid Green Eyes. While a Russian Blue kitten’s eyes are a little different, the round, wide set eyes of matured should, according to breed standards, be a pure “vivid green.” As you can see above, the green of a Russian Blue’s eyes are unique even from the Korat’s whose green eyes are comparatively pale.

Large Wide-Set Ears. Russian Blue cats have some of the largest ears of the pedigreed silver cats.  Even wider at the base and, like their eyes, set wide on their head, the ears of this breed give them an alert expression.

Medium Wedge-Shaped Head. Also unique among gray pedigree cats, is the Russian Blue’s comparatively small, wedge-shaped head. It is not as long as say, the Siamese – breed standards favor moderation not extremity – “neither long and tapering nor short and massive; blunt muzzle without exaggerated pinch or whisker break; nose medium in length”, yet wedge-shaped none-the-less.

Russian Blue Kittens

Russian Blue Kitten

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What to Expect from a Russian Blue

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A polite cat.  Selective breeding has not only made the Russian Blue a uniquely beautiful gray cat, but also, a unique tempered one.  One of the most commonly remarked upon traits of the Russian Blue? Their politeness. While they’ll want to follow their favorite people around the house, but they don’t put themselves in the way like some other cats do. They are also easy to train, because they’ll find being scolded so embarrassing, they’ll never commit the same kitty crime again.  Combined with a high degree of intelligence, Animal Planet warns owners “You can trust them to know when you’re laughing at them and they won’t soon forget it either.”

A quiet cat. Unless there’s some dire kitty emergency occurring, such as a forgotten meal or a bath, or owners are particularly diligent about talking with their cats, Russian Blues tend to be particularly quiet felines.

A loyal cat. Russian Blues love their people and can’t wait for you to play with them (their favorite types of toys are reportedly any type with feathers), but expect them to run and hide when company is over. They tend to be shy around strangers. You’ll need to impress this intelligent, discerning breed with your constant kindness and trustworthiness before they’ll warm up to you. Once you do however, you’ve got a sweet, loyal friend for life.

Russian Blue Cats

Russian Blue Cat

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More Russian Blues!!!

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Russian Blue Kitten

Russian Blue Kitten

Russian Blue Kitten

Russian Blue Cat

Russian Blue Cat

SOURCES

VetStreet: Russian Blue

Animal Planet: Cat Breed Directory: Russian Blue

The Cat Fanciers' Association: Russian Blue Breed Profile

The International Cat Association: Russian Blue

PHOTO CREDITS

Kat-ri@flickr

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JaimeW@flickr

SaijaLehto@flickr

AlexBrn@flickr

Jouni Lehti@flickr

Sensual Shadows Photography@flickr

emagdi@flickr

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Catherin Murray@flickr

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