The origin of the Chartreux Cat is not really clear. One story is that they were brought from South Africa by the Cathusian monks who made Chartreuse liqueur, and this is how they came by their name. However there may be more legend in this story than fact. What is known is that they have quite a long history of breeding in France. This cat is sometimes confused with the British Blue Cat, but it is a different breed altogether.
After World War II there were very few of these cats left, and even today Chartreux Cats are relatively rare. If you wish to own one, it may set you back a few hundred dollars. However their handsome appearance, with its thick blue-grey coat and gold eyes, enhanced by a gentle and affectionate nature, makes the Chartreux a very desirable pet.
The body of this cat is quite large (up to 8kg), robust, solid muscular and athletic.
His water-resistant coat is double and quite woolly in appearance, being slightly longer than on a regular short-hair, with a thick undercoat, and a lovely blue-grey in colour. It also sheds once or twice each year, although the undercoat tends to waft around most of the time. The eyes are big and round, quite expressive and come in hues of copper to gold, which create a lovely contrast to the coat colour.
Chartreux cats are also known for their ‘smiling’ expression.
Temperament / Nature
This is a gentle breed of cat who likes to be close to his owner. He tends to bond with one person in particular and will follow them around, but is not obtrusive or demanding. Chartreux Cats are known to be well-mannered cats who like nothing better than to be stroked and loved, and also like to watch what is going on around them. They tend to prefer soaking up strokes and affection where they are, rather than being picked up and carried or put on your lap. They are also adaptive and don’t mind travelling or being alone for short periods. However they are sensitive to harshness, and for this reason it is preferable to use positive reinforcement when training or teaching, rather than punishment. They also tend to withdraw rather than fight if they feel threatened.
Chartreux Cats are quiet and do not meow loudly; in fact some of these cats make no sound at all other than purring. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your cat, as if he is in trouble you might not hear him calling for help.
This breed is a little slow to mature and may take about two years to reach full adulthood.
Chartreux needs a regular brushing, about once every week. During the shedding season this should be increased to two or three times. Because of their shedding coat they are not a suitable pet for people with allergies.
These cats are generally robust and healthy, but can be prone to hip dysplasia, kneecap displacement and dental problems.
People who own Chartreux Cats report that they are patient with children and other pets. They are cuddly, sweet and loving, but can also be playful and especially enjoy chasing-type games. They also make great indoor hunters. Some say that they can be taught dog-like tricks, such as fetching and carrying objects. They can make a great pet and need companionship and attention to be happy and content.