Temperament:  Relaxed, playful, affectionate
Maintenance:  Low
Lifespan:  Average 15 years
Country of Origin:  Russia
Other Names:  Archangel Cat
Best suited to: Will fit into almost any household

The Russian blue cat is native to Russia is believed to have originated in the Russian port town of Arkhangelsk(thus there are the moniker as the Archangel Cat). They arrived in Europe in the latter half of the 19th century century though there are no records of who officially imported from Russia. Likely traders or ships crew brought them back with cargo. In England are initially known as the Archangel cat later renamed in the 20th century as the Russian blue.

Prior to the middle of the 20th century numbers in England were small with numbers dropping even further in the hardships of World War II. When attempts were made to revitalise the breed there were insufficient numbers to ensure interbreeding problems from such a small gene pool would be prevented so more were imported from Russia and Scandinavia where they were still fairly numerous. Additionally Siamese colour point cat were also introduced to the breed that the influence of the Siamese has been largely removed from the breed.

Appearance and Physical Characteristic
Typical of a cold climate developed cat the Russian blue is double coated with their shiny advocate moderately waterproof the fluffy undercoat for warmth. The coat is double typed is not long giving the unique feel. They are similar in appearance to the British blue of the Russian blue colouring and coat texture is quite different. They are elegant, somewhat regal movers for a medium to large sized cat.

They have striking bright green eyes though this feature was not present in early individuals of the breed. Individuals with yellow eyes are not considered to be Russian blues neither are individuals with patches of white fur and these cats cannot be registered as Russian blue breeding cats(in North America)

The development of the Russian blue has taken somewhat different directions in Europe and the US and Australia. During the early 1970’s, Mavis Jones, an Australian Russian Blue Breeder was allowed by her governing cat fancy body to create Russian White cats.

This was done by careful mating of a white cat from Siberia(thus ensuring the breed remained a Russian breed) and the Russian Blues from her cattery. By the late 1970’s, the Russian White and Russian Black colours were accepted by the NSW Cat Fanciers Association as true Russian cats.

Since then, many smaller cat fancy clubs in Europe have also accepted the other colours of Russian Cats for championship status. Currently in North America the Russian cats in White, Black and Tabby are being shown in “new colours” classes pending eventual approval.

the Russian blue is said to have all the desirable characteristics of a pet cat with none of the undesirable. They are intelligent playful and curious whilst not being overly excitable or aggressive. The legally engage in gameplaying such as pounce on the pom-pom and even fetch. Unlike other breeds they not aloof and are usually sensitive to the emotions displayed by the human. They don’t exhibit independent behaviour patterns and also to involve himself closely with the family and will develop strong social bond with them. The social bonds will extend to the other pets and children in the household. Though the Siamese appearance and sounds is gone from the Russian blue they certainly are vocal. They will generally be reserved with strangers unless they have been brought up in our family house with lots of members.

Health and Lifespan
typical of a naturally occurring breed to have few health problems with no known genetic problems linked to the breed a rarely fall ill. There are medium to large size Weighing from 3 1/2 to 6 kg typically spayed males will be at the upper end of the scale and females at the smaller end. Average lifespan is quite long at 15 years.

Care and Maintenance
Whilst many of the colour point varieties and longhair cats that have arisen in the colder areas of the world such as Norway Scandinavia and Russia the Russian blue is a double coated shorthair cat. Its coat has the natural protection from tangling and matting of the long-haired cats of this region as well is an element of water resistance. This combined with excellent personal hygiene habits keeping themselves clean make them virtually no maintenance cat. They have no special dietary requirements so if you are looking for a no fuss cat look no further than the Russian blue

There is some evidence that people who suffer from allergies the cats are less likely to be affected by the fur of the Russian blue. This is not because of their shorthair or because they don’t shed – they do shed and plenty of people are allergic to shorthair Cats. The theory is that it’s because the Russian blue producers lower levels of glycoprotein Fel d 1 which is the most common sources Allergies.

Suitability as Pet
Russian blues can handle most climates – and an they are excellent outdoor cats due to their tangle free and easy to maintain fur, but additionally they are excellent indoor cats due to their meticulous clean nature and their short fur leaving little mess. They will happily interact with a young family or will be a companion animal to an older single person.

They are very popular breed in Australia and can be obtained upwards from $450.

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.