Friday, January 5, 2018

Everything about your Russian Blue Cat

  If you are looking for a gentle, quiet, intelligent cat, you may have found your match. It’s easy to see the appeal of the Russian Blue. His long, graceful, slim body is topped by a short, plush double coat tipped with silver. Round green eyes gaze out from his triangular head. He also comes in a longhaired variety known as the Nebelung, which means “creature of the mist.”

Overview
  The Russian Blue is quite an old feline breed that descends from cats native to the current, and former, country of Russia. This is a lean, medium-sized cat with a short, dense, plush double-coat that is described as being seal-like in texture. The color should be a solid bluish-gray, with a distinctly silvery sheen that comes from the dilute expression of the black gene. The silver-to-transparent hair tips on darker slate-blue hairs are what give the coat of the Russian Blue such a shimmering appearance, which is especially apparent when observed in natural light. There should be no trace of white or tabby markings on the ideal Russian Blue. Top-quality coat color and texture are the single most important characteristics of the Russian Blue in show competition.
  Russian Blues normally make quiet, gentle and affectionate companions. They are strikingly handsome and unique among domestic cats in their combination of color, coat and conformation. These are docile, sensitive, kind animals that are particularly in-tune with their owners’ emotions. They develop strong bonds with their loved ones and are extremely affectionate and loyal. The Russian Blue is also known for getting along quite well with other pets and with children that live in their immediate household. They are typically tidy and clean. Russian Blues can be shy around strangers, unless they are brought up in a very well-socialized living environment. They are not known to be aggressive or especially reclusive. They do not like to be left alone for prolonged periods of time and prefer the company of either a person or another companion pet at all times. The Russian Blue makes an exceptionally devoted companion.

Other Quick Facts
  • The Russian Blue has a luxuriant silvery-blue coat, glowing green eyes, and long legs and body. His moderately wedge-shaped head is not too long and not too short. The large ears are wide at the base with tips that are more pointed than rounded.
  • Russian Blue kittens are sometimes born with “ghost stripes” that look like tabby markings, which usually disappear as the cat matures and develops into an adult coat.
  • European Russian Blues tend to be larger than American Russian Blues, and Russian Blues in Australia and New Zealand  come in white and black as well as the classic silver-blue.
  • The average size of a Russian Blue litter is three kittens.
Breed standards

Other names: Archangel Blue, Archangel Cat
TICA: Standard
CFA: Standard
Lap Cat: Yes
Physique: Lean, fine-boned
Average lifespan: 10-16 years
Average size: 5-11 pounds
Coat appearance: Dense, Plush, and Undercoat
Coloration: Blue and Silver
Pattern: Ticked
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Singles, first-time cat owners and families with older children
Temperament: Intelligent, independent, affectionate, wary of strangers

History
  Born just south of the Arctic Circle in the Russian port city of Archangel, the Russian Blue was an intrepid explorer who legend says rode with Cossacks and frequently made his way to other climes as a ship’s cat. But don’t think of him as strictly working class. His lavish coat and jewel-green eyes made him attractive to the wealthy and noble, and he is said to have been a pet of Russian czars and that imperial cat lover Queen Victoria, who may have encountered the breed when one — described as an Archangel cat — was shown at a cat show at the Crystal Palace in 1875. Grouped together at first with other blue cats, they were given their own classification in 1912, going by the name Foreign Blue or sometimes Maltese.
  Although he was capable of surviving arctic winters, two world wars nearly did in the Russian Blue. Few were left after World War II, and breeders were reduced to outcrossing them to cats with similar looks, such as blue British Shorthairs and blue-point Siamese.
Russian Blues were first imported to North America in the early 20th century, but serious breeding programs were not developed until midcentury, when cats from England and Scandinavia were brought in. Today all cat registries recognize the Russian Blue.

Personality
  Russian Blues normally make quiet, gentle and affectionate companions. They are strikingly handsome and unique among domestic cats in their combination of color, coat and conformation. These are docile, sensitive, kind animals that are particularly in-tune with their owners’ emotions. They develop strong bonds with their loved ones and are extremely affectionate and loyal. The Russian Blue is also known for getting along quite well with other pets and with children that live in their immediate household.
  They are typically tidy and clean. Russian Blues can be shy around strangers, unless they are brought up in a very well-socialized living environment. They are not known to be aggressive or especially reclusive. They do not like to be left alone for prolonged periods of time and prefer the company of either a person or another companion pet at all times. The Russian Blue makes an exceptionally devoted companion.

Health
  Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. The Russian Blue is generally healthy, however. An owner’s main concern will probably be this cat’s hearty Russian appetite, which can turn him from sleek to stout in no time.

Care
  The Russian Blue’s dense coat should be combed twice a week to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. Brush the teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Trim the nails every couple of weeks. A bath when the cat is shedding will help to remove excess hair more quickly. Keep the Russian Blue’s litter box spotlessly clean. 
  He is very particular about bathroom hygiene. It’s a good idea to keep a Russian Blue as an indoor-only cat to protect him from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors, such as being hit by a car. Russian Blues who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.

Behavioral Traits
  Russian Blues are known to be active, intelligent companion cats. They reportedly enjoy playing fetch, opening doors and even opening windows with their agile front legs.    They also enjoy batting around any variety of toys or other objects, apparently for the sheer pleasure and amusement of it. Russian Blues frequently use their front paws to touch the faces of their owners, as a sign of affection and/or to bring them out of the blues. They also tend to clown around when a child is crying or distressed, in an attempt to distract it.

Activity Level
  This breed is known for being bright and energetic. According to many breed fanciers, male Russian Blues usually are more active, outgoing and playful than are females, although many owners of female Russian Blues would no doubt challenge that generalization. However, this is not a breed that is known for needing a tremendous amount of exercise or stimulation. It tends to adjust its activity level to the emotional mood and needs of its household.

Grooming
  The thick Russian Blue coat is easy to groom with brushing or combing once or twice a week. Brush or comb the longhaired Nebelung twice a week. You’ll need to brush both types more often in the spring when they shed their winter coats.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed and brush the teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  Russian Blues have a tolerant nature toward children who treat them kindly and respectfully. They will even put up with the clumsy pats given by toddlers, as if they recognize that no harm is meant, and if necessary they will walk away or climb out of reach to escape being bonked on the head. 
  That said, the patient and gentle Russian Blue should always be protected from rough treatment, so always supervise very young children when they want to pet the cat. The Russian Blue is also accepting of other animals, including dogs, as long as they aren’t chased or menaced by them. Introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.

Is the Russian Blue the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is advised to keep its coat in good shape. It stimulates circulation, massages the skin, and removes debris and loose hair. Frequency should be once a week.
Moderate Shedding: Expect this cat to shed moderately. By providing it proper nutrition, regular grooming, and keeping the shedding contained to a small area, like a pet bed, will minimize shedding and make it more manageable.
Generally Healthy: It doesn't have as many known illnesses and conditions as other cats. Best for owners who do not want to worry about long-term medical costs.
Low Vocalization: It is known to be quiet. Therefore, owners shouldn't be concerned of excessive and undesirable crying or meowing, especially at night.
Moderate Attention: This breed needs a moderate level of attention. It provides the appropriate balance for owners who like involving their cats in activities but are also able to be independent. Time alone spent can be 8 hours per day.
Somewhat Active: Some regular exercise is always good to prevent sloth and obesity. Spending 10-15 minutes a few times a day will keep this breed satisfied.
Good With Others: It is usually good with adults, older children , and seniors and can be very affectionate towards them.

Did You Know?
  The Russian Blue was once known as the Archangel Cat, not for his angelic temperament but because he originated in the Russian port city of Archangel. Russian folklore credits him with healing abilities and bringing good luck.

In popular culture
  • Felicity, a character in the novel and film Felidae, was a Russian Blue.
  • A Russian Blue kitten is a trained assassin in the Cats & Dogs film. According to audio commentary on the DVD, several kittens were used due to the kittens growing faster than the filming schedule.
  • Eben and Snooch are Russian Blues in the comic Two Lumps.
  • In the Warriors series, Bluestar is a Russian Blue cat.