The Russian Blue cat originates from Russia and is a purebred cat with a very specific ‘blue’ color, green eyes, and unique look. The ‘blue’ coat color is actually grey with a hint of silver. They are very friendly, intelligent, and loyal cats that make great family pets.
The official name is the Russian Blue cat. Some people still say Blue Russian though.
Where do Russian Blue Cats Come From?
The origin of the Russian Blue breed dates back to the 1800s in Russia. During this time, cats in Russia snuck aboard ships at the Russian Port of Arkhangelsk (the area known as the Archangel Isles to the British).
While the Russian Blue’s exact origins are not known, some say these cats were descended from ‘royal cats’ of the Russian Czars.
Once they deboarded the ship upon arrival in Great Britain, these unique blue/grey cats became known as the Archangel cats or Archangel Blues.
In the late 1800s cat shows in England placed all ‘blue’ cats in the same category. The first Russian Blues made their first appearance in 1875 at London’s Crystal Palace.
By 1912 cat shows created a class for cats called the Foreign Blue Class for the cats with uniquely large ears and eyes.
The first world war caused a disruption in cat breeding and cat shows. After the war ended, it was difficult to find the Archangel cat.
Breeders began trying to recreate the unique look by breeding cats with similar traits.
In England, breeders began mixing British Shorthair Cats with Blue Point Siamese cats. The result was a cat with a thick fur coat and long legs.
In Scandinavia, breeders were crossing Siamese cats and Finland’s blue cats. The result of the Scandinavian breeds was a slender blue cat with emerald green eyes, but a short coat.
Breeders in North America learned about the beautiful blue cats and began importing cats from Scandinavia and England trying to breed the best qualities of both.
In 1979 The International Cat Association added the Russian Blue cat to the list of cat breeds.
What do Russian Blue Cats Look Like?
Russian blue cats only have one recognized color, which is called “blue”. The term “blue” describes a visually gray and silver color.
The tips of the hairs on the Russian Blue are silver or a lighter color gray. Russian Blue cats may have some pattern in their fur as kittens, but they will not have a pattern or markings on their coat when they grow out of their baby coat.
Because the Russian Blue has a thick double coat they have plush fur. Another good thing about their plush double coat is they require minimal grooming.
They have large ears and round eyes. Russian Blue cats are also slender with a nice muscular body. Their face is more triangular, giving it a subtle exotic appearance.
Their nose is black and leathery. Their paw pads will be a mauve or pink color.
What Color Eyes do Russian Blue Cats Have?
Russian Blue cats have vivid green eyes. Their amazing eyes are one of the traits that set them apart from many other blue/gray breeds.
True Russian Blue cats only have green eyes.
When do Russian Blue Cat’s Eyes Turn Green?
Most all kittens are born with blue eyes. Just like human babies, kittens are not born with the eye color they will have when they get older.
However, Russian Blue cats are usually born with yellow eyes.
The Russian Blue’s eyes usually turn green when they are around four months of age but it can vary.
Russian Blue Cat Size
These cats are medium-size cats, weighing between seven and 15 pounds. They typically reach up to 10 inches in height.
These are considered a great apartment cat for many reasons, and their perfectly average size is one of them.
Why are Russian Blue Cats Called Blue?
While the color appearance of blue cats is actually gray, they are called blue because their coat is not a flat gray.
The Russian Blue fur coat, like other “blue” cats, has a more luminous quality that allows the coat to appear in different shades with a shiny appearance when light hits the coat.
To acknowledge the iridescent quality of their coat and the difference in the color from flat gray cats, the coat type is labeled as “blue.”
This unique color of their coat was one of the top qualities breeders were searching for when breeding Russian Blue cats.
Unlike many other breeds, Russian Blues only come in one recognized color because breeders only bred the highest quality blue cats to maintain the iridescent trait of the coat.
Russian Blue Cat Personality
Just like with all of the Russian Blue’s qualities, the personality traits of this breed remain consistent because breeders were intentional about breeding these traits.
Russian Blues are typically friendly, active, vocal, and intelligent cats. Russian Blue owners will be delighted to know that their cat will actually converse with family members via meows and body language.
However, your Russian Blue may occasionally be shy around strangers.
Are Russian Blue Cats Cuddly?
This breed is typically very active. They love running, jumping, chasing, and playing.
Despite that, they also enjoy physical contact with their owners and will usually sit on your lap or even lay on your shoulders.
You may not be able to force them to cuddle when they want to play, but when they’re ready to relax, they will enjoy some time with you.
Occasionally your Russian Blue will want some alone time and will seek out a quiet area to relax by themselves. This is especially true if there are strangers around.
Do Russian Blue Cats Get Along with Dogs?
Like many other friendly and playful breeds, Russian Blue cats get along with dogs.
Introducing new pets can be stressful though, so it’s important to monitor interactions and make sure both pets feel safe.
A Russian Blue will usually adapt well to living with other animals and even enjoy the company after they get to know the other pets.
Are Russian Blue Cats Friendly?
One of the traits breeders focused on when developing the Russian Blue was a friendly temperament.
If you are looking for a cat who will get along with young children, dogs, and other animals, the Russian Blue is perfect for you!
Of course, just like with all cats, the environment the cat is raised in and the animals and people they are around can impact their temperament and personality.
If you are adopting an older Russian Blue, it is important to inquire about the cat’s temperament and how they get along with other people and animals.
Are Russian Blue Cats Aggressive?
Typically, this breed is not aggressive. They are playful and enjoy chasing and hunting, but that energy does not usually turn into aggression.
If a Russian Blue becomes aggressive, it is normally because of an environmental factor.
An abusive upbringing, an injury, or an illness that is causing them pain can be common culprits of aggression in the Russian Blue cat.
Are Russian Blue Cats Hypoallergenic?
Is there truth behind this claim that the Russian Blue is hypoallergenic? It’s hard to tell for sure and depends on who you ask.
Many people, including breeders, will claim Russian Blue cats are a hypoallergenic breed.
However, that isn’t a completely true claim. Some say the Russian Blue causes fewer allergic reactions in humans but there are no studies that confirm this.
There are a lot of assumptions based on people’s experience with the breed though!
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
Hypoallergenic means the animal doesn’t cause an allergy response in people.
Some people have used this term to describe animals that are less likely to cause allergy responses despite not being truly hypoallergenic.
To be considered hypoallergenic, the animal shouldn’t shed or shouldn’t produce proteins that cause allergies.
All cats produce a protein that is excreted in the oils on their skin, this protein is called Felis Domesticus 1 (Fel D 1).
The allergen Fel D 1, is the most common allergen that causes an immune response in people with allergies to cats.
It is believed the Russian Blue cats produce less of this protein than other breeds. Again, no official study has confirmed this.
While some may claim the Russian Blue cat is hypoallergenic, that isn’t completely true. If you have cat allergies, it’s also important to know your allergies may be caused by a different allergen.
If your allergies are severe, you may also experience an immune response.
Even if Russian Blues do produce less than the typical amount of the Fel D 1, they still produce it, which means, they are not truly hypoallergenic.
Do Russian Blue Cats Shed?
The short answer is, yes. Russian Blue cats do shed hair, mostly during seasonal changes when their coat is thinning for warmer weather or thickening for colder weather.
However, Russian Blue cats don’t shed as much as long hair cats, and there are ways to reduce shedding. So they could be a good choice for allergy sufferers.
Occasional brushing can remove dead hair and distribute oils on the coat, which also maintains good coat health.
Lifespan of a Russian Blue Cat
The Russian Blue cat is a healthy breed with a long life span.
According to The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, the premier cat registrar in the United Kingdom, “Russians have few health problems as they tend to have little to no genetic problems and are not prone to illness.”
Russian Blues are known to live between 10 and 20 years on average. Many have even lived up to 25 years old. They do not have any common health issues.
Life span is greatly impacted by lifestyle. Russian Blue cats that are bred by a reputable breeder, tend to have minimal health issues if you give them a healthy lifestyle.
A balanced diet is key to providing a cat with a healthy life. Exercise, play, interaction, and regular check-ups at the vet also play an important role.
How Much is a Russian Blue Cat?
Russian Blue kittens can cost around $500 and up depending on the breeder and if you will need to pay for the cat to be shipped.
To adopt an adult Russian Blue cat can be significantly cheaper, but the price depends on where you are adopting from.
If you choose to adopt, especially from a shelter, you may not be getting a Russian Blue, at least not a pure-bred Russian Blue.
There are DNA tests that can confirm the origins of the cat’s DNA and determine if you have a pure Russian Blue. If you are adopting though, the pure-bred status may not mean that much to you.
If you are looking for certain qualities, look for the green eyes, blue coat, large ears, triangular face, and slender body.
Following the general guidelines of what Russian Blue cats look like, can help determine the likeliness of the cat being a Russian Blue.
Long Haired Russian Blue Cat
Officially, according to cat breed associations, the Russian Blue only comes in one coat length, which is short-haired. However, there is a breed of cat that is sometimes referred to as a long-haired Russian Blue cat.
The Nebelung is a relatively new breed. In 1984 a longhaired kitten with a beautiful luminous grey coat was born and was the first registered Nebelung.
The owner of the beautiful kitten went on to breed the parents and have similar looking kittens. She later applied for breed status. The cat strongly resembled the Russian Blue, but it had long hair.
When the breed status was approved, it was also approved to use Russian Blues as an outcross to build genetic diversity amongst the new breed and prevent inbreeding.
How Much Does a Long Haired Russian Blue Cat Cost?
The Nebelung cat is still a pretty rare breed because it is still fairly new. The cost of a Nebelung kitten can average around $600 to $1200. This mostly depends on if you have any breeders near you, and how popular the breed is in your location.
Why do Long Haired Russian Blue Cats Cost So Much?
The Nebelung is a rare breed and there are not many breeders for them. Most people who purchase a Nebelung have to also pay for shipping the cat, which can get expensive.
As the breed ages it may gain popularity and the cost of a kitten might go down. However, if the breed doesn’t gain more popularity amongst breeders, the cost will remain high.
If you’re having to pay for shipping, that can make up a large portion of the cost of the cat. The reputation of the breeder and the pedigree of the cats will also affect the cost.
Names for a Russian Blue Cat
For such a special cat you need a special name! Here is a list of some popular names for Russian Blue cats.
Related Questions about Russian Blue cats
Are Russian Blue Cats Hypoallergenic?
No animal is truly hypoallergenic because they shed and has fur. Russian Blue cats MAY cause less suffering for humans that are allergic to cats though.
Where do Russian Blue Cats Originate From?
Russian Blue cats originally came from Russia! They stowed away on ships with British sailors. Sneaky cats!
How Much do Russian Blue Kittens Cost?
Expect to pay $500 or more for a purebred Russian Blue kitten from a good breeder.
Are There Other Russian Cats?
Yes, in particular, the Russian White cat is a hybrid of breeding a Siberian Cat with a Russian Blue. The result is a beautiful and elegant cat that is all white.
The Russian White is known for being a very loyal cat and it forms strong bonds with their human family.
Are Russian Blues Purebred Cats?
Yes, the Russian Blue is a purebred cat.
What is a Maltese Cat?
To keep it simple, grey cats are often called Maltese cats. So you may hear someone say a Russian Blue is a Maltese.