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Russian Blue Breed Summary

Playful, Friendly, Quiet, Independent

As their name might suggest, the Russian Blue is a cat with a blue coat that hails from Russia! Although their coat may look grey, blue is the dilute version of black in the pet world. A loyal and gentle cat, this kitty will happily greet their humans at the door and follow them around the home, however, as they’re somewhat reserved, they can be shy around strangers and will seek out a quiet space to settle.

This breed is known for its love of playing fetch and they enjoy being around their people. While they’re not too vocal or demanding of attention, if there’s a change to their routine then you’ll definitely hear about it - these kitties like order. With this in mind, it's wise not to set their breakfast time too early! Most Russian Blues are fur-bulous members of the family and they get along well with children and other pets – even dogs, providing they’re well acquainted.

Fun Fact: In Russian folklore, Russian Blues were considered good luck and healing charms! One tale is that these cats travelled around the world with Cossacks, riding on their horses. They were believed to bring good luck and heal fellow travellers. During this time, those that were rich enough to own one would give them a special spot to live in. They were also believed to protect newborn babies by warning off evil spirits!

Lifespan 15 – 20 years
Height (at the withers) Males and Females: 20cm – 25cm
Weight Males: 4.5kg – 5.4kg, Females: 3.2kg – 4.5kg
Coat Double coat with a short, dense undercoat that feels soft and fine
Colour Blue, black, white
Eye colour Yellow with green rims as a kitten that become bright green as an adult
Common health issues Weight related problems, progressive retinal atrophy, polycystic kidney disease, feline lower urinary tract disease
Other Names Archangel Blue, Archangel Cat, Foreign Blues, Maltese Cats
The Russian Blue is a sweet, gentle and affectionate cat that will happily follow their people everywhere. While these kitties are generally loyal, social creatures who enjoy playtime with their owners, they’re also quite reserved until they’re comfortable with you. The Russian Blue will likely shy away from visitors and may seek out a quiet place during large gatherings. Elegant and reserved, this cat can be described as affectionate – without being overly clingy.

Once these kitties are used to your company, they tend to become playful and loving companions that aren't likely to turn down a game of fetch! While they don’t mind being left at home if you’re at work all day, they'll expect a good amount of playtime when you return.

In the home you’d be likely to find your Russian Blue jumping and climbing to the highest place in order to study all the goings-on around them, quietly observing and debating whether to get involved. Russian Blues aren't especially vocal, however they'll respond if you talk to them using their soft, quiet voice and because they're intelligent kitties, they can learn the meaning of many words.

It’s believed that the Russian Blue first arrived in the UK in 1860 with British soldiers returning from the Russian port of Arkhangel’sk (Archangel), so they became known as Archangel cats. They’ve also been known as the Maltese Cat and the Spanish Cat, particularly in the US. However, there’s strong evidence that links the cat with Russia – as its name might suggest!

A large number of cats with similar coat colours are found living in Scandinavia, with their dense coats indicating them living in a cold northern climate. The first recorded appearance out of Russia was in 1875 when the Russian Blue competed at the Crystal Palace in England as the Archangel Cat.

The Russian Blue competed in a class including other blue cats until 1912, when it was given its own class. The breed was mainly developed in England and Scandinavia until after the second World War. Although blue is considered the typical colour of this breed, black and white Russians are also known. These colours likely arose during World War II, when the last remaining Russian Blues were crossed with the Siamese and the British Blue to help maintain numbers.