The Russian blue is a breed that is quite an exception from the other feline breeds. Well known for its unique silver blue coat, the Russian Blue cat is intelligent, playful and can be an affectionate companion to people. It has a regal appearance and is highly sought after by cat lovers around the world.
The origins of Russian blue cats can be traced to the port of Arkhangelsk, Russia. Also called Archangel blues or Archangel cats, these cats were brought in to Europe and England by sailors in the early 1860s. This breed had its first recorded showing at the Crystal Palace in England, in the year 1875. In 1912, it was given a class of its own. Russian blues were mainly breeded in Russia and Scandinavia before World War II. After World War II, American breeders began breeding them by merging the very best traits of Scandinavian and English Russian Blue cats.
This particular breed has been approved and accepted in the United States by the AFCA – American Cat Fancier’s Association, the TICA – The International Cat Association and the CFA – Cat Fanciers Association.
Russian blue cats tip the scales at approximately 10 pounds and can grow up to a height of 10 inches. They have a slender and elongated body. The short haired coat is lush and slate gray with a bluish tinge. This soft and velvet like undercoat is covered with short blue hair with silver tips that give the coat a shimmering look. The tail looks rather dull with stripes that almost go unnoticed. They have round and mesmerizing, emerald green eyes. The body is fine boned and firmly toned. Overall these cats are aristocratic with a trademark angelic smile.
These cats have a natural tendency to be friendly with human companions, especially with children, singles and the aged. They adjust very well with other pets in the family including other cats and dogs. This intelligent and playful breed is quiet and is mostly shy and timid before strangers. They can be easily trained to do simple tasks, like play fetch. These cats prefer an indoor lifestyle and are not very active. You need to train them to be active, else they tend to put on weight. They are clean and prefer neat and uncluttered surroundings. In fact, this is quite the opposite in case of some other cat breeds. Russian Blues are loyal and will always follow you around, often brushing against your leg.
Being a short haired breed, these cats do not require much grooming. Besides, these cats are very clean. However, Russian Blues love being pampered and would be more than happy to have an occasional brushing of their coats with a soft metal brush. Brushing also avoids formation of hair balls and dander in addition to removing any debris that may be present in the coat hair. In addition to this, regular clipping of nails and cleaning of ears must be done. Use mild body shampoos with conditioners to maintain the sheen of its velvety soft coat. An after bath rinse with a mildly perfumed conditioner or vinegar is ideal.
Ideal living conditions
Russian blues always prefer clean surroundings. They are shy and need some time to adjust themselves to the new surroundings. So when you bring in a Russian Blue cat as a pet, initially, make sure that it has its own space with a clean litter box and separate bowls for food and water. The litter box must be comfortable enough to move in. After some days of interacting with your family members, it will start venturing out of its private space and become friendly with your family.
Regular grooming will work wonders especially if your Russian Blue is a show cat. It is better to offer premium cat food for them to grow strong. Both wet and dry cat foods must be given at correct intervals to achieve optimum results. Regular exercise is also a must. For this, you can provide them with fur toys and balls. Scratch posts may also be provided to keep them busy.
Russian Blue Cats have an average life expectancy of 10-15 years. The average gestation period is 65 days.
Russian Blues do not have any genetic disorders that are specific to their breed. They are generally healthy and not prone to any serious illnesses. With regular dental care, good food habits and body care, these cats turn out to be in good shape. After eight years of age, it is also advisable to take them for annual check ups where blood tests for kidney and liver function are done.