The Russian Blue Cat is one of the most beautiful of all cats with its shiny silvery coat and sleek Siamese-like build. They are quiet and shy, but very loving and affectionate cats that tend to crave attention. The Russian Blue’s head has a long and tapered, triangular shape like the head of a Siamese, and has a slender body much like the Siamese as well. Russian Blues are unlike their British cousins in that the British Blue’s stature is somewhat heavier and stockier than the Russian Blue. The Russian Blue’s ears are fairly large and more pointed than a British Blue or a domestic cat. The eye color is different as well with the Russian Blue having golden-green to emerald green eyes and the British Blue having copper or orange colored eyes. Russian Blues also have purplish-grey footpads and toe nails, where other domestics have pink footpads and toe nails.
The Russian Blue has a very soft and silky seal-like, short double coat with guard hairs that give it a distinctive silvery sheen. It should be a light to medium blue-grey solid color with no shadings or markings for a good show quality cat. Pet quality cats may have some very small white markings on the chin or chest, though this is considered a fault in show quality cats. Other faults are tabby markings, heavy build, and a squared or rounded head shape, such as in the British Blue.
A perfect Russian Blue is very hard to find, because it takes about two years for a kitten to develop the correct eye color and coat texture and color. The Russian Blue’s almond-shaped eyes, which are set fairly far apart, will remain golden for about two years and then turn more of an emerald green. It should be noted that Russian Blues are also born with tabby markings and a fluffy coat which fades to the solid blue-grey color and eventually becomes the adult short coat.
Occasionally, there have been solid white and solid black Russian Blues born to litters, though this is quite rare. A solid white and solid black cat bred together results in the blue cat, so the genes are there. Both the black and white genes are dominant and usually balance out to make the blue. A blue cat bred to a blue cat almost always yields all blue kittens. Cross breeding with a tabby will likely yield mostly tabbies, though some kittens may turn out solid colored blue. Once in a while, a blue kitten will be born to an ordinary domestic cat that fits the description of a true Russian Blue. These should be called an American Blue, though they are also sometimes called a Maltese, Spanish Blue, or Archangel.
The long-haired version is also a more rare form of the Russian Blue. Occasionally a kitten will retain its longer hair. The long-haired version of this breed of cat is called the Nebelung. The fur of the Nebelung is medium blue tipped with silver, giving it a shimmering, misty sheen, which gives it its name. Nebelung means creature of the mist. The Russian Blue is truly a beautiful cat and well worth the trouble and expense of obtaining one. Russian Blues start at about $200 for pet quality and can be upwards of $500 for show quality animals.
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