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Russian Blue Breed Description

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Breed Organization

TICA Executive Office

The Cat Fanciers' Association

Native Country

Other Names
Archangel Blue, Archangel Cat, Russian Shorthair

Coat Length

Life Expectancy
Approximately 10–20 Years

General Description

The Russian Blue has bright green eyes, pinkish lavender or mauve paws, two layers of short thick fur, and a blue-grey-black coat.[9] The color is a bluish-gray that is the dilute expression of the black gene. However, as dilute genes are recessive ("d") and each parent will have a set of two recessive genes ("dd") two non-Color-Point Carrier (non-CPC) Russian Blues will always produce a blue cat. Due to the breeding with Siamese after World War II, there are color-point genes floating around. If two carriers are bred together, then they will produce a litter of mixed colors—solid blue or white with blue-point like a Siamese. People call these CPC cats "color-point", "whites" or "pointed" Russians. In most registries, one cannot register, breed or show a color-point Russian. These color-point (blue-point) cats are called Color-Point-Russian Blue (Blue Point Russian Blue) or more informally as Pika Blu (or pika blue) cats and have the same general characteristics as the Russian Blue cats.

The coat is known as a "double coat", with the undercoat being soft, downy and equal in length to the guard hairs, which are an even blue with silver tips. However, the tail may have a few very dull, almost unnoticeable stripes. The coat is described as thick, plush and soft to the touch. The silver tips give the coat a shimmering appearance. Its eyes are almost always a dark and vivid green. Any white patches of fur or yellow eyes in adulthood are seen as flaws in show cats. Russian Blues should not be confused with British Blues (which are not a distinct breed, but rather a British Shorthair with a blue coat as the British Shorthair breed itself comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns), nor the Chartreux or Korat which are two other naturally occurring breeds of blue cats, although they have similar traits.

Breed Standard

Head: Short, wedge-shaped, with straight lines. Flat forehead and skull. Medium length muzzle. Straight nose. No nose break. Strong chin.
Eyes: Large, fairly wide set, almond-shaped (almost round, barely oval). Color: vivid green. Eye color in kittens ranges from yellow to green. Definitive color is not attainde before the age of one.
Neck: Long, slender and straight.
Body: Long, foreign type. Fine to medium-boned. Muscled.
Paw: Long and fine boned. Firm muscles, paws round or ova laccording to TICA or FIFe.
Tail: Long (but in proportion with the body), straight, tapering from a moderately thin base to a thin tip.
Coat: Short, dense, very fine, and plush. Stands out from the body. Soft, silky to the touch. Double coat with a very thick undercoat. Solid, uniform blue-grey color, with silvery sheen caused by silver tapping. Slate grey nose leather and dark lavender paw pads.
Fault: Square, round or Siamese-like head. Round or yellowish eyes. Weak chin. Massive, stocky body. Tail overly thick at the base. Close lying coat. Tabby markings, white spots.
Comment: The standard for the Nebelung (more common in the USA) is the same as that of the Russian Blue, but its double coat is longer and of a lighter blue-grey shade.


The origins of this breed are disputed. Some experts believe that relatively longhaired, blue-coated cats lived along the shores of the White Sea in the Port Arkhangelsk region beginning in the 17th century. In the 1860s, an English or Russian merchant ship may have carried these cats to Great Britain, where they were shown in London as Russian Shorthairs, Archangel Blues (after Arkhangelsk Port), and Blue Foreigns beginning in 1871. Others theories hold that the breed originated instead in the Mediterranean region, like the Chartreux; hence the name Spanish Blue. The breed was officially named the Russian Blue in 1939. Following World War II, Russian Blues were crossed with British Shorthair Blues and particularly with Blue Point Siamese in order to restore the breed.


A Russian Blue is a good choice for the modern home because their undemanding nature fits perfectly into today's busy schedules. They will entertain themselves if left alone for the day and be a contented companion upon your return. The Russian requires a minimum of grooming with periodic nail clipping and a coat that can be kept looking good by frequent petting and an occasional combing. Many Russians seem to enjoy being combed or brushed as it allows them additional time with their owners.


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