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About Russian Blues

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The Russian Blue,

Size and Appearance

The Russian Blue is a medium-sized, short-haired cat. It is fine boned, and it has graceful lines. The coat is, of course, blue -- with silver tipping on each hair that gives a lustrous appearance -- and the coat is thick and plush. The eyes are typically round with slight elongation on the sides, and are as vividly green as possible at maturity.

Personality and Temperament

Russian Blue cats are intelligent, quiet, and sensitive. They are clean and shed very little. They make excellent pets for those who might have allergies to other breeds. Peaple with asthma have choosen the Russian Blue becouse of thier lower level of dander.  They love to play with small toys around the house, and they enjoy jumping and climbing, but, unlike some other playful breeds, Russians are rarely destructive. Because they are intelligent, they can train their people to perform simple tasks such as throwing toys so that the Russians can retrieve them. They are agile, light-footed cats that may seem to fly around the house with the grace of a dancer.

Russian Blues easily bond with their people and are loyal to those who love them, frequently following them from room to room to be near them. Russians show their affection in a variety of ways. Some enjoy leaping onto the shoulder of their person and riding there. Other Russians are eager to butt heads with their person. These sensitive cats seem genuinely hurt when they come to their people to show affection and are put aside.

Because the basic temperament of Russian Blues ranges from slightly reserved to quietly shy, they may be cautious or nervous around strangers. Russians prefer to take their time to investigate new people and are some what stand offish. In addition, although they are basically gentle cats.

It pays off to put time into developing an affectionate relationship with a Russian Blue. People who have known other breeds often remark on the special close and deep bonding that they feel with their Russians.

History

The Russian Blue is a domestic breed that has been know by several names and has many stories of origin.  It is a natural breed (that is, it is not the result of crossings with other breeds). As its name suggests, the Russian Blue is believed to have originally come from Russia. Since the cat was thought to have been brought to England on ships that left the Russian port on Archangel Isle, the breed has been called the Archangel cat. Although evidence of its Russian origin is anecdotal, its dense coat is consistent with a northern climate. In England in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Russian Blue was sometimes known as the Foreign Blue because its body type resembles that of foreign (European) breeds; it has also been called the Maltese cat. Some authors site this cat as the favored breed to Royalty in both Russia and England.

Health

Typically, Russian Blues are hearty, healthy cats, and with proper diet, exercise, veterinary care, and affection, they are capable of living well into their teens and beyond. There are no genetic problems associated specifically with the Russian Blue, and as a breed they are not prone to any particular illnesses, but, as with any breed, some lines may be prone to certain health problems.

Showing Russian Blues

Some Russians seem to enjoy showing, and most Russians will tolerate showing, especially if it is done on a regular basis starting when they are kittens.  However, under the stress of a show, they can become frightened and upset.

Formal Description and Show Standards

The breed standards for the Russian Blue are similar in each association in North America (ACFA, CFA, CFF, and TICA), but the European standards (FIFe and GCCF) are significantly different from the North American standards -- and from each other. Those who intend to enter Russian Blues in competition should obtain a copy of the standards from the association in which they will exhibit.

 

Buying a Russian Blue

Like the price of other breeds of cats, the price of a Russian Blue is based on the cat's quality, and various breeders may have significantly different prices. A pet quality Russian Blue kitten will be sold for one price. The price for a show quality cat or kitten will be much higher, especially for top show quality. The price of Russians sold for breeding (they may or may not be good show cats) will also be much higher than that of a pet quality cat  It is ideal for anyone who is considering purchasing a Russian Blue to personally visit a breeder: not only to see a cat that might be purchased, but also to see other cats with the same blood lines.

References: Cat Fancy 1983,1986,2001,   Cats Magazine 1996,  CFA, TICA web sites.