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Czars of Cats: What You Need to Know About the Russian Blue Cat Breed

9 Feb 2024.

Bringing a cat into your life can be great for your mental health. However, it isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. Personality, activity levels, and lifestyle are all things to consider before getting a new pet. Perhaps you’ve heard of (or seen) the Russian Blue cat and think one of these kitties would make a great addition to your life. Not sure if this is the right breed for you? Read on for Cat in a Flat’s guide to everything you need to know about the Russian Blue cat breed. 

Where did the Russian Blue originate?

Not much is known about this rare breed, but it’s believed that it did originate in northern Russia. In fact, it’s rumoured that the Russian Blue cat is actually descended from felines kept by the Russian Czars. In a way, they are true modern kitty royalty! 

However, there’s not really any mention of Russian Blue cats until the 19th century. This breed made its first public appearance in 1875 at London’s Crystal Palace, where it was referred to as the ‘Archangel Cat’. Seems like a suitably regal introduction for the Czar of cat breeds! 

Russian Blue traits

  • Size: Russian Blues are a medium-sized cat that can range from 20 – 25cm in height and 38 – 46cm in length. 
  • Weight: 5 – 6 kgs (male) and 3 – 5 kgs (female)
  • Coat: The Russian Blue cat has a short, dense coat. 
  • Colour: There is only one variety of coat colour for Russian Blues. They are a medium silver-grey from ears to tail—without any other colour markings. Their eyes are green.
  • Lifespan: 10 – 15 years

What should I expect from a Russian Blue cat?

What should you expect when you get a Russian Blue cat? This cat breed is highly intelligent and therefore requires a fair amount of physical and mental stimulation. In this sense, the Russian Blue is not a low maintenance kitty. You will need to set aside time to play with your feline daily, and make sure to leave out plenty of cat-safe toys for solo play too. Although domesticated, these furry friends retain a strong hunting instinct from their bigger cat ancestors, so varied feathered fishing poles are a must for the active Russian Blue! 

Pros of a Russian Blue

  • Minimal grooming. Because of their short coat, your fur friend will require minimal grooming. Make it a habit to groom your Russian Blue once a week along with other basic cat care too. 
  • Affectionate. Russian Blue cats often come across as aloof or even shy when you first meet them, but this is because they want to get to know you first! Once you’ve earned Mr Whiskers’ trust, you’ll find them to be very affectionate kitties. Your Russian Blue will want to follow you around everywhere (yes, even to the bathroom), nap on your lap, and spend quality time with you. 
  • Great for first-time cat owners. This feline breed is playful, loving and generally undemanding. This makes them great pets for first-time paw parents
  • Quiet and calm. A happy Russian Blue can be a very calming presence in your home. These kitties will vary between wanting to spend a lot of time with you, to seeking out cosy, out of the way corners for their daily cat naps
  • Okay on their own. Russian Blue cats can be quite independent and are happy to spend time on their own. They won’t mind if you’re away at work all day (though Mr Whiskers will want plenty of quality playtime when you are at home). 

Cons of a Russian Blue

  • Doesn’t do well in family homes. Because of their calm nature, Russian Blues often don’t do well in homes with children. They thrive best in quiet environments. However, if you’re planning to bring a baby into your home, don’t despair. It’s possible to safely introduce your cat to a new baby. Just keep in mind that your Russian Blue may not tolerate rough handling from kids, so never leave your baby and your kitty unsupervised. 
  • High activity levels. Depending on your lifestyle, this can be either a pro or a con. Russian Blues are a calm breed, but they do need a fair amount of daily stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Provide a cat-friendly home environment with vertical climbing spaces, plenty of cat trees and window perches for bird-watching, and daily quality playtime. If you have a safe, cat-proofed outdoor space your Russian Blue will also love spending time outside! 
  • Prone to weight gain. This breed of feline LOVES mealtime, so they can become overweight if you’re not careful. You’ll need to stick to strict diet and feed your cat on a schedule. This is a breed that will demand food multiple times throughout the day. We know Mr Whiskers is hard to resist, but be firm about feeding times. This way your Russian Blue stays trim, happy, and healthy. 
  • Very vocal. Like their Siamese cousins, Russian Blues are very vocal cats. They’ll chat about pretty much everything—whether it’s to let you know they’re hungry or to alert you to strange happenings outside their window! This is something to keep in mind if you live in an apartment with neighbours who may not appreciate a loud kitty.
  • Don’t like change. Most kitties don’t adapt well to change (which is why hiring a cat sitter to come into your home is always a better idea than boarding your feline at a cattery). But Russian Blue cats are particularly averse to even the smallest change. This breed won’t appreciate varied mealtimes, visits from strangers, or a new cat in the family. And because they’re so chatty, you can expect your Russian Blue to loudly let you know how disgruntled they are! 

Should I get a Russian Blue cat?

So, should you get a Russian Blue cat? Only you can know for sure if the Russian Blue cat is right for your lifestyle. However, if you can’t provide a quiet, calm home environment, a steady feeding schedule, and lots of daily playtime, perhaps you should consider a different breed. While every cat is different, there are breed traits that remain the same regardless of personality. You should consider these carefully before bringing any type of feline into your life. And remember, there are so many kitties in shelters waiting for happy homes. Always consider adopting before buying (and if you do buy, make sure it’s from a reputable breeder). 

If you are planning on bringing a Russian Blue cat into your life, you can take a few steps to ensure that they’re comfortable and happy. Consider investing in a timed feeder so that, no matter what, your kitty eats at the same time every day. And if you’re worried about your fur friend getting enough stimulation while you’re at work, why not hire a pet sitter for at-home cat day careA trustworthy cat sitter can pop in during the day to play with, feed, and spend time with your feline. But keep in mind that Cat in a Flat’s wonderful pet sitters are not a replacement for time with you, Mr Whiskers’ favourite human! You should still schedule a few minutes every day to play with your cat too!

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