Chartreux at a Glance
Known for their pumpkin-colored eyes, the Chartreux is an attentive and gentle companion. These incredible cats have a face shape that causes them to appear to be smiling. They are intelligent cats with lightning fast reflexes, which makes them especially fun to watch. Find out more about this breed and if the Chartreux is right for you and your family.
Temperament: Loving, Loyal, Easy going
Size: Medium-sized cat
Colors: Chartreux cats come in any shade of blue-gray, from ash to slate. Tips may appear to be lightly brushed with silver.
Life Expectancy: 8-13+ years
About the Chartreux
The Chartreux is an old breed that is a balance of contrasts. With its sturdy, robust body and fine-boned legs, the Chartreux is often described as a “potato on toothpicks.” It is one of the few breeds to come in blue only. These are cats that want their feet firmly on the ground. While playful and intelligent, these engaging cats are not one for hijinks or flying through the air. They have a short, thick coat that requires regular combing.
Like most cats, the Chartreux loves to climb, and has also been known to perform acrobatic acts as they chase a fishing pole toy. Playful and intelligent, they like to be challenged by learning new tricks and playing with puzzle toys that reward them with treats when they learn how to manipulate them.
The amiable disposition of the Chartreux make them great family pets. Their calm nature makes them suitable for staying home alone. They are good with young children, other pets, people living on their own and the elderly.
TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues
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Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders
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The Chartreux has a thick, wooly coat that requires regular combing to avoid knots, especially when seasons change. They shed their undercoat a couple of times a year.
As with all cats, keep their nails trimmed, ears cleaned and teeth brushed regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and provide a nice tall scratching pole to help their natural scratching instinct.
Chartreux cats do not have any particular nutritional needs other than good, quality, dry kibble.
As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily. Fresh, clean water is best, so cats don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from cat behaviorists - place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less. Filtered drinking fountains can also be used in place of a water bowl.
The Chartreux is considered an overall healthy breed. However, it is recommended that their vaccinations and parasite treatments are kept to date.
Reputed to be great mousers, references to Chartreux cats are found in French literature as early as the 16th century. There are 2 possible ways the Chartreux may have received its name. The first, as a companion to the Carthusian monks protecting the grain stores for the monastery and perhaps the ingredients for the famous Charteuse liqueur. The second, as a cat with a coat similar to a well-known Spanish wool from the 18th century. There are no records in the monastery that refer to the cats however the term Chartreux for these cats was being used as early as the 17th century which predates the Spanish wool and appears to be more connected with the monastery. French literature has references to the Charteux cat though the 1880s and it is known considered the national cat of France. As with many other breeds, the Chartreux suffered through WWII and after the war other breeds were introduced to help preserve a solid genetic base. In the case of the Charteux, blue British Shorthairs and Persians were used but breeders stayed focused on preserving the overall look of the cat.
Did You Know?
- The Chartreux is the official mascot of the Montreaux Jazz Festival.
- General Charles de Gaulle had a Chartreux named Gris Gris.
- The luxurious wool “Pile de Chartreux” may have taken its name from the soft, woolly coated cats.
The Breed Standard
The Chartreux is a sturdy French breed coveted since antiquity for its hunting prowess and its dense, water repellent fur. Its husky, robust type is sometimes termed primitive, being neither cobby nor classic/domestic. Though large, Chartreux are extremely supple and agile cats; refined, never coarse or clumsy. Males are much larger than females and slower to mature. Coat texture, coat color and eye color are affected by sex, age and natural factors.
Click here to read the full TICA Chartreux Breed Standard.
Accepted For Championship in TICA in 1979