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Abyssinian at a Glance

Abyssinian Breed Full Body2 copyConsidered to be one of the oldest cat breeds, Abyssinians (Abys) are tremendously devoted felines. Their distinctive almond-shaped eyes resemble the elegance of the cat statues found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Easy to groom, they are easy to care for and make a great addition to a family. Find out more about this breed and if the Abyssinian is right for you and your family.

  • Temperament: Intelligent, Energetic, Affectionate

  • Size: Abyssinians are a medium-sized cat, surprisingly heavy considering the slim appearance of their body structure.  
    Females tend to be somewhat smaller in stature and finer boned.
    Adult females: 6-9 pounds
    Adult males: 7-12 pounds

  • Colors: Abyssinians are recognized in two divisions: traditional and silver. Traditional division colors include ruddy, cinnamon, chocolate, and a diluted blue, fawn and lilac. The silver division colors include black-silver, cinnamon-silver, chocolate-silver, and a diluted blue-silver, fawn-silver, and lilac-silver.

  • Life Expectancy: 14 - 17+ years. Many have been known to live well into their 20’s.


About the Abyssinian

Known for their unique ticked coat, Abyssinians have the appearance of a wildcat. They are athletic, alert, very active, and intensely curious with all that surrounds them. Fiercely loyal and highly people oriented, Abyssinians are referred to as the cat of the dog world. They are generally great with children, dogs, and other cats.

Activity Level:
Abyssinians are extremely graceful, lithe, and elegant. They show a lively interest in their surroundings and are famous for their playful and curious disposition. Most Abys will stay kitten-like throughout much of their life.

Abys prefer the highest ground they can reach. They love to be on the highest level possible where they are able to observe the room, make decisions, and even guard their family. Don’t be stunned if you find a “flying” Aby on your shoulder!


TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues

Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
TICA is a large resource made up of smaller regions and clubs around the world.
Click here to find a club near you and contact information for your regional director and website.

Wherever you are, you’re in TICA’s world!® 

 

Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders

The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
Click here to find Abyssinian Kittens.


Abyssinian Breed Head ShotCare

Grooming: 
Abyssinians are known to many as the “wash and wear” cat. Their grooming requirements are low as they shed very little and have a short, easy-to-maintain coat. An occasional brushing is all that is required to eliminate dead hair and an intermittent rub down with a cold damp cloth will also help to keep their coat glossy and in good condition. Bathe as needed, starting when your Aby is a kitten. After bathing, pat down with a towel and leave the coat to “drip-dry” on its own.

Nails should be trimmed every two weeks. Begin brushing their teeth regularly at an early age with a vet-approved pet toothpaste. 

Nutrition:
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 some 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 (stainless steel preferred) can also be used in place of a water bowl.   

Health 
Abyssinians are generally healthy, but as with all breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. While knowledgeable breeders do their best to test for and eliminate genetic health problems, cats may still develop certain diseases or conditions. Abyssinians may have a higher risk for the following:

  • PK-Def ( Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency) Pk-def is a hereditary form of anemia 
  • PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) PRA is a hereditary disease of the retina in the eye that eventually leads to permanent blindness. 
  • PL (Patella Luxation) PL is a defect where the kneecap (patella) has a tendency to slip out of its position, it luxates.
  • RA (  Renal Amyloidosis ) Unfortunately there is no DNA/genetic testing for RA. This is a disease in which an amyloid substance accumulates in the cells of the kidney (and possibly in other organs such as the thyroid gland, stomach and spleen).

It is important to note that PK-Def and PRA can be diagnosed through genetic testing so be sure to ask for certification from the breeder. 


History

The Abyssinian is one of the oldest breeds of domesticated cats, but its real ancestry is lost in time.

Romantic tales call it the cat from the Blue Nile saying it is a direct descendant of the sacred cat of Ancient Egypt because it resembles the cats depicted in Egyptian murals and artifacts. Others believe British soldiers from Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) brought a cat named Zula home with them to England at the end of the Abyssinian war in 1868. So far, no documentation links Zula to the cats of today and recent genetic studies identify the cats in the coastal area of the Bay of Bengal in India as the Abyssinian's potential forebears.

The Abyssinian was developed and refined in Britain. The first Abyssinian arrived in the United States in the early 1900s and they were first exhibited in 1909. In the 1930s an effort to develop the Abyssinian in the US began and it quickly developed into one of America's favorite breeds because of its expressive eyes, unique coat pattern and personality. The Somali is the stunning long-haired descendant of the Abyssinian and is named for Somalia which borders Ethiopia, formerly Abyssinia, to represent their connection to each other. TICA accepted the breed into championship status in 1979.


Similiar Breeds

The Somali cat is a longhaired Abyssinian


Did You Know?

  • A pair of Abys named Amber and Rumpler shared the role of Jake, the stranded alien cat in the 1978 Disney movie, The Cat From Outer Space. Actor Ronnie Schell did the voice of Jake.
  • Punkin, a ruddy Abyssinian belongs to radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh
  • A blue Abyssinian named Isis was featured as a significant clue in season 4, episode 7 of the television series CSI.
  • CatTime named the Abyssinians as the Smartest Cat Breed in the World
  • The book “Child of the Gods”, written by Helen and Sidney Denham, refers to the Abyssinian as a child of the gods.
  • In 1871 an Abyssinian made an appearance in the world’s second largest major cat show held at London’s Crystal Palace and won third place. 
  • The first cat DNA to be decoded was an Abyssinian. In 2007, the feline genome was finally sequenced. And the star of the science was an Abyssinian cat named Cinnamon. This was a revolutionary discovery for the progress of cat science.

From the Breed Standard

The overall impression of the ideal Abyssinian is a medium cat, regal in appearance. The Abyssinian is foreign in type. Males proportionately larger than females, the female being finer boned and usually more active than the male. The Abyssinian shows firm muscular development and is lithe and panther-like in activity, showing a lively interest in all surroundings. The coat of the Abyssinian has an iridescent quality. Coat pattern is genetically a form of agouti ticking with even, dark-colored ticking contrasted with lighter bands giving a translucent effect. The Abyssinian is of sound health and vigor, well-balanced physically and temperamentally gentle and amenable to handling.

Click here to read the full TICA Breed Standard.


Additional information and an introduction to the breed can be found in the links below:'

Abyssinian Breed

Abyssinian Breed Full Body

Accepted For Championship in TICA in 1979



 

LaPerm at a Glance

LaPerm Breed Full Body2 copyKnown as the curly-coated cuddlers, LaPerms are a friendly and loving breed. They can be found with longhair or shorthair, curly hair and even straight hair. LaPerms are easy to care for and bond well with people, making them the ideal choice for many families. Find out more about this breed and if the LaPerm is right for you and your family.

  • Temperament: Intelligent, Active, Sweet

  • Size: A small-to-medium breed, with males being larger than females.
    Females tend to be somewhat smaller in stature and finer boned.
    Adult females: 6-9 pounds
    Adult males: 7-12 pounds

  • Colors: Any color and pattern, including the new Karpati (salt & pepper) pattern from Eastern Europe.

  • Life Expectancy: The LaPerm is a very healthy breed and can be expected to live a good, long life of 12-15 years. However, some LaPerms have been known to live as long as 20 years..


About the LaPerm

LaPerms are known for their soft, curly, low-maintenance coats. They are extremely affectionate and are known to sit on the laps of their families to seek out kisses or look deeply into their eyes. They are not generally vocal, but seem to understand human moods and react accordingly.

Easygoing and playful, the strong-bond they create with their families make them great companions for children, the disabled and those who live alone. They love companionship and should not be left alone often without a companion such as a cat with a similar activity level or a cat-friendly dog.

Activity Level:
The LaPerm is not a couch potato! They are an alert, intelligent, and active cat with a high degree of curiosity and independence. They love to be involved in everything their families are doing and can often be found following their people around the house and tapping their legs as they pass by to get their attention.

Toy mice and ping pong balls are recommended as well as a tall cat tree so they can climb and be up high to supervise the area.

LaPerms remain active and playful throughout their life, but will never miss an opportunity to cuddle up on their owners lap or around their neck.


TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues

Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
TICA is a large resource made up of smaller regions and clubs around the world.
Click here to find a club near you and contact information for your regional director and website.

Wherever you are, you’re in TICA’s world!® 

 

Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders

The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
Click here to find LaPerm Kittens.


Abyssinian Breed Head ShotCare

Grooming: 
LaPerms come in Shorthair (SH), Longhair (LH) varieties.

Their coats are light, low shedding, and rarely matt since they are without a heavy undercoat. A wide toothed comb can be used to brush them, however bathing and brushing is not necessary as they are meant to look a little untidy.

Kittens are born with short fur and do not look like mini-adults. Longhairs in particular may go through some changes before getting gradually longer and curlier, with their full coat not coming in until three-years-old.

In summer, their coats are lighter with some loss of undercoat and on the neck for coolness. In winter a mature LH LaPerm will have a full ruff and plumed tail. Shorthairs are not as impacted seasonally and have a springy feel to their coat and a bottle brush tail.

Nails should be trimmed every two weeks. Begin brushing their teeth regularly at an early age with a vet-approved pet toothpaste. 

Nutrition:
All cats need a quality food to keep their systems healthy and immunity high. The TICA LaPerm Breed Committee recommends asking your breeder what they are currently feeding and continue with that regime to avoid stomach upsets. While metabolism slows after neutering, it is rare for a LaPerm to overeat as they have so many other interests.

Fresh water should be available at all times. Water bowls should be washed and refilled with fresh water daily. As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily so they don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from some 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.   

Health 
As a relatively new breed, there are no breed-specific diseases associated with the LaPerm. The TICA LaPerm Breed Committee recommends all breeders conduct DNA tests on all allowed domestic outcrosses before being introduced into the breed pool.


History

On March 1st, 1982 Linda Koehl watched a brown tabby cat named Speedy have a litter of six kittens in a barn in her cherry orchard and witnessed the birth of a new “Rex” breed mutation: a long, skinny, hairless kitten with large wide-spaced ears, and a tabby pattern apparent in the skin like a tattoo. At six weeks, the kitten developed a sparse curly shorthaired coat with a brown classic tabby pattern and was named Curly. As she matured, Curly developed a soft wavy coat. Over time, more curly-coated cats appeared and fascinated visitors to the farm who told Linda she had something special. She entered six cats in a cat show to see what people thought. She started a breeding program and established her unique cats as the LaPerm breed.

LaPerms were accepted by TICA for championship competition in 2003.


Similiar Breeds

Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Selkirk Rex, Somali, and Abyssinian.

Opposite Breeds

Persian, Ragdoll, and British Shorthair.


Did You Know?

  • While known for their curly coats. the first LaPerm was born completely bald. Occasionally a kitten will be born bald (BB), but will always grow into a curly coat.
  • LaPerm cats are the only “Rex” breed with whiskers that are long and flexible, while the Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, and Selkirk Rex are all born with brittle whiskers that often break off short.

From the Breed Standard

The LaPerm is a naturally occurring mutation producing both long and shorthaired cats. It is medium-sized and curly-coated, with a semi-foreign type body. All colors are acceptable. All parts of the body are in harmony with the size of the cat. There is evidence of surprising weight for size. The cat is alert and seems to be walking high on his legs. Coat texture will be distinctly different than that of any other Rex mutation and will vary within the breed. Whiskers will be very long and curly, ear furnishings and eyebrow hairs may also curl and may grow long enough to curl into eye. The perfect cat will have a moderately soft, but textured coat that will be loose and bouncy, standing away from the body, resembling a "Gypsy Shag". A coat you can run your fingers through to the skin but will appear very curly. The cat will have ringlet type curls at the base of the ears and on the underside of the neck running into the ruff on the longhaired version. The coat should be free of matting, so it should not be too thick and heavy. 

Click here to read the full TICA Breed Standard.


Additional information and an introduction to the breed can be found in the links below:

Minuet Breed

Minuet Full BodyAccepted For Championship in TICA in 2016



Nebelung at a Glance

Nebelung Body ShotThe highly intelligent Nebelungs are devoted to their families, but are often shy with strangers and young children. Kittens need time to adjust to their new home and should be allowed to advance at their own pace. As they settle in, their playful personality will emerge and they will soon be following family members from room to room. They are medium-sized cats that require regular combing to prevent tangles and mats. Find out more about this breed and if the Nebelung is right for you and your family.

  • Temperament: Affectionate, Gentle, Playful

  • Size: medium-sized cat

  • Colors: Blue with silver tips

  • Life Expectancy: 11 - 16+ years.


About the Nebelung

The Nebelung is a new and relatively rare breed that are close relatives of the short-haired Russian Blue. They do not like change and do best in a quiet, stable environment. Known for being gentle and mild-mannered, they are playful and very affectionate with their immediate family members. Although they are loving and loyal with those they know, they can be reserved, and sometimes even aloof, with strangers. It is not unusual for them to hide when people are visiting the house.

Although they love receiving cuddles and affection from their family, they are not a particularly needy cat. They can be left home alone without incidence, making them well-suited to apartment living.


Activity Level

Despite their gentle, quiet, somewhat shy nature, Nebelungs love to play. They are especially fond of retrieving, jumping, and climbing to high places where they can study people and situations before making up their mind about whether they want to get involved.

Nebelungs love to be with their families, but are also capable of entertaining themselves during the day. They are active, affectionate, good-natured cats that prefer the company of their own family to that of visiting strangers.

Kittens need time to adjust to their new home and should be allowed to make their own advances to their new family. Once settled, the playful Nebelung will becoming a loving, cuddling companion that will follow his owners from room to room to remain in their company.


TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues

Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
TICA is a large resource made up of smaller regions and clubs around the world.
Click here to find a club near you and contact information for your regional director and website.

Wherever you are, you’re in TICA’s world!® 

 

Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders

The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
Click here to find Nebelung Kittens.


Nebelung Head ShotCare

Grooming:
Comb your Nebelung’s coat regularly to ensure that it does not become matted or tangled. This will also remove dead hair and distribute skin oils.

Wipe the corners of the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so you don’t run the risk of spreading any infection.

Check their ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.

As with all cats, brush their teeth weekly to prevent periodontal disease and trim their nails every couple of weeks.

Nutrition:
Nebelung are sometimes known for being fussy about their food, but be careful, once they find something they like, they can easily become overweight.

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 some 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.   

Health
Nebelung’s are considered overall a healthy, but still relatively new breed. They are also known for their longevity, with it not being uncommon for them to reach eighteen years of age.


History

Cora Cobb (Nebelheim) developed the Nebelung breed and attained its recognition in TICA.

The first registered Nebelungs were Siegfried - born in 1984, and named for the murdered dragon slayer in the epic Germanic poem - and Brunhilde, born in 1985, and named for the Icelandic queen in the same poem. Siegfried's mother was a black domestic shorthair named Elsa belonging to Cora's son, Karl, and Siegfried's father was a longhair resembling a black Angora. Siegfried was the only blue longhair kitten-a beautiful, large kitten with long legs, long tail and a medium length coat.

Five months later a second litter was born with another longhaired blue but this time it was a female that Cora named Brunhilde. Her coat was longer and lighter than Siegfried's. These two cats were the foundation of the new breed. Siegfried and Bruhilde had their first litter in 1986 and shortly afterwards, in 1987, with the help of Dr. Solveig Pflueger, Cora applied to TICA for New Breed status (NBC).

The Russian Blue was designated as an outcross for the new breed and it continued to allow the addition of foundation cats as an important way of developing the gene pool. The new breed needed a unique standard and one was developed based on an interpretation of early 19th century cats imported to England. The late 1980s saw the beginnings of the cat fancy in Eastern Europe and a redevelopment of the Russian Blue created an influx of foundation cats to that breed. Some of these new foundation Russian Blues carried the longhair gene and provided a valuable new source of bloodlines to help develop the Nebelung breed.

TICA recognized the Nebelung for championship competition in 1997.


Did You Know?

Nebelungs were featured on the Animal Planet show Cats 101.  

The character Hairball in the movie Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw was depicted by a Nebelung voiced by Frank Welker.  

The movie Garden State, featured a Nebelung.

The name Nebelung is derived from the German word Nebel, meaning fog or mist, a reference to the cat’s flowing shimmering silvery-blue coat.


From the Breed Standard

The goal of Nebelung breeding program is to produce a blue cat with the same type as those imported from Russia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and to combine this type with a thick shimmering coat of medium length. The body and tail are long, the ears large in proportion to the head and the eyes range in color from yellowish green to green. Size is medium and the body well-muscled. The coat is medium long on the body, longer on the tail, with lighter colored guard hairs. The overall appearance is long, sturdy and well muscled.

Click here to read the full TICA Breed Standard.


Additional information and an introduction to the breed can be found in the links below:'

Nebelung Breed

Nebelung Body ShotAccepted For Championship in TICA in 1997



Minuet at a Glance

Shorthair Minuet BodyAn endearing baby-doll face set upon a low-slung body ensures that the Minuet will quickly capture your heart. Originating from the ‘doll faced’ Persian and the short legged Munchkin, the Minuet shares the gentleness of a Persian and the energy and curiosity of the Munchkin. They are medium-sized, but don’t let their short legs fool you, they can navigate the curves of their self-defined race-track through the house at breakneck speed. They make great family pets and require regular brushing. Find out more about this breed and if a Minuet is right for you and your family.

  • Temperament:Laid-back, playful, curious.

  • Size: Medium-sized with short legs. Adults weighing on average 7-to-8 pounds.

  • Colors: The Minuet comes in every color and pattern of cat and can be found in both the long or short hair varieties.

  • Life Expectancy: 15 + years depending on many factors including environment and nutrition.


About the Minuet

Derived from the combination of its two parent breeds, Persian and Munchkin, the Minuet has the Munchkin to thank for its short legs but claims the majority of its traits from the Persian Group (Persians, Exotic and Himalayan). In addition to its small size, this breed is recognized by its roundness, from its face and its large, round eyes, to its body and strong muscles.

Known for their charm, the Minuet is an extremely affectionate and people-oriented cat. Their big eyes and sweet faces give them a look of complete innocence, while their inquisitiveness can land them in all kinds of trouble!

Minuets make very good companions for families and older people. Aside from chasing a ball or swatting at a wand, their next favorite activity most certainly is lap warming.

Activity Level

The Minuet is very Persian-like in its level of activity, but not a total couch potato. If you feel more activity is a good idea, make it a playful time and you will find the Minuet to be very cooperative. Many also love to chase a ball down the entire length of a long hallway.


TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues

Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
TICA is a large resource made up of smaller regions and clubs around the world.
Click here to find a club near you and contact information for your regional director and website.

Wherever you are, you’re in TICA’s world!® 

 

Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders

The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
Click here to find Minuet Kittens.


Abyssinian Breed Head ShotCare

Grooming: 
The coat of the Minuet, both in its long- and short-hair varieties, is a plush coat consisting of an undercoat as well. The coat should not be as thick or heavy as what you would see on a Persian, but again, this will vary among individual cats.

The TICA Minuet Breed Committee recommends a steel comb (with close and more distant teeth) as the best grooming since it easily reaches down to the skin. Daily, or even every other day, combing will keep the coat from tangling or matting, and will provide an enjoyable experience for you and your Minuet. Make sure and get to the hard to reach areas such as behind the ears, tummy, and between the front and rear legs.

Bathing, depending on environment, may be optional. With a heavier coated long-haired Minuet, you may want to get your kitten used to bathing and blow-drying early on. Done slowly and gently, many do seem to totally enjoy the whole process.

As with all cats, regularly trim their nails and brush their teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Schedule regular veterinary check ups and dental cleanings.

Nutrition:
Cats, as with people, may vary in how they metabolize their caloric intake. Being at the lower end of the activity scale, Minuets should be watched to make sure there is a minimum of excess body fat.  The Minuet should feel firm and solid, not excessively flabby.  Many do well on self-feed dry.  With the food constantly there, the tendency to gorge or eat too much at once is eliminated.  The cat will ingest small amounts throughout the day. It really is a matter of observing and getting to know your own cat's requirements and habits. Choose your foods (wet and dry) wisely.  Treats should be just that, occasional goodies, not taking up a significant part of the total diet. 

As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily so cats don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from some 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.   

Health
The Minuet is considered an overall healthy breed. With their heavy Persian background, all Minuets should come with a certificate stating that their parents have been checked and cleared for PKD.  Also, when shopping for your kitten, make sure the parents do not have teary eyes or excessively narrowed nasal passages.


History

The Minuet "journey" began on June 12, 1995 with an article in the Wall Street Journal about the Munchkin.

Breed founder Joe Smith saw this article and was immediately enamored with this short-legged cat. Having been a Basset Hound breeder for many years, he was delighted that the short-legged (dwarf) gene had finally appeared in the cat world. Read the history of the Minuet and the road the breed took to be accepted as a TICA championship breed in 2016.

Did You Know?

  • Known for being distinctively short, the breed earned its name from emperor Napoleon ‘Minuet’ Bonaparte. The Minuet was originally known as the Napoleon Cat, but in 2015 was renamed the Minuet by TICA.
  • To achieve the classic Minuet doll-faced look, breed founder Joe Smith used a doll-faced Persian, known for their sweet expression and longer nose than the current Persian.
  • Despite her short legs, Minuets are fast-moving cats that like to “zoom” around the house.

Similiar Breeds

Persian, British Longhair/Shorthair, Exotic Shorthair.

Opposite Breeds

Oriental Longhair/Shorthair, Sphynx, Devon Rex.



From the Breed Standard

The Minuet is a hybrid of the Persian Breed Group and the Munchkin Breed Group. The desired result is a cat that should be medium in size and strong, with noticeable boning and musculature. This cat should have a very open and round face with a sweet expression and large eyes that do not tear. The ideal Minuet is an active yet laid-back cat with a playful attitude.

Read the full TICA Minuet Breed Standard.


Additional information and an introduction to the breed can be found in the links below:

Minuet Breed

Minuet Full BodyAccepted For Championship in TICA in 2016



Russian Blue at a Glance

Russian Blue Full BodyThe dense, bright blue coat tipped with silver has been the hallmark of the Russian Blue for more than a century. While generally quiet cats, they will talk to you if you talk to them and develop a large vocabulary. Once the Russian Blue decides you are worthy of his attention, he is extremely affectionate and expects your loving attention to all its needs. They are playful, loving companions that get along well with children and other pets. The thick Russian Blue coat is easy to groom with brushing or combing once or twice a week. Find out more about this breed and if the Russian Blue is right for you and your family.

  • Temperament: Intelligent, Talkative, Gentle
  • Size: medium-sized cat
  • Colors: Russian Blues come in one coat color – blue, and one coat length - short 
  • Life Expectancy: 10 - 20+ years, some have lived to be 25 years.

About the Russian Blue

The elegant and aristocratic Russian Blue is a sweet-tempered, loyal cat. They are known for their friendliness and intelligence, but are somewhat reserved around strangers. However, they are affectionate and very close to their family and tend to follow them around, sometimes on their shoulders.

Observant and persistent, Russian Blues can be very vocal, and will use their voice to converse back-and-forth and communicate with others. They thrive on structure and don’t adapt well to change, such as varying meal times or unknown visitors.

Playful and loving companions, they get along well with children and other pets. They can be left home alone without incidence, making them well suited to apartment living.


Activity Level

Russian blues are a highly intelligent breed that requires physical and mental stimulation. Smart and observant, they can be taught to play fetch and do tricks, including how to open doors and drawers. Challenge their brain by teaching them tricks and providing puzzle toys that will reward them with kibble or treats when they learn how to manipulate them.

They are especially fond of retrieving, jumping, and climbing to high places where they can study people and situations before making up their mind about whether they want to get involved.

While very social, they also enjoy alone time and will seek a quiet, private nook to sleep.


TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues

Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
TICA is a large resource made up of smaller regions and clubs around the world.
Click here to find a club near you and contact information for your regional director and website.

Wherever you are, you’re in TICA’s world!® 

 

Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders

The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
Click here to find Russian Blue Kittens.


Russian Blue Head ShotCare

Grooming: 
Russian Blues require minimal grooming if you maintain a good hygiene routine. Brush their coat regularly. This will also remove dead hair and distribute skin oils.

Wipe the corners of the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so you don’t run the risk of spreading any infection.

Check their ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.

As with all cats, brush their teeth weekly to prevent periodontal disease and trim their nails every couple of weeks.

Nutrition:
Russian Blues are known to have a healthy appetite. It is important to make sure they don’t overeat by keeping them on a regular feeding schedule and avoiding too many cat treats.

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 some 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.   

Health 
Russian Blues are considered overall a healthy breed. They are also known for their longevity, with it not being uncommon for some to reach twenty-five years of age with proper care and regular visits to the veterinarian.


History

Russian Blues are also known as the Archangel cats. While their silver tipping and green eyes certainly makes them look like angels, the Archangel name was given to them after their point of origin--the Russian port of Arkhangelsk on the White Sea about 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The cats boarded the boats with the sailors and came to other parts of Europe.

The first cat shows in England in the 1880s included Russian Blues. For a while, all blue shorthaired cats competed in the same class however, in 1912 the distinctive cats from Arkhangelsk with their large eyes and ears were assigned their own class called the Foreign Blue.

The war had an impact on cat breeding and on the Russian Blue cats. After the war, breeders sought to revive their lines outcrossed to cats that resembled the Russian cats. Some English breeders chose to use the blue British Shorthair to ensure they kept the pale plush coat. Other breeders chose to use blue point Siamese to ensure they kept the elegant foreign body with its long fine legs and to preserve the distinctive head with its large ears and eyes.

The Scandinavian breeders were also working with outcross cats using Siamese and a blue cat from Finland but their cats had short tight dark coats and magnificent emerald green eyes set like jewels in the triangular head.

Russian Blues came to North America in the early 1900s however serious breeding programs began much later. The North American breeders imported cats from both England and Scandinavia and worked to combine the best features of each into today's modern Russian Blue. Today's Russian Blue has emerald eyes and a pale blue coat frosted with silver and the angelic smile that is a distinguishing feature of the breed.

TICA recognized the Russian Blue for championship competition in 1979.


Did You Know?

Some people believe Russian Blues descended from cats of the Russian Czars.

Russian Blues are sometimes called “Archangel Cats” after their point of origin in the Archangel Isles.

In the movie Garfield: The Movie, Arlene is portrayed by a Russian Blue feline.

Felicity, a character in the novel and film Felidae, was a Russian Blue cat.

In the movie Cats & Dogs, a Russian Blue kitten is depicted as a trainee. Catherine from the movie’s sequel, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, is also a Russian Blue.

In the comic Two Lumps, Eben and Snooch are portrayed as Russian Blues cats.

The Nyan Cat meme was inspired by creator Chris Torres' Russian Blue, Marty.


From the Breed Standard

The Egyptian Mau is the only natural domestic breed of spotted cat. The body is graceful, showing well-developed muscular strength. It strikes a balance between the heftiness of the cobby and svelteness of the oriental types. It is an alert, active, strong, colorful cat of medium size. It should be well-balanced physically and temperamentally. General balance is more to be desired than size alone.

Click here to read the full TICA Breed Standard.


Additional information and an introduction to the breed can be found in the links below:

Russian Blue Breed

Russian Blue Full BodyAccepted For Championship in TICA in 1979



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