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The Russian Blue kittens represent a breed coming in a variety of colors ranging from light gray to almost black. A notable fact tells us that lighter colored blues are more aggressive and territorial than their “darker” mates. However, around strangers, they behave themselves surprisingly shy. They develop close bonds with humans and have peculiar personalities. The Russian Blue is relatively rare to meet as their popularity not as big as compared to that of Bengals’ for instance. But the positive feedback that other Russian Blue owners deliver makes this breed outstanding companions with truly supernatural look and character.
The History Behind
Sometimes called as the “Archangel Blues”, the Russian Blue is a natural breed that may have originated from cats brought by Russian sailors from the Archangel Isles to Northern Europe and Great Britain in the 1860’s. In 1875, the breed was shown at the Crystal Palace in London, presented as the Archangel Cat. The “Archangel Cat” possibly owes its name to the city of Arkhangelsk in Russia. Before 1912, the Russian Blue was part of a universal cat class comprising all blue cats but after that, it got its own class.
Shortly after all Siamese traits were successfully bred out
Before World War II Blues were bred in Scandinavia and England, but right after the war due to the lack of Russia Blues, all cats available had to be crossbred with the Siamese. Only during the post-war period, American breeders created the cat that is now known as the Russian Blue and set standards for the breed. The ultimate result was possible because of combining the British and the Scandinavian Russian Blues. Shortly after all Siamese traits were successfully bred out. The Russian Blue gave the necessary genes to create such breed as the Havana Brown and alter the already existing Nebelung breed.
Temperament and Personality of Russian Blue Kittens
Blues are very playful. They can play fetch even without proper training – just throw it several times and the cat will learn to bring it back. However, their playfulness is reserved for those they trust only. Therefore, if your guest smiles and throws a toy hoping that the cat will bring it after, the only attention he is going to get is cat’s indifferent glance. If you want to establish confidential relations with your kitten or with the cat of your neighbors, you should start the acquaintance with a play only. Once you have started, you mustn’t cease playing as your cat may understand that you want to end the relationship the way there used to be. What else can be said about the Russian Blue is that:
They learn tricks and commands almost like dogs do. Therefore, you can train your cat for some time and when your friends come you can prove that the dog is not the only creature that is able to do tricks.
- Previously, before becoming the domestic cats, as we know them today, the Russian Blue was hunted for its unique silver coat (acording Wikipedia) The only reasonable evidence of this fact is that they show high intelligence and quick-footedness.
- They are afraid of strong noises and hearing a vacuum cleaner, for instance always results in almost sudden disappearance of a cat. When vacuuming the house, close your cat in one room while cleaning in another, after finishing one room, close your cat in another room and continue cleaning. When your cat gets frightened, it is recommended to pick the cat up and calm it down.
If you are a “guest-type” person who likes to receive visitors frequently, getting a Russian Blue may not be a good choice
Get a cat crate, better with a cover where your cat will be able to hide when being startled.
- If you want to draw the attention of a Russian Blue when visiting friend’s home, be gentle, don’t laugh like Batman’s Joker and try to intrigue the cat by making interesting discontinuous noises like rustling, soft clanking, scratching. Any cat is a hunter by default and will be interested to know what might be causing uncommon sounds.
- If you are a “guest-type” person who likes to receive visitors frequently, getting a Russian Blue may not be a good choice. Just imagine how stressed your cat will be every time some “shameless bipedals” interfere in its space.
- Russian Blue is a cat with strong affection, very empathetic to human emotions and can tell you happy from when you are gloomy. The reciprocity and mutual understanding of each other’s spirit and mood are the name of the game. Don’t be putting all eggs in cat’s basket: your cat can easily understand that you are the “taker” and not a bit of a “giver”.
Speaking of general convenience of keeping a Russian Blue at home, you should know that they don’t have problems with other pets and children. However, children at the age of 2 up to 10 are clamorous and hence a Blue may not be a perfect match – not yet. Consider getting a Russian Blue when your children grow at least 10-12 years old.
Where to Buy
Russian Blues can be bought at breeder’s only as they are relatively harder to find than any other breed. However, it doesn’t mean that the price will be outrageously high – not so many people know about the breed and it is not as popular as Bengals are, for instance (Read more about The Bengal Kittens).
When searching for a Russian Blue kitten, consider looking for catteries via these sites:
TICA.org/find-a-breeder – The International Cat Association
RussianBlue.info – a list of breeders also available
CFA Breeds – more information about the breed with a big database of breeders that you may find on the right with the help of “Find a Kitten” link
Russian Blues are not popular thus there are not so many catteries specializing namely in this breed. You may have more luck searching for a kitten in ads posted by owners who want to sell a kitten. These are also difficult to find but this option is better than nothing.
Colors and Patterns
All Russians are blue and cannot have any other shade. Hence, you may come up with a question “Is my cat a Russian Blue?”. All Russian Blues have the same common trait – dense coat, short hair, gray fur spread all over the body. If your feline doesn’t match this description, it’s probably a domestic short-haired cat. Uninformed may think of common gray color but the coat has a more “sophisticated” coloring: almost bright blue coat shows silver-tipped hairs that glisten at sunlight. Some of the kittens are born with so-called “ghost stripes” that bear evidence of a tabby gene that all cats carry. These stripes usually fade fast leaving the kitten with a solid blue coat.
The eye color is the distinct trait of this breed. While your Russian Blue is still a kitten, it has yellow eyes. By four months, it will gain a bright green ring around the pupil. As your kitten grows older, it will get a more bright and vivid green ring.
The only way to ensure the “bluishness” of your Russian kitten is to buy it at a reputable cattery
Any Russian Blue has the recessive gene that dilutes the default color by making it more blue. This recessive gene cannot carry the dominant genes. That’s why a Russian Blue will be born even if it has a Russian Black or a Russian White parent. Russian Blues, Russian Whites, and Russian Blacks are the cats of the same Russian family but they differ in their appearance. This is why there is a misconception that technically, Russian Blues, Whites, and Blacks are of the same family but their appearance makes them differ so that every one of them is considered to be a separate breed. Also, don’t confuse the Russian Blue with a British Blue, which is actually a British shorthair with a coat coming in its own variety of colors that the Russian Blue cannot boast having. Chartreux and Korat are also natural blue cat breeds and they have similar traits but they are not the same as the Russian Blue. The only way to ensure the “bluishness” of your Russian kitten is to buy it at a reputable cattery.
Care Tips and Recommendations
Russian Blues as any other cat need the same care and attention – nothing extraordinary. This is what care tips comprise:
Combing once a week. Using a wide-toothed comb, you remove
dandruff and debris from the fur. Brush along the hairline only.
Removing the eye residue. If there’s any residue near the eyes, use a damp cloth to clean it away.
Feeding regiment. All cats are prone to weight gain; this is why you should watch your cat’s eating habit. Don’t give it much food and limit the intake if you see that your cat has become sluggish (read more about Kitten Food).
Care for the nails. Consider getting a scratch post or nail clippers.
Washing is completely optional and should be done when your cat sheds only. To make the washing happen without any accidents, prepare bowls with warm water, turn off the faucet and while holding the cat, pour some water on its coat and rub the water in order to damp its coat completely. After that, you apply some cat shampoo and rub it softly. Now rinse the coat, dry it with a towel and let your cat be. He will find a warm place and dry completely.
This is how your cat learns to trust you and welcome every time you get back home
Playing and training must be done every day. You don’t want to make your cat merely a living accessory, do you? Hence, you should spend at least 30-40 minutes per day socializing with your cat: play with it, pick it up and go touring the house, allow it to get on the lap, caress it and talk. It may sound strange, but cats remember the tone, sounds and manner of your talk and can understand that you are about to do something with the cat – feed it, leave it, etc. This is how your cat learns to trust you and welcome every time you get back home.
Russian Blues have rather dense coat with short hairs and hence they don’t require special care like trimming. Just pay enough attention to your kitten/cat, feed and exercise it properly.
Read about other kiten breeds