Known for its smile, the Chartreux is a well-muscled balance of contrasts. With its sturdy, robust body, broad shoulders and a deep chest, all complemented by medium short and fine-boned legs, the Chartreux is often described as a “potato on toothpicks”. Chartreux’s fur is a medium length coat with a woolly texture to it. Water-repellent and a soft, dense undercoat to keep it warm, a dense undercoat gives it resistance to the elements and a feeling of sheep’s wool. It has a rounded head tapering towards the muzzle and the medium-sized ears set high on the head with orange eyes that light up the whole face.
They are solid, muscular cats and mature adults weigh from 12-16 pounds.
An old natural breed, the Chartreux cats are found in French literature as early as the 16th century. The Charteux cat suffered through WWII, as many other cats did, 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.
The Chartreux is one of the few breeds to only be available in a blue color with orange eyes.
2 possible family history stories have come up through the years. The first is said that the Chartreux were raised as a companion by the Carthusian monks, helping to keep the monasteries free of mice and rats. The second possibility, is 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 by this name, 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.
Chartreux made their debut into the cat society in 1931 appearing at a European cat. Later arriving in the United States in 1970.
The Chartreux is a quiet breed, with a sweet, gentle, and affectionate personality without being intrusive or overbearing. Chirping rather than meowing, they are attentive, gentle, playful and adaptable cats who enjoy being nearby their favorite people.
Chartreux are prone to polycystic kidney disease and struvite stones in the urinary tract.
Here is a helpful guide for the different characteristics of the breed. On a Scale of 1-5. 1 being very low level to 5 being high level.