Appearance and features:
The Russian Blue has bright green eyes, pinkish lavender or mauve paws, two layers of short thick fur, and a blue-grey coat.
The coat is known as a “double coat”, with the undercoat being soft, downy and equal in length to the guard hairs, which are an even blue with silver tips. However, the tail may have a few very dull, almost unnoticeable stripes. The coat is described as softer than the softest silk. The silver tips give the coat a shimmering appearance. Its eyes are almost always a dark and vivid green. Any white patches of fur or yellow eyes in adulthood are seen as flaws in show cats. Russian Blues should not be confused with British Blues (which are not a distinct breed, but rather a British Shorthair with a blue coat as the British Shorthair breed itself comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns), nor the Chartreux or Korat which are two other naturally occurring breeds of blue cats, although they have similar traits.
This is a medium-size cat weighing 10 to 14 pounds.
The Russian Blue is a naturally occurring breed that may have originated in the port of Arkhangel’sk in Russia. Right after the war, a lack of numbers of Russian Blues led to cross breeding with the Siamese.
The color is a bluish-gray that is the dilute expression of the black gene. However, as dilute genes are recessive (“d”) and each parent will have a set of two recessive genes (“dd”) two non-CPC Russian Blues will always produce a blue cat. Due to the breeding with Siamese after World War II, there are colorpoint genes floating around. If two carriers are bred together, then they will produce a litter of mixed colors—solid blue or white with blue like a Siamese. People call these CPC cats “colorpoint”, “whites” or “pointed” Russians. In most registries, one cannot register, breed or show a colorpoint Russian.
They are also sometimes called Archangel Blues. It is believed that sailors took Russian Blues from the Archangel Isles to Great Britain and Northern Europe in the 1860s. The first recorded appearance outside of Russia was in 1875 at The Crystal Palace in England as the Archangel Cat. The Russian Blue competed in a class including all other blue cats until 1912, when it was given its own class. The breed was developed mainly in England and Scandinavia until after World War II.
The Russian Blue is a curious and tranquil animal. They are known for their friendliness and intelligence and are somewhat reserved. They have been known to play fetch and open doors, and are sensitive to human emotions. They enjoy playing with a variety of toys and develop loyal bonds to their loved ones and other family pets. They are generally considered to be a quiet breed but there are always exceptions. They are normally reserved around strangers, unless they are brought up in an active household. Many Russian Blues have been trained to do tricks. They can also be fierce hunters, often catching rodents, birds, rabbits, small mammals, or reptiles. Russian Blue kittens are energetic and require adequate playmates or toys as they can become mischievous if bored. They have exceptional athleticism and rival even Abyssinians
for their ability to leap and climb. Slow to mature, Russian Blues retain many of their adolescent traits both good and otherwise until they are 3–4 years old and even much older Blues can be easily enticed into play by their owners. Russian Blues are also highly intelligent. They have an excellent memory and will learn the hiding place of favorite toys (e.g., laser pointers) and lead their owners to them when they want a game. They also have a keen ability to remember favorite visitors and will race to greet familiar faces even if quite some time has passed between visits—a radical departure from their normally very reserved behavior around unfamiliar people.
Russian Blues my have issues with bladder stones.