Russian Blue Cat Breed Profile

Cute Russian blue cat sitting on the bed (female cat)
Volanthevist / Getty Images

This breed’s name instantly tells you two things about the Russian Blue cat: The breed comes from Russia and yes, they are actually blue! Although the color might look gray to the layperson, blue is a specialized term used to describe a specific color in some cats (and some dogs, too!). Blue is the dilute version of black. The Russian Blue’s trademark coat is a shimmery blue with a silver cast. Even more striking perhaps than the Russian Blue’s coat are her large, almost round, wide-set, emerald-green eyes. The shape of the head and face gives the Russian Blue a charming expression that makes it look like she is perpetually smiling. There is no question that the Russian Blue is one of the most beautiful cats around!

The medium-sized Russian Blue cat is fine-boned, elegant and slender, but also muscular. These graceful cats are gentle and sweet. Russian Blues tend to be quiet but will vocalize, especially if you encourage it. The Russian Blue cat’s personality is something special. Although they can be shy around strangers, they absolutely adore their people. If you are looking for a cat who will greet you at the door, follow you around the house, and sit next to you on the couch, the Russian Blue will be right up your alley. The Russian Blue is also an entertaining playmate.

Fun fact: The breed is known for its propensity to play fetch. Most Russian Blues get along well with other pets, even dogs, and are good with gentle children.

Breed Overview

Size: Weight about 12 pounds. Height about 10 inches at the shoulder

Coat: Short, dense, fine, plush double coat. Soft and silky.

Colors: Blue.

Life Expectancy: 15 to 20 years

Characteristics of the Russian Blue Cat

Affection Level High
Friendliness Medium
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly High
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness Medium
Energy Level Medium
Trainability High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Vocalize Low
Amount of Shedding

Low

History of the Russian Blue Cat

Although the Russian Blue’s exact origins are not known for certain, we do know that they came from Russia. In fact, they were once called Archangel cats, so named because the cats were aboard ships that departed from the Russian port of Arkhangelsk and arrived in various other parts of Europe. Russian Blues were among the contestants of the very first cat shows, held in England in the 1880s. In the United States, the Russian Blue is recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association and The International Cat Association.

Russian Blue Cat Care

The Russian Blue cat’s short, dense, plush coat is wonderfully easy to care for, requiring minimal grooming. Surprisingly, the Russian Blue’s coat naturally doesn’t shed much. Occasional brushing will keep the coat soft and silky. Trim your Russian Blue’s nails regularly and check inside the ears for dirt and debris on a weekly basis. If you see a little debris in the ears, use a gentle pet ear cleaner to wipe them out with a cotton ball (never a cotton swab). If the ears look inflamed or excessively dirty, or your Russian Blue is shaking her head or scratching her ears, schedule a checkup with your veterinarian.

Are Russian Blue Cats Hypoallergenic?

The Russian Blue frequently appears on lists of “hypoallergenic” cat breeds. Although no cat breed is truly non-allergenic, it seems that some allergy sufferers can live successfully with certain cat breeds, including the Russian Blue. Cat dander—not necessarily cat hair itself—is the main cause of cat allergies. Cat-allergic humans are sensitive to a protein called Fel d 1, which is found in cats’ skin cells (as well as dried saliva and urine on the cat’s fur). It has not been scientifically proven, but it appears that some cat breeds, including Russian Blues, naturally produce less dander than other cats. People with mild allergies might be able to live comfortably with a Russian Blue. However, all individual cats and people are different. If you have cat allergies and want to learn if you will react to a Russian Blue, find a local breeder who will allow you to come to her home and sit with her adult cats to test the theory.

Common Health Problems

Although some purebred cats are prone to certain hereditary diseases, the Russian Blue is generally healthy with no known genetically linked disorders. The breed enjoys a long life span, often living into the upper teens or even longer. Work with your vet to make sure your Russian Blue is up to date on her vaccines, annual exams, routine testing, and dental care.

Diet and Nutrition

It’s always recommended that you speak with your veterinarian about the best food to feed your Russian Blue. The Russian Blue is known to love eating, so one thing to watch out for is overfeeding. Keeping your Russian Blue lean is the best way to avoid weight-related health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Feed your Russian Blue measured amounts of cat food at regular meal times two to three times a day. Although leaving food out all day may be convenient, it can lead to constant snacking, which can contribute to an overweight cat.

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

If you like the Russian Blue cat and want to learn more, check out the Cat Fanciers’ Association’s Cat Breeder Referral Search to try to find a Russian Blue breeder near you so you can ask more questions and meet some Russian Blues in person. You can also try to find a cat show in your area. Cat shows are great fun and a wonderful way to learn about many different cat breeds and talk to breeders and owners to learn more. If you like the Russian Blue cat, you might also like these cat breeds:

Otherwise, check out all of our other cat breed articles to help you find the perfect cat for you and your family.