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Getting to know the Russian Blue

The Russian Blue is among the most visually striking and athletic of cat breeds. Friendly (but not clingy), sturdy, and relaxed, the Blue prefers quiet surroundings and people it knows well. Let’s get to know this regal breed better…

Origin of the Russian Blue Cat

Believed to have originated in the northern Russian port city of Arkhangelsk (Archangel), the Russian Blue first made its appearance as a clearly defined breed in the 1860s. In 1875 a Russian Blue was shown in England at the Crystal Palace, where it was called the “Archangel Cat.” Rumored to be descended from the cats owned by the Czars, the Russian Blue was introduced to the US in the early 1900s, and after WW2, American breeders worked to recreate the breed domestically.

Russian Blue's Physical Characteristics

The Russian Blue is a medium-sized cat that ranges in weight from 7 to 12 pounds. Colors range from a light smoky gray to a dark slate, set off by green eyes. The face is fine-boned with large ears, giving the cat a regal appearance. Beneath that luxurious fur, the Russian Blue conceals a muscular build, and these cats can be very quick when they want to be. The life expectancy for the breed is on the longer end, ranging on average from 13 to 20 years.

Russian Blue's Health

The Russian Blue is a generally sturdy breed that is not at risk for any critical health problems, owing partially to the fact that it is a naturally occurring breed. While their coat does not require extensive grooming, most Blues welcome an occasional brushing. One caution is that the Russian Blue loves food, and some animals may tend to overeat, putting them at risk for obesity and the conditions that can accompany it. To avoid overfeeding, you may want to set a standard daily feeding time and discourage the addition of treats or table scraps to the cat’s diet.

Caring for the Russian Blue Cat

The Russian Blue’s short, dense coat is ideal for owners who don’t want the hassle of sweeping up tumbleweeds of cat fur. The short coat also makes the breed a solid choice for someone who may have a fur or dander allergy. In general, the Russian Blue is fairly low-maintenance and requires approximately the same level of care given to an American shorthair.

Russian Blue's Personality

The Russian Blue bonds well with people but by no means clingy. The classic aloof cat: The Russian Blue may come to you for a cuddle, but it isn’t the sort of breed to follow you around the house. They aren’t particularly vocal either, preferring to keep to themselves. If raised from kittens they can be trained to be accepting of other pets and young children in the home but are not considered gregarious. They do, however, enjoy playing on their own and will get into their share of mischief, so it’s recommended that you make lots of cat toys available for your Blue.

We hope this brief profile has helped you get to know the Russian Blue. If you are considering a regal-looking cat with a reserved personality and few health problems, the Russian Blue may be the perfect breed for you!


Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

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