Let's talk Russian cats

The Russian is, for lack of another superlative, a magnificent cat. Their hallmark silver-blue coat is instantly recognisable but there’s so much more that makes them such a standout. The breed is gentle and affectionate, although they can be shy when it comes to newcomers in the house. The Russian warms up quickly enough, especially when there’s activity afoot. They enjoy playing and can be quite comedic at times. A calm and quiet home is the best spot for the Russian cat, as is right in the center of your lap.

Official name: Russian

Other names: Russian Blue, Blue Russian, Archangel Blue, Archangel Cat, Russian White, Russian Blac

Origins: Russia

Russian cat standing in black and white

 Shedding level:   Warm weather?  Medium
 Energy level*: Medium Family pet?*   Medium
 Compatibility with other pets:  High

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
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Illustration of Russian cat
Male
23 - 28 cm Height
4.5 - 5 kg Weight
Female
23 - 28 cm Height
3 - 4.5 kg Weight

 

 Baby cat  Birth to 4 months
 Growing kitten  4 to 12 months
 Adult  1 to 7 years
 Mature  7 to 12 years
 Senior  From 12 years

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Get to know the Russian cat

All you need to know about the breed

On the short list: beauty, intelligence, and devotion. On the long list: loyalty, confidence, a calm but sometimes spirited nature, and more. There are just too many great attributes to detail when it comes to the Russian cat.

The Russian is a graceful breed who, because of their lithe physique, has even been called the Doberman Pinscher of cats. Their legendary silvery-blue fur is as soft as it is stunning, and they won’t resist if you groom them, such is their cooperative nature. And the Russian can be comical, known to enjoy a game of fetch. They like to scale new heights in the house to observe their humans. Expect a good level of activity from this enthusiastic breed.

The Russian is usually blessed with excellent health and isn’t known to suffer from illnesses that might set them back. Most days, it’s onward and upward! There’s curiosity that needs to be satisfied, after all.

The Russian can be vocal, especially when it comes to mealtime. Their docile behaviour makes them an all-around super cat, making any house a home - whether it’s with a single person or a passel of people, they enjoy being part of the mix.

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2 facts about Russian cats

1. When do we eat?!

The Russian cat is generally healthy, but take care to keep meals consistently well-portioned. This cat likes their food, so owners will need to give regulated allotments and limit snacks to rations taken from their daily meal allowance. It’s easy to give in to those sweet eyes but reigning it in will help keep them trim.

2. Their funny side

For a breed that is known to be reserved, it comes as a surprise that the Russian cat has a jovial side. They are known to have a manual dexterity that’s slightly more keen than other cats, an aid in batting around their favourite toy, which they enjoy immensely. The Russian also likes to ride on their owner’s shoulder as they walk through the house. Hey, it’s just another place to perch.

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History of the breed

Tracing the history of the Russian cat has proved complicated, but more than likely initiated in Russia (well, the name does give it away… ). The breed is said to come from the Russian island of Archangel, the name of which has become another moniker.

The Russian’s popularity soared in the 19th Century when cat shows became all the rage in Scandinavia and especially Britain. London’s Crystal Palace was the epicentre for shows with the Russian breed debuting in 1875 along with other blue-coated cats. In 1890, a British fancier named Mrs. Carew-Cox started to import and show the breed more vigorously and by 1912, the Russian cat was being shown in their own class.

In 1900, the Russian was brought to the United States with breeders developing the cat there in earnest. World War II took its toll on the breed but thanks to their vast followers, the Russian breed survived and thrived. In 1949, the breed was recognised by both the Cat Fancier’s Association and the Fédération Internationale Féline.

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Russian cats

1. Head

Egg-shaped head with large eyes and oval eyes.

2. Body

Long, slender body and a long, tapered tail.

3. Whiskers

Short crinkled or curved whiskers.

4. Coat

Soft, visibly wavy coat, comes in a variety of colours.

5. Legs

Long and straight legs.

Grey Russian cat lying on black and white rug

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Russian cat
Grey Russian cat with green eyes looking towards camera

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Caring for your Russian cat

Grooming, training and exercise tips

When it comes to grooming your Russian cat, expect an uncomplicated process all around. Luckily, shedding isn’t an issue with that stellar coat, which will remain its shimmery best with daily brushing. Baths should be had only as needed. Trim your Russian‘s nails and clean their ears and eyes frequently. Most cats are very prone to periodontal disease and the Russian breed is no exception. It’s important to brush their teeth weekly - if they’ll let you - to prevent tartar and, in turn, tooth decay. Making sure your Russian gets lots of exercise will be a breeze. They’re playful and even enjoy an occasional game of fetch. Leaving toys out for them to bat around will satisfy their zeal. The Russian cat is a smart one so training will be straightforward as well. They are open to learning so understanding the ins and outs of the litter box and other feline accoutrements at home is simple. Moreover, the Russian cat doesn’t like change, so learning routines and sticking to them is a natural for this devoted breed.

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All about Russian cats

The Russian is known to follow their owners from room to room but may not like to be picked up and coddled for long periods of time. They are an on-the-go cat - who does like the company of their humans, but just in measured doses.

As an incredibly popular breed, the Russian cat is known for their many winning attributes, including an average energy level and affectionate manner. They are great with other pets - including dogs - children and family, are fond of playing games, and are generally docile. And their lifespan: up to 20 years!

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Cat Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book