Known for their grey/blue luxurious coats and their bright green eyes, Russian Blue cats seem to capture the hearts of just about everyone they meet. Russian Blues are a shorthair breed with affectionate and gentle personalities. They generally have a lifespan of around 15 years and require little grooming.
Want to learn more? Keep reading for 10 facts about Russian Blue cats!
The 8 Facts About Russian Blue Cats
1. The Archangel Cat
The Archangel Cat is another name for the Russian Blue. These cats were originally brought over to the British Isles via merchant ships originating from the port of Arkhangelsk—one of the first ports that the Russian Empire used to trade with England. The name Arkhangelsk in English is Archangel.
2. Legend Says They Originate From the Archangel Isles
According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association there is no hard evidence of this cat’s origins. Legends, however, tell us that these cats originate from Archangel Isles, where the long and cold winter days contributed to the evolution of a cat with such a dense and plush coat.
Others believe that the Russian Blues are descendants of the cats kept as pets by the Russian Czars. Either way, they were introduced to the rest of the world from Russia, hence their name.
3. They Graced One of the World’s First Cat Shows
In the early 1870s, the upper-class population of Britain was slowly beginning to appreciate cats in a new way. Russian Blues, then known as ‘Archangel cats’, took part in one of the world’s earliest cat shows held in 1875 in Crystal Palace, London, where they competed against other blue cats.
It wasn’t until 1912 that Russian Blues were given their own new category for competitions.
4. The Secret to Their Shimmering Coat
One of the most distinctive features of the Russian Blue is its shimmering coat. These cats have a double-layered plush coat, and the ends of the hairs on the outer coat appear as though they’ve been dipped in silver. The contrast of the outer silver hairs against the darker downy undercoat gives them their characteristic sparkle!
5. They Have a Mona Lisa Smile
If you ever look at a Russian Blue directly, you may notice that they have a slightly upturned mouth, giving the impression of a subtle smile—not unlike Mona Lisa’s smile in da Vinci’s famous painting. As if their winning smile wasn’t enough, their sparkly green eyes contrast beautifully with their shimmering coats.
6. They Are Bringers of Good Luck
According to folklore, Russian Blues not only bring good luck, but they’re also considered to bring healing. While most people will read folklore with a pinch of salt, modern studies show us that owning a pet cat contributes to lower stress levels, better overall health, and even a lower chance of having a heart attack!
7. They Are Born With Ghost Stripes
While an adult Russian Blue has one uniform solid-colored coat, the kittens are actually born with faint tabby markings that fade away as they age. These are usually most evident on their legs and tails.
A Russian Blue’s coat is not the only feature that changes as they grow. Although they are famous for their emerald-green eyes, Russian Blues are actually born with either blue or golden-yellow eyes that gradually turn green as they mature into an adult.
8. They Have a Sweet and Gentle Nature
Russian Blues are known for their sweet nature. They’ll happily follow their humans from room to room, seeking attention and companionship. They’re not loud when it comes to vocalization either and tend to keep their meows to meal times. As for other loud noises, Russian Blues tend to avoid these, choosing to find a quiet corner in the house instead.
Whether you call them Russian Blues or Archangel Cats, these stunning creatures with their shimmering silver-grey coat and emerald eyes make great companions. But Russian Blues aren’t just pretty—they’re known for their warm and gentle personalities, too!
Featured Image Credit: Rob Rye, Shutterstock