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For the Love of Russian Blues

Frequently Asked Questions

Written by Marci Baturin for the Russian Blue Website

Is the Russian Blue affectionate?

Yes. You'll find the RB to be a very affectionate cat with its family, but it may be reserved, or even shy with strangers. While they love their whole family, they generally gravitate more to one special individual.

Do they shed?

Every cat sheds. However, you'll find that the RB sheds very little, provided they are on a good balanced diet. You may see more shedding in spring and fall, while the cat changes seasonal coats.

Why are they called "blue" when they are really gray?

In the animal fancies, gray is known as blue. In certain lights the RB coat will sparkle with a blue or silver blue tone.

Do they really come from Russia?

The Russian Blue really is from Russia. Found in the Port of Archangel on the White Sea by British sailors, they were brought to England in the 1860's. Soon after, early English breeders, who were anxious to introduce this lovely cat to the British Cat Fancy, began to import them. The first breeding stock to come to the United States was in the 1940's.

Does the Russian Blue come in any other colors?

The true RB, produced naturally by Mother Nature, only comes in one color - BLUE - and only in one coat length - SHORT. This is the only color/coat accepted by the Cat Fanciers Association. Some breeders, in other associations, are working with a variant (developed by crossing Russian Blues and domestic cats of unknown origin) to produce a variety of colors and coat lengths.

Are they good with children?

RBs have a very intuitive nature that seems to make them aware that a well mannered child has no intention of hurting them. Consequently, they seem to be more tolerant of the rougher handling of small children. When they have had enough, they'll leave and hide. However, it's imperative that children be taught to handle any cat with respect and gentleness.

How are they with other animals? Other cats and dogs in particular?

Many RB breeders also have other companion animals, particularly dogs. Cats don't have color, breed or physical prejudices. They react based on their experience and to what is new. How well they get along is dependant on the introduction process supervised by their humans. But of course, being cats, don't expect them to be on a trustworthy basis with pet rodents or birds!

Is a male or female preferable? Who has the better temperament?

Since most RBs are sold as neutered pets, sex should have no bearing on a pet owner's selection. They are both loving, gentle companions. The kitten with the most personally appealing personality is the one that should be chosen. However, if you think you want to breed and show you'll want to discuss, with your breeder, the behavioral differences apparent in either sex of unneutered cats.

How long does a Russian Blue live?

The RB, as any pedigreed cat, has a life span of 10-15 years. Like humans, some will have shorter or longer lives than the average.

Are they a healthy breed?

You'll find that the RB is generally a very hardy cat, with no recurring genetic problems and not prone to illness.

How smart are they?

As a pet, you can't ask for a better companion, or one who'll entertain you more by learning tricks or figuring things out. Little gets by the RB. Most breeders will tell you, "we like to breed for dumb," because the smarter the RB, the harder it is to show them. Some figure out very quickly what to do to discourage a judge from handling them and then proceed to be the most loving, best behaved companion once they're removed from the judging ring.