Monday, February 4, 2013

The Characteristics of the Chartreux Cat

Also known as the Chartreuse, the history of the Chartreux is long and varied. Though legends regarding the origins of this silvery-blue breed abound, we'll probably never know how the breed got started. They were shown at a cat show in Paris in 1931 by the Leger sisters. They were and still are rare, and so did not appear in the United States until the 1970s. However, it wasn't until 1987 that the Chartreux was granted championship status by the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA).

The Appearance of the Chartreux Cat

The Chartreux is a fairly large cat as cats go. Its body is muscular, its limbs short, but the paws look almost too large for the body and legs. The head is nicely rounded while the muzzle is long and tapered. The shape of the muzzle makes it appear this cat is smiling, almost like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. The eyes of the Chartreux should be a gleaming gold. Deep copper is also acceptable.

The coat of this rare breed is soft and plush. It should not be bristly or sharp. The hairs are rather short, but the dense undercoat makes it appear longer than it really is. All Chartreux are blue in color with a deep silver sheen. They appear to glow in low light. This cat is relatively low maintenance, but you should use a soft cloth or a grooming glove to remove dead hair once a week. This will keep your feline friend's coat soft and gleaming.

The Personality of the Chartreux Cat

Not a vocal breed, the Chartreux rarely makes any sound at all. They are intelligent, willing to learn, and utterly silent. These qualities combine to make them excellent hunters. They'll wait patiently for prey and have the ability to stay still for long stretches of time. They're rare enough that they are not usually employed at mousers, but when they are, they're excellent at the job.

If you're looking for a cat who loves to play and may even learn to fetch, the Chartreux might be for you. They're always willing to engage in games and hate being left alone. These cats do well with small children and other pets, but they do tend to bond to one specific person. When they do, they rarely leave this person in peace. Even so, they'll remain affectionate and loving toward the rest of the family.

Known Health Issues of the Chartreux

Since breeding programs for the Chartreux are relatively recent, this breed tends to be more robust than many. These cats bred themselves with very little interference for many years, probably longer than we know, so genetic health conditions are rare. Some cats are prone to patellar luxation, also known as slipping kneecaps. Most breeders are away of this and are careful not to breed lines with this particular problem.

The Chartreux is a pleasant and sweet cat and makes a wonderful addition to any household. Bear in mind that they are rare, and so have a higher price tag than some cat breeds. But if you're willing to spend the money, you can find yourself a loving and beautiful feline friend.


  1. They're amazing, indeed! It's been 4 days since I got Lara, my Chartreux kitten, and I can't get enough of her :) I recommend them to anyone who's looking for a funny, smart and incredible beautiful pet!

    1. How right you are! They are sweet little things and make excellent pets.

  2. I found mine at a shelter! He loves me, always on my lap, & he is so smart! Everyone was fighting to get one of these kittens, now I know why.