The Russian blue cat. These gorgeous felines, known for their unique silver-blue coat and inquisitive personalities, are captivating at first sight.
With their positive reputations, Russian blue cats have graced households for centuries. But before taking the plunge into bringing one home, it’s important to determine whether your household is the right fit for this breed.
At betterpet.com, we want to help you make the best decision for you and your pet. In this article, we’ll explore all aspects of the Russian blue cat personality — from their preferences and social needs to behaviors they exhibit that might surprise you!
These insights will help you decide if this charming feline would be a suitable companion for you.
Let’s jump in!
What is a Russian blue cat?
Russian blues have a mysterious, legend-filled history. According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, one origin theory is that Russian blues began naturally occurring in northwestern Russia. Over the years, they adapted to the frigid weather, developing heavy, dense coats for protection.
Russian blue cats eventually befriended sailors in port at Arkhangelsk or the Archangel Isles and sailed to other European countries sometime in the 1860s. And in 1875, a Russian blue competed in a cat show in London under the name of “archangel blue.”
Another theory is that the Russian blue originated from Russian Czars’ cats.
Regardless of this regal breed’s origin, they arrived in the United States around 1912 and were recognized as a breed in the same year.
The Russian blue almost died out shortly after World War II due to halted breeding programs. However, they survived as breeders started crossing them with Siamese cats and British blues.
Shortly after their comeback, many breeding programs worked to reverse Siamese and British blue breeding in an effort to return the Russian blue to its original breed standard.
What does a Russian blue cat look like?
Russian blue cats are primarily known for their bluish-gray coloring and soft coats. Some have even described their coat as having a shimmer.
But the Russian blue cat is distinctive for more than just their coloring — their eyes come in at a close second. Russian blues begin as kittens with yellow eyes that shift into yellow with a green ring when they’re about four months old.
By the time the cat reaches adulthood, its eyes will become a vivid green.
Russian blues are short-haired cats with a dense yet soft double coat that keeps them comfortable in extreme temperatures. They are a medium-sized breed, but their coats are often so thick that they look bigger than they actually are.
Male Russian blues typically weigh between 10 and 12 pounds, whereas females are typically more petite, weighing between 7 and 10 pounds.
At around 10 inches tall, Russian blues have slender bodies and long legs. But don’t let this slender frame fool you — this breed is incredibly muscular. They are fast runners and skilled climbers.
Another unique Russian blue cat feature is their angular, wedge-shaped heads. And with their upturned mouths, Russian blues always appear as if slightly smiling. They’ve been likened to the Mona Lisa for this trait.
What are the Russian blue’s care needs?
Russian blue cats are fairly low-maintenance. But there are definitely a few things to keep in mind to keep your cat happy and healthy.
Russian blues are low-shedding, meaning you’ll only need to brush them once a week. Check their ears weekly, as well, to make sure there isn’t any wax or dirt, as this can cause ear infections . Note that a cat shaking its head may be a sure sign of this problem.
You’ll also want to brush your Russian blue’s teeth twice a week with a vet-approved toothbrush to prevent dental diseases.
And don’t forget about nail trims — they’re an important part of grooming. It’s helpful to provide your Russian blue with a scratching post to not only keep their nails healthy but to help them stretch their muscles.
Russian blues need high-quality, protein-based foods to stay healthy. A diet with omega fatty acids will also keep their coat shiny. The amount of food your cat will need depends on their age, size, and activity level.
To prevent overfeeding, try to avoid allowing your Russian blue to graze all day. Instead, stick to a feeding schedule. Check with your vet to determine the appropriate diet for your Russian blue.
What are some common health concerns in Russian blue cats?
In general, Russian blue cats live between 15 and 20 years. Some have even surpassed that range! According to The International Cat Association (TICA), this breed has, in the past, lived up to 25 years.
However, even generally healthy breeds have health concerns. Two common health issues for Russian blue cats are obesity and urinary tract issues.
Russian blues love food. It can be easy to overfeed them, so you might want to consider measuring out their daily portions. You should also keep in mind that obesity can lead to other health issues, such as diabetes, early-onset arthritis, and fatty liver disease.
Talk to your vet if you think your Russian blue might be at risk of becoming obese, and develop a feeding plan to help mitigate that risk.
Urinary tract issues
Just like any other cat, Russian blues are prone to urinary tract infections and bladder stones. Call your vet if you notice your pet urinating in inappropriate places around the house, urinating noticeably less, or making cries of distress while in the litter box.
To keep your Russian blue healthy, see your veterinarian regularly for checkups and vaccinations.
What are the most common Russian blue cat personality traits?
As you decide whether a Russian blue is right for your household, remember that no two cats are alike, even if they’re within the same breed.
Accordingly, the Russian blue cat’s personality can vary from household to household because each cat’s environment and relationships play a direct role in its personality.
Curious and intelligent
Russian blue cats are a highly intelligent breed. These cats love to explore their home and will often find ways to open doors and cupboards.
As such, it’s wise to keep cabinets that contain chemicals secured with child locks to keep your Russian blue safe.
To satisfy their curiosity, provide your Russian blue with physical and mental stimulation using a variety of toys.
Though Russian blues are generally calm pets, like most cat breeds, they love to play. When they’re feeling especially playful, they might even fetch toys and bring them to you.
Russian blues also love to sit by the window to watch birds and other small animals. Find toys that activate their prey drive, like feathers or a mouse on a string.
Routine-oriented and sensitive to sounds
Russian blues aren’t fans of chaos. Introducing loud sounds, like the vacuum or shrieking children, into their day will send them running to a quiet spot.
You’ll likely notice that even the Russian blue’s voice is quiet — though this doesn’t mean this breed isn’t vocal! Russian blues love to chat with their families, and they’re particularly talkative during feeding time.
Russian blues will often greet their owners at the door when they come home. However, it typically takes them some time for them to warm up to new visitors who enter their space.
Loyal and loving
Russian blue cats bond deeply with at least one person in the household (usually the person that primarily feeds them). Because of this connection, they tend to respond to this person’s emotions. If you’re feeling sad, for instance, your Russian blue may try to coax you to smile or comfort you with cuddles.
But this doesn’t mean they’ll avoid the rest of the family! They’re typically incredibly loving and affectionate to anyone they’re familiar with, including children — especially during playtime. They’re generally good with other pets, too.
Fastidious (a.k.a. incredibly clean)
Russian blue cats are tidy by nature. You’ll want to clean out their litter box daily — in fact, you might even want to provide two litter boxes. If their litter box isn’t kept clean, your Russian blue might find a cleaner space in the house to relieve themself.
Frequently asked questions
Not sure whether a Russian blue cat is for you just yet? That’s ok! Check out the answers to some commonly asked questions below.
Are Russian blue cats aggressive?
The Russian blue cat’s temperament is calm. Typically, this breed is tentative and shy around new people. Once they feel comfortable, Russian blues are usually gentle and sweet.
Do Russian blue cats exhibit anxiety?
Russian blue cats aren’t typically an anxious breed. Instead, they’re highly independent and don’t mind being left alone. One way to keep anxiety at bay is to show them plenty of affection whenever you return home after being absent.
Despite their playful and independent nature, though, every cat can exhibit anxious behaviors or develop anxiety. Signs of this may include overgrooming, urinating outside of their box, and more.
Be aware that Russian blues, like many cat breeds, aren’t fond of loud or strange sounds, so you might notice some anxiety during such occasions.
Are Russian blue cats hypoallergenic?
Because Russian blue cats don’t shed as much as other cats, people often believe they’re hypoallergenic. However, no cat breed is completely free of allergens.
Cats secrete one of the biggest indoor allergens called “Fel d 1 .” However, Russian blue cats tend to secrete less of this allergen than other breeds, thus reducing the severity of allergic reactions in their owners.
Do Russian blue cats get along with children and other pets?
Yes, they do! Once your Russian blue becomes accustomed to your family members, including your other family pets, they typically become loving companions.
Do consider, though, the Russian blue’s natural prey drive. It might not be wise to keep a bird or a hamster in the house. If you have a small pet already, make sure you monitor all interactions between it and your Russian blue!
Why are Russian blue cats blue?
According to the Russian Blue Breeders Association, Russian blue cats have a dilute gene that weakens the black hair gene. This results in a gray or “blue” coat.
Is the Russian blue cat personality right for you?
It’s important to consider all the elements of the Russian blue cat’s temperament and personality before adding this curious feline to your family.
You’ll want to consider whether your living space is a good fit for a Russian blue cat. If you have a balcony or another dangerous space, you’ll want to make sure you can keep your Russian blue explorer safe with locks or barriers.
If you have small pets, like hamsters, mice, or birds, remember that the Russian blue is a natural hunter and monitor all interactions closely.
Still need a little help deciding? Take a look at some other options! For instance, you can learn more about the tabby cat personality to see if it may be a better fit.
You can also check out the cat-specific resources at betterpet. It’s our mission to help you find the perfect pet. A Russian blue could fit that role for you!