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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Chartreux Cat Info: Characteristics, Pictures & Facts

Chartreux Cat Info: Characteristics, Pictures & Facts

chartreux cat in grass_Piqsels

The Chartreux is a French cat breed that dates back to the 18th century or earlier. A popular myth, now debunked, is that Carthusian monks bred these cats to keep monasteries free of rodents. Some believe they originated from feral mountain cats living in modern-day Syria.

But it is not until 1931 that these cats debuted in European cat shows, and the United States had to wait until 1970 to import the first Chartreux. In 1987, the Chartreux breed received recognition from the Cat Fanciers Association.

Breed Overview


12-16 inches


9-11 pounds


11-15 years



Suitable for

Families with small children, single owners, anyone looking for a quiet cat


Affectionate, playful, sweet, intelligent, friendly, trainable, docile

A Chartreux cat loves attention, and they will be all over you every time you sit down to relax. They are highly affectionate and love being around people and other pets. If you are contemplating getting this cat as an addition to your family, read on. This article will lay bare everything you need to know about the Chartreux.

Chartreux Cat Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-dog paw

Chartreux Kittens

chartreux kittens_Gosha Georgiev_Shutterstock
Image By: Gosha Georgiev, Shutterstock

Chartreux kittens need the first 12 weeks after birth to grow, learn, and develop essential life skills. Do not purchase a kitten below that age. Apart from proper feeding of the cats with breed-specific food, the breeder must also keep proper health records from the time of birth.

A breeder should provide all immunization records and any other relevant papers you might require when purchasing a kitten. If such records are not available, do not engage the breeder.

Vets can recommend good breeders in your area. But do your due diligence before engaging anyone. It is also easy to find breeders online but make sure that they have great reviews. The most fulfilling option is adopting a cat from a rescue center or cat shelter. You may be lucky to find a Chartreux looking for a new home.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Chartreux

chartreux cat_LucasBouillon, Pixabay
Image Credit: LucasBouillon, Pixabay

Intelligent and friendly are two traits that aptly describe these gentle animals. Chartreux cats easily attach to their owners, and if you love to travel, they make perfect travel companions.

By nature, they are very peaceful and easygoing. Unlike many cats, Chartreux felines have a soft and gentle ‘’meow”. Communication is usually by a simple chirrup.

Despite their quiet nature, they are highly social and are not easily aggrieved. They make perfect indoor buddies but enjoy an occasional bask in the sun. Sometimes you will find them exploring the shrubs in your garden. You should not worry as their thick coat does not tangle and cleans rather easily.

Chartreux cats love to play. If you have only one cat, ensure to provide plenty of toys to keep them engaged.

For their physical well-being, you may get a cat tree for climbing and scratching. Cat dens will offer them spaces to hide and relax. A common trait with all cats is that they always choose some favorite place to snooze. Wherever it is, make it comfortable and snug for them to relax.

These cats are highly intelligent and will quickly learn their names and other basic commands. When you feed them well, keep their litter box clean, and give them a cozy bed to lay on, you will have a perfect feline companion that adores you and cheers you up with a smile.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

You can’t always trust cats with kids, but you can in the case of the Chartreux. These furballs tend to gravitate towards children more than adults. They are considered one of the gentlest breeds due to their compassion and tenderness towards children.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

When you already have a cat, the major concern for most people is whether they can get along with a dog. With a Chartreux, that should be the least of your worries. You will be surprised by how compatible this breed is with dogs and even bigger animals. Thanks to its calm nature, it can calm down anyone who wants to pick a fight.


Things to Know When Owning a Chartreux

As with any other breed, it is important to understand the needs of this cat before adopting one. Here is everything you need to know before becoming a Chartreux parent.

Food & Diet Requirements

Chartreux cats have very strict nutritional requirements. As obligate carnivores, their diet should primarily consist of meat. These cats have a sensitive stomach, so plant-based protein sources should be avoided. Any cat food you purchase must at least contain meat-based protein. Proteins support the heart, fuel their lean muscles, and keep their weight in check.

Apart from proteins, vitamins and essential nutrients should also feature in the cat’s diet. To avoid dehydration, include wet food in their diet to provide moisture. Feel free to consult a vet if you aren’t sure about the best cat food for your Chartreux.

cat food bowl_Pixabay
Image Credit: Pixabay

Exercise 🐈

Cats require exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Luckily, it is easy to get Chartreux cats on their feet. They love to climb, play with dangling toys, chase laser points, and so on. They are intelligent cats and will also enjoy puzzle toys. For their climbing needs, consider cat shelves or cat trees.

Training 🧶

Chartreux cats are easy to train, thanks to their intelligent nature. They will easily learn how to use a litter tray and cat flap and will come when requested. With time, a Chartreux can also learn how to use a toilet bowl, jump through hoops, play fetch, and sit when requested.

Grooming ✂️

cat bath_Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

The Chartreux’s coat has a wooly texture that should be combed at least twice a week. Combing gets rid of all dead hair and maintains the coat’s health. It is also necessary to trim their nails.

While the cat can clean its ears independently, you should occasionally keep an eye on them. A damp cotton ball will do the job quickly if you are less than satisfied. Keep gingivitis away from the cat by cleaning their teeth often. A toothbrush with soft bristles and cat toothpaste is all you need.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Patellar luxation
  • Allergies
Serious Conditions
  • Renal failure
  • Heart disease
  • Permanent knee dislocation

Cats, just like humans, can develop genetic health problems and inherit diseases. Although Chartreux cats are generally healthy, a recessive gene has been passed down that causes knee dislocation, a condition known as hereditary patellar luxation. Only engage a breeder that has a pre-screened record of this condition.


Male vs Female

Both males and females show similar breed traits, and both sexes are loving, kind, and affectionate. Males usually show higher energy levels than their female counterparts, who prefer to stay attached to their owners. But keep in mind that their breeding history and temperament is a better consideration than sex when picking one.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Chartreux Cat

1. Their hair is resistant to water.

2. They are excellent mouse catchers.

3. They look like they’re constantly wearing a smile.



If you are a cat lover, this affectionate and smiling cat will certainly suit you. But the Chartreux is a relatively rare breed, and you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket to own one. But if your mind is settled, break the bank if you need to because this feline is worth every penny.

Related Read:

Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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