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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Russian White (Russian Black, Russian Tabby): Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Russian White (Russian Black, Russian Tabby): Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Russian White Tabby

Stemming from the infamous Russian Blue, Russian White Cats are equally beautiful in appearance and admirable in temperament. These cats, despite their tricky name, are not just available in white—but rather come in black and tabby, too.

Breed Overview


10 inches


7-15 pounds


15-20 years


White, black, tabby

Suitable for:

Laidback homes, companion animals, low-key owners


Affectionate, relaxed, somewhat lazy

If you are intrigued by the breed and want to know more before searching for a breeder, we have you covered. We are going to go over all the details of the breed so you can learn what to expect.

Russian White 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-catRussian White Kittens

Russian White kittens are pretty difficult to come by, and you might have to travel depending on your location. Finding a suitable breeder is paramount before committing since it has the biggest impact on temperament and quality.

If you buy a Russian White from a licensed breeder, you might notice a very drastic price difference. Certain factors play into this, like lineage, show quality, and appearance.

Usually, if you don’t plan to breed, pet-only homes are less expensive. We recommend pet-only homes to reduce homelessness and overpopulation, but if you do breed, do so responsibly by taking the right avenues of care.

If you would rather give a kitty a second chance at a forever home, you can always check with local shelters and rescues. You might find a purebred Russian White, but you might also find a lovely mix you fall instantly in love with.

If you buy from a shelter, all expenses are covered—such as spaying or neutering, microchipping (in most cases), vaccinations, and general wellness care. You just have to pay a small adoption fee, which varies by facility.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Russian White

Russian White Tabby

Image Credit: Bruno Passigatti, ShutterstockRussian Whites’ have a unique temperament that makes them a real diamond in the rough. If you love relaxed, calm cats who love to cuddle and prefer quiet, comfortable living—this is the one.

You might not even notice this cat is there—as they aren’t vocal and they tend to not be ultra-active. Taking a more luxurious approach to life, they would rather be basking in a warm window or getting chin rubs from their favorite human.

Many claim that their Russian White, Russian Tabby, or Russian Black Cat act more like a dog than a cat. They are needed and more devoted than some other felines—less independent and overly social.

Are These Cats Good for Families?👪

Russian Whites make absolutely exceptional pets for families of any variety. Whether you’re a single owner or have a houseful of humans of a variety of ages, these cats will acclimate easily to charm any home.

Due to their incredibly docile nature, they make terrific pets for small children and seniors alike. They are generally gentle and low maintenance, calm enough for rambunctious living situations.

These cats are very temperamentally balanced, being able to easily make friends with anyone in the home—even strangers. They tend to love affection from whoever is ready to give it, so there’s no pickiness here.

Of course, supervision is always recommended for any young children until they reach the age of full understanding of a cat’s needs and boundaries.

However, with proper rearing, they will be your child’s first best friend and nighttime protector.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Russian White breed is classically friendly with other pets, especially when they are raised together. Permitting nothing happened to sour their opinion of other animals, they will coexist alongside nearly any indoor or outdoor pet.

However, even though these cats are lazier than most, they should never be around small, caged animals—birds, reptiles, or rodents. Even though it might seem like your cat wants to be friends (and they might), it is really not worth the risk.

One spark of a prey drive can injure or even kill a smaller pet and we can’t blame our kitties—it is instinctual. So even if your cat seems unbothered or even motherly toward a smaller animal, don’t ever trust it fully. It is always better to be safe than sorry.


Things to Know When Owning a Russian White:

Food & Diet Requirements

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to your cat’s food—whether you pick dry kibble, wet food, moist food, or homemade. It will depend on your cat’s overall pickiness and nutritional needs—as well as your budget or preference.

Russian White Cats don’t require a specific or special diet, but they do need a nutritious recipe to keep them healthy. As kittens, always make sure to buy a quality kitten chow that provides the right nutrients to nourish their growing bodies.

As adults, they need high-quality cat food, avoiding food with lots of artificial additives or flavors. Also, offering high-calorie or high-protein diets isn’t necessarily advised for the breed, especially as they progress.

But one thing is for sure—as your Russian White ages, you need to make certain to properly measure food for portion control. Since obesity is a major concern of the breed, restrictions and monitoring may become essential parts of daily care.

Exercise 🐕

Your Russian White liking won’t need much motivation to play once they start, but they do tend to be relaxed and easy-going. But they always stay vibrantly alert, regardless of activity.

They can easily stay fit with proper enticement during playtime. Plus, cats only need about 15 minutes of solid exercise a day to maintain a healthy physique.

Having another playful cat around can also spark a desire to romp around—if your house beckons another kitty. And even if they don’t care much to play, at least they can have a cuddle buddy. So, everyone wins regardless.

However, if you notice your Russian White is gaining weight, you might try to cut calories and promote play. Offer lots of toys and scratching posts.

Because of the importance of clawing, it’s imperative to have appropriate scratching surfaces. Russian Whites take special advantage of their claws, strengthening their upper body for optimal hunting capabilities (even if they never use them.)

Training 🎾

Because these cats take a rather lackadaisical approach to life, they are pretty much impossible to train to do tricks. The motivation simply isn’t there for them to learn intricate teachings.

However, getting the hang of going to the litter box should be no trouble. They want to be clean just like other felines and will love being able to cover their waste.

Advanced training isn’t really their bag. They much prefer cuddles and naps to mind-bending tasks.

But if you’re looking for a cat that’s smart as a whip and ready to take on other challenges, there are tons of cat breeds that fit the bill. Do your research and pick the best-suited feline for your expectations.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming your Russian white shouldn’t be a problem for you at all. These short-haired cats tend to take care of the bulk of this themselves. However, regular brushing can remove any debris, dander, and dead fur in the coat.

We recommend giving your soft Russian White a bath once every six weeks. The sooner you start bathing them, the better. If you start earlier, they will acclimate much better.

Plus, regular cost maintenance provides a level of pleasure and comfort for your cat, which can make it a really great way to bond with them.

To prevent issues such as ear infections or periodontal disease, ear and mouth cleaning is definitely recommended.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Russian Whites are generally healthy cats with little health concerns, but that doesn’t mean issues won’t arise in the breed. They can become ill like any cat, but genetically, they are hardy.

In reality, obesity is the number one health concern for the breed. Since they are rather relaxed and not as likely to be incredibly active, it can cause a decrease in calorie burning and an increase in pounds.

Making sure your Russian White is healthy is essential. To do so, proper diet and exercise are paramount—but so is routine vet care. In the first year of life, your kitten will spend quite a bit of time getting to know their vet.

They will need vaccinations, growth monitoring, and (around or before six months) spay or neuter surgery. After their first year of life, they should go to the vet for annual checkups—and more often if health issues crop up.

Minor Conditions
  • Bladder stones
Serious Conditions
  • Obesity

Male vs Female

Since each cat is individual, you can’t always rely on gender as a way to ensure a cat’s personality. Each one of these beautiful creatures will be unique in their own right. However, males tend to be a little more upbeat and playful than their female counterparts on a large scale.

Also, males are generally larger and broader than females, outweighing them by a few pounds. You might notice the skull shape differs slightly, as males tend to be blockier while females are sleek.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Russian White Cat

1. Russian White, Russian Black, and Russian Tabbies were all created in 1971.

2. These cats are comparable to dogs as far as personality is concerned.

3. Russian Whites have incredibly soft coats.

divider-catFinal Thoughts

If you have discovered a breeder that’s near enough for you, a Russian White might just make your house a home. With their warm demeanor, excellent tolerance, and blasé Approach to life, they can really charm the socks out of owners and newcomers alike.

The trick will really be finding a licensed breeder with proof of lineage. Beware of people who make claims of a cat’s breed with no documentation to back it up. As long as you take the right avenues, everything else should work out amazingly well.

Other Cat breed reads: 

Featured Image Credit: Antonov Serg, Shutterstock

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