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Russian Blue Cat

Nicole Cosgrove

Height: 8-12 inches
Weight: 7-15 pounds
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: Various shades of blue
Suitable for: Families looking for an intelligent, affectionate, and quiet cat that gets along well with kids and other pets
Temperament: Kind, reserved, and loyal

If you’re looking for a stunning cat breed that’s affectionate yet undemanding, then the Russian Blue could be the perfect choice. These noble cats hail from Russia, and their thick velvety coat is a testament to the cold temperatures that they’re used to surviving. Besides a stunning blue coat, Russian Blue cats have vibrant green eyes.

They’re loyal and bond strongly with their family members but aren’t overly vocal. They’ll be happy to wait until you’re ready to pay them some attention. Russian Blues are charming and will soon have the whole family waiting on their every demand, without even having to utter a single meow! While they might be social and playful with their families, they’re not overly fond of meeting strangers and will often hide themselves away until the house is quiet again.

Russian Blues are quite happy to spend time at home on their own while their owners are at work, but expect to give them your undivided attention when you get home. If you already like the sound of the Russian Blue but would like to know more, then read on, as we tell you everything that you need to know.

divider-multiprintRussian Blue Kittens — Before You Buy

Energy
Shedding
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

What’s the Price of Russian Blue Kittens?

As you prepare to buy a Russian Blue kitten, you should budget around $500-$800 for the cost of your new kitten.

The exact price will depend on a few different factors, including the breeder’s reputation, the kitten’s ancestry, and the price of veterinary care in your area. If the kittens you’re looking at have been registered with a breed organization like The International Cat Association, then expect their price to be higher than an unregistered kitten.

Reputable breeders will be happy to provide references from previous customers, as well as let you meet both parent cats. They should also talk you through any health tests that the kittens may have had. They should offer a written guarantee of each kitten’s health. If any breeder isn’t happy to provide those sorts of things, ask yourself if they’re reputable and whether you want to risk buying an unhealthy kitten from a breeder who may not have the best practices in place.

Once you’ve bought your kitten, you’ll also have to budget for ongoing costs, including:

  • Veterinary check-ups
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Vaccinations
  • Microchipping
  • Flea and worming medication
  • Cat toys
  • Bedding
  • Cat carrier
  • Collar, harness, and leash
  • Litter tray and accessories
  • Grooming brushes
  • Bowls for food and water
  • Food

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Russian Blue

1. They used to be called Archangel Cats

This name came from the White Sea port of Arkhangelsk. It’s said that Russian Blue cats were used on the ships departing from this port to help control mice on board. The breed made their way into Europe this way and soon became popular with cat breeders.

2. Russian Blues appeared at one of the first cat shows

After they made their way into Europe, Russian Blues became popular due to their attractive looks and good-natured temperaments. They were exhibited under the name of Archangel Cat at one of the first cat shows, held at the Crystal Palace in London. While the first show was held in 1871, Russian Blues made their appearance at a cat show held in 1875.

3. Russian Blues are a good choice for allergy sufferers

It’s said that the Russian Blue has lower levels of the allergen known as glycoprotein Fel d 1. This can trigger allergies in humans and is shed by cats in their saliva, dander, fur, and urine. By having lower allergen levels, Russian Blues may be a good choice of cat for families with allergy sufferers.

Russian blue cat striking a pose
Credit: Rob Rye, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Russian Blue

Russian Blues have a calm and easy-going temperament that makes them a joy to be around. They’re sociable and outgoing with their families but can be reserved with visitors they don’t know. It’s not unusual for a Russian Blue to disappear to a quiet part of the house and wait until any strangers have left before reappearing.

These cats are also incredibly smart and enjoy opportunities to learn tricks. They’re also playful, so make sure to invest in a wide range of toys and enrichment opportunities, like scratching posts and cat trees to keep them entertained.

The Russian Blue has a wonderful temperament: They’re outgoing without being demanding, affectionate yet not overly vocal, and perfectly happy playing or relaxing. This easy-going nature makes them a great choice for a wide range of families.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Russian Blue cats are good-natured and form strong bonds with their owners. They may bond particularly strongly with one family member, but they will still be affectionate with everyone!

They do enjoy time alone and can be a good choice of cat if you need to be away from home for at least some of the week. They will be happy to entertain themselves while you’re gone (most likely by napping!), but expect them to be happy to see you once you’re home! They’ll expect your undivided attention at that point, so be prepared to set aside time for interaction, play, and of course, cuddles!

Their gentle nature makes them a good match for a house with kids, as long as the children are taught to treat cats with respect and care. Russian Blues love to play, and this can be a great way for cats and kids to bond. They don’t always like being picked up, though, so make sure children know this.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Russian Blues are adaptable and will almost always find living in a multi-pet household to be a good thing. It’s important to slowly introduce cats and dogs to each other, and often, this is easier to accomplish when they’re as young as possible. It may take time and patience before your Russian Blue is confident around other pets, but they will get there eventually!

The playful side of the Russian Blue can be a great match for a dog, and you may find that they keep each other entertained when you’re out of the house. That said, Russian Blues can be wary of new people, and that can sometimes include dogs!

Russian Blues have a relatively high prey drive, probably in part due to their status as a natural breed and having to fend for themselves. Their ability to catch mice and other small rodents is what made them prized additions to ships leaving Russia for Europe. Take care if you have any small pets like mice, rats, or hamsters. It’s probably wise if these are kept in a separate part of the house from your cat.

russian blue cat in grass

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Things to Know When Owning a Russian Blue Cat

Russian Blue cats may look adorable and like the perfect addition to your family. But as with any pet, it’s important to consider if you can provide the right sort of home environment for this breed to thrive. Here’s what you need to know before you make your final choice.

Food & Diet Requirements

If there’s one thing that Russian Blues love as much as attention from their owners, it’s food! This breed has an above-average risk of becoming overweight, so careful attention needs to be paid to their diet. Obesity can lead to a range of serious health issues for cats, including obesity, diabetes, and joint problems.

In terms of what food to give your cat, choose one with a high percentage of protein, with real meat as the first ingredient. Carbohydrates and grain can encourage weight gain, so avoid any brands with high levels of grains or fillers like potatoes. Your vet will be able to advise if your cat is a healthy weight and suggest alternative diets if your cat needs to lose a few pounds.

Make sure to choose a food that’s approved by the AAFCO for your cat’s particular life stage. Kittens require a different blend of nutrients than adult cats, so make sure you make the switch as your kitten grows up. You can also buy food formulated for senior cats, which often contains fatty acids designed to help minimize joint pain.

Russian Blue Kitten in basket
Credit: Utekhina Anna, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐈

Russian Blues can be relaxed most of the time. Otherwise, they want to play and play hard! While your cat might be happy chilling out and napping when you’re away from home during the day, expect them to be a bundle of energy when you get back. Offering a variety of toys, including battery-powered toys that they can amuse themselves with, is a good idea.

It’s also important to offer plenty of enrichment. Consider adding scratching posts and even a DIY cat tree to help keep your cat entertained. Russian Blues aren’t overly fond of climbing, but they may appreciate an elevated spot to have a peaceful nap. They’ll love the chance to stare out the window at the world outside.

Their sociable nature with family means they may enjoy walks around the backyard, but their timidity around strangers means it’s unlikely they’ll want to go on a road trip for a longer walk. These cats will be most confident when they’re at home and feeling secure.

Training 🧶

Russian Blue cats are intelligent and will love the mental challenge of learning new tricks. This, combined with their love of food, makes them the perfect choice for positive reinforcement training. Cats can be taught a wide range of tricks, including sit, stay, roll over, “paw,” wave, and much more!

Having short training sessions is a great way to build a bond between you and your cat, and Russian Blues will love the extra attention and praise!

Grooming ✂️

Russian Blues have a dense coat, but they don’t have overly complicated grooming needs. A brush twice a week should be enough to remove any shedding hair and keep your cat’s coat looking glossy and shiny. While it’s said that Russian Blue cats release fewer allergens than most cats, they do still shed an average amount.

You should also check your cat’s nails, teeth, and ears each time you groom them. Dental disease is common in cats, so your vet may recommend that you brush your cat’s teeth if necessary.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Russian Blue cats are overall considered a healthy breed. They don’t suffer from many of the genetic health conditions that can affect some purebred cats. It’s important to talk to the breeder of any kittens that you’re interested in, to check that they’re happy to talk to you about any health tests that the parent cats or kittens have had.

Reputable breeders will usually offer a written guarantee of health, but it’s also worth taking your new kitten to your local vet for an evaluation. The main health conditions that can affect the Russian Blue include the following.

Minor Conditions
  • Obesity
  • Bladder stones
  • Urinary tract problems
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia

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Male vs. Female

Generally, male Russian Blue cats are a little larger and chunkier than their female counterparts. They can sometimes be more affectionate too, but that often depends on the individual personality of the cats, so it’s not a hard and fast rule.

Female Russian Blue cats are less muscular, although they can still look large due to their dense coats! They can be more independent than males.

If you’re worried about hormonal behaviors, like urine spraying or wandering, it’s always recommended to get your kitten spayed/neutered at the age recommended by your vet. This will remove these types of behaviors and prevent unwanted litters of kittens.

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Final Thoughts

Russian Blue cats are simply stunning, due to their combination of an eye-catching blue coat, dense velvety fur, and mesmerizing green eyes. Russian Blue cats have a calm and good-natured temperament and bond strongly with their families. They may never be confident around strangers, as they prefer to keep to themselves around people they don’t know.

Their adaptable nature makes them great for families with older kids who know how to safely interact with cats. They can also get along well with dogs and other cats, provided that introductions are managed carefully by their owners. This breed can be a good choice for families with allergy sufferers as it’s thought that they produce fewer allergens than most other cat breeds.

This breed is happy to be left alone during the day but will demand your attention and affection as soon as you’re home. They love to play and are quick to pick up tricks. They love food, so they will always try their hardest if you use treats as encouragement.

With this cat in the house, you’ll never be lonely! If you’re the proud owner of a beautiful Russian Blue, we’d love to hear more about them!

SEE ALSO: 10 Russian Cat Breeds (with Pictures)


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.