With curious yellow eyes and a bluish-grey coat, Russian Blue kittens are born wise—and playful too! Though medium in stature, Russian Blues appear larger due to their signature thick, double coat. This particular breed is often equal parts affectionate and shy, and tend to have minds of their own.
Russian Blue cats, also known as “Archangel Blue”, were said to be found in the White Sea port town of Archangel (Arkhangelsk) in northern Russia. British sailors were delighted by this beautiful fluffy breed and decided to take a few back on their journey home. There are also long-haired versions of Russian Blues known as Nebelung cats. One look and it’s easy to see how this breed survives cold Russian winters with their thick double coated fur.
The first Russian Blue on record was showcased in 1871 at London’s Crystal Palace in the “Grand Cat Show”, a show with hundreds of exotic cats from around the world. This cat show was an extension of the World’s Fair, a huge worldwide event starting in the 1850s. In the cat competition, the Russian Blue sadly lost to the British Blue!
Smiling a Mona Lisa smile, Russian Blue kittens are known for a slightly turned up mouth and an affectionate personality.
Your Russian Blue kitten may be born tiny, but Russian Blues are a muscular breed and grow to be long and slender as they age. Most notably are the Russian Blue kitten’s eyes. They are born with yellow eyes, and after three or four months they change into a gorgeous shade of green!
|Size||Medium. Adult males grow to 3-5.5 kg (7-12 lbs). They may appear larger due to their double coats.|
|Breed Characteristics||With long and slender limbs, Russian Blues have plush coats that stand straight up at a 45-degree angle. This breed may be a good choice for pet parents with allergies because this breed doesn’t shed as much as others and is known to produce low levels of the glycoprotein Fel d 1, a known allergen. The Russian Blue is known for its bright green eyes and large ears with pointed tips. When they’re kittens, Russian Blues are sometimes born with “ghost stripes” which disappear as they mature into their adulthood coat.|
|Temperament||Russian Blue kittens are playful, but the breed as a whole tends to be shy with humans they don’t know. When they know you, however, they can be deeply affectionate. Russian Blues tend to startle easily, especially in new environments, so be sure to ease your new family member into new situations slowly and with care. Russian Blues can be left alone for long periods of time as they are highly independent.|
|Grooming and Health Needs||Russian Blues have a thick double coat that needs to be brushed weekly. This breed is prone to anxiety, so keeping them mostly indoors and away from loud noises is a good idea. A balanced diet is a necessity to keep their coats shiny and feeling comfortable. This breed as a whole is healthy, but some Russian Blues are known to have problems with bladder stones so taking preventative measures with your vet is key.|
|Training||Russian Blues are easily trainable, or rather, they like to train their humans! Make sure your space has plenty of climbable surfaces, so your cat can climb higher when needed. They’re highly intelligent, so interactive toys are helpful to keep their minds occupied. They love eating, so be sure to only feed them during scheduled times, weigh them regularly, and try to ignore their fake cries of hunger.|
|Energy Level||Russian Blues are moderately energetic and prefer to tiptoe into new situations instead of rushing. Like many cats, they enjoy lying in the sun and playing with feathered toys with their humans. They’re also very vocal if their needs aren’t being met.|
|Life Span||Russian Blues live between 13 – 20 years on average.|
Russian Blue kittens do best with families who have older children. This is to help prevent children from rushing out and startling them. If they’re raised since kittenhood with a cat-friendly dog or children, however, they’re able to get along well with everyone more easily. Russian Blues generally do better as indoor cats due to their skittishness in response to outdoor noises and other animals. Due to this, having a lot of climbing and hiding places in your home is ideal for this cautious kitty.
Choosing to adopt or go through a breeder for your new Russian Blue kitten is a personal choice that requires research. Thankfully, there are many resources out there to help you find a rescue or breeder that offers healthy, ethically sourced Russian Blue kittens.
Knowing what you’re in for when you get a Russian Blue kitten is an important step in being a responsible pet owner. Whether you find a responsible breeder or are planning on adopting, it’s up to you to be prepared for an energetic and friendly addition to your household.
Adopting Russian Blue kittens
You may be surprised to hear that adopting a Russian Blue kitten is possible. Most breed rescues report that a majority of their rescue cats come from individual owner surrender, with the most common reasons being a change in lifestyle or the breed not being right for them. This means that there may be many cats and kittens out that that are looking for a new forever home.
The main difference between a breeder and a rescue is that a rescue may not always have young kittens to choose from. The benefit, however, is that most are mandated to only adopt out cats that have been microchipped and spayed/neutered. This means you may end up with a cat that’s already been housebroken, and doesn’t need these common medical procedures. You may also find a Russian Blue mix that has all the traits you want from the breed, but with a little extra thrown in.
Finding a Russian Blue breeder
The first step is to do your research. Sadly, there are many kitten mills posing as reputable breeders along with many online scams. Be aware, and reach out to different online forums for conversations about getting your future furry family member.
Be sure to ask questions, make arrangements to meet the breeder and the parent cats, and follow your gut. If something seems wrong at a breeder you visit, or the Russian Blue kitten seems too good to be true, there’s likely something going on.