Young Ofelia Hesseldal

The temperament of
the Russian Blue

At home
At shows

The look of the Russian Blue

 

The temperament of the Russian Blue


RUSSIAN BLUE
-  THE CAT FOR
THE CONNOISSEUR


The Russian Blue is said to be the cat for the connoisseur, the cat for the person who really loves the cat. It is "a true cat". The meaning of this is that it has many of the natural instincts of the cat intact. It is lively and playful; cautious, but also curious; intelligent. The females are almost without exception good mothers who raise their kittens perfectly.


THE RUSSIAN BLUE AND ITS PEOPLE

Ofelia and Dorthe

Ofelia feels comfortable
on the lap of Dorthe


The Russian Blue becomes very close attached to the people in its family; perhaps it gets especially attached to one or two members of the family. It is not a cat for everybody. You must be prepared to accept the devotion from the cat, and you must be prepared to give lots of attention and love to the cat. The long and the short of it is that you must be prepared to be the selected person and friend of the cat.

When the need of The Russian Blue for love and care is covered from the people of the cat, it is not much interested in other people. The natural caution does that many Russian Blues hold back when strangers are visiting its home. Some stay out of sight, when guests are present, but most of them are so curious that they come to have a closer look at the guests. Some can be allowed to stroke the cat, but it is not a thing you can take for granted, and you can in no way say that the Russian Blue is pushy. In return it has a very good memory, and has it once accepted the guest it will remember it also the next time the guest is paying a visit.

A Russian Blue is never unpredictable or aggressive. It is a cat you can trust, and it will never let you down.


THE RUSSIAN BLUE AND OTHER CATS


Apart from the lions no big cats are gregarious animals, and it seems as the Russian Blues still have this instinct to a pretty high degree. Because of this it is doing fine as the only spoiled cat of a family, but it also does fine with other cats, especially when they are grown up together. In larger groups of cats there can be problems. Some of the Russian Blues in a large group can be doing very fine, but others can feel that they are neglected and un-cared-for, and this can cause behavioural problems. 

On the whole we believe that if you want to have a Russian Blue, you must realize that the numbers of cats in your home is limited. A Russian Blue is not suited to live in a very large group of cats.


THE INDIVIDUAL CAT



Obviously not all Russian Blues have exactly the personality we have described; after all none of them are clones. The personality of the individual cat also might alter when the cat gets older. The kitten who happily greets all guests can easily withdraw when it gets older - and in fact the opposite is also seen.


A UNIQUE CAT


We think that the classic personality of the Russian Blue is quite unique - though some non-pedigree cats may have the same personality.

It makes demands of the owner of the cat, but if you are prepared to meet these demands, you will have a wonderful companion. Certainly it is only the owners of the Russian Blue who get a possibility to see what a lovely creature the cat is, and it can sometimes be a bit annoying, but it is the price you must pay to have a cat who is so much your cat - and only yours. If you want a cat which rubs itself against the legs of everybody, you should choose a cat of a different breed, and a much more outgoing temperament is in no way a rare thing for the pedigree cats.

Some think that the temperament of the Russian Blue should be changed, so it will be like the temperament of all other breeds, but we hope that the classical temperament of the Russian Blue will be preserved, so you can still find a cat for the connoisseur.


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CATS ON SHOWS


If you don't want to show your Russian Blue you can leave this passage, but if you think it could be interesting to show your little blue wonder, you can go on reading.

It is very stressing for a cat to be shown. Often it has to be carried to the show far away. After that the cat has to be shut up in a little pen in a hall filled with unfamiliar cats, new smells and noisy loudspeakers. Later on at the judgement it is felt up by unfamiliar people, and the unfamiliar cats are very close. Certainly this is more stressful to a cat that bu nature is cautious and not exactly enthusiastic about strangers - this means to many Russian Blues, than to a cat who doesn't care who pets it. Altogether probably only a few cats really enjoy to be shown, and if it prefer the days at the shows to the days at home, something must be wrong about in daily life. 

We consider shows as a mild cruelty to animals, and if the cat is very sorry to be shown you should not do it. We have shown our cats ourselves and still do, but on some conditions. First the cats must behave well at the shows. This is that they must neither be so afraid nor so angry that they hiss or worse. Secondly the cats must be happy again at the very moment they are at home. 


THE RUSSIAN BLUE AT SHOWS


It can hardly surprise that some cats don't submit to shows. This goes for all breeds. The Russian Blue is no exception, but we don't think you see an angry Russian Blue at a show than an angry cat of another breed. Anyway it is no secret that the Russian Blue has a reputation as a breed unsuited for shows, especially among certain breeders of other breeds. 

Fortunately there are many more Russian Blues who can easily be at shows than Russian Blues who object to shows. It is a problem though that it is very difficult for the breeders to tell which kittens you should not show. That is that the most outgoing kitten who you think would be at the show without batting an eyelid is the one that thinks that its limits are exceeded at shows. The other way around the kitten that seems to be more withdrawn can behave excellent at shows. We would never make any guarantees that a kitten from our breed is suited for shows, this can be made up only when it is actually shown. 


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The look of the Russian Blue


All the Danish cat clubs are affiliated to FIFe. The FIFe standard of the Russian Blue differs from the standards of CFA, TICA and GCCF. The description underneath is our description of a FIFe Russian Blue.


A HARMONIOUS CAT


The best word to characterize the Russian Blue is harmony. A Russian Blue is neither as slender as a Siamese nor as heavy as a British Shorthair. Compared to most non-pedigree cats the Russian Blue is more graceful and elegant. The Russian Blue is medium built, has a beautiful head, high legs and a long tail. All of it goes well together, and the Russian Blue is not extreme in any way.

At first sight the Russian Blue might look like an ordinary cat. When you look closer you'll always discover the fine, distinctive character. 


THE COAT


The Russian Blue is a shorthair cat. It doesn't need grooming, but it often enjoys being brushed and combed - because it has a pleasant time. 
The structure of the coat is something between plush and silk. It must not be too flat lying or long, but it must neither seem wooly. When you stroke a Russian Blue the coat should feel soft, but also resist a little. Previously it was said that the coat was comparable with sealskin. Anyway it is not any seal, but a seal called the Northern fur seal. On photos of this seal which was almost exterminated exactly because of its wonderful coat, you can see that it has the same structure as the coat of the Russian Blue. 

The colour of the coat is blue - this is blue-grey, and a medium blue colour is preferred. We like it better when the coat is a little too dark than a little too light. Among other things because the beautiful silver sheen the coat is supposed to have is better seen on the darker coat. 

It is a great pleasure to show a Russian Blue that has a perfect coat, because many judges value this very much. Anyway, we don't find the coat the most important. A Swedish expert on Russian Blues once said that he had seen many beautiful Russian Blues who had not a perfect coat, but a Russian Blue with a perfect coat was no guarantee of a beautiful Russian Blue. We think he is right. The type in general, the green eyes, the movements of the cat count much more. At least to us. 


THE HEAD

 



The head of the Russian Blue has a short wedge and a long and flat skull. It has a straight nose which at the same level as the eye brows forms a convex angle with the straight and rather long forehead. It has a strong chin and prominent whisker pads. All these things together gives the characteristic profile of the Russian Blue. The drawing shows the profile of a Russian Blue according to the FIFe standard.

The head must also be fairly broad. That is because the eyes are supposed to be set wide apart, and it is not possible, if the head is too narrow. 


THE EYES

Sarantoya's gr°nne °jne


The eyes of a Russian Blue are extremely expressive. They are completely green, large and almond in shape. At shows you don't always see that the eyes are almond in shape, because in this situation many Russian Blues open their eyes wide, and they then look round in shape. 
We don't find it very attractive when the eyes are too small, are set too close or are too deep-set. 

The eyes are almost always what you first notice when you see a Russian Blue, especially when they have the correct green colour. 


THE EARS


The ears are large, rather pointed and are set vertically to the head. We think this means that the outer line of the ear is vertical. The ears are also wide at the base.
We find it very important that the ears have the right width. If they are too narrow they are looking like the ears of a rabbit or exclamation marks on the top of the head. Also because of the ears must the head be of a good width. If the head is narrow there will be not space enough for the ears being wide at the base. Or the ears will meet on the middle of the head, and neither this is desirable. 


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