Everything You Need to Know About Russian Blue Cats

Posted by Mateja Lane

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Russian Blues are sometimes called Archangel Blues.

These stunning cats are most well known for their thick grey coats that look almost blue. They are a friendly cat breed and bond strongly with their family members. Though sometimes they can be wary and shy around strangers, they are generally sociable cats.

Thought to originate from the Archangel Islands of northern Russia, it is believed that the cat descended from the pets of Russian Czars. Sometimes called Archangel Blues or Archangel cats, the first recorded appearance of the cat outside of Russia was in 1875 at the Crystal Palace in England. Sailors brought the cats from the Russian islands to Great Britain and Northern Europe throughout the late 1800s. The breed was further developed in England during World War II when it was cross-bred with Siamese cats.

The Russian Blue has a thick, double coat that looks silver due to their silver-tipped guard hairs, and the breed standard is to have wide-set vivid green eyes. Russian Blue owners will note that they are able to draw designs into the cat's fur and have them stay until they are brushed flat. These cats are super intelligent and are known to learn tricks and play fetch. Though they are friendly, they can be reserved with people they aren't used to. They should not be confused with British Shorthair or British blue cats, nor the Chartreux or Korat cats who also have plush blue coats.

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Russian Blues have small heads with a normal-length snout (not smushed like a Persian's). The breed standard for Russian Blues is to have green, emerald eyes. The eyes are alert and responsive.

The ears stand straight up due to breeding with the Siamese breed after WWII.


The most distinguishing factor of the Russian Blue is its dense grey coat. Looking almost blue, the coat is double-layered and designs can be made into the top layer that stay until brushed flat. The coat can range from light grey to dark and individual hairs look silver. The coat is velvety soft.

They actually don't shed as much other cats due to the coat's density.


Russian Blue cats are friendly and bond well with their owners. They can be reserved or shy around strangers but it depends on how the cat was raised. They are intelligent cats and can be easily trained, and have been known to even play fetch.


The average lifespan of the Russian Blue is between 10-20 years and they don't have any known genetic health problems. That being said, regular vaccinations and vet visits are important.

Russian Blues can live to be 20 years old and don't do too well with change. They are creatures of habit and do best with knowing certain schedules, like meal times. Their thick coats also seem to trap in some of the dander, and the breed doesn't produce as much glycoprotein Fel d 1 as other cats, so Russian Blues can also be better for people with cat allergies.

Find more information about these plush coat beauties from the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) and where you can find reputable breeders for your own Russian Blue kitten.

Do you have a Russian Blue? Show us their coat color in the comments below. 

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Everything You Need to Know About Russian Blue Cats