In the world of cats and their coats, the colour 'blue' refers to a cat with a grey coat. Grey cats usually lure people in with their beautiful coat which brings out their brightly coloured eyes.

Here are our top 5 grey cat breeds:

Grey cat #1: the Chartreux

Originally from France, the Chartreux is a calm and sociable cat.

Some people say that the Chartreux was bred by monks in the order’s head monastery, Grande Chartreuse near Grenoble, in France. They say that the blue cats were brought to the monastery by crusading knights, who had found them on the coast of Africa. The cats were then trained to have quiet voices so they wouldn't disturb meditation time. However, this story has not been proven.

The Chartreux is one of the oldest cat breeds in Europe and was first heard of in the 16th century. A colony of cats was discovered in the 1920s by the Leger sisters on a Britanny island, just off the coast of France. The sisters began expanding the breed and exhibited the first Chartreux in France in 1931.

However, the breed was on the point of disappearing after the Second World War. But they reappeared thanks to mixing the breed with British Shorthairs, Russian blues and Persians.

The Chartreux's coat is dense and water-repellent. It can vary from light blue-grey to dark blue-grey, with silvery-colored tips. Their most distinctive feature is their deep orange eyes. They have full cheeks and an upturned mouth that shows a sweet, smiling expression.

Chartreux cats are born hunters and are great at getting rid of mice. They are good-tempered, loyal, quiet, and good with children, and will rather move away than scratch if they don't like the way they are being handled.

chat chartreux

Grey cat #2: the British Shorthair

The British Shorthair appeared in 1871 in Great Britain during a cat exhibition at Crystal Palace in London. The "father" of the breed is Harrison Weir who was the first professional cat breeder and determined the rules of the first cat show.

During the First and Second World Wars, human life and animals, including these beautiful grey cats were mostly destroyed in Britain. Persian cats were subsequently mated with remaining British Shorthairs in order to re-establish the breed.

British Shorthairs are a popular breed and are recognisable due to their solid stature, short tail and their dense, short coat. They have a round face, large round eyes and round body. They are a medium to large sized cat.

British Shorthair cats are quiet, calm, friendly and laid back. They are less active than other breeds but do enjoy playing, so fitting into a family with children shouldn’t be a problem. You shouldn’t have to keep them constantly entertained as they are fairly independent cats and are happy to amuse themselves.

chat british shorthair

Grey cat #3: the Nebelung

The Nebelung originates from Russia and was developped by Cora Cobb of the Nehelheim Cattery. The idea came from the only longhaired blue kitten, named Seigfried, who was born in amoungst a litter from a black domestic shorthair and fathered by a longhaired black cat. A second litter brought a female longhaired blue kitten named Brunhindle. And so, Siegfried and Brunhindle became the foundation of the new breeding program. The first litter appeared in 1986.

The Nebelung shares genetic characteristics with the Blue Russian, and has a silky, grey-blue medium length coat with a thick undercoat. They are medium-sized, well muscled, and have long, slender legs and a long, plumed tail. Their eyes are oval shaped and set wide apart.

The Nebelung is a gentle breed and can be quite shy compared to other breeds, especially around people that they don’t know. They are intelligent, playful and get along with children. Nebelungs are often described as dog-like as they like to follow their owners around the house.

This is a fairly rare breed but they can be found in the US, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Germany, Ukraine and the UK.

Nebelung grey cat

Grey cat #4: the Russian Blue

The origins of the Russian Blue are not very clear despite some believing that this breed comes from Russia. Large numbers of cats with similar coats are found in Scandinavia and their dense coat is a key indicator of living up in the north. However, others believe that they were developed in England and appeared in the US around 1900. The breed was given the names Russian Blue, the Maltese Cat, or the Spanish cat.

Because of their double coats, Russian Blues appear larger than they actually are. They have a dense, silky, plush coat that shimmers in the sun. Their eyes are yellow when they are kittens, and by four months old, a bright green ring appears around the pupil. As they grow older their eyes turn into a vivid green. Like the Chartreux, they have a ‘smile’ because of their slightly upturned mouth.

Russian Blue cats are gentle, shy and quiet, but love to play and enjoy jumping and climbing to high places. They love receiving affection and don’t usually like to be ignored. Even if they are quiet cats, Russian blues will most likely let you know when to give them their next meal.

Children don’t seem to be a problem for Russian Blues. Even if they receive clumsy pats given by toddlers, they should recognize that no harm was meant and will just walk away or climb out of everyone's reach. Dogs don't seem to be an issue either, as long as the dogs don’t run after them.

chat bleu russe

Grey cat #5: the Korat

The Korat is a very old breed and has over 600 years of history. Originating from the Korat region in Thailand (as the name suggests), the habitants of the country consider the breed to be a good luck charm. In 1959, while on a visit to Thailand, an American ambassador was presented with Korats and they became the foundation of a breeding programme in the US. Korats then arrived in Britain in 1972.

Like all of the other grey cats mentioned, Korats have a beautiful blue coat, that has a silvery colour in the light due to translucent tipping on each hair. They have big green eyes on their heart-shaped faces and their bodies are small but slender and muscular.

Korats are not well known and are often confused with the Chartreux or Russian Blue cats. The breed becomes fully mature at the age of three and has been known to live until 30 years old!

They are very playful, highly intelligent, love attention and see themselves as the one in charge of the house. You will usually see them close to their pet parents and won’t like being left alone for hours on end.

chat korat

Which is your favourite grey cat breed?

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