Characteristics (Quick Facts)
Ability to Adapt:
Need for Grooming:
The Chartreux Cat is a rare breed from France. This cat has a large muscular body that is supported by finely boned legs. Therefore, the breed is nicknamed ‘potato atop toothpicks’.
The Chartreux is famous for its woolly water-repellent blue-gray coat. Besides the coat, the deep orange or copper eyes and smiling expression add to the overall beauty of this breed.
This is a quiet and affectionate cat that forms deep bonds with its owners. They are very intelligent and have excellent hunting skills. This moderately active breed is known for short bursts of energy.
The Chartreux makes a great lap cat and prefers spending its days napping beside its owner. Being a gentle and calm cat, the Chartreux is a great companion for people of all ages.
Where Did Chartreux Cat Breed Originate?
How exactly this breed came to be is still unclear. According to a legend, the Chartreux is a descendant of cats brought to France by crusaders from Ancient Persia. Some of these crusaders joined the Carthusian monastic order and cats stayed with them.
Their quiet nature and superb hunting abilities made them suitable and useful companions to the monks. However, there is no written evidence to support this story.
It is more likely that they were a natural breed that can be dated back at least to the 18th century. They possessed excellent hunting skills and were used as a rodent control in homes and stores.
Unfortunately, they were prized by furriers for their beautiful thick pelts.
One of the earliest references to a French grey cat dates to 1558 and can be found in a poem by Joachim du Bellay. Another representation of the Chartreux can be found in a painting by Jean-Baptiste Perronneau from 1747.
In the 18th century, a French naturalist Comte de Buffon described these cats and gave them the Latin name Felis catus coeruleus, meaning blue cat.
Up to 1900s, there were no real efforts to preserve this breed and they could be found roaming the streets of Paris. However, everything changed after World War I when these cats were almost extinct.
Cat lovers gathered as many cats as possible, wrote a breed standard and started breeding them. Their efforts paid off and they started to exhibit these cats in European cat shows.
The first Chartreux Cats were brought to the U.S in 1971 by Helen and John Gamon of La Jolla. The Cat Fanciers Association granted the Chartreux championship status in 1987.
The breed is recognized by major cat associations in America but is little-known in Europe. They are even less known in their homeland France and many of American-bred cats are now taken back there.
What Does the Chartreux Cat Look Like?
The Chartreux is a powerfully built and sturdy looking working cat. They have a broad rounded head, full cheeks and tapered muzzle that gives them the ‘smiling’ expression.
Their body type hasn’t changed through the years, and they are still robust, deep-chested, and broad-shouldered as their ancestors.
This breed is easily recognizable due to its rich blue coat and eyes which can be copper or gold in color.
As per size standards, the Chartreux should have a large and muscular body with relatively short finely boned limbs. The strong boning and dense muscle mass give this breed a robust physique.
Chartreux Cat Colors
The thick double layered coat of the Chartreux is the breed’s signature trait.
The coat can come in any shade of bluish gray. The tips of the hair look like they were brushed with silver giving the coat the magnificent look.
Some Chartreux kittens can have slight tabby markings and rings on the tail. However, the coat should develop its bright even tone when the kitten matures.
Chartreux Cat Personality Traits
The Chartreux is a calm, intelligent and quiet breed that doesn’t demand a lot of attention. However, they tend to pick their favorite person whom they will follow around the house.
Unlike other cats, the Chartreux can be described as mute. They will communicate their wishes with meaningful looks and an occasional meow.
Due to its history as a street cat, the Chartreux has an aloof nature. They don’t demand a lot of attention and are content with what they receive. This also means that they can be left at home alone for longer periods of time.
The Chartreux is an intelligent cat that enjoys playing with cat toys. This breed retains its playful nature into adulthood.
However, their perfect day consists of short playing bursts and a lot of naps.
When they are playing, the Chartreux can display some acrobatic skills. Thus, you should provide vertical surfaces for your cat. A cat tree can provide, jumping, lounging, and playing areas for your cat to enjoy.
This breed has a strong hunting instinct that can be satisfied playing with mice toys.
This breed has a sweet, quiet, and compliant nature which makes them a real pleasure to live with. They love being lap cats and will snuggle near you when a lap isn’t available.
The polite Chartreux does his best to obey the rules and is highly unlikely that you will have to tell him ‘No’ more than once.
While generally friendly, they won’t rush to greet all the guests by the front door. It is more likely that your cat will just sit and observe a newcomer for a while before deciding what to do.
Chartreux Cat Behavior
The devoted and affectionate Chartreux doesn’t need much to be content.
If his meals are on time and you don’t change his routine much, this cat will be a happy camper.
This calm and smart cat rarely develops any behavioral issues. However, your cat may start avoiding the litter box if you change its routine or miss a meal or two.
Thus, do your best to stick with a routine whenever possible.
Are Chartreux Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?
The Chartreux is a highly adaptable breed thanks to its street roaming ancestors. These cats have the skills to adapt to any living conditions.
Furthermore, they make excellent travel companions. Hence, you won’t have any troubles taking your cat with you on family vacations.
Although the Chartreux has a playful nature it prefers to curl in its owner’s lap and sleep there all day. Thus, owners should engage their cats in interactive play sessions.
Involve your Chartreux in hunting games to help engage her muscles and keep her in great shape.
Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?
The calm and gentle nature of the Chartreux makes it ideal for families with children. This breed gets along well with younger and older kids.
If the Chartreux isn’t in the mood to play, it will simply turn and leave the child alone. But when it is in the mood, it will be a gentle play buddy.
This breed tolerates other pets and won’t get into fights for the owner’s attention. They even get along with cat-friendly dogs and won’t mind having company.
Since this breed loves to sleep, try to engage your cat in interactive play every day. Spend 15 minutes a day playing with your cat to keep her happy and in good shape.
General Health and Potential Risks
The Chartreux is a healthy breed. You should keep your cat indoors to protect her from feline transmitted diseases.
Furthermore, take your cat to the vet regularly and keep her vaccinated. The following conditions can affect this breed.
- Patellar Luxation: This condition occurs when the cat’s kneecap is dislocated from its normal position. The dislocation can range from mild to severe. Mild cases don’t cause problems. Severe ones can be fixed with a surgery. This condition is rarely seen in cats.
- Hip Dysplasia: This condition occurs when a hip joint is abnormally developed. Thus, resulting in the dislocation of the ball and socket. Treatment can vary depending on the seriousness of the case. Hip dysplasia is commonly seen in dogs and rarely affects cats.
Chartreux Cat Lifespan
On average the Chartreux can live from 12-15 years. However, with proper nutrition and care, you can prolong your cat’s lifespan.
The above-mentioned conditions that can affect this breed can be genetic in nature. Thus, you should get your cat from a reputable breeder who can provide a health guarantee.
The Chartreux has a short, thick, and dense waterproof coat. Because of its woolly texture, the coat is prone to matting.
Brush your cat twice a week with a slicker brush. This way you will remove loose hair and prevent tangles. Regular grooming routine will also distribute skin oils through the length of the coat.
Chartreux Cat Shedding
The Chartreux is a moderate shedder and will shed its double coat during the spring and summer.
To prevent hairballs and to maintain the coat use a shedding comb. Groom your cat at least three times a week during shedding season.
Breed Related FAQ
In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the Chartreux. Read on to learn more about this calm and devoted cat.
How Much is Chartreux Cat Price?
The exact price of a Chartreux kitten depends on a breeder and several other factors. Generally, you can expect to pay between $1000 and $1500 for a purebred cat.
Keep in mind that pet quality kittens are less costly. You may need to pay significantly more for a show quality kitten.
How Big Do Chartreux Cats Get?
As with all other cat breeds, males are larger and typically weigh from 11-16. Females are smaller and weigh from 7-12 pounds.
The Chartreux is a slow maturing breed, male cats grow slower and may need 4-5 years to reach their full size.
The robustly built Chartreux is a supple and agile cat. Owners should pay special attention to nutrition and proper exercise.
This is a somewhat lazy breed. So, it is best to monitor its calorie intake. Use high protein foods to provide enough proteins. High-quality diet and plenty of exercises will keep your cat in top shape.
Are Chartreux Cats Hypoallergenic?
Although there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic cat breeds, some cats are considered less allergenic and more suitable for people with allergies.
Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Chartreux is among these breeds. Thus, you may need to consider a different breed if you or any of your family members suffer from allergies.
Are Chartreux Cats Friendly?
The Chartreux is a friendly and loyal cat that forms deep bonds with its family. Due to their gentle and calm personality, they are a great choice for families with children or other pets.
Can a Chartreux Have Green Eyes?
A purebred Chartreux can only have bright golden, orange- or copper-colored eyes. All other eye colors including green aren’t allowed in the breed’s standard.