The Chartreux Cat is a fairly rare breed from France. This breed has a large muscular body that is supported by finely-boned legs. This is why this cat 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.
The Chartreux is a quiet and affectionate cat that forms deep bonds with its owners. These cats are very intelligent and have excellent hunting skills. This is a moderately active breed known for short bursts of energy.
The Chartreux makes a great lap cat and prefers spending its days napping beside its owner. These are gentle and calm cats that make great companions for people of all ages.
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.
The quiet nature of these cats and their 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 these cats were a natural breed that can be dated back at least to the 18th century. They possessed excellent hunting skills and were used as rodent control in homes and stores.
Unfortunately, these cats were prized by furriers for their beautiful thick pelts. It is still unclear how the breed got its name.
One of the earliest references to a Franch 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 the World War I when these cats were almost extinct. Cat lovers gathered as many cats they could find, 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.
The Chartreux is a powerfully built and sturdy 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 these are robust, deep-chested and broad-shouldered cats.
Males are larger and typically weigh from 11-16 pounds. It takes 4-5 years for male Chartreux Cats to reach their full size. Females are smaller and weigh from 7-12 pounds.
This is a robustly built, but supple and agile cat. Owners should pay 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 like Blue Buffalo Wilderness Cat Food to provide enough proteins. High-quality diet and plenty of exercises will keep the Chartreux Cat in top shape.
Unlike other cats, the Chartreux can be described as mute. They will communicate their wishes through 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 like these. This breed retains its playful nature into the 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. The Go Pet Club Cat Tree can provide, jumping, lounging and playing areas for your cat to enjoy. This breed has a strong hunting instinct that can be encouraged with chasing mice toys.
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 on family vacations.
Although the Chartreux Cat has a playful nature it prefers to curl in its owner’s lap and sleep all day. Thus, owners should engage their cats in interactive play. Get a cat toys set to pique your cat’s interest in play. Involve your Chartreux Cat in hunting games to help her keep her body toned.
The Chartreux is considered to be a fairly healthy breed. 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.
On average the Chartreux Cat can live from 12-15 years. However, with proper nutrition and care, you can prolong the life expectancy of your cat. 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 Cat 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 coat. The Chartreux Cat sheds its double coat during the spring and summer. To prevent hairballs and maintain the coat use a shedding comb. Groom your cat at least three times a week during shedding season.
The thick double layered coat of the Chartreux Cat is the breed’s signature trait. The coat can come in any shade of blue-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.
The calm and gentle nature of the Chartreux Cat 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 an ideal gentle play buddy. This breed tolerates other pets, and won’t get into fights for the owner’s attention. The Chartreux gets along with cat-friendly dogs and won’t mind having company.
This is a playful breed, that spends its energy in short bursts. The Chartreux loves hunting games so buy your cat Skitter Critters. This way you can engage her in a fun game and provide needed exercises.
Since this breed loves to sleep, try engaging your cat in interactive play every day. Spend 15 minutes playing with your cat to keep her happy and in good shape.