Russian Blue cats are close to the people they love

Russian Blue: The Global Citizen Cat


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The Russian Blue cat is pretty unique. Most cat breeds are bred intentionally, but this feline developed naturally (at least at fur-st). You could say the Russian Blue cat is a self-made breed…

As breeds go, this fabulous feline has some other tricks up its sleeve too. For one, with its story beginning in Russia then into other countries, the Russian Blue cat is a global citizen extraordinaire. And two, it’s on the list of hypoallergenic cat breeds, making it a clever choice for allergy sufferers.

There are so many traits worth knowing about this velvety blue feline. Let’s begin with some ultra-fast facts.

Russian Blue AKA Archangel cat

At the start of its feline story, the Russian Blue developed naturally as different types of cats bred together in Russia. More specifically, most likely in the port of Arkhangelsk. The breed was created gradually through a process of adaption.

Let’s look at the breed’s key specs then delve deeper into its history…

Russian Blue fast facts

Life span10 – 20 years
SizeSmall to moderate
ColoursLight silver to dark slate with a blue hue
EyesBright green
Average weight3.6 kg – 6.8 kg
Coat Double-coat (soft downy undercoat and top guard hair coat)

Interestingly, in English Arkhangelsk translates as ‘Archangel’. And this is why Russian Blues are sometimes called Archangel Blues. Now that’s a name any cat would be happy with!

Russian blue looks into the camera

Furry-tail history

In the 1800s sailors took the beautiful blue-grey feline on voyages around Europe. This is the first step in the Russian Blue’s branching out story. The port cat travelled from the Archangel Isles to Western and Northern Europe where it was deliberately bred. It also made itself a name in America.

Sadly World War II stalled the breed’s progress. The Russian Blue cat breeding stock was too limited to continue breeding. And as any good breeder worth their salt knows, you can’t breed from a gene pool that’s too small.

Because if you do, the cat or dog will end up developing serious genetic health problems that get passed on from parent to child. Think for instance, about hip dysplasia in dogs and brachycephalic airway syndrome in brachycephalic breeds (like the Persian cat or Pug dog).

Read about different cat breeds for more on the Persian cat personality then continue with our Russian Blue cat deep dive below.

Saving the cosmo cat

To save the breed from diminishing, American breeders combined the two existing lines from England and Scandinavia and bred these with the Siamese cat. This would have given the breeding line more diversity, improved its health and kept it going.

However, nowadays since the Russian Blue breeding stock has been built up again, most of the Siamese traits have been outbred.

Nevertheless, this history is how this cosmopolitan cat came to be the global citizen we love today.

Bummed to hear there’s less Siamese in the Russian Blue than you thought? Find out how Siamese kittens get their temperature sensitive colour points and check what cat breed is most like you (is it the Siamese?)

Still thinking of getting yourself a Blue? If you want to be swayed into making the commitment, look no fur-ther… Just watch this cute video of Russian Blue kits:

Is the Russian Blue hypoallergenic?

You might think that having a double coat would be more of a sneezy scratchy allergy inducer. In fact, the Russian Blue is less prone to causing allergies than most cats. But just to get this straight, no cat is absolutely 100% hypoallergenic. Some cats are just less likely to spark those sneeze and scratch impulses.

Find out what hypoallergenic cats have that makes them easier on the sinus/skin response systems.

Owning a Russian Blue cat

Russian Blue cats are loving and sweet. Owners have mixed opinions about whether the breed errs on the side of caution or is outgoing around strangers. Here’s what some have to say in Wikipedia’s talk column:

Some say their cat prefers to stay away from strangers

My Russian loved his family but would set up an exclusion zone around strangers and take his time in negotiating a relationship

Russians in my experience are *very loving* and highly attached to their owners, but are quite timid around people they do not know. In a household, there’s a good chance they will get highly attached to a single person (hopefully the owner but not necessarily LOL!). They prefer to observe from a distance and may or may not get close even after extended periods of time.

My 3 year old female Russian Blue is beautiful, gentle and affectionate and always wants to be near me BUT it is a different matter with new people coming to the house, or anyone she does not know. She stands off at some distance until after a while she decides she can approach a little way to assess them. It is noticeable that this trait is less marked with children and younger people, whom she trusts more quickly.

Russian blue sits on cat mum's shoulder

Some say their cat is outgoing and social…

Sorry – as a long time breeder of Russian Blues it simply isn’t true to state that today’s Russian Blue is timid around strangers. That statement reflects a behavioral characteristic from about 25 years ago and is simply inaccurate today. Today’s cat is very outgoing although it does prefer to come up to a stranger rather than having someone just grab at them.

I’d like to mention that my 1 year old pure bred Russian Blue is so far from being shy, timid or reserved that he has acquired a reputation for running inside of other people’s houses even when he has never met them before, and that many of my neighbors inform me that they look forward to his visits. So I would like to concur with the breeder that today’s Russian Blue may not have the same reservations as earlier generations. At the least, it may vary between individual cats to the degree that to make a sweeping statement about the breed is no longer accurate.

Let’s just say, each to their own. 😊

Russian blue snuggles under blanket


The Russian Blue is a healthy cat. Most breeds have tendencies toward certain genetic health problems, but this isn’t the case for the Russian Blue! This breed doesn’t get ill easily and has virtually no genetic health issues. Wowser…

That said, any pet can still get sick or injured. This is the case regardless of their breed or how healthy they appear to be. Read the inspiring story of our PD Insurance customer, Steve the Russian Blue cat, to find out how he triumphed over illness. Happily, his cat dad had thought about getting pet insurance before the now-solved mystery condition started to show.

That’s always a good thing because insurance can only protect against conditions that start after your plan (and waiting periods). In other words, the best time to get cat insurance is now. The sooner you get it, the younger and healthier your pet will be so the fewer the pre-existing conditions (or hopefully none at all).

Plus, at PD Insurance we give you a period of free pet insurance if you sign up online, of one month or more depending on the age of your cat or dog. Why wait for an incident to strike first?

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