5 Things to Know About Russian Blue Cats

These cats are happy to entertain themselves, making them a great choice for families with busy schedules.

Russian Blue Cat
Russian Blues have vivid green eyes. Photo: iStock.com/Liudmila Anufrieva

1. Key Characteristics

  • Weight: 10–14 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 15–20 years

The Russian Blue is a medium-sized, graceful cat with a blue coat and beautiful green eyes.

The short coat has silver-tipped blue fur, and the cats’ deep, vivid emerald eyes are quite piercing.

Large, flared ears flank the wedge-shaped head.

2. Where They Came From

Russian Blue cats originated from the Russian port of Arkhangelsk. For this reason, they’re also known as the Archangel cats.

At the port, the cats boarded boats with sailors and saw the sights of Europe.

The Russian Blue was at the first cat shows in England around 1880 and showed up in the United States in the early 1900s.

The number of Russian Blue cats dwindled during World War II, but breeders in England, Finland and Scandinavia crossed in different cats to try to preserve the breed.

Russian Blue kitten
Russian Blues will generally talk back if you talk to them. Photo: iStock.com/radu984

3. How Friendly Are They?

Russian Blues are intelligent cats. They are playful and like to play fetch.

Less needy than other cat breeds, Russian Blues can be reserved with strangers, but once they approve of you they will be very affectionate.

While not chatterboxes, Russian Blues will respond when talked to. They get along with other pets and children.

They may be sensitive to tone of voice and mood, so keep this in mind during training and everyday interaction.

Exercise Needs

Medium

MEDIUM: Despite having elegant and sophisticated movement, the Russian Blue loves to play and fetch, similar to the Manx cat breed. Give them a scratching post and keep them indoors. Also, be sure to regulate food intake to prevent obesity.

Russian Blue cats don’t have specific exercise needs in addition to those of regular cats.

Grooming Needs

Low

LOW: This cat breed only needs minimal grooming. Brush them 1–2 times a week to maintain the coat and remove dead fur.

The Russian Blue cat can be particular about a dirty litter box, so be sure to keep it clean. As always, brush the teeth, trim the nails and clean the ears.

Health Problems

Low

LOW: Russian Blue cats are super healthy, with no notable inherited genetic problems.

Watch Herbie, a Russian Blue cat, interact with another Russian Blue:

5. Where to Adopt One

Purebred cats can and do end up in shelters and rescues. Start with our adoptable pet search or check your local rescues and shelters.

If you do decide to check out breeders, get to know them and ensure they’re not operating a kitten mill.

Additional Resources

What to read next:

5 Things to Know About Burmese Cats

The playful Burmese is ideal for families with children. These cats also tolerate dogs pretty well, too. See the article

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, has been researching dog and cat breeds for nearly a decade and has observed the animals up close at dog shows in both the United States and the United Kingdom. She is the author of the book One Unforgettable Journey, which was nominated for a Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. In addition, she was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. Kristine has researched and written about pet behaviors and care for many years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, another bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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