Russian Blues were first recorded by Harrison Weir in 1899 as the Archangel Cat. The Russian is believed to have its origin from cats taken by merchant ships from the port of Archangel in the USSR to Sweden and hence to Western Europe. One of the pioneer breeders was Mrs. Carew-Cox, who imported cats directly form Archangel to Britain at the end of the 18th century. Among these were a female known as lingpopo and a male named KING VLADIMIR who later sired the famous Russian Blue stud BAYARD.
In the USA and Canada the Russian Blue is said to have first arrived around 1890. Records show that Mrs. Clinton Locke imported LOCKEHAVEN ROYAL BLUE from a British breeder. The breed suffered from confusion between it and blue American Shorthairs until the post war European lines were imported to form the basis of a breeding program towards the Russian as it is today. However, there are still significant differences in the requirements from Russian Blues in North America and Europe. The Russian has championship status worldwide including the USSR, whose cat fancy is in its infancy and whose breeders now hope to re-establish the Russian Blue by imports.
The truest criteria distinguishing the Russian Blue cat from all other cats is its soft, lustrous, bright blue, double coat. The coat is very plush and stands away from the body, and has a silver sheen because of silver-tipped guard hairs.
The body is fine-boned, long and graceful. Russians are muscular in the manner of a swimmer, rather than that of a wrestler. The medium wedge shaped head has large, upright ears and the almost round eyes are vividly green - emerald green eyes are preferred. Russians often said to wear a "smiling" expression.
Russian Blues are a hardy breed and these cats tend to live long trouble-free lives. They are, however, not outdoor cats because they do not like surprises and much prefer the security of a familiar environment. Russians are slow to accept strangers, taking longer than most other breeds to decide whether they like you or not. should you be captivated by their beauty and decide to purchase a Russian Blue, be patient and invest some time getting to know your new family member. That investment will be rewarded with a special kind of bond reserved for the fortunate few who come to know and be loved by a Russian Blue.
Breed Administrator: Jo-Anne Lynch email