Chartreux vs Russian Blue Cat: In Choosing the Perfect Cat

The Chartreux and the Russian blue Cat are often thought of as the same breed by most spectators in a cat show. They look similar at first glance, but further observation will make you realize that each cat is different both in physical features and behavior. 

If you are unsure about which between the adorable Chartreux or the dignified Russian Blue Cat to get for your family, this in-depth article will introduce them both for you to know which between them is your perfect match.

Breed Origins


Photo from: char_kazz (IG)

There aren’t a lot of documents that would tell us the exact origin of the Chartreux, but enough of the historical records point that the breed was already around some time in the 15th or 16th century. The distinct woolly coat of the Chartreux manifests its Syrian origin and the crusaders that traveled from Syria to France brought along the early ancestors of the Chartreux.

People got instantly hooked with the Chartreux once he came to France. His existence meant the decline of the rodent population. This led people to believe that his excellence in eliminating rodents has caused him to have an almost quiet nature. 

Sometime in the 1920s, sisters, Christine and Suzanne Leger saw several blue-gray cats on an island off the coast of France. The sisters decided to domesticate and breed them until the modern Chartreux became more recognizable. 

Russian Blue Cat

Photo from: fudac (IG)

The Cat Fanciers’ Association believes that the Russian Blue is a natural breed that developed in Northern Russia. His thick furry coat which he is so well-known for protects him from the harsh climate of the said country.

Not much is known how this cat breed came about, but since he came off the ships from Russia’s Archangel Island, the breed is often called “Archangel cat”. Due to his many pleasing qualities, the Russian Blue eventually became the Royal favorite and the common pet of Russian Czars.

The official breeding of the Russian blue began in the late 19th century. He debuted in 1875 through a cat show that was held at the Crystal Palace in London. Later on, he arrived in the US and his fame gradually grew to make him one of the most sought-out breeds by people who are seeking the perfect cat companion.

Size, Appearance, & Coloring


The Chartreux cat has a large yet muscular body that is disproportionately supported by short, slight limbs. Blue-grey is the natural color of its coat but kittens may have spots or light tabby markings which will eventually go away as they mature. Take note of his round face with a pair of deep-colored copper eyes. The British Shorthair and even the Russian Blue share the same features, but to tell them apart, the British Shorthair is a larger breed with a more massive head while the Russian Blue has a denser and more silver-looking coat than the Chartreux.

Additionally, he averagely weighs 6 to 12 pounds with a height of 9 to 11 inches when measured at withers. 

Russian Blue Cat

The plushy Russian Blue is a medium-sized cat that is covered with a dense coat that makes him appear bigger than he truly is. Furthermore, his coat can be described as silky and soft, dark, and almost silver in appearance. 

Often, you’ll hear people describe the Russian blue as the cat version of the Doberman Pinscher. This is because of his elegant and muscular frame with equal and outstanding proportions. In short, the Russian blue is muscular yet slender and long. He can reach 10 inches in height and have a mass of 7 to 12 pounds.

Another interesting physical feature about him is his eyes which change from yellow to green as he grows older. Moreover, his mouth structure makes everyone think that he’s smiling when he’s not!



Owners often describe Chartreux cats as cool. They exhibit aloofness and seriousness is prominently painted on their faces. Behind this display, these felines know how to have a sense of humor. It’s not that hard for them to show their silly, fun side, especially when around their family.

Once the Chartreux kitty develops a meaningful bond with you, he’ll show his love in little ways. He won’t be the clingy type, but he’s smart enough to know how to let you feel his affection. He will either wake you up every morning or follow you anywhere you go in the house. It’s always appreciated if you give him attention, but he won’t reach the point of demanding it from you.

He can often be labeled as a mime. This wonderful cat companion prefers to communicate using his body language, but when he gets vocal, a sweet chirp is what you’d usually hear. 

Russian Blue Cat

Most of the time, the Russian blue cat is reserved, yet he remains gentle and affectionate toward others. For him to be able to get comfortable around you, you must earn his trust first. Once the wall between the two of you is gone, the cat will not hesitate to show how sweet he is as a pet. 

He is not at all times clingy and he prefers to show his love toward his cat owner by doing little things that would need a keen eye to realize his actions. Either he’d sit beside you while you watch your favorite show or be around you as you go about your daily tasks at home.

Generally, Russian Blues develop a stronger attachment to one specific person, but yet again, he’s still a friendly one toward other members of the family. He’s not overly social and can exhibit shyness when strangers are introduced.

Exercise Needs


Photo from: oimokun_cat (IG)

The great part about taking care of your Chartreux pet is that you don’t have to give him a special exercise regimen. Being a cat, he’ll take initiative to get moving. Although he can exercise by himself, it’s ideal that you leave out toys for him to play with. Cat toys that move are typically his favorite due to his strong hunting instincts and background as a mouser. 

Another great way to keep him from being a couch potato is by spending time with him. If you can, play games that’ll guarantee enjoyment not just for him but for you as well.

Russian Blue Cat

Lots of physical games are needed in owning Russia’s famous cat. He gains weight pretty easily, so give him a plethora of activities to keep him moving. You can buy toys that will entertain him during his active moments or involve yourself by training him in doing certain drills. He’s one intelligent cat after all.

You can go for sessions that would involve both his physical and mental strength. Food mazes and puzzle games might make him perfectly happy and entertained! 

Grooming Needs


This one is a low-maintenance breed thanks to the quality of his coat. Shedding his old hair still happens all year round, but the trick to managing all his hair fall is to subject him to a weekly brush. Be sure to check your calendar as well and ensure you are ready to face the spring and fall seasons. These cats are known to shed quite heavily during these times and grooming them should be done more often.

Russian Blue Cat

Russian Blues are low-maintenance cats. Although their coats are thick, they would only need occasional brushing to keep them looking shiny. Just make sure their nails are trimmed regularly and that their ears are free from dirt and infections.  If you are going to use products, go for those that are meant for pets.

Health Problems


Chartreux cats live for about 12-15 years and they are one of the healthiest breeds there is. Of course, they are still prone to various health issues which can be avoided through ethical breeding. Others may develop later in life and that includes:

  • Panleukopenia 
  • Rhinotracheitis
  • Calicivirus
  • Infections

Russian Blue Cat

The Russian Blue lives up to 15-20 years making him a genetically sound breed. Sadly, diseases and issues can still strike him so proper health care is vital in owning one. Some of the medical conditions he might suffer from are:

  • Renal failure
  • Obesity
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes

Cost per Kitten


Adoption: $75 to $150

Reputable Breeder: $1,500 to $2,500

Russian Blue Cat

Adoption: $75 to $150

Reputable Breeder: $800 to $3,000

Which Breed of Cat Is Right for You?

There are a lot of subtle differences between the Chartreux and the Russian Blue. Some of these are their distinct temperaments, varying life spans, grooming and exercise needs, as well as cost per kitten. Determine which cat resonates more with your lifestyle, preferences, and personality so you can finally decide which one to get. Nevertheless, both cats are awesome to own!