The Russian Blue (historically Foreign Blue) is a type or breed of cat that has a silverblue
coat. These cats are known to be highly intelligent and playful but tend to be
timid around strangers. They also develop close bonds with their human companions
and are highly sought after due to their personalities and unique coat.
The Russian Blue is a naturally occurring breed that originated in the port of
Arkhangelsk, Russia. They are also sometimes called Archangel Blues. It is believed
that the first Russian Blues were first brought from the Archangel Isles to England and
Northern Europe in the 1860s by sailors. The first recorded showing of the breed was
in 1875 at the Crystal Palace in England as the Archangel Cat. The Russian Blue
competed in a class including all other blue cats, until 1912, when it was given its own
The breed was developed mainly in England and Scandinavia until after World War II.
During and following World War II, due to a lack of numbers of Russian Blues, some
people started cross breeding it with the Siamese. Although the breed was in America
before the war, it was not until after World War II that American Breeders created what
is known as the modern Russian Blue that is seen in the US today. This was done by combining the bloodlines of both
the Scandinavian and English Russian Blues. The Siamese traits have now been largely bred out.
Although they have been used on a limited basis to create other breeds (such as the Havana Brown) or add type to a
breed in creation (the Nebelung), Russian Blues themselves are short-haired, blue-grey cats.
The Russian Blue has a lean elongated body and a short, plush, blue-grey coat. The color is a bluish-grey that is the
dilute expression of the black gene. The coat is known as a "double coat," with the undercoat being soft, downy, and
equal in length to the guard hairs, which are an even blue with silver tips. Only Russian Blues and the French Chartreux
have this type of coat, which is described as thick and wonderfully soft to the touch. The silver tips give the coat a
shimmering appearance. Its eyes are almost always a dark and vivid green. Any white patches of fur or yellow eyes in
adulthood are seen as faults in show cats.
Russian Blues should not be confused with British Blues (which are not a distinct breed but rather a British Shorthair
with a blue coat), nor the Chartreux or Korat which are two other naturally occurring breeds of blue cats, although they
have similar traits.