If you are looking for an unusually beautiful, exotic, and sweet-tempered cat then consider a Chartreux. It is a shorthaired blue cat that is powerfully built and is known for its expert mousing skills and unusually dense and water-repellent coat.
These felines are very agile and with their fine features and strong bone structure, they give an appearance of power and dominance.
However, do not be fooled by its appearance. It is a gentle and loving cat that is a kitten at heart. They love sitting on their owner’s lap and just like a dog, they would follow their human family around the house.
Chartreux are very intelligent and they will eventually figure out how to climb the highest bookshelf in your house.
Cats make great companions for people who need an animal that could amuse itself, at least for some time. Due to this, and like some other cat breeds, they make great emotional support animals also and since they come in a compact size, they are ideal for small houses and apartments also.
When thinking of getting one, you can check different cat breeds and their traits before choosing any one of them. Chartreux is an affectionate feline and this makes her ideal for any household and person.
This blog has all the information that you need to know about this rare cat breed. Read on and know the Chartreux better.
Chartreux Cat - More About this Exotic Cat Breed
It is said that you should not consider this cat if you do not want her to sit on your lap and follow you everywhere. A Chartreux is not a suitable can for you if you want a somewhat standoffish kind of feline.
We know that, usually, cats do have this kind of personality but Chartreux is dog-like in these regards. They love to follow their human owners, and their favorite person of course, around the house and everywhere.
It is also known as a ‘smiling cat’ as he has a Mona Lisa kind of smiling expression, which adds to its antiquity. Because of his sweet disposition and temper, he gets along very well with kids, and other pets in the house.
They make a good choice for the household that has well-behaved and disciplined kinds who would handle him gently.
These cats are quiet as they rarely make any sound but this does not mean that they are dumb or have low intelligence. They are a perfect combination of beauty with brains as they are quick-witted and could figure out how to climb the high spots in the house, without making a sound. And they are quite adept in it.
Like all kitties, Chartreux also loves to climb and this means that he could climb just about anything. They have excellent hunting skills and having one at home means that your house will be ‘mice proof’ and clean. They have a dense coat that is easy to groom and all you have to do is brush him twice a week.
These cats shed in the spring and you will have to comb or brush them more often than if you do not want the fur to end up on your bedding and furniture. These cats are excellent for households that have avid cat lovers and who would keep them indoors and safe from accidents.
History and Origins - How Did a Chartreux Come into Existence?
The origins of this cat are still unknown and there are no records that could tell the actual story about how these regal cats came into being. The cat was officially adopted by France and now, it is known as a French cat.
It is a historic cat that is known and loved for its luxurious and dense coat and unique blue color. The French literature has references to support the existence of these felines as one of the four cat breeds that were known in 18th century France.
Chartreux is a Legendary Cat
Legends say that these cats originated in the Grande Chartreuse Monastery and took the vow of silence with the Carthusian monks, hence their quiet demeanor. The monastery is the chief monastery of the Carthusian order.
As the legend says, the monks used to spend their time praying, weapon forging, liqueur-making, and breeding the Chartreux cats.
It is said that they created the cats with the same expertise, skill, and dedication with which they created their renowned and famous yellow and green Chartreuse liqueurs. Similarly, the monks bred them to be quiet so that they do not disturb them.
However, like most of the legends, this one is also just a tale. The said monastery’s records have no mentions of any cats, not the Chartreux and not any other cat.
It is said that these cats are the descendants of the cats brought to France by the Carthusian monks. The cats have a mention in the 1749 36-volume Histoire Naturelle (Natural History) by French biologist Comte de Buffon.
He has listed four cats that were present in Europe at that time including the Chartreux. The other three are the Angora cats, Domestic, and Spanish cats. The cat’s ancestors are described as the ‘Cat of Syria’ by the Italian naturalist, Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605). The cats were not loved and valued before as much as they are prized today.
The breed was on the verge of extinction during World War II but, luckily, it was saved by some Chartreux families that lived on an island of France.
The cat first came to the United States in 1970 when the late Helen Gamon of La Jolla, California, imported one of these cats from France. In 1987, the cat achieved CFA championship status and now, it is accepted by all major cat registries throughout the United States.
Size and Breed Standard of the Chartreux Cat Breed
A Chartreux is a short-haired and sturdy breed that has an ample appearance and a powerful personality. These cats are valued and loved for their quiet nature, exotic look, antiquity, hunting expertise, and water-repellent fur.
Due to its robust and ample built, it is regarded as primitive rather than thickly set or classic. However, this does not mean that these cats are clumsy. On the contrary, these felines have refined movements, fast reflexes, and supple and agile structure and appearance.
The male cats are bigger than the female cats and they are generally slow to age and mature.
The color of the eyes and the color and texture of the coat could be affected by age, gender, and environmental factors. The personality traits of the cat, like intelligence, strength, and agreeableness should be present in all cats.
Below is the official Cat Fanciers’ Association breed standard and preferred physical characteristics for a Chartreux cat.
|Head and Neck
Rounded with powerful jaws and full cheeks. The male cats have larger jowls. The forehead is high and has soft contours. The nose is straight and has a medium length and width.
The muzzle is narrow, small, and has slight and tapered pads. The face has a smiling expression and the neck is short and well-muscled.
|The ears are medium in length and width and they are set quite high on the head. They are present in an erect position.
|The eyes are rounded and have an open, expressive, and alert expression. The preferred eye color is deep orange and the range includes copper to gold.
|Body and Tail
The physique is quite robust and has a medium length. They have broad shoulders and deep chests. The bone structure is strong and solid. Female cats are medium in size while male cats are large.
The tail is moderate in length, heavy at the base, flexible, lively, and oval at the tip.
|Legs and Feet
|The legs are short and have a fine bone structure and they are straight and athletic. The feet are medium in size and round in shape.
The coat is medium to short in length and has a bit of a wooly texture. It has a double coat; the undercoat is resilient and the topcoat is long and protective.
The male cats have heavier coats than the females and cats that are under two years of age.
The cat could have any shade of blue. This includes blue-gray, ash to slate blue and the tips are light silver. A bright blue color is preferred with an overall shine.
The nose is slate gray and the lips are blue. The pads of the paw are rose-taupe.
They look like other blue cats and people confuse them with Russian Blues, Korats, and British Shorthair cats.
Chartreux Personality Traits - Are Chartreux Cats Friendly?
A Chartreux breed is known for its amiable, gentle, sweet, and quiet nature. He loves to be a lap cat and he makes a great television watching partner for anyone. Despite having a sturdy and stocky built, he loves to have playtime and they could be taught to play fetch. These felines are dog-like, both in devotion and energy.
The best way of keeping him engaged and happy is to give him short playtimes between naps and meals. This will also help in keeping him at a healthy weight and away from obesity and related problems. Since he has a strong hunting drive, he loves toys that he could pounce on and practice his hunting skills.
When not playing, he notices the people around him and is very attentive to what his human family is doing. He appreciates when you give him attention and he loves it when you scratch him under the chin or between the ears.
However, he is not overly demanding and would be happy to follow you everywhere you go. Usually, he bonds with one person but has a big heart and lots of love for everyone.
He is not vocal but has his own way of communicating with his owner. Rather than meowing, he chirps to let the person know about what he wants or is thinking about. He chirps delicately, which is an interesting watch since these cats are strongly built but do not meow with the same might.
They have an excellent sense of humor and they don’t mind having a good joke. They love playing and they get very well along with other pets like cats and dogs, provided that they do not harm him. He has a middle-of-the-road kind of personality, which means that he is neither too shy nor very social.
He sizes up people before making an introduction, consider yourself lucky if he chooses you. He likes to follow and remember rules and likes to have a routine.
Chartreux Health Conditions - How Healthy is a Chartreux?
Chartreux is a generally healthy cat breed that lives for 12 to 15 years, which is quite promising. However, this does not mean that your cat is invincible, unfortunately, though rare but these acts are also prone to some cat diseases.
Like all felines, Chartreux is also prone to contracting bacterial and viral infections including panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and rabies. Luckily, all of these could be prevented through vaccinations.
Other than these, Chartreux is known for his vulnerability to diseases like kidney stones, polycystic kidney disease, and other urinary and kidney tract diseases. Obesity could also be a problem for these cats and it could lead to arthritis in older cats. To avoid it, measure your cat’s food carefully and do not let him snack a lot.
Below are some other diseases that these felines could contract;
- Hip Dysplasia
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
To make sure that your cat is free from all kinds of diseases and disorders, stay up to date with his vaccinations and keep your cat indoors to prevent accidents, fight with feral animals, and from a possible kidnap.
These cats are still quite rare and anyone would want such an impressive treasure without paying a penny for it.
Care and Grooming - How to Care for a Chartreux Cat?
Chartreux is a fairly low-maintenance cat that needs combing rather than brushing sessions. The cat sheds its undercoat twice a year but your house will not be filled with loose fur but with regular combing, it will be easy to handle.
Comb your cat twice to thrice times per week and bathe him occasionally. But, due to his dense and water-repellent coat, it will be difficult to get it wet so it will take some time. Dental health is very important for any cat and a Chartreux is no different. Brush the teeth at least once a week to remove plaque and tartar buildup.
Daily brushing is preferred but weekly will also do. Use a good quality feline toothbrush and toothpaste for a healthy and clean mouth and teeth. Trim the nails of your cat every few weeks but be careful that you do not cut them way too far.
Check the eyes of your cat. They should be of their natural color and not overly red or dirty. Use a soft and damp cloth to clean the corners of the eyes and use different prices of cloth or different sides of the cloth to clean both the eyes. Check the ears regularly and properly.
They should not have any nasty smell or residue. Wipe them with a cotton ball and a mixture of 50:50 warm water and ACV. do not use a cotton swab as it could damage the ears.
Check the litter box regularly and keep it clean and spotless. Cats are very sensitive about their bathroom hygiene and this is why it is important to keep their box clean.
These cats are rare and getting one as an emotional support cat has its unique advantages. But, to get one, you will have to find a responsible and ethical breeder and a genuine ESA letter. Without both of these, you will not be able to get a genuine cat and live with him peacefully in no-pet facilities.
Fill the questionnaire and see if you qualify.
Liked the Chartreux cat? Check other cat breeds also.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is a Chartreux cat worth?
Between $1,500 to $2,000. Since it is a rare breed, you will have to pay more to get one of these purebred beauties.
Are Chartreux cats friendly?
Yes, these felines are very friendly and they get attached to their human owners really quickly. Usually, they bond with a single person but he is gentle and friendly towards others also.
Do these cats shed a lot?
These cats shed their coat once or twice a year and during that time, you will have to comb them frequently to avoid matting and to control the fur.
Are Chartreux cats hypoallergenic?
No, these cats are not hypoallergenic. Though they have a dense coat and they shed only once or twice a year, their short double coat sheds a lot of dander that could be a problem for people with allergies.
Could these cats be left alone?
Unfortunately no. most of the cats are happy on their own but these gray beauties are different as they develop a relationship with their owners like a dog and do not like to be left alone for long. They like to stay close to his favorite person and on his lap, preferably.