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Nebelung Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

nebelung cat sitting
Image Credit: Kinga P, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Nicole Cosgrove

Height:8-10 inches
Weight:7 to 15 pounds
Lifespan:12 to 16 years
Colors:Grey with silver-tipped hairs
Suitable for:Single cat owners, families with older children, houses with other cats
Temperament:Loving, devoted, mild-mannered

It’s not every day that you find a breed of cat that is named after a four-part German epic music drama. What’s even rarer still is to find one as sweet and loving as the Nebelung.

Taking its name from “The Ring of the Nibelung”, composed by Richard Wagner, the recently created Nebelung breed already has a rich and storied history. First appearing in the early 1980s, this long-haired distant relative of the Russian Blue is still somewhat rare to find. Quite fitting for a cat breed whose German name roughly translates to “of the mists”!

If you’re curious to learn more about this uncommonly devoted and kind-hearted cat breed, read on. We’ll tell you everything from their general attributes to temperament, intelligence, health, and more.Cat ball divider 1

Nebelung Kittens – Before You Welcome One Into Your Familly…

Affectionate and devoted, Nebelung cats will form life-long bonds with their human companions. Without having been subjected to long years of pure breeding, they’ll often live upwards of 15 years — meaning that if you’re considering adopting a Nebelung, you should be in it for the long haul!

Even-tempered and exceptionally affectionate, Nebelungs are only moderately energetic. This makes them an ideal cat for owners who may not be home all the time, as well as older or single owners. In most cases, your Nebelung will be content with nothing more than food, water, and your warm lap.3 cat face divider

3 Little-Known Facts About Nebelung

1. Their Name Comes From Old Norse German Dialects

Derived from “nebel”, meaning “mist” in old German, this cat’s name might be best translated as “creature of the mist”.

2. Nebelungs Can be Leash Trained

Sometimes said to resemble a dog in a cat’s body, most Nebelungs will take readily to leash training and greatly enjoy going for walks outdoors.

3. The First Nebelungs Were Named After Characters in an Opera

Richard Wagner’s epic drama was a favorite of Cora Cobb of Denver, Colorado — the woman responsible for starting this entire breed. When a semi-wild cat named Elsa gave birth to a fuzzy blue kitten, Cora named him Sigfried after the hero in The Ring of the Nibelung. Later, a relative of this cat named Brunhilde (after the heroine in Wagner’s opera) would pair with Sigfried to produce the first full litter of Nebelungs.

grey nebelung cat with yellow eyes in window
Image Credit: mama_mia, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Nebelung

Intelligent but not overly curious, the Nebelung possesses a fine balance of calm energy, devoted attention, and constant affection towards its owners. You’re likely to find them always at your side, yet they rarely get themselves into trouble and mischief while their owners are away.

These so-called “creatures of the mist” also tend to vanish at the sight of strangers. Don’t be surprised if a knock at the door sends your Nebelung scurrying under your couch or bed. Once they’ve had time to poke their heads out and investigate the scene, the Nebelung will return to your lap — but only when the coast is clear.

Nebelungs tend to bond with a select few humans and remain steadfastly dedicated to this small group throughout their lives. For that reason, they can have significant difficulty when re-homed and will require long hours of gentle affection to restore their trust.

Are These Cats Good for Families?

These cats love a steady routine and will gladly mesh with the rhythms already in place for your family. Equally affectionate towards kids and adults, they’re an easy addition to most any household. Their medium energy levels and generally shy nature may not be as well suited to families with young children or houses that are overly loud and active.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Nebelung gets along quite well with both cats and dogs, and is generally happy to share a home with others. If you do adopt a Nebelung into a household with other pets, make sure that they have a “safe space” all their own to retreat to if strangers visit, or for when they need a break from playtime and activity.

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Things to Know When Owning a Nebelung:

With their exceptionally long life spans and always-at-your-side temperaments, adopting a Nebelung is a long-term commitment. Here are a few things you should know about taking care of a Nebelung’s health and well-being:

Food & Diet Requirements 

Like every cat, the Nebelung is an obligate carnivore – meaning that it must have meat in its diet for optimal health. This is most often given in the form of a few moderate portions of dry cat food spaced throughout a day, so your cat can graze as it pleases.

Nebelungs are known to be rather particular about their food choices, although owners have come to no consensus as to what food the breed likes best. More likely is that individual cats develop certain dietary preferences based on habit and nutritional needs, so be prepared to offer a Nebelung multiple foods to choose from.


While not the most energetic or playful cat breed around, Nebelungs enjoy following their owners everywhere they go. You’ll rarely have to worry about giving them extra exercise as long as you are regularly active, also. Even in households with more than one cat or other pets, the Nebelung will still get most of its exercise from following its owners around.


For anyone that a Nebelung has chosen to bond with and devote themselves to, training can be accomplished quickly and easily. In fact, many Nebelungs have been known to enjoy leash training, as well as accompanying their owners on walks in much the same way a dog would.

Grooming ✂️

With their long and luxurious coats, Nebelungs do well with more frequent grooming. Since all cats of this breed will be born with long hair, it’s recommended to groom them at least once daily. During your cat’s shedding season in the spring, you may need to increase this to twice or three times daily to cope with the huge amounts of fur that a Nebelung can produce.

Health and Conditions

As a result of their recent introduction to cat breeding, Nebelungs have not been interbred enough to produce serious health problems. However, these affectionate scoundrels will often try to tug on your heartstrings to get fed more often. Whatever you do, don’t take their bait! Overfeeding can lead to obesity, one of the very few conditions that regularly endangers the Nebelung’s health.

Minor Conditions
  • Overweight
Serious Conditions
  • Obesity
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Male vs Female

Generally, female Nebelungs have been observed to be the clingier and more affectionate of the two sexes, while males display a more energetic curiosity. Both differences are overshadowed by the cat’s individual personalities, though, with any given Nebelung being unlikely to play entirely to stereotypes.

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Final Thoughts

A truly handsome and majestic breed, the Nebelung is deserving of its name rooted in epic German myth. As a more devoted and affectionate alternative to the popular Russian Blue, it also enjoys a generally better constitution than breeds which have been inbred for centuries.

In short, the Nebelung makes an excellent addition to almost any household but can be exceedingly difficult to source. If you’re considering adding a Nebelung to your home, you’ll likely need to purchase one from a reputable breeder — but it is definitely worth checking with shelters in your area for one as well.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Kinga P, Shutterstock

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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