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Russian Blue Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

russian blue cat laying down
Image Credit: Rob Rye, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 23, 2023 by Catster Editorial Team
Height:8 – 12 inches
Weight:8 – 16 pounds
Lifespan:15 – 20 years
Colors:Blue, gray, silver
Suitable for:Families looking for a loving companion that isn’t too clingy
Temperament:Loving, smart, intelligent, independent, shy, playful

The Russian Blue is a relatively small cat breed but may appear larger than her slender size because of her thick double coat. Despite being quite small, though, she is muscular and athletic. She can achieve very high speeds when running.

She can be shy at first but will be loving and even playful once you get to know her. However, this breed of blue cat will never be overly clingy, instead preferring to show her love from a distance. Once she has done playing, she will look for a quiet and secluded area where she can enjoy some peace and quiet. She is a good cat if you are out at work all day because she will use this opportunity to catch up on her downtime and will be alert and attentive when you return home.

The breed is very intelligent. They can be trained, and they can also become very bored if they are not provided with ample toys and interactive cat toys to keep them busy. The Russian Blue is one breed that can be trained to perform tricks and to encourage good behavior while discouraging bad habits, and your chances of successfully training a Russian Blue are further increased by their love of food.

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Russian Blue Kittens

Russian blue kitten
Image Credit: Utekhina Anna, Shutterstock

The Russian Blue is a popular cat breed. This means that there is a good number of breeders that specialize in this breed, so you should not find it difficult to locate a Russian Blue kitten. Look online, check your local pet shops and veterinary offices. Join breed groups and look at cat registries to find details of reputable and well-known breeders. No matter how you find a breeder, however, you shouldn’t assume that their cats are healthy and purebred, and you should ask questions of the breeder before you consider parting with any money.

The breed is quite recognizable, and most owners will be aware if they have this breed. As such, it is unlikely that you will find one at a local shelter. If you do, ensure that you ask as many questions as possible to determine why the cat was put up for adoption.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Russian Blue Cat

1. Russian Blues Are Often Described As Being Hypoallergenic

Some owners and breeders refer to the Russian Blue breed as being hypoallergenic, which means that they are suitable for owners that are allergic to cats. People with cat allergies are allergic to a particular protein (Fel d 1), which is present in cat saliva, dander, and skin secretions. It is this protein that makes allergy sufferers sneeze and itch, and it is present in all cats, regardless of their color, breed, or their propensity to shed.

In truth, then, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic breed because all cats secrete the protein that causes allergic reactions. However, Russian Blue cats are indeed known to produce less Fel d 1 than other breeds. This means that allergy sufferers may sneeze and itch less with one of this breed.

2. The Russian Blue Can Be Trained

A lot of cat owners will scoff at the idea of being able to train a cat of any breed, and it is highly unlikely that you will be able to convince a cat to perform the range of tricks and obey the extensive range of commands that a dog can muster. However, training certainly isn’t impossible. In fact, litter training is a form of training and is a good example of the type of training that cats respond best to. Put the kitten in the litter box when it is time for them to go to the toilet and lavish them with praise when they relieve themselves.

Effectively, this is how you will train any cat. Wait for them to do something you want to encourage and praise them for it while ignoring them when they do things you don’t want them to. It can take time, and it certainly requires a lot of patience, but the Russian Blue’s intelligence and their need for mental stimulation combine to make this breed one of the more susceptible for training. It also helps that the breed is somewhat food driven, but you need to take care and ensure that you aren’t overfeeding them.

3. They Are A Naturally Occurring Breed

The Russian Blue is a naturally occurring cat breed. This means that they originated in the wild without any human intervention or genetic mutation. In the case of the Russian Blue, the breed is likely to have originated from the Arkhangelsk port in Russia, but certainly from somewhere in the country.

They are sometimes referred to as Archangel Blues because this is the literal translation of the port name. The first time that the breed was seen outside Russia was at a cat exhibition at the Crystal Palace in England, in 1875. This show saw their popularity erupt, although they were really only seen in England and Scandinavia until early in the 20th century.

Naturally occurring breeds, those that have not been artificially bred by humans to incorporate the characteristics of different breeds, tend to be healthier and have a longer life span. The Russian Blue can live 20 years, especially when fed a quality and healthy diet, and they are not prone to any particular hereditary complaints.

Russian Blue Cat with Red Tie
Image Credit: VS_star, Pixabay

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Russian Blue Cat

The Russian Blue cat is intelligent and friendly, although they can be quite shy around strangers, at least until they get to know them. Although she is friendly and affectionate, she does not tend to show his affection through cuddles. They will instigate any affection and may want to spend time near you but not necessarily on you. The Russian Blue can be quite vocal, so you should expect them to let you know when it is time to go out, come in, eat, play, or just to say hello.

Are These Cats Good for Families?

Timid at first, the Russian Blue will shy away from groups of people and you are unlikely to see him if there is a large group of visitors. They will get to know individuals and become close to members of the family.

She makes a good pet, but you will need to teach children, especially very young children, that your cat may not be too keen on being picked up and cuddled. They may prefer to be admired and loved from a distance. They are known to be sensitive to the mood of their humans, and they will attempt to comfort and console you if you are upset.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

These cats will usually get along well with other cats, but the Russian Blue may be reserved around dogs especially when first meeting them. In time, and assuming that the dog is cat friendly, the breed will eventually get along very well with dogs and all other animals in the house.

You should always take care when homing a cat with small animals like mice and hamsters. While the Russian Blue isn’t known as being a mouse catcher, they could be tempted by any small pets.

Russian Blue Cat Eating
Image Credit: slawomir.gawryluk, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Russian Blue Cat:

Although she is a sweet pet, and may even be suitable for owners that suffer cat allergies, the Russian Blue isn’t the best choice for all owners. Consider the factors below before taking a Russian Blue into your home and your life.

Food & Diet Requirements

Fond of food, the Russian Blue will eat as much as you give it, but you mustn’t succumb to the pressure of that winning smile. Obesity is a major problem for cats, and this is one especially susceptible breed. Check your cat’s weight and determine their dietary requirements according to their weight and stage of life.

Check with your vet if you believe they are putting on too much weigh. Remember that if you feed a mixture of dry and wet food, you need half the amount of each. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they must get most of their protein from animal sources.


The Russian Blue is quiet and relaxed, but she is also strong and muscular. Regular physical exercise is important for his development and to ensure that she remains healthy, but this breed will not be concerned with getting too much exercise.

Teach them to play fetch, let them out for exercise, or take your Blue on regular walks to ensure that they are getting the movement they need.

A Russian Blue cat sitting on a scratcher
Image Credit: Khairil Azhar Junos, Shutterstock


Although some owners may scoff at the idea of training a cat, all cats can be trained to some extent, and some breeds are especially trainable. The combination of intelligence, intrigue, and a desire for tidbits and treats make the Russian Blue a prime candidate for training. Ensure you continue to reward them every time they perform the correct action, whether it is fetching a toy and retrieving it or using the litter tray, and they will eventually perform the action without the need for a treat.

Grooming ✂️

Although the breed has a very thick coat, the Russian Blue sheds very little, hence why they are sometimes referred to as hypoallergenic. You will still need to brush or comb your cat 2-3 times a week. This will remove dead hairs, which is more comfortable for your cat and also prevents hair from getting on furniture and in other areas around the house.

You should never bathe a cat unless it is absolutely essential because this strips the cat of natural oils that protect their skin and fur.

Health and Conditions

As a naturally occurring cat breed, the Russian Blue is considered healthy and hardy. They have very few known hereditary diseases, although they are prone to putting on weight and they can suffer conditions like dysplasia.

The only other concerns specific to this breed are a slight increase in the chances of developing bladder stones and urinary tract complaints. Look for signs of the following conditions and seek veterinary help if your cat shows any signs.

Minor Conditions
  • Urinary tract complaints
  • Bladder stones
  • Obesity
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia

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Male vs. Female

The male Russian Blue tends to be slightly larger than the female, although both genders appear larger than they actually are because of the breed’s plush fur. As a pet, the cat will usually be spayed or neutered, which means that there will be minimal to no behavioral difference between male and female cats.

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Final Thoughts

The Russian Blue is a distinctive-looking cat. As well as the beautiful blue coat, which is extra thick and very luxurious, they also have beautiful emerald eyes. They are shy with strangers, affectionate with family, but they are not known for enjoying cuddles and close affection, instead preferring to maintain some distance between themselves and their human family.

Overall, the breed makes a great companion and pet, and they will even get along with other cats, although they may take some time to get used to dogs.

See Also: 

Featured Image Credit: Rob Rye, 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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