The Chartreux cat is instantly recognizable for its gorgeous blue-gray coat and its solid, broad physique. This breed is incredibly rare for two main reasons. Firstly, in North America alone there are very few breeders selling pure breed Chartreux cats. The Chartreux population has also been significantly reduced since World War II as many the cats were sadly wiped out during the war in France. However, this beautiful and loving breed is famous for its adorable looks, caring personality and companionship. For this reason, the Chartreux cat is slowly becoming more popular and has seen a slight rise in numbers in recent years.
So, whether you’re looking to adopt/buy a Chartreux cat or if you’re simply fascinated by feline facts, we hope you enjoy this article and that you learn some new and interesting facts about this beautiful breed.
History of the Chartreux
As this beautiful breed’s name suggests, the Chartreux is widely believed to have originated in France. Although the specific details are a little vague, there are a few facts we know for sure while other things are simply speculation. The first piece of speculated information regards the cat’s original home. It is widely believed that the cats were owned by Carthusian monks and were bred for their quietness which wouldn’t interrupt meditation. Their stunning coat color might also have been maintained through breeding deliberately as it is similar to that of the liquor these monks would make. While this story might be nothing more than legend, it is widely regarded as true.
However, it is much more likely that the cats developed as natural deterrents against rodents as they have been documented as being excellent at pest control. So, another popular belief regarding this breeds origin is that they were kept by farmers to deter and catch small rodents. As natural hunters, the Chartreux is an active animal that enjoys playing and chasing toys.
A few famous individuals have also kept Chartreux cats as pets. This list includes the historic French President, Charles de Gaulle, French writer and poet, Charles Baudelaire, and French novelist, Colette.
In the 1970s, the first Chartreux cat was brought to America as a gift from a Madame Baptiste, a French cat breeder who kept a pure breed line of Chartreux cats. Due to the Chartreux’s highly selective breeding, it has champion status in most associations in the United States and most European countries. So, breeders working in conjunction with the major associations within these countries must adhere to the breed standard.
Quick Facts About the Chartreux
If you want to know the top facts about the Chartreux breed, you’re in the right place. Here are some of the most fascinating facts about this beautiful breed which you need to know!
- The Chartreux matures much slower than most other cat breeds. Male Chartreux cats have been known to take up to 5 years to mature fully into adulthood.
- Males Chartreux cats typically weigh between 5 to 10lbs while females weigh between 6 to 11 lbs. Some have even grown to weigh 16lbs although this isn’t common. Afterall, weight can also vary depending on the specific animal and can be affected by exercise and diet.
- This super smiley kitten is commonly known as ‘the smiling cat of France’ for its friendly looks and because it is believed to have originated in France.
- The Chartreux cat is iconic for its strong, muscular body, including its broad chest and shoulders. However, they can commonly be found with shorter legs which can sometimes cause them to look slightly disproportionate.
- The beautifully blue-gray coat is yet another iconic feature of this fabulous feline. Most young Chartreux cats will have a thin and silky coat which will develop into a thick and fleece-like coat as they mature. During this maturing period, the coat also grows to a typically short or medium length.
- The Chartreux cat is waterproof! Well…almost. The Chartreux’s coat naturally repels water due to its thick, silky texture.
Things You Should Know
The Chartreux cat breed is famous for being a friendly companion that enjoys its owner’s company. If you look after a Chartreux cat, you might expect them to follow you around your home and rarely part from your side. However, unlike some other cat breeds, the Chartreux won’t pester you by constantly meowing or seeking attention. Most often the Chartreux cat simply wishes to be in its owner’s company so they won’t demand attention and playtime whenever you’re around.
The breed’s cool and relaxed attitude can also be observed when the cat is introduced to strangers or children. While some cat breeds might be put-off by the prospect of playing with children or having to socialize with strangers, this will almost certainly not be a problem for the Chartreux. Firstly, since the cat’s physique is broad, muscular and sturdy, they’re not quite as fragile as other feline friends meaning they can handle slightly rougher play from children who might not know better. Secondly, their chilled personality means they don’t fuss when meeting new people so long as they’re comfortable in the environment. So, if you regularly have guests in your home or if you’re looking for a family cat, the Chartreux could be a great option for you.
Since the Chartreux breed has championship status in the major associations in the United States and most European countries, breeding is selective and carried out carefully to ensure the standard isn’t compromised. While the breed standard may change slightly depending on the association, the key aspects of its temperament and appearance remain constant. By purchasing a Chartreux cat from a respectable breeder and providing the cat with thorough medical checks, you can be sure your feline friend will possess the main, desired characteristics of this beautiful breed.
So, let’s now take a closer look at the Chartreux’s main characteristics and what you can expect when looking after this beautiful breed.
The Chartreux is a typically healthy cat breed which isn’t affected by many diseases or health conditions. Since this is a rare pure breed, the cat’s breeding can be carefully controlled and monitored by ensuring both parents are healthy adults without any hereditary medical conditions. You can ensure your Chartreux will grow up to be a healthy adult cat by adopting or buying them from a respectable breeder, finding out a little more about your kitten’s parents or by having a full medical checkup before you buy/adopt your feline friend.
Unfortunately, not all medical problems can be controlled or eliminated through breeding. Some conditions naturally develop over time or they can occur through exposure to infectious areas or individuals. However, the Chartreux isn’t particularly prone to developing these conditions so they should be just fine so long as you monitor their health, habits and behaviors. However, one condition which can affect the Chartreux, as well as many other cat breeds, is Patellar Luxation. This condition occurs naturally in many cat breeds and involves the malformation of the leg, causing the kneecap to dislocate from its original position and ‘float’ in place. As this condition is fairly common among our feline friends, most cases won’t need much (or any) human intervention. However, if the condition is severe or if it deteriorates then surgery might be required. If you’re concerned about your cat’s health then watch out for a change in their habits, bodily functions or behaviors. Noticing a change quickly and reporting this to your vet will give you the best chance of minimizing risk and finding a successful solution to your kitty’s conundrum.
It’s entirely possible, however, to raise a perfectly healthy and happy Chartreux kitty with minimal or no problems. In perfect (or close to perfect) health, the Chartreux cat typically lives between 11 to 15 happy years!
As we mentioned already, the Chartreux cat breed doesn’t make much fuss and is famous for its relaxed personality. This calm, bother-free attitude also applies in regard to its diet. Chartreux cats aren’t fussy eaters by any means and they’ll happily eat whatever you feed them, so long as it’s nutritious and tasty. Some pet parents find that kitten food can be quite rich for their Chartreux cat and instead switch to adult food after 4 to 5 months. While this may be a personal choice, you can monitor your cat’s response to their food and if you think they might need a change then this could be an option.
As with any other cat, the Chartreux requires high-quality, tasty and nutritious food to stay fit and healthy. If your cat seems to gain weight then you may need to reduce the amount of food or increase the food if they begin to loose weight. Finding this balance can sometimes take a while and lots of trial and error, but with patience and time, you’ll get there. If you’re worried about your Chartreux cat’s weight, it’s always recommended to inform the vet and seek professional advice.
If you want to give your cat a tasty treat, some lean chicken, meat or raw fish would certainly be a perfect choice. Just don’t give out too many treats too often as you might have to keep a closer eye on your kitty’s waistline.
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The Chartreux cat can be an outdoor or indoor cat however, many owners decide to keep their cat inside. This is for a few reasons; most notably, it significantly reduces the risk of your Chartreux catching a disease or injuring themselves. Since they are beautiful looking animals, it’s also possible that they might ruin their coat. Some owners even suggest keeping your Chartreux indoors to protect them from cat burglars as they are often the victim of this crime because of their rarity and desired looks.
If you decide to keep your feline friend indoors, it’s important to keep them busy and occupied with lots of fun toys and things to play with. A scratch post can be a great way for your Chartreux cat to spend their energy and to look after their claws. Chasing toys is another great option to mentally and physically stimulate your cat since they are natural hunters. You should also keep their bed in a safe, comfortable and quiet environment where they can relax and sleep whenever they need to. Having interesting toys and objects around the house will keep your cute kitty entertained and physically and mentally stimulated throughout the day. This is essential if your cat stays indoors and if you work away from home as they’ll need to let out some energy by running around and having fun.
However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t have to play with your Chartreux cat when you’re home. Despite them being relaxed and calm creatures, they enjoy chasing toys and acting out ‘the hunt’ so you’ll need to dedicate some time to playing with your fun-loving feline friend. Although, after a little bit of a playtime and after burning some energy, you can expect your Chartreux cat to return to their usually calm state.
The grooming needs of this lovable breed are fairly straightforward and they’re arguably easier to groom than many other cats. They should have their teeth brushed daily if possible or, if not, at least once or twice per week. It’s also important to brush your Chartreux’s coat regularly to maintain its beautifully soft and even coat. During spring you may have to brush your cat’s coat more often (daily if possible) as the Chartreux sheds during this time so its coat will require more attention.
Just like any cat, regular nail trimming is necessary to keep your feline friend healthy and happy. Their ears and eyes should also be cleaned regularly as food, water and dirt particles can easily become lodged in these areas. To clean your kitty’s eyes and ears, soak a soft cloth in lukewarm water before gently massaging the area, constantly pushing away from the eye/ear as to stop the dirt from becoming lodged further. This should be done as often as necessary but will be required less often for indoor cats.
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This fluffy feline friend has a reputation for being particularly quiet in comparison to many other cat breeds. The Chartreux breed is famous for being a quiet companion as they rarely vocalize. Some cats are even believed to be mute as they never make any sound, wither that be meowing or purring. They also have a reputation for clinging to their owner or a member of their family, although this characteristic isn’t found in every single Chartreux. However, if you decide to adopt or buy a Chartreux you might find yourself accompanied by your new pet wherever you go. Some owners even report that their Chartreux cat attaches itself to one person and follows them from room to room. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that the Chartreux is defensive or aggressive with other humans or animals. In fact, this beautiful breed makes the perfect addition to most families, even with young children or other pets around. Since the Chartreux is strong, muscular and robust, they typically respond well to handling, meaning they should be happy to play with well-behaved children and other animals.
Of course, this temperament is common amongst most Chartreux cats but it can slightly differ from this general description. However, if your Chartreux is raised well, socialized, fed, and looked after properly, you can expect to have a loving and affectionate companion with a relaxed personality. Most often, these beautiful animals are care-free, easy-going, and adapt well to the rhythm of their owner’s life.
The Chartreux cat is as beautiful as it is calm and well-behaved. Choosing the Chartreux might seem like a straightforward choice as they are loving, loyal and well-behaved animals but they can be tricky to find in some instances as the breed is so rare. However, after learning about this bred and understanding just how perfect they are, we think searching for one is worth the challenge. Afterall, this beautiful cat is independent, loving and makes the perfect companion to families or adult owners alike.
- Chartreux – PetMD