Immortalized in French poetry, literature, and art, and even as the official mascot of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, it’s hard to believe that this smiling grey cat is actually a very rare breed. Loving, loyal, and mild mannered, the Chartreux was even the preferred pet of French Prime Minister Charles de Gaulle. So where did the ‘blue cat of France’ come from, and where did they go?
The exact origin of the Chartreux is somewhat unclear. It’s been speculated they were bred in France by Carthusian monks, or that they are descendants of a feral mountain cat of Syria, brought back to Europe by returning Crusaders. All that’s certain is that they have been in France a very long time, and before World War II, were quite wide spread, with many natural colonies, valued for their hearty nature and pest-control-prowess. The war took a heavy toll on many cat breeds including the Chartreux, until the only Chartreux left were those that were part of breeding programs. The Chartreux was imported to the US in the 1970’s, and both French and US breeders have worked hard to preserve this historic breed.
Appearance / health:
One of the first things you’re likely to notice about the Chartreux is their distinctive smile. A broad, rounded head, full cheeks, and a small, tapering muzzle give the Chartreux an endearing, perpetual smirk. Their wide, round eyes curve slightly upward at the corners, and are quite captivating with deep hues of copper and gold.
Overall, they are a medium sized cat, with medium sized ears, and a moderate length tail. Quite unflatteringly, the Chartreux has been described as a “potato on toothpicks”, referring to their substantial, robust body, broad shoulder, deep chest, and short, finely-boned legs with almost dainty feet.
The Chartreux’s coat is another unique feature. They are a true grey cat, coming in no other shade or pattern but solid grey, though the grey may vary from blue to slate, and the tips of the hairs may be lightly silvered. The coat is medium-short, but distinctly thick with a dense undercoat. It’s described as being slightly wooly and even somewhat waterproof like sheep’s wool.
Behavior / temperament:
For all that the Chartreux has many fine physical features, they also have an incredibly worthwhile personality. They are truly devoted to their owners, following you from room-to-room, and preferring to sleep on the bed with you, and yet, they are never over-bearing or demanding. Theirs is a quiet, unobtrusive companionship. They are described as being particularly empathetic, lending a supportive presence and loving head-bumps to those in need.
They can be stand-offish with strangers, though not unfriendly. The Chartreux is a level-headed cat, neither over-anxious nor excessively hyper. They are intelligent and observant, and prefer to hang back and evaluate a situation before stepping in. Perhaps because of this evaluative nature, they prefer a life of habit and routine. They tend to get along well with other pets and children.
hair silky, family members, silvery gray coat, slate color, regal cat, easy going cats
HCM Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
stocky body, couch potatoes, double coat, great travelers, Carthusian Monks
My family has owned Figaro for 6 years now. She is a Grey Chartreux. My time with my cat has been wonderful thus far. She has a near perfect balance of playfulness and lazyness. There are times when I will be sitting in my bed reading or on my laptop and she comes up and lays down, eventually falling asleep. Knowing you have that kind of trust with another living thing is wonderful. She is well adapted to a family life meaning she is in no way independent.
There are a few negative aspects to owning a cat too. She only has two modes: Sleep mode and Fun mode. If you are not on the same mode she is, she will do all in her power to change that. She also does not coexist well with my dog which is unfortunate. Needless to say I still love her very much and think many families and individuals would benefit from owning a cat like Figaro..
From holeintheroof Sep 30 2015 1:15AM
There are so many misconceptions about raw feeding and I hope to quickly properly educate you so making an opinion for yourself is easier. I am a certified nutritionist for dogs and cats and the moment I finished my education I knew I needed to make better choices for my own personal dogs in regards to how I fed them. There are pros and cons to any feeding method so I cannot say it's going to be easy to know exactly what choices to make. The doubtful mind always says no, so anyone unfamiliar with anything is always hesitant. I see that a lot with other professionals in the field, specifically veterinarians. I am fortunate to have an integrative veterinarian who 100% supports this feeding method. Lets talk about the pros as there are many. There is no possible way to dispute that a dog's but especially a cat's digestive system and teeth are designed for a diet of animal tissue, they are carnivores. Having jagged teeth throughout their mouth and a very short digestive tract, their bodies are not equipped to properly process plant material. Think of a cow's or sheep's flat teeth, made for grinding plants, and their 4 chambered stomachs, made to digest and assimilate nutrients from plants. They are herbivores. Feeding a diet of dry dog food, which is very heavy in plant based ingredients of many varieties,synthetic vitamins, and taste additives reeks havoc on their entire body systems over time. Some say feeding raw is expensive and time consuming. I'm part of a group with thousands and thousands of raw feeders around the world and we completely disagree. If you can follow a simple recipe you can make raw food for your pet. Learning how to shop for ingredients on sale and making relationships with local butchers is all you need to make it affordable. I feed two dogs raw cheaper than I wold purchasing an average quality dry food. It CAN be done if your pet's lifetime of health is important to you. There are so many support systems out there for this approach, it truly couldn't be any easier. The shelf life of raw food is far longer than that of dry food. Did you know that the nutrients and quality of dry food diminishes with the passing of each day? My dog's food is kept in a deep freezer and put in the refrigerator for thawing each night, ready for the next day. Freezing locks in all nutrients and can be kept for years without spoiling. Does your dog suffer from chronic conditions like ear infections and skin issues? Did you ever think it could be food related? Well let me tell you that it is. I have assisted with completely eradicating a host of chronic health issues in dogs and cats with diet alone. To most recently include a chihuahua with disc disease and no use of his hind legs. He now climbs steps and runs. He is 12 years old. No other therapy than a raw diet, regular massage, and one veterinary acupuncture visit. Let's talk about the cons. Now, most freeze dried and premade raw can be expensive for the amount you get. Feeding freeze dried is mostly for convenience. I use it when I need convenience like a weekend camping trip. I enjoy making my dog's food. There a lot of satisfaction in it for me. There is so much talk about bacteria like salmonella and e.coli when someone references raw food. Can it be present in raw food? Of course! But, did you know that your dry food can and does have the same bacteria? Dry and canned pet food recalls are a very common for bacteria. I have 100% control over the ingredients, processing, and storing of my pets raw food. Proper handling and sourcing of raw ingredients can and does deeply diminish the probability of bacteria. What about parasites? Again, yes of course raw materials can have parasites. As can dry and canned mass produced pet food. And again, the proper handling and sourcing of these ingredients remove this concern. (As a note: I have been raw feeding for over 5 years and NOT ONE of my dogs or clients have been treated for parasites or bacterial issues) Proper formulation can be a con to raw feeding. Honestly, its ridiculously easy. But without the proper ratio of ingredients you can cause issues. Companies make you think it is hard. They want to make you buy their product. It's a marketing scheme that works and unfortunately affects our pets negatively. I hope this review can shed light into the seemingly scary world of raw feeding. Educate yourselves and don't be afraid to jump in head first. Your pet's health and quality of life will be all the proof you need to know this is without a doubt the best decision you have ever made. .
From Megan S 51 days ago