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
Rid Your Cat of Hairballs
It is a well-known fact that most cats do not drink large amounts of water. When examining their urine, we find they concentrate their urine greatly- confirmation of smaller amounts of water intake. When pets take larger amounts of water, they produce more urine that is more dilute. In order to encourage water intake, some owners feed only wet (canned) cat foods. There is more water in canned food than dried kibble, thus increasing the water intake. Other owners may elect to add a small amount of salt to the diet. This can increase the thirst and therefore increase the amount of water taken. Another option may require some investigative work. Owners observe their pets closely, I have discovered. They find their cat's water intake preferences. These include fresh water during the day, use of fountains for water intake or faucets. Some cats only like to drink outdoor and some only indoor. There are challenges with each pet. Finding a great way to increase water intake helps moisten the stool in the end and therefore helps prevent constipation - a goal for every cat owner. .
From T Lee 391 days ago
Physical exam before beginning treatment
A comprehensive physical exam is a must before beginning any treatment for a "behavior problem." Any sudden changes in your cats behavior may indicate an underlying medical problem. Your veterinarian will do a complete physical exam to check for any obvious signs of pain or injury. Also, they will check a temperature to ensure there is no fever. Another important indicator is checking the weight of your pet. Unexplained weight loss or weight gain may indicate an underlying metabolic disorder. Based on their physical exam, the vet may recommend bloodwork as well to check the kidney, liver, and thyroid functions of your cat. They may also need this information before starting medication for your cat as a baseline, so that the values can be monitored if your pet is on behavior-altering medications long term. .
From sat14 432 days ago
Adopt a Chartreux from a shelter near you