The Chartreux cat was originally used as a rat hunter, but now it is an excellent pet characterized by its calm personality, its beautiful fur and its large golden eyes. It is also known as the blue cat.
Of uncertain origin but undoubtedly one of the oldest known breeds, the Chartreux cats shared history with figures as important as General De Gaulle and the Templar monks of a homonymous monastery located in France. Whatever their origin, these cats are undeniably adorable, with a docile and affectionate character they will win the hearts not only of their owners, but also of all those who know them.
In this breed sheet of ‘ Pets Feed ‘, we will explain everything you need to know about the Chartreux cat, including its origins, its character, its care or its health problems, and of course some photos!
The origin of the Chartreux cat is shrouded in mystery. Most felinologists associate it with the religious France of the 16th century. Most likely, the animals found themselves in the country thanks to merchant ships that brought goods from the territory of the African continent. Another version connects Chartreux cats with Spain – the main exporter of woolen fabric, which has a consonant name. The least common theory connects the origin of cats with Asia Minor, from where animals could have come with the Crusaders.
In the 16th century, the Cartesian order dominated the territory of France. His first and main abode was located in the southeast of the country. In their free time from prayer, the monks cooked, washed clothes, rewrote old tomes and even did charity work. Perhaps the main source of income for the Cartesians was the production of chartreuse – a liqueur based on wild herbs. Since the rodents were destroying the ingredients of the drink and the grain supplies, the monks needed four-legged hunters.
The choice fell on short-haired blue cats. They were distinguished by impeccable instincts and dexterity. In addition, the animals practically did not meow and did not distract the monks from the service. The Carthusians also bred cats for inhuman reasons: for meat. The skins were often resold to merchants who dyed them and passed them off as valuable furs. The consumer attitude towards animals did not stop until the second half of the 17th century. The Cartesian order gradually lost its influence due to the Reformation and the religious wars that followed. In the 19th century, the monks returned to the social and political arena, but they failed to achieve their former greatness.
After the collapse of the Cartesian order, the Chartreux cat gradually migrated to the families of the French. During the First World War, the number of animals dropped dramatically. The breed was on the verge of extinction, and connoisseurs of handsome short-haired men decided to act. Based on historical and literary sources, the first breed standard was formulated. Only those animals that fully met the stated criteria were allowed for breeding.
The breeders’ persistence paid off: in 1931, purebred Chartreux cats first appeared at a cat show in France. Then one of the short-haired beauties was awarded the title “Best cat of the competition”. After 8 years, an officially enshrined breed standard appeared.
The overwhelming success was followed by another crisis. World War II contributed to the massive extinction of cats across Europe. Chartreux cats was also on the list of four-legged victims. Animals died during hostilities or were actively destroyed by local residents for food. By the middle of the 20th century, the number of “Cartesians” was extremely small. In an attempt to revive the breed, the breeders crossed the remaining Chartreux cat with British Shorthair, Russian Blue and Persian cats. Thus, the characteristics of individual breeds gradually disappeared, and the differences between them weakened. This became the cause of the conflict in 1970, when the international organization FIFe united the “Cartesians” and “British” in one breed, the standard of which completely coincided with the standard of the British shorthair cats. Only in 1977, thanks to the efforts of breeders, the breeds were again delineated. Since then, crossing Chartreux cats with English brethren is considered undesirable.
The American line of the ” Chartreux cat” deserves a separate mention. In 1971, the married couple Gamon returned home accompanied by new favorites. The offspring of those chartreuse settled in the De Guerveur nursery, owned by the Leger sisters. Since the USA did not interbreed ” Chartreux cats ” with other breeds, this line is considered genuine and genetically pure.
The Chartreux cat is now recognized by most feline associations. An exception is the British Cat Organization (GCCF). Its representatives still believe that the “Cartesians” were undeservedly awarded the title of an independent breed.
Physical characteristics of the Chartreux cat
Chartreux cats have a fairly wide range of weights and sizes, this is due to the fact that there are large differences between females and males, the sexual dimorphism being much more marked than in other breeds of cats. The size is medium to large, with specimens weighing up to 7 kilograms and having a fairly large chest, the females being almost always medium, not exceeding 3-4 kilograms. Its tail is of medium length and a base wider than the tip, which is rounded.
Whatever the gender, the Chartreuxs have a robust and muscular body, but at the same time agile and flexible. The limbs are strong but thin in proportion to the rest of the body, the feet being broad and round, with gray-blue pads.
The head of the Chartreuxs has the shape of an inverted trapezoid, with soft edges and a solid jaw, with fleshy cheeks and a perpetual smile because the silhouette of his mouth gives the impression that he is always happy and smiling. Its ears are medium in size and rounded at the ends. The nose is straight and broad and the forehead is high and flat, reaching eyes always golden, round and large, the expressiveness and the capacity for transmission of his golden gaze being marked. A curiosity is that the Chartreux puppies are generally born with blue-green eyes, which turn golden around the age of 3 months.
The coat is dense, with a double layer, that is to say that they have a woolly undercoat, which insulates them from cold and humidity, their hairs are short and always of a solid blue
- Weight: 3 – 7.5 kg
- Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 Years
Character of the Chartreux Cat
This smiling and cheerful feline is as it conveys its image, because the Chartreux is a docile cat, sweet and delicate. It adapts to almost any environment, as well as coexistence with children and other animals.
Although it is more affectionate with its family, it is a very sociable and open cat, making friends with visitors and their pets, as it is known to play and get along well with dogs and others. cats.
This breed has been compared many times with dogs, because the Chartreux tends to follow its owner throughout the house, wishing to stay with him at all times, so it likes to spend hours lying or sitting on its owner , as well as sleeping with him and enjoying his company a lot, so this may not be the best option to let a Chartreux cat spend a lot of time alone.
In addition to all this, the Chartreux is a very intelligent cat, of a balanced character and an almost infinite patience, practically impossible to see behaving in an aggressive way, because it prefers to avoid clashes and especially fighting, and it is also able to predict when this can happen, and prefers to go away until things are calmer.
The owners’ reviews are very diverse, but everyone agrees on one thing – Chartreux cats are not mischievous and are VERY jealous. Balanced and calm Chartreux cats absolutely do not tolerate rivals – other animals in the family.
Given their adaptive abilities, you can be calm – a yellow-eyed French cat will easily get used to any environment and will not hold a meeting, defending his rights.
Their voice is weak, but their character is strong! And the character plus physiological characteristics allow the chartreuse to feel great on the street, and even in cold weather or in cold climates. Moreover, it has a great effect on the pet’s coat (draw your own conclusions!).
Chartreux Cat Health
The average life expectancy of a Chartreux is between 12 and 15 years when it is well cared for and fed with a diet of good quality and adapted to his age.
Although it is a relatively healthy breed of cats, we must take into account some peculiarities that could cause health problems to our pet. It has been proven that the chartreux has a tendency to accumulate cerumen in its ears. That’s why we can ask our vet for advice on how to clean them properly. The specialist would do an exam that, in addition to checking the general health, would look closely at its ears.
On the other hand, it also seems that another disease particularly affects these cats, this is the so-called patellar dislocation, which also affects the Bengal cat, this disease attacks the patella of the cartridges, causing them a slight displacement more easily than in other breeds, it would be convenient to conduct frequent radiological examinations and follow-ups.
Chartreux cat care
Because of the particularity of Chartreux’s coat, since it has a double layer, we must be aware of its care, brushing it daily to avoid hairballs, which can cause more serious problems such as intestinal obstruction, and the dispersion of these hairs throughout the house.
The baths are not necessary, but if it is suitable for any reason, it is recommended to be very careful when drying, because we can dry them superficially leaving the wooly underlay, which could cause a cold or pneumonia.
We must also clean her mouth and ears, watch for general health and watch if her eyes are dirty or watery.
The Chartreux, like every cat, is unique and has its own needs in terms of food.
However, cats are carnivores and each cat must get 41 different specific nutrients in their food. The proportion of these nutrients will vary according to age, lifestyle and overall health.
The Chartreux is a bit greedy and tends to develop overweight and obesity, both very harmful to the health of our feline. But nothing can be prevented and resolved with a balanced diet and regular sessions of games and exercise.
Fatty meat, salted fish, food with carbohydrates should be discarded or completely removed from the cat’s diet. These are not foods that will benefit your pet.
It is useful to give the Chartreux cats more meat and sea fish treated with boiling water. They will replenish the body of predators with essential nutrients. If there is 30% or less meat in the feed, you should refuse it. All this will turn into stones in the animal’s liver.
Eggs, fermented milk products, cereals and vegetables and vegetable oil are allowed. It is also recommended to give your pet a special herb to cleanse the stomach. Wheat seedlings are also suitable. The cat must have a bowl of water next to the food for drinking.
Chartreux cat fun facts
- The Chartreux cat has an increased sense of jealousy. He is a terrible possessive.
- These cats meow almost inaudibly. They have a voice, but very quiet and weak.
- Passions are seething in silent Chartreux cat. The voice is not audible, but this cannot be said about the character. It is a combination of opposites in one animal.
- The black or pink lobes of the cat’s nose indicate not very favorable crosses in the pedigree. Only gray is allowed.
- Chartreux Kittens may have blue eyes, but with age they will acquire the final yellow color. The same goes for the colors, which at the beginning of life may be tabby.
- The Chartreux cat can live from 13 to 16 years under the right conditions.
- The famous writer Collette wrote a work about Chartreux cat called “Cat”.
- A Chartreux kitten can be bought, on average, for $ 350. It all depends on the pedigree, appearance, age and gender.
Chartreux cat highlights
Chartreux cats make delicious and empathetic companions that will get along with most people.
” Chartreux cat ” skillfully combine attachment to family and the ability to easily endure loneliness.
Representatives of the breed are quite phlegmatic, do not make a mess and do not seek to reclaim territory from you.
A distinctive feature of the Chartreux cat is a delicate meow. In addition, animals are rather silent and will not bother you with loud sounds.
These beauties find common language with cats and dogs, but they can “fight” with them for your love.
The developed instinct of the hunter is the main reason why you should not leave the animal alone with birds, rodents and other medium-sized pets.
Although the Chartreux cat is very smart, they do not lend themselves to training, but they quickly get used to their own nickname.
” Chartreux cats ” don’t need careful grooming; enough standard procedures and regular visits to the veterinarian.
Representatives of the breed rarely get sick due to their strong immunity.
Conclusions about the Chartreux cat
The beautiful Chartreux is a rare and wonderful cat. Pleasant character and good health will definitely be appreciated. It is worth noting that caring for a Chartreux cat is quickly included in the system and does not cause any inconvenience. The veracity of theories about the origin of the breed is not so important when, in any case, the family acquires a good and faithful friend in the face of a cat.