Chartreux

 

 
 
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Chartreux blue
Int.Ch. Kimberley-Saphira (left) and daughter Angie (right)
Breeder & Owner: Ingeborg Riedel, Cattery Villa Ingenheim, Germany
 

Coat length and coat colour

  • There are ongoing very controversial discussions in the various organizations, if it should be permitted that Chartreux may also exist in other colours, for example in blue point. The opinions amongst the breeders are different.
  • Between the opinions of the breeders, if there should be also longhaired Chartreux permitted, is also sometimes a vast difference.
Chartreux blue
Felipe Secondo del Sogno Blu
Breeder: Katia Pocci, Del Sogno Blu cattery, Italy
Chartreux blue
Vittoria
Owner: Domenica Lepidi, Amatoriale cattery, Italy
 

Literature

[1] Dictionnaire universel de commerce, d'histoire naturelle et des arts et métiers, Jacques Savary des Bruslons, 1723

Jacques Savary des Bruslons, 1657-1716, French Inspector General of the Manufactures for the King at the Paris Customs, wrote together with his brother Louis-Philémon Savary this famous dictionary of commerce, which Lois-Philémon finished after his death.

 
[2] Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, Denis Diderot et Jean le Rond d’Alembert, 1751 - 1772

Diderot & D'Alembert: Encyclopédie
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Denis Diderot, born 05.10.1713 in Langres (Champagne-Ardenne), died 31.07.1784 in Paris, was a famous French philosopher, art critic, and writer.
Jean-Baptiste le Rond called D’Alembert, born 16.11.1717 in Paris, died 29.10.1783 in Paris, was one of the most important mathematician, mechanician, physicist of the 18th century and philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment.

 
[3] Dictionnaire raisonné universel d'histoire naturelle : contenant l'histoire des animaux, des végétaux et des minéraux, et celle des corps célestes, des météores, & des autres principaux phénomenes de la nature; avec l'histoire et la description des drogues simples tirées des trois regnes ... plus, une table concordante des noms latins ... (MDCCLXXV [1775])   Jacques Christophe Valmont de Bomare, 1775

Dictionnaire raisonné universel d'histoire naturelle

Jacques-Christophe Valmont de Bomare, born 17.09.1731 in Rouen, died 24.08.1807 in Paris, was a French naturalist.

 
[4] Histoire naturelle de Buffon. Histoire de la terre-t. 2. Histoire des minéraux-t. 3. Histoire de l'homme-t. 4-6. Histoire des quadrupèdes-t. 7-9. Histoire des oiseaux-t. 10. Histoire de la reproduction, Georges Louis Leclerc comte de Buffon, T. 1, Firmin Didot Frères, Paris, 1754, Volume 4

Georges Louis Leclerc comte de Buffon, shortly Buffon, born 07.09.1707 in Montbard, died 16.04.1788 in Paris, was the famous French naturalist. This book is one of the most important scientific books about nature, earth, animals and homo sapiens. Until his death he managed to write 36 volumes. After his death
Bernard Germain Étienne Médard de La Ville-sur-Illon, comte de La Cépède, born 26.12.1756 in Agen in Guyenne, died 06.10.1825 in Épinay-sur-Seine, French naturalist, zoologist and ychthyologist, wrote another 8 volumes to this book.

 
[5] Dictionnaire raisonné et universel des animaux ou le règne animal, François-Alexandre Aubert de La Chesnaye des Bois, 1759, Paris, Volume 1

Dictionnaire raisonné et universel des animaux

François-Alexandre Aubert de La Chesnaye des Bois, born 17.06.1699 in Ernée, died 29.02.1784 in Paris, was a French writer and novelist.

 
You can download all these very interesting books (they are worth reading them) or read them online, when you click on their title.

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Breed profile

The Chartreux is medium to large in size. The body is rather short, but not cobby, very solid and heavy, especially at the hindquarters the body is noticeable heavier. The bones are substantial. The chest is very broad. The legs are medium in length and not very strong, when compared to the body. The paws are rather small.
The head is large and gives the impression of being somewhat square, its shape looks like an inverted trapezium - the skull is broad at the top, and becomes narrower towards the muzzle. The forehead is rather flat, on the top the skull is relatively flat.
The ears are medium in size, rather close set, and stand upright on the skull.
The nose is broad, medium in length (noticeable longer than in British Shorthair) and straight, from the tip of the nose towards the forehead the nose builds a straight line without a break or any indentation.
In males the cheeks are very distinct (like jowls).
The muzzle is rather small, but square and one will notice it clearly.
The eyes are large and somewhat round in shape, they are set well apart. The eye colour is orange, sometimes the colour is slightly paler, but it should be neither watery nor have a green colour tone.
The jaws are broad, the chin is firm.
The coat is medium-short (it is not as short as it is usually in shorthair cats). The coat is extremely dense, the undercoat is very dense and woolly. It is not permitted that the coat lies flat on the body, it must stand up (because of its dense undercoat). The colour of the coat is medium blue, although light blue is preferred.
The tail is medium long and not very thick, the tip is slightly rounded.

Important note:
Only Chartreux cats are the true Carthusian cats, not the British Shorthair, as those are sometimes called erroneously.

 

History

The Chartreux is the "natural" breed of France and is one of the most ancient breeds. The legend says that in 1558 it had been reported that French Carthusian monks, who were well known for their liqueur called Chartreuse, should have bred this breed. This seems to be a mere legend.

The name "Chartreux" was first mentioned in Dictionnaire universel de commerce, d'histoire naturelle et des arts et métiers, Jacques Savary des Bruslons, 1723 [1]:
"CHARTREUX, Le vulgaire nomme ainsi une sorte de chat qui a le poil tirant sur le bleu. C'est une des espèces de fourrures dont les Pelletiers font négoce."  1), Volume 1: under the entrance CHAR, page 812.

Savary, Dictionnaire universel de commerce

In the volume of the encyclopedia, issued 1753, the Chartreux cats are described that the colour of their coat is ash-grey, and that the coat was used by furriers (because of its thickness): Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers [2] :
"Chartreux, (Hist. nat.) sorte de chat dont le poil est d’un gris cendré tirant sur le bleu. C’est une des peaux dont les Pelletiers font négoce, & qu’ils employent dans les fourrures.", L’Encyclopédie, Volume 3, Cha - Consécration, octobre 1753  2)

In Dictionnaire raisonné universel d'histoire naturelle : contenant l'histoire des animaux, des végétaux et des minéraux, et celle des corps célestes, des météores, & des autres principaux phénomenes de la nature; avec l'histoire et la description des drogues simples tirées des trois regnes ... plus, une table concordante des noms latins ... (MDCCLXXV [1775])  [3], Jacques Christophe Valmont de Bomare, 1775, Volume 1, page 59
the Chatreux is mentioned in comparison to cats from other countries, like Spain, Persia, chat d'Angora from Anatolia.

Chats chartreux

As you can read there, it is speculated that the climate influences the type, coat and colour and that those cats may be a different breed.
Jean-Baptiste Perronneau, born 1715 in Paris, died 19.11.1783 in Amsterdam, was a French painter, who specialized in portraits in pastels.

Painting of Magdaleine Pinceloup de la Grange from 1747

Getty Center, Los Angeles

Detail from the painting

In Histoire naturelle de Buffon. Histoire de la terre-t. 2. Histoire des minéraux-t. 3. Histoire de l'homme-t. 4-6. Histoire des quadrupèdes-t. 7-9. Histoire des oiseaux-t. 10. Histoire de la reproduction, [4], Georges Louis Leclerc comte deBuffon, T. 1, Firmin Didot Frères, Paris, 1754, Volume 4, page 222
the Chartreux is mentioned in comparison to cats from other countries, like the Persian from Chorazon (province of Persia), chat d'Angora from Syria, the cats from Spain.

Plate from the edition of 1799

In Dictionnaire raisonné et universel des animaux ou le règne animal, François-Alexandre Aubert de La Chesnaye des Bois, 1759, Paris, Volume 1 [5]
the Chatreux is decribed under Domestic cats:

Le regne animal

Before WW II the Chatreux was quite well known in the Normandie, Île-de-France, where the sisters Léger, living on the island Belle-Ile, had some Chatreux. In 1933 their Chatreux Mignonne de Guerveur became Int. Champion and Best cat in a cat show organized by the Cat Club de Paris. In 1939 the first standard for the Chartreux was established.

During and after World War II the breed was in grave danger of extinction, and thus British Shorthair and Persians were crossbred into the breed around the 1960th. At that time there did not exist a consequently separate registration of British Shorthair and Chartreux, which was the reason that British Shorthair had been called erroneously Carthusian cats. In 1970 the FIFe merged the British and Chartreux and both had the same standard. The breeders Simonnet (Cattery Vaumichon) and Jaquemin (Cattery Lilas Bleus) in Paris founded the "Club de Chat des Chartreux" to save the uniqueness of the Chartreux. And due to their effort, at least in 1977 a separate standard for the Chatreux was accepted by FIFe.
But the Cat Club de Paris, founded in 1913, had put an end to this hybridization already in 1950, and from that time it was only permitted to mate Chartreux with Chartreux.
In 1972 the first Chartreux cats were exported to North America by Helen Gamon, California.
In 1987 the Chartreux was recognized by CFA and TICA.

A famous owner of Chatreux was the French novelist Colette:

Colette with her Chartreux

Her full name was Sidonie-Gabrielle Claudine Colette, born 28.01.1873 in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, Département Yonne (Burgund), died 03.08.1954 in Paris.
The heroine in her book La Chatte, released in 1933, is the Chatreux, Saha.

General Charles de Gaulles, born 22.11.1890 in Lille, died 09.11.1970 in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (Haute-Marne), had a Chartreux, called Ringo de Balmalon.

 

Temperament

Chartreux are called the "smiling" cats because of the expression of their face, emphasized by the rather small muzzle when compared to the entire head.
The Chartreux are very quiet, yet proud cats. Their eyes reveal energy and an acute interest in their surroundings.
Their voice is rather chirping and quiet, but they are very good hunters.
The Chartreux displays outstanding qualities of endurance and remote reserves of energy, they are extremely intelligent and alert cats, they are very loyal and devoted to their owners. Those qualities of silent strength have enabled that extraordinary breed to survive for so many centuries.

 

Grooming

Chartreux have a very dense coat, which plays an important role in breeding those cats. Thus regular grooming is strongly recommended. To give them a bath periodically is not necessary because their coat does not get smudged.

 
 
1) Translation:
CHARTREUX, the vulgar names a type of cat which has the hair cast on blue. This is one type of furs of which the furriers make trade.

2) Translation:
CHARTREUX, (Hist. nat.) kind of cat whose hair is of an ash-gray cast on blue. It is one of the skins, of which the  furriers make trade, & which they use in the furs.

 

 
 
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