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Russian Blue

Russian Blue from Chatterie du Fort de la Bosse Marničre
Bashka Waina de Malaďa
Owner: Bernard Boucher, Chatterie du Fort de la Bosse Marničre, France
Russian Blue litter from Sweden
Peggy Lane's Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Giorgio Armani, Peggy Lane's cattery
Breeder: Kristina Svärdsten, Stockholm, Sweden
 
Mostly the Russian is only recognized as Russian Blue.
 

Russian White and Russian Black

But there are some organizations, like ACF, GCCF, LOOF, SACC, which also recognize the following colors:

  • Russian White,
  • Russian Black
Russian White
Rubanthom's Katrinka
Breeder and owner: Andrea Thompson, Rubanthom cattery, Georgia, USA
Russian Black
Katrusca Ebony of Rubanthom
Owner: Andrea Thompson, Rubanthom cattery, Georgia, USA
 
The Russian also exists as Russian Tabby and Russian Bluepoint, also called Archangielsk after their origin in Archangielsk, Russia.
 

Archangielsk (Archangel Cat)

Acrhangielsk
Iks Maskotka Carów
Breeder: Agnieszka Piątkowska, Maskota Carów cattery, Poland
 
History
You can read about the history of the Archangielsk, which is a very old breed, already at Harrison Weir, Our cats and all about them, 1892, London, Fanciers' Gazette, page 67, the following description:
"I feel bound, however, to admit that those that came from Archangel were of a deeper, purer tint than the English cross-breeds ; and on reference to my notes, I find they had larger ears and eyes, and were larger and longer in the head and legs, also the coat or fur was excessively short, rather inclined to woolliness, but bright and glossy, the hair inside the ears being shorter than is usual in the English cat."
The breed is several times mentioned: page 103, 106.
Click on the link above to download the complete book, including all drawings and pictures.
 

Russian Tabby

Russian brown tabby
Riverlight Aleshiala
Breeder: Bev & Mike Allen, Riverlight cattery, South Australia
Russian blue tabby
Riverlight Victoria
Breeder: Bev & Mike Allen, Riverlight cattery, South Australia
 
 

Eurocatfancy

Standard AACE
Standard ACF
Standard ACFA
Standard CCA
Standard CFA
Standard CFF
Standard FIFe
Standard GCCF
(You must buy the booklet.)
Standard LOOF
Standard SACC
Standard TICA
Standard WCF
 
Show breeders
 
Enter cattery into breeders list
 

Breed profile

The Russian is a shorthaired cat, elegant, slender and high on legs, with striking green eyes.
The cat is medium in size, the body is slightly elongated. The legs are slender, high and long. Bone structure is medium heavy.
The head forms a wedge with a long, flat skull. In some organizations the wedge might be somewhat shorter, in others the wedge of the head is medium in length. There are two different head types.
The nose is medium long and straight. When viewed in profile, one can see a blunt angle in the profile between the eye brows, one side is formed by a straight line starting at the flat skull and running down to the flat forehead, the other side is formed by the straight nose.
The whisker pads are clearly visible and pronounced.
The eyes are almost round and have an intensive green color.
Also here may be noticed some differences between the various organizations. American organizations prefer a more docile look, in other organizations the expression shall be more foreign.
The ears are large, open and wide at the base, they are set almost upright on the head. The skin of the pinna is rather fine, almost transparent, with almost no furnishing inside the ears, the outside of the ears is covered with very short hairs.

The coat is very characteristic for the breed, it is short, but very dense, like plush, and stands off from the body. It is called a double coat.
The most well known variant of the Russian is the Russian Blue, whose coat is pale blue-grey, the hair tips are silvery tipped (thus giving the color an even lighter appearance) giving the coat the characteristic silvery shine.
The tail is long, and rather thick at its base.

 

History

The Russian is said to originate from the area around the northern Russian city Arkhangelsk, from the Arkhangelsk Islands. Trading people brought these cats in 1860 to Europe.
Arkhangelsk, Maltese, Foreign Blue and Spanish Blue were exhibited in Crystal Palace in 1871. In 1912 the cats were registered as their breed.
One famous source reporting about the import of the Russian cats to England, are the journals of Mrs. Carew Cox, who acquired  the first Arkhangelsk-cats in 1890 and described them in her magazine as blue shorthaired cats from northern Russia having a short silvery coat, large ears, eyes set wide apart and a lean face and as being very intelligent and affectionate to people: "In 1890 I got Kolya - a beautiful blue and white cat. It was exported from the Kola Peninsula located between the White Sea and the Barents Sea. It changed several masters in the open sea and finally it was exchanged for a leg of mutton in London docks. Kolya was a very nice little cat. It had an absolutely round muzzle and very soft fur. It died in November of 1900".
In 1893 Mrs. Carew Cox imported Olga from Arkhangelsk, then the cats Limpopo, Moscow, Boyard, Fashida, Odessa and Julia.
In 1903 "The book of cats" of Miss Simpson was published in England, which describes the Russian Blue originating from the area of Arkhangelsk. Carrieu-Cox's remarks in that book about the Russian Blue  are still actual up today: "Blue short-haired cats from Russia are loved as home companions very much. In any season they look well groomed and they excel all the others in their intelligence and breeding.… Most imported cats have heads of rather sharp than round form, some of them have not only narrow lean face but also big ears. The ears are gently fur-trimmed inside and covered with soft silvery hair outside. Some of imported cats have more round muzzle and round head with small ears placed apart. These cats were given the preference in the shows."
It is also said that this breed was one of the favorite breeds of the Russian Czars and Queen Victoria from England.
This breed survived WW II - like many other cat breeds - only due to the big effort of English breeders.
The original Russian cats had orange eyes and had been more sturdy and having a rounder head. In the 1940th and 1950th Scandinavian breeders crossed the Russian with Siamese, English breeders crossed the Russian with bluepoint Siamese. The body type and the eye color changed, the Russian became more slender and longer, eye color became green. But the recessive Himalayan gene (Siamese points) remained in the gene pool of the Russian.
The first English lines after WW II were Dunloe, Jennymay, Sylphides and Windywhistle, the first Swedish lines were Molleby, Olsenburg, Finlandia and Kabbarps.

The first Russian imported from England and Scandinavia to America, which were registered in the breeding book, volume 34 in 1949, were Dunloe Jan and Janloe Blue Silk, siblings from the mating between Dunloe Aphrodite and Dunloe Blue Socks. Rather late, in 1964 the first Russian became Grand Champion, GC Maja Acre Igor II of 3 R's.
The first cat in America to meet and fix the type of today was the male GC Felinest Flying High.

 

Temperament

The cats are sweet, rather keeping a certain distance, they need to be handled with care and love. They are very affectionate and very loyal companions.
It is also said that they always have a smile in their face, and they only know the reason of their smiling face by themselves.
The cats are very intelligent and agile, they may even open doors by their own, they love to play and are also busy with their toys when being on their own.

 

Grooming

Grooming is quite simple and they do not need excessive grooming. They do not need to be bathed, but brushing them on a regular basis will remove dead hairs and will give their coat a lovely silky shine.

 
 

 
 
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