Grey Cat Breeds

Photo of Nebelung Cat Lovenblues Mozart Bronikowski
copyright © Helmi Flick – please respect copyright.


The Nebelung has a medium-long silky and fine blue/grey coat, with a plumed tail. This photo illustrates that nicely. 


Nebelung Male - Aleksandrva n Song de Chine. Photo: Wikipedia (2007).

The cat above is a 4 year old male (at time of the photo) and an international champion. His name is Aleksandr van Song de Chine. I presume the photo was taken by the person he lives with, Anke Zekveld. Anke has a cattery. The website is www.nebelung.nl. If I am not mistaken it is based in the Netherlands. Aleksandr is a fine cat of the grey cat breeds. And he has a lovely character too.

Grey Cat Breeds
is a Google search term that I just picked up on my travels over the Internet. Some people like grey cats (or gray cats). There are a few cat breeds that have to be blue/grey, otherwise they are not a cat of that breed. Pretty tough criteria.

Here's a list with pictures and links of the grey cat breeds (are there some more?). The pictures are by amateur photographers of their cat companions. Some of the cats are relatively rare. For example, the Nebelung comes to mind in this category. There are links below the photographs to the best professional photographs, by, who else, Helmi Flick.

Nebelung

Nebelung Cat
Nebelung cat photo copyright V La under CC

The color of this cat has to be blue (I would call it bluish grey, that's why he's in this post!). Go to a full description and a professional photo (Helmi Flick) by clicking on this link. You can see how this cat ranks with other cat breeds in terms of rarity by clicking here. You'll find that this cat is pretty rare still despite the fact that the breed was created in 1984 and developed with great determination by Cora Cobb. This cat is essentially a long haired Russian Blue. They were breed in parallel in Russia over the period Cora was developing the breed in the USA.

Chartreux



Photo: Helmi Flick.
This cat breed has a long and distinguished history, during which cat breeders are now intent on preserving the purity of this breed. The breed comes from France. See and read more (plus professional photos) by clicking on this link. The Chartreux is more or less the same as the British Blue cat. As is the case for the Nebelung the only color is the one you see - blue/grey.

Russian Blue

Russian Blue Cat

Russian Blue Cat photo ©Sensual Shadows Photography

The Russian Blue is another cat that has got to be blue/grey to be part of this breed and is therefore one of the grey cat breeds. As the name clearly suggests this cat originates in Russia, specifically the north of Russia, near the Norwegian Border from a town called Archangel. I am not altogether convinced of this fact. It would seem that some cat breed histories are "glossed up" a bit to make the cat more desirable. Cynical or just sensible? See more on this cat.

Korat

Korat cat - photo copyright Nick Hodge

The Korat cat primarily has one color, the one you see in the photo. However, of these four breeds the Korat is the only one that can also be found in lilac or pointed coat. I have selected the Korat because by convention it is considered to be a grey breed.

All these cats carry the genotype to produce the grey coloration, which is aaB-dd. The symbol dd represents a pair of dilution genes; aa represents the non-agouti gene (self black) and B- represents the brown gene (producing black to brown and chocolate etc. in more dilute forms). Read and see a lot more on the Korat cat (stays on this website).

There is one more cat breed that need not necessarily be blue/grey (many colours and patterns are allowed) but which looks great in grey and is often grey, and that is the British Shorthair. This is one of my favorite cats and is in the top 10 of the most popular cat in the pictures-of-cats.org website poll. Helmi Flick has two British Shorthairs.

In addition to these mainstream cat breeds there are two rare grey cat breeds: Madura Blue and Cuban Blue. I don't have photographs of these breeds. The Madura comes from the Madura and Ra’as Islands, Indonesia. The Cuban Blue is what is called “under development”. This means not yet accepted by the US cat associations as at the date of this updated section (August 2014). It is registered with a Cuban cat association: Associación Cubana de Aficionados a los Gatos (Acag).


The "Maltese Cat" refers to any random bred cat or cat of unknown breed with primarily grey fur. This comes from the belief that cats on the island of Malta are often grey haired cats.

Sources:

  • Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders and Veterinarians and Sarah Hartwell

From Grey Cat Breeds to Home page
Grey Cat Breeds Grey Cat Breeds Reviewed by Michael Broad on March 21, 2008 Rating: 5

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about the american short hair? i have one that is all grey with green eyes.

Michael Broad said...

Hi and thanks for the comment. Yes, the blue Brit SH is perhaps the most well know color for this cat breed. But the Brit SH comes in a variety of colors while the cats breeds referred to in this post only come in grey!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting about these wonderful cats! I own a male charteux named Lewie and he is my best friend. He is 11 years old and 16 pounds!

Michael Broad said...

Hi, I really like these grey cats but have never lived with one. Thanks for the comment. Lewie sounds fantastic. If you would like you can send some details plus a pic to me at:

mjbmeister[at]gmail.com

and I'll make a page about him for the main site:

http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/

Michael

Shawdy said...

Hey..i have a cat :D it's all gray,short hair, he has light blue eyes. i've got him yesterday. he is so little and fluffy.
I am from romania... what kind of race do i got? :-?

Pepe said...

What about burmese gray cats?

Michael Broad said...

Response to comment above: Yes, they are nice but it is one colour of many for the Burmese. In fact I don't think there is a grey Burmese. Lilac is the nearest.

This post is about cat breeds that are only grey!

Unknown said...

Hi Freddie,
My husband picked up a kitten from his uncle who has a farm, with a few stray cats. He brought home a cute short haired gray kitten that we call Sheba. My sons friend saw her and said she was a "blue".
Sheba also has green eyes.
She is already real special to us, but is she a"blue?"
Would really appreciate your input on Sheba.

Debbie

Michael Broad said...

HI Debra, thanks for the comment. Yes she is blue in color. This is the language used by people in the cat fancy (breeders and people who show cats).

Blue is a blue/grey and it is a dilute black in terms of genetic effect.

The "British Blue" is a gray British Shorthair for example.

Anonymous said...

And what about Siberian Blue?
http://images02.olx.ru/ui/9/81/78/1288813659_134817378_1----25--1288813659.jpg

Michael Broad said...

Response to comment above. The Siberian Blue is not listed because it is not a breed. The Siberian is a breed but many coat types are allowed by the associations.

The cats listed only come in one colour: blue.

Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

my cat also is blueish/gray got him from a friend of a friend I'm not sure what he is (besides beautiful) he has the green eyes as well with short hair and is very sensitive to noises and sounds. He don't look heavy that's until you go to pick him up lol... He talks alot and he's my bestest friend ever. : ) if anyone can help me out and tell me what you think that would be great! My email is
thx!! Lisa

Michael said...

Hi Lisa, your cat might be purebred and one of the grey cat breeds but it is more likely that he is a random bred all grey cat. They are relatively rare it seems to me but you do find them. Random bred cats are as good as if not better than purebred cats.

Anonymous said...

oh ok thx Mihael, for the input ! :D
Lisa

Weber said...

This type of cat is beautiful, just seen this sort on the Sheba advert. Have been wondering what sort to be looking for before buying. This might just be the one.

Anonymous said...

I have an overweight SH grey cat with yellow eyes and a tiny spot of white on her chest. What breed would she be considered?

Michael said...

Response to last comment. She is probably not a breed of cat but a grey and white (just!) random bred cat. There are many grey moggies as well as the purebred cats on this page.

Unknown said...

Hello. This is going to sound very strange, but I had a dream about a cat and now I am trying to find it. It was gray with blue eyes and white paws. I know nothing about cat breeds and the like... Does this kind of cat exist? If so, what kind should I be looking for? Thanks so much for your time!

Anonymous said...

Hey i have a grey cat with green eyes. it also has alot of dark grey markings on its body. i cant seem to figure out what type she is? does anyone know

Yam said...

Am I right in thinking these cats are quite rare and expensive. Grey cats are certainly not common.

leeanne said...

hi one of the comments above caught my eye (lisa) this sounds exactly like my kitten 'Mr Bojangles' but he has yellowy eyes an hes the most handsome kitty i was wondering if i could send someone a pic to see if he is also a 'random bred all grey cat'?

Michael Broad said...

Hi leeanne, you can upload a picture on this page using the form and add some words and I will respond.

Michael

Michael Broad said...

The Russian Blue is more mainstream than the others and the most popular. They are quite rare and probably quite expensive but the cost depends on the quality.

Michael Broad said...

Yes, they are rare and quite expensive but the cost depends on the quality of the individual cat. Of these cats, the Russian Blue, is the most mainstream breed and therefore the least rare.

se'a said...

Hi I know this is very old and I'm not sure anyone will even reply to me now but I have an all grey cat but in some lighting he appears to have patterns but their a darker shade a grey. They are rarely visible and you probably wouldn't tell unless they were poinked out. He's very sensitive to loud noises or fast movements. He doesn't care for strangers but is loyal to me. He follows me everwhere I go and talks up a storm. I talk to him and he talks back. He looks small but when you pick him up lord does he weigh a ton! I rescued him from the streets at 2 months old and he was very thin and flea infested. Now he's a year and 4 months and is healthy as can be. Though he does have problems with getting into everything he can and I've even had to take him to the vet after he got sick from eating a hair tie. Scared me to death but he's perfectly fine now. Sorry for the long post! I just thought to give you insight on him to maybe see if he is one of these breeds his eyes are a vibrant green/yellow.

Michael Broad said...

Hi, this post is old but alive and kicking ;)

Your cat sounds interesting. The grey is a solid color but sometimes there might be a faint tabby pattern. This is what you are seeing, I believe. Blue (or grey) is dilute black.

Solid colored cats should be that but the genetics are complicated. Your cat should carry the non-agouti genotype which prevents the tabby pattern but perhaps there are some other genes present which modify this.

If you'd like to you can email me a photo and I'll comment more (perhaps!). You might be thinking your cat is a breed of cat. Possible but unlikely.

http://pictures-of-cats.org/what-breed-is-my-cat.html

My contact details are on the main site (see the top menu bar)

http://pictures-of-cats.org/

Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

I have two kittens.. can't seem to find anything about them or what breed they are.. they're both gray with beige spots, they have short hair, green eyes an interesting personalities.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I love my four year old, Nebelung, cat Oscar. I live in south Louisiana, so he lives inside due to the heat and humidity. He is EXTREMELY affectionate towards me. He has also "adopted" a three month old stray kitten that I adopted. He has wonderful health and a wonderful personality! Definitely my most beloved cat :) Wish I could post a picture of him!

Michael Broad said...

Hi, I'd love to see Oscar and his buddy. I'll do page on him on the main website. Please email me so photos if you can to:
mjbmeister@gmail.com
Look out for the post on:
http://pictures-of-cats.org
Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

I found my boy, Leo, (Tolstoy?) at the Pima county animal shelter in Tucson, Arizona. He is a 9+ lb blue with silver tips. With no pedigree it's impossible to be sure of breed, but he meets most of the physical characteristics of the Russian Blue, except that he is not long and lean but is somewhat stocky. Otherwise he has the proper head shape, eye color, temperament, etc., so since the people at the shelter called him a "Russian Blue", I accept that appellation. I realize the possibility that his litter mates may have looked different, but he is my 'Bud' and I am so happy to have found him. He has been declawed, which I think should be criminal. If a person or family can't accept a whole cat maybe they could get a stuffed animal toy that would be easier on the furniture. Mine uses his teeth often to play, show affection and displeasure, so he is a biter. I can live with it, and if I read his moods correctly the bites are harmless, but this was an unecessary surgery. Please folks, think about the animal you are adopting. If you have small children in the home a dog might be more suited to the tough treatment children can use with small pets.

Michael Broad said...

Thanks for a great comment. I totally agree about declawing. I hate the practice. For me it is barbaric. You may well have a Russian Blue. You'll never really know though. He sounds like a fine cat.

Francesca said...

Love this info thank you! I'm trying to figure out our new little grey girl's origin, she's about 2 mo. At most we just rescued her.

Michael Broad said...

My pleasure. The grey cat breeds are popular.

Unknown said...

Have dark charcoal blackish kitten with white under coat was just wonder what kind he is.

Michael Broad said...

Sounds like a smoke coat. If you go to the main site on the RHS is a link to my email address - you can email me a photo if you like.

Tricia said...

I have a grey cat that is long hair and I'm trying to find out what snoop might be

Michael Broad said...

Snoop is probably a very attractive random bred cat with long grey hair but he could be the relatively rare Nebelung. It depends on the background. The thing is without papers you don't know his family tree and if he is purebred or not. Thanks for visiting.

Unknown said...

Without genetic testing, how can you determine breed if adopted from a shelter? Lovebug (definitely fits her) is short haired grey, darker than lighter, with beautiful green/gold eyes. I don't know how to attach a photo for you to see her though

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michael Broad said...

Hi Catherine. There are purebred cats at shelters, for sure but they are rare and even rarer is documentary evidence that the cat is purebred (cat association registration certificate). Nearly all shelter cats are random bred.

A DNA testing would probably establish if she was purebred and possibly the breed but I not sure even that is guaranteed.

What you need is the history. Who brought the cat to the shelter of was she simply picked up off the street?

You need to know who abandoned the cat. That's my view. She may be one of the grey cat breeds but there are random bred cats who are solid grey and who look like one of these grey cat breeds.

Sorry I can't be more positive and helpful.

Unknown said...

Thank you for replying. She looks most like a Chartreux or Russian blue as her coat isn't fluffy at all. She is such a loving cat but at times too demanding of attention.

Unknown said...

I adopted Harper from the SPCA when she was four months old. She's now two years old. She looks like a Russian Blue with her blue grey fur. However she has very distinct silver tips on her ears and paws as well as silvery shimmer depending on the lighting. She is lanky and lightweight yet slightly muscular. She's also very talkative and people friendly. Very loving and very smart. She looks like a Korat except for her yellow tiger eyes.

Unknown said...

I was trying to find out which one my car is he also has a bit of white on paws and a spike on fAce

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