Saturday 30 August 2008

Russian Blue Kittens

Russian blue kittens
Russian Blue Kitten photograph by Sensual Shadows Photography

Before you go in search of Russian Blue Kittens have a look at these and have a look at some Russian Blue adult cats too and read about this cat breed. I've also built a page in which I discuss the breed standard in a general kind of way, nothing too technical, which may interest potential buyers of Russian Blue kittens as it also contains a large format slide show of a lot of cats of this breed to get a feel as to how they appear and what they should look like under the breed standard. Click on this link to see a large slide show.

All pedigree cats have a breed standard, a target that governs what breeders should aim for. There is, obviously, quite a wide range of looks that all comply with the standard as the wording is quite widely drafted and there are never any diagrams or pictures to guide (which has always surprised me). Your kitten should of course be within the parameters set by the breed standard to be true Russian Blue but more importantly the cat breeder must give you documentary evidence that the kitten is a cat of this breed. If you don't get that you might as well adopt a rescue cat.

Russian blue kittens
Russian Blue Kitten photograph by t0msk. The CFA breed standard says the eyes should be a vivid green. This is a fine photo of a lovely kitten but I am not sure the eyes are exactly the correct color or is it the reflection of the carpet?

The Russian Blue Breeders Association, based in the UK (but the advice is good for any country) state that the breeders must provide a pedigree certificate of three generations for the cat in question and the document must be signed by the breeder. In addition the breeder must produce a transfer document that is evidence of transfer of the cat from the breeder to the new owner, which is signed by both parties and sent to the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) the premier cat registry in the UK. Similar rules will apply in different countries I am sure. If the new owner is thinking of showing their new cat and chasing rosettes and prizes the transfer of ownership (don't like ownership) needs to be registered with the GCCF at least 21 days before the show. Some kittens are bought with breeding in mind and some not; the registration of the kitten will note this difference.

So we've got the transfer and pedigree docs, what is next.....vaccination documents. All breeders will vaccinate their kittens. I have built a substantial page on the issue of cat vaccination recommendations as they have changed over the years as veterinarians have come to realize that vaccinations can be dangerous to cats - it's all about risk whether they are given or not.

The next thing and the most important thing is the health and character of Russian Blue Kittens from which you select. It is hard it seems to me to be sure that your selected kitten will be healthy. Some cat breeds are healthier than others. I have not found any hidden genetically linked health problems associated with this cat breed (that doesn't mean there isn't though but I think it unlikely - some breeds do have predispositions to certain diseases - see cat health problems). That leaves the question whether the particular Russian Blue Kitten selected is healthy. All that can be done to assess the situation. That means an assessment of the breeder's facility and attitude plus observation of the kitten (signs of upper respiratory infection - URI - for example or cat ear mites as another example). Is everything clean and organized?

Russian blue kittens
Two week old Russian Blue Kitten photograph by Sensual Shadows Photography

Next - character. I guess observation over a number of visits will solve this one. The breeder will or should ensure that the kitten is "socialized" meaning used to people and other pets so when he/she is re-homed he settles in and is not too nervous or aggressive. Character, bottom line, is more important than appearance, and health is more important than both. For example, a breeder in Scotland, Dushenka Russian Blues, says that all their kittens are born in the breeder's bedroom, which naturally gets the kittens accustomed to humans. A lot of cat breeders are "cottage industries," small, at home, businesses (c.f. kitten or puppy farms - don't buy from a pet shop). This is good and bad, I think. It means the bad ones can start up easily but it also lends itself to well breed and socialized cat, at least potentially. Socialization is very important and breed standards refer to it indirectly by insisting upon cats that are nonaggressive. Show cats are very placid and happy to be handled, they must be to win shows. So the best show cats not only look great but are great.

Kittens and cats take time to settle in (in my experience at least 6 months) so a very pleasant calm environment is pretty much essential for our new Russian Blue Kitten. Food is also a factor. Cats get used to a certain type of food and a sudden change could prompt things such a diarrhea and litter problems (i.e. problems for the new owners). So, the breeder should tell you what type of food she feed her Russian Blue Kittens. This should be continued with any change being gradual.

Russian blue kittens
Russian Blue Kittens - photograph by hlehto

My preference is quality wet food and some human food such as fish (if she/he likes fish) or chicken. Dry cat food can contain too high a carbohydrate content. It is convenient for the human but essentially unnatural for the cat but in modest doses it is probably OK (i.e. used as part of the overall diet). There are lots of links on this site about cat food (this takes you to all 15). The ideal cat food should mimic the kind of food a wild cat eats but this is complicated as raw meat is not enough, cats will need supplements such as Taurine, a vital ingredient.

Neutering or spaying is pretty well essential if you do not intend to breed from your Russian Blue Kittens or Kitten. Some breeders I believe do this and some insist on the kitten being fixed as part of the purchase contract.

Russian blue kittens
Russian Blue Kittens - photograph by hlehto

Since writing this page I have built a spreadsheet that I call Russian Blue Breeder Worldwide List. There is a page that has the same spreadsheet in larger format. It is here: Russian Blue Breeders. Here is the smaller format version (it is long):

That's about it (in outline). Oh, except for one thing. The GCCF publish a code of ethics. I think it helps of we remind ourselves of some of the more outstanding points (this is a shortened summarized version).

1. Cat owners should think carefully before getting a kitten......
2. Cats must be provided with warmth, comfort, exercise, adequate food and water (at all times). Cat should be kept in at night for safety.
3. Cats should be groomed regularly and checked for parasites
4. We should see a vet when our cat looks ill.
5. Cats as pets (not breeding cats) should be neutered and spayed.
6. Breeders should sell to selected people who it is believed will care for their cat and if not due to unforeseen circumstances the breeder should offer to rehome the cat(s) sold.
7. Owners shouldn't sell to pet shops or large scale sellers or give away a cat as a prize.
8. Breeders should act with integrity and honesty and not misrepresent the health and pedigree of the cat.
9. If a breeder sells to a cat breeder advice should be available and breeding should not have a negative impact on the cats' health.
10. Owners should identify their cat. There are 2 ways, cat collars are potentially dangerous and microchipping for pets can carry health problems (these are my comments and not part of the code).
11. The seller breeder must provide the documentation referred to above (the docs referred to above may not be complete - please refer to the GCCF)

Russian Blue Kittens to Home page

Russian Blue Kittens - Photos: These are published under a creative commons license of 2 types. The Sensual Shadows Photography ones are licensed under this license = Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. The others have been cropped as allowed under this license = Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. Thanks for the permission. I have provided links as well which are not required under the license.


  1. Can someone please comment on this page?! It may help to get it back in search listings. At one time it was ranked highly.

  2. Very helpful information on this breed. Helped us to identify our little blue boy;)

  3. My husband rescued a blue kitten, and she fits your description of the Russian Blue. Thank you for this article. Cleopatra looks just like the kittens you posted.

    1. Thank you Cat Lady. You are a lady for sharing your story here.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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