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Russian Cat Breeds

Kurilian Bobtail. Photo: Helmi Flick.
These are the Russian cat breeds: Kurelian Bobtail, Karelian Bobtail, Russian Blue, Don Sphynx, Peterbald,  Mekong Bobtail, Ukranian Levkoy, Toy Bob and Siberian. Do Russian breeders breed these cats better than Americans or Europeans? They might and in case someone are rare and only bred in Russia. In Europe and the USA we don't get involved with Russian cat breeders that much but there is a pretty lively cat fancy in Russia. The Russians like their cats, you know. How much do we know about Russian cat breeders? I mention the big three in more detail below.

You might want to read about the Russian Blue first. In the first half of the 1800s, was the Russian Blue a moggie in Archangel, a port on the north coast of Russian near to Finland? I expect this cat was until it was decided that a cat breed would be created. Archangel is said to be the place where the Russian Blue comes from.

Was the Russian Blue always blue? Or to be more accurate: blue/gray. The Russian Blue today must be blue and green eyed. But before the Russian Blue was a purebred cat I doubt that it was always blue. The first Russian Blues were exported from Russia to England in the mid 1800s. That is where they started there life as a purebred cat. I think that someone thought that an exclusively blue coloured cat from the cold north of Russian would be a nice match. It worked out well. The Russian Blue is in the top ten most popular cat breeds.

What about the incredibly rare Kurelian Bobtail? Have you heard of this cat breed? This is a cat that has an origin in terms of natural development that is similar to the Manx in that there was a genetic mutation for a short tail on an island. In this case the island is off the coast of Siberia. There was probably inbreeding in a confined environment for the mutation to occur. This cat breed comes from the Kuril Islands, a disputed territory between Russia and Japan. Is this cat half Russian and half Japanese as a consequence? It is said that the famous Japanese Bobtail originates in the Kurelian Bobtail. The Japanese Bobtail goes back a thousand years so we are talking about long history here. The Russians breed this cat to a high standard.

Finally, we have the Siberian cat. Siberia is in the east of Russia. We all know how cold that part of the world is. That is why this cat is triple coated and stocky. What is unusual is that breeders (one breeder?) claims that the Siberian is hypoallergenic. Believe it? Not me. Research says otherwise. This cat breed looks like the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Maine Coon and there may be a connection. All three may originate in Scandinavia. The Siberian is another popular cat.

Of the three, the Russian Blue is the most popular with the buying public.


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