A medium-sized cat with a robust constitution, the Chartreux Cat is a resourceful, intelligent companion with a strong character. Attached to Its owner while maintaining a fairly great independence, It knows how to appreciate moments of tenderness, but also knows how to put an end to them when It no longer wants them.
A breed with ancient origins, the Chartreux Cat is much more popular in France than elsewhere in the world, especially in the United Kingdom where the national British Shorthair is preferred. A certain confusion with the British Shorthair reigned for a long time due to crossings.
History of the breed
The origins of the Chartreux cat goes back to the Middle Ages; Its ancestors would be blue cats who came to Europe with the Crusaders from Syria. Much later, in the 18th century, It was exploited by the fur traders of the time. They used it to make clothes.
The history of the Chartreux cat as a breed properly speaking begins in the 1920s, when the Léger sisters, who lived on the Breton island of Belle-Île-en-Mer, were able to obtain blue kittens by marrying a female called Marquise to a male responding to the name of Coquito. Christine and Suzanne Léger began to exhibit their Chartreux towards the end of the decade, several of these felines having received awards.
The first detailed morphological description of the Chartreux cat, was in 1930, is attributed to Dr. Philippe Jumaud, veterinarian and founder of the Cat Club of France and Belgium. A scientific name has even been given to this breed of cats on occasion: Felis catus cartusianorum .
The Chartreux already had illustrious enthusiasts at the time, including the writer Colette. He had even written a novel entitled La Chatte (1933) whose protagonist was a female of the race called Saha.
For a while, the variety suffered from confusion with the British Blue Shorthair. Crossings made here and there did not help the situation, but breeders worked to preserve the Chartreux breed to restore the distinction.
Today, Chartreux is very popular in France, but also in border countries: Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy in particular.
- Its body: halfway between a stocky and mediolin constitution. The shoulders are broad, the bones and muscles powerful, the neck strong and short, the legs of medium length and well-muscled, the feet almost oval and broad. The male is heavier than the female.
- Its coat: rather short, dense, woolly, and offering the cat good protection against humidity thanks to a well-supplied undercoat.
- Its color: gray-blue in all tones, as long as the color is uniform over the entire length of the hair. The kitten may show tabby style markings, but they disappear around the age of 12 months. The gray-blue of the dress is associated with the slate gray of the truffle, as well as the blue of the lips and pads.
- Its head: wide, trapezoid-shaped, and with rounded contours. The cheeks are well defined, the skull flat, the forehead high, the nose straight and broad, the muzzle rather narrow.
- Its eyes: large, with a lively expression, moderately splayed, yellow / gold to orange in color.
- Its ears: medium in size, narrow at birth, set high and moderately rounded.
- Its tail: thick at its base and becoming thinner, of medium length and flexible.
Behavior With Others
The Chartreux Cat is the ideal companion cat for the whole family, including children with whom It likes to play. Sociable, it tolerates the presence of other animals quite well.
While being attached to Its master, It remains independent and has a lot of character. It knows how to make Itself understood if something doesn’t please It.
Caressing it or carrying it when It doesn’t want to can be worth a strong reaction from It. Nevertheless, it is not the kind of cat meowing frequently.
The intelligence and curiosity of the Carthusian are well known, as are Its great adaptability and Its courage, moreover. It, therefore, needs a firm, but fair education, so that It understands sufficiently early the limits not to be exceeded.
Its natural curiosity, Its independent character, and Its hunting instinct make the Chartreux a cat that needs certain freedom of movement. It can therefore adapt to life in the city and in an apartment on condition that It has access to the outside.
The ideal would therefore be for it to have a garden. It can spend time outdoors more as Its coat provides It with good protection against the weather, but It ends up coming back to Its master, in the warmth and safety of the home. A Cat tree and toys help keep It active and stimulated indoors.
Health & Maintenance
The Chartreux Cat is a healthy cat who hardly fears anything in this regard, as long as It has received the classic vaccines (typhus, coryza, leucosis and rabies), as well as an adapted diet and care.
However, it should be noted that significant cases of struvite stones (urolithiasis) occur in this breed. Spayed cats, whether males or females are at greater risk. Hence the need to ensure that the animal, sterilized or whole, constantly has fresh water, hydration helps to prevent this form of urinary disorder.
Hypoallergenic Breed: No
The life expectancy of a Chartreux is between 15 and 20 years.
Caring for Chartreux is quite simple due to the woolly texture of its coat, which is less prone to tangling. This does not mean that you should neglect your care. The condition of its coat and skin depends on their quality and regularity.
The Chartreux Cat needs a good brushing once a week. However, it should be brushed much more frequently during the moult . In the spring, it can lose a lot of hair to replace its dense winter coat with a lighter coat for summer.
Brushing then becomes daily to remove dead hairs and reduce the hairballs that it forms in its digestive tract while washing. For the rest and as with all cats, it is important to regularly inspect and clean the area around their eyes and the entrance to their ear canal.
Is the Chartreux cat right for you?
- The Chartreux is a robust and rustic outdoor cat. Thanks to its woolly fur, it adapts easily to the cold climate, and spending a night outside does not intimidate it at all.
- The Chartreux is also a hunter at heart, which is why a fenced garden is necessary so that the animal can practice hunting. If you don’t want the cat to go outside, it’s best to set aside a roomy enough in the basement or in a room so that It can practice Its hunting skills.
- The Chartreux still like its comfort and it needs a peaceful and comfortable corner inside where to rest.
- The gentle and calm character of the Chartreux cat makes it particularly suitable for quiet people.
- Although discreet and independent, this cat is very attached to Its owners and It appreciates the attention that humans give It. Thus, the Chartreux needs a careful and available master to take care of It regularly (grooming, play sessions, cuddling, etc.).
- Note that the Chartreux cat enjoys the company of other pets and children, but does not like to be annoyed or treated with disrespect.
- The Chartreux is a muscular and massive cat, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean it should be overfed. So that the Chartreux does not lose its good shape, it is essential to carefully monitor its diet and not to exceed the portions suggested by your veterinarian.