The Chartreux is a rare and beautiful cat breed from France. It has a coat so soft you’ll think you’re cuddling with a pillow. These cats are stunning, and if you ever have a chance of seeing one in person, you will undoubtedly get charmed by them. This cat breed is tightly connected to the legendary Carthusian order, which isn’t that surprising when you compare the cat’s coat to the monk’s cloak. Here’s what all cat lovers should know about the Chartreux breed.
The first “official” record of this cat breed is from 1558. The lovely Chartreux was mentioned by the famous poet Joachim du Bellay in one of his poems. The poem is called “A small kitten's death.” There are many legends and stories about this breed’s origin, and we might never be entirely sure what the actual truth is.
One theory says the Carthusian order brought these cats with them to live in the Grande Chartreuse, where cats would be the main form of mouse control. Some say these cats came from wild cats from Syria and were brought back by the Crusaders returning from wars in the east. We know the first species were brought to the US in 1971 by Helen and John Gamon. Unfortunately, there aren’t many Chartreux breeders, and the cat’s numbers are pretty low.
Cat Breed Characteristics
This is a beautiful and very attractive breed. We consider them one of the best-looking cat breeds in the whole feline kingdom. Here are some of the characteristics that make the Chartreux so special.
The first thing most of us notice immediately is the breed’s coat. The Chartreux has a short, thick, silky-smooth coat that is fairly easy to care for. The breed developed a double coat that kept them insulated in the cold weather.
This is, in our opinion, the most striking characteristic of this breed. These cats have a stunning blue-gray color that comes in various shades. Kittens can have “ghost markings” on their body and tail. By the time they fully develop, those markings should fade away.
This is considered a relatively large cat breed. Males are slightly larger than females, and the breed is usually 15 - 18 inches long and weighs 7 - 16 pounds.
Another crucial thing about a cat breed is its temperament. This trait was studied for all pureblooded cat breeds, and today, we fully know what to expect from one of these cats. These cats are playful, but for short periods. They love napping, and they are not too vocal. They can be rather silly at times, making them pretty fun to have around. They can seem cautious, but they only observe the situation before they decide to get involved. They are not likely to jump into a stranger’s lap, but they are not shy.
No matter which breed you have at home, there are specific health issues your cat is prone to. The same is true for the Chartreux. This is generally a healthy cat with a life span of 11 - 15 years. Here are some of the health conditions the Chartreux is prone to;
- Patellar luxation - A hereditary kneecap dislocation that can range from mild to severe.
- Urinary tract issues
- Kidney diseases
World Cat Finder Team