The Russian Blue is a cat breed that has a silver-blue coat. These cats are known to be highly intelligent and playful but tend to be timid around strangers. They also develop close bonds with their human companions and are highly sought after due to their personalities and unique coat.
The Russian Blue is a naturally occurring breed that is believed to have originated in the port of Arkhangelsk, Russia. They are also sometimes called Archangel Blues. It is believed that the first Russian Blues were brought from the Archangel Isles to England and Northern Europe in the 1860s by sailors. The first recorded showing of the breed was in 1875 at the Crystal Palace in England as the Archangel Cat. The Russian Blue competed in a class including all other blue cats, until 1912, when it was given its own class.
The breed was developed mainly in Russia and Scandinavia until after World War II. Prior to this, a lack of numbers of Russian Blues led to cross breeding with the Siamese. Although Russian Blues were in America before the war, it was not until the post-war period that American breeders created the modern Russian Blue that is seen in the US today. This was done by combining the bloodlines of both the Scandinavian and English Russian Blues. The Siamese traits have now been largely bred out. Unfortunately for breeders and showers, the short hair slate gray/blue color is often seen in random-breed (or non-specific domestic) cats.
Although they have been used on a limited basis to create other breeds (such as theHavana Brown) or add type to a breed in creation (the Nebelung), Russian Blues themselves are short-haired, blue-grey cats.