THE CHARTREUX CAT
The Chartreux is a rare cat breed from France with a thick blue coat. It’s a domestic cat breed that was first discussed in a poem in 1558. There were plenty of free-roaming cats like the Chartreux that roamed the streets of Paris and were ratters in shops and homes. After WW1, cat fanciers took interest in this cat breed, and a breed standard for the Chartreux was formed. By 1928 and 1931, this cat breed was showing in Europe.
The Chartreux almost disappeared after WWII, but cat breeders banded together to save it from extinction. In 1971, the first Chartreux arrived in the U.S. Helen and John Gamon from California, imported the first Chartreux into the U.S. The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) promoted this breed to showing. By 2007, there were less than two dozen Chartreux cat breeders in North America.
With a strong and powerful body, the Chartreux has a short, thick waterproof blueish-grey coat. Their eyes are orange and their heads are round with full, adorable cheeks. Because of this, they always look like they are smiling. Their ears are medium-sized and their legs are relatively short with medium-sized paws.
Some Chartreux cats are actually mute, but don’t let that fool you. They’re extremely intelligent and inquisitive. They’re known for opening door latches, drawers and even navigating a confusing screen door. The Chartreux does well with family, strangers, other pets, and children. Chartreux kittens are active and playful. Senior cats tend to enjoy watching, and are much less active. This cat breed is perfect for either apartment or farm living. They are quiet cats that enjoy interactive play. The Chartreux enjoys playing with anything that is lying around, and is playful when there is someone to play with. This wonderful cat breed is very easy to live with. The Chartreux needs plenty of love, fun cat toys, and mental stimulation.
Chartreux cats are rarely vocal, so extra attention is needed to make sure they are getting all the care they need.
Possible Health Concerns
- Hip Dysplasia: This is rare in domestic cats, common in purebred cats. This occurs when the hip joint is loose, and leads to degenerative joint disease.
- Ringworm: This is an infection of the skin, hair, or claws, and is caused by a fungus called dermatophyte. This occurs in 98% of cats. It spreads easily from cats to people.
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is a heart muscle disorder where the heart walls of the left ventricle thicken. This results in the walls becoming stiffer. This is a common heart disease in cats. It tends to get noticed at around 3 months to 17 years of age. Most cats will be middle aged when this disorder occurs. This disorder tends to affect males more than females, and it is an inherited genetic defect.
- Gingivitis: This is when the gums become inflamed due to bacterial plaque. At this stage the ligaments and bone are not infected. Gum color in cats will change from a light pink to red or purple. The gum edge wills well. Symptoms include bleeding and bad breath. This can be reversed with proper teeth cleaning.
This cat breed needs daily exercise combined with plenty of mental stimulation through active play and interaction with people. Finding a variety of mentally stimulating cat toys will allow for your cat to lead a well-balanced life, with the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation.
All cat breeds will groom themselves several times throughout the day. Daily grooming is necessary because it limits the amount of hair that your cat will consume. This helps limit the development of hairballs.
Daily cleaning with pet wipes beneath the tail is necessary. Ears should be checked weekly for cleanliness and sensitivity. If there is a buildup of wax and dirt, organisms can lead to an ear infection. Consult with your veterinarian about safe and gentle ear cleaning techniques. Nail trimming is necessary every few weeks. Eyes should also be cleaned gently every morning with cotton wool or a soft wipe. Each eye should be cleaned with different wipes or cotton balls to avoid eye infection contamination in both eyes. Cats should also have their teeth brushed a few times a week with a special feline toothpaste and brush.
The Chartreux is an active, yet relaxed cat breed that needs lots of playtime. This is not a cat breed that enjoys being alone all day. The Chartreux enjoys being around other cat friendly animals, and gentle humans.