Section 4 – FOREIGN – Group 1
The Russian is bred in three colours, Blue, Black and White. It is a short haired cat of foreign type, but it is not as extreme in “type” as the Siamese and other Orientals. The body is long and graceful with medium strong bone. Legs are long with small oval paws and the tail is fairly long and tapering. The short, wedge-shaped head is topped by large pointed ears, set vertically to the head. The Russian has prominent whisker pads and vivid green almond shaped eyes. The coat of the Russian is a very important feature being short, thick but fine and standing up soft and silky. The Russian Blue coat has a silvery sheen, the Russian Black has a glossy coat; while the Russian White coat appears to sparkle. A good Russian should have an elegant appearance with an aristocratic expression.
Russian Blues are also known as the Archangel cats. While their silver tipping and green eyes certainly make them look like angels, the Archangel name was given to them after their point of origin – the Russian port of Arkhangelsk on the White Sea about 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The cats boarded the boats with the sailors and came to other parts of Europe. The first cat shows in England in the 1880s included Russian Blues.
It is their short, dense coat which has been the hallmark of the Russian breed for more than a century. The dense coat stands out from the body and you can draw patterns in the coat that will stay until you smooth them out again. The Russian is a graceful cat with a medium-sized foreign body that is lithe and muscular. The long legs are fine boned and the cat seems to know it as it often poses sitting high with feet crossed in a pose that accentuates the line of the cat. The head is a wedge shape and features the characteristic smile of the breed. The wide, high cheekbones frame the large, almost round, emerald eyes. The large, flared ears frame the exquisite face providing a pleasing balance. The Russian cat is all about is aristocratic appearance.
The elegant Russian Blue has a keen intellect that makes it an engaging companion. It observes people to determine if they are worthy of its companionship. Sometimes people see this behaviour as shy or aloof when it is really a reserve with strangers until it has fully assessed them. Once the Russian decides you are worthy of its attention, it is extremely affectionate and expects your loving attention to all its needs. They are playful, loving companions that get along well with children and other pets. They are a great choice for the modern family because they are content with their own company while you are out and about but delighted to spend time playing or curled in your lap when you get home.
Although the coat is ideally suited to cold weather, the Russian tends to be a home loving cat and should not suffer from being confined to the house, provided there is ample opportunity for adventure and play with its owner. If you need to keep your cat indoors, do bear in mind that you will need to keep windows screened and that it is difficult to keep a cat in if you have young children or frequent visitors at your door. Like most shorthair breeds, the Russian cat does not require much grooming to keep the coat healthy but they do love attention and brushing with a soft brush will be enjoyed. They are quite long lived and often live well into their late teens. Russians are a moderate-sized cat with an average weight of 8 to 15 lbs when fully grown. Males will typically be larger than females.
Russians have few health problems as they tend to have little to no genetic problems and are not prone to illness.