Section 2 – SEMI LONGHAIR – Group 2
The Nebelung is known as a ‘creature of the mist’ – an elegant cat of foreign type with a dense, shimmering semi-longhair coat of soft, silky texture. To the uninformed, the Nebelung might look grey but in cat show terms he is a medium blue colour all the way to the roots. It is ideal if the fur is silver-tipped which makes the coat seem to glisten with a silvery sheen but often the silver tipping is noticeable only on the head and shoulders.
The breed was founded in America with the cats Siegfried (1984) and Brunhilde (1985). Cora Cobb, the owner of Siegfried and Brunhilde, was very impressed by the beauty of her blue/grey cats as they looked like Russian Blues but with a semi-long coat. To find out if it was possible to start a new breed with these cats, Cora got in touch with the geneticist of the American Cat Association. This geneticist, Dr Solveig Pfleuger, thought the breed was best defined as a semi-long haired Russian Blue. So, supported by Dr Pfleuger, Cora Cobb wrote the breeding standard according to the Russian Blue but with a fundamental difference: its coat length. Mrs Cobb named the cat breed Nebelung. The word ‘Nebel’ is the German word for fog (mist) and Russian ‘Nebo’ for sky or heaven. Another school of thought is that the breed name was derived from the epic German poem called the ‘Nibelungenlied’ (the English translation being Song of the Nibelungs). The Nebelung were first presented to the GCCF in the UK at a special exhibition at a Russian Blue Show in October 2011.
The Nebelung looks much like the elegant yet muscular Russian Blue but with a thick, shimmering, medium-length coat. His general appearance is that of a long, sturdy, well-muscled cat. Nebelungs are long and elegant in the body with a firm, lithe, muscular feel with slender legs and tufted paws. The tail is thick at the base but tapers to form a brush. It is long and should reach the shoulder blades. The coat is semi-long over the body with a fine, downy undercoat covered with thicker, guard hairs. It is dense but soft and silky to the touch. The males may have more of a ruff than females. Breeches are desirable as are ear tufts. The length of the coat and the density of the undercoat can vary with the seasons. The colour should be a clear, even, medium blue with the appearance of a light silver dusting. Nebelungs have a modified wedge with width across the eyes and high, broad cheek bones. The forehead appears flat with a convex angle at the brow. The profile is straight from the brow to the tip of the nose and there should be depth to the chin. The whisker pads are prominent and the chin firm. The neck should be long and slender but it may seem heavier, particularly in the winter, because of the density of the ruff. The eyes are rather large, almond shaped and very expressive. They are set wide apart and should be green in adults although it may take time for kittens’ eyes to change. The expression should be soft and gentle.
Nebelungs can be shy but are very affectionate and love human company. They bond with their owners extremely well. They are very intelligent and playful and love playing games with their owners. They make ideal companions and relate well with children and dogs. Devoted to their owners and family members, the highly intelligent Nebelungs can be shy with strangers. Kittens need time to adjust to their new home and should be allowed to make their own advances to their new family. As the new family member settles in, the playful Nebelung will becoming a loving companion cuddling into a lap for petting and often following its owners from room to room to remain in their company. They are active, affectionate, good-natured cats that prefer the company of their own family to that of visiting strangers.
A Nebelung is an active and intelligent cat that requires stimulus and exercise. Their silky coat requires minimal brushing to maintain its beauty but a gentle groom with a steel comb once a week will ensure the double-layered coat does not mat. The average life span of a Nebelung is 15 to 18 years. A Nebelung weighs between 8 to 16lbs, with the males being noticeably heavier than the females.
This is a hardy, healthy breed with few health problems and no known breed-related diseases. However, the main concern of the Nebelung owner will probably be this cat’s hearty appetite which can turn him from sleek to stout in no time!