Only recently has genetic research proved the origin of this breed in Persia. Legend has given many possible origins for the breed, suggesting that they came to France with returning knights from the Crusades, or as monastery cats for the head house of the Carthusian order located in the Chartreuse Mountains north of Grenoble. The breed’s presence was noted as early as the 16th century. The Chartreux disappeared almost completely after World War II until the cats were brought to California where breeders saved it from extinction. It was awarded championship status in 1987.
An amiable and loyal breed, the Chartreux is known to follow its human from room to room chirping quietly to indicate is intelligent and active interest in whatever is going on.
An amiable and loyal breed, the Chartreux is known to follow its human from room to room chirping quietly to indicate is intelligent and active interest in whatever is going on. They tend to be fascinated by whatever is going on outside the window or on the television, and are endlessly entertained by strings or cords. Clever with their paws, a Chartreux is skilled at opening latched doors. If they’re interested in something, they can get into almost any cabinet. They tend to bond with one person in the family, while remaining friendly and open to other members of the household at the same time. In a most un-catlike fashion, the Chartreux seems aware of “rules” and is willing to comply in its desire to be polite and pleasant.
The Chartreux is a robust cat with a deep chest and broad shoulders. Short, fine-boned legs support the well-muscled body. Reputedly a fine mouser, the Chartreux has a medium “blue” coat with a wooly texture and a dense undercoat. Known for its pleasant smile, these cats have lovely round heads narrowing at the muzzle. The round eyes curve upward slightly at the corners, and the medium ears are high and erect.
The standard color for this breed is a warm blue grey although any shade is acceptable. At the tips, the Chartreux’ coat often looks as if its been lightly feathered with silver highlights. As kittens, faint tabby marks or ghost barring, including tail rings may be present, but these disappear with age as the coat evens out and becomes a uniform shade. Apart from its lovely coat, the Chartreux is also known for its distinctive eyes, which are large, round, and orange.
Unlike other breeds, the Chartreux should not be vigorously brushed. On a daily basis, owners should simply run their fingers through the cat’s coat, something the animal enjoys enormously and will actively seeks out, using a brush only once a week. Shedding is minimal. Baths are rarely required by this breed. The coat is fairly water-repellant, however, so when a bath is necessary, the process can be time consuming.
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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