Chartreux cat is a sturdy, short-haired cat with French origin, much desired for its incredible mousing skills, exotic look, and dense, water-repellent coat. This feline has a stout, muscular body, but often deemed a “potato on toothpicks,” due to its relatively short, fine-boned legs. While it is a stocky furball, the Chartreux cat is lithe and agile, graceful, and never clumsy. And, despite its Halloween-colored eyes, it has a sweet disposition and will provide its owner with years of close companionship and affection.
Origin of the Chartreux Cat
Two different conjectures surround the origin of the breed. First, it is deemed that these cats trace their roots from feral felines from Syria brought to France by crusaders in the 13th century.
The other and more popular theory suggests that Chartreux cats hail are felines brought by the Carthusian monks to the country. Literary references or records confirm the Chartreux cats’ previous existence at the Grande Chartreuse Monastery, where monks used them for their companionship and their hunting ability.
The breed, which had always been infrequent, was put into the brink of extinction in World War II. Fortunately, the Chartreux was saved due to the diligent efforts of cat breeders. However, today, the breed is still a rare breed, arriving in the United States only in 1971.
Physical Characteristics of the Chartreux Cat
- Length: 15 to 18 inches
- Weight: 10 to 15 pounds (Males), 6 to 11 pounds (Females)
- Life Expectancy: 11 to 15 years
- Coat Color: Blue
- Type of Coat: Medium
- Eye Color: Gold, Orange, Copper
The Chartreux cat is a stout, muscular cat, with a conspicuous blue-gray coat and bright orange-copper to orange-gold eyes. The double coat is water-resistant, often giving a napped wool look.
It is often deemed a “potato on toothpicks” as its stocky build sits atop short, fine-boned legs. Other characteristics include a deep chest, fairish-sized ears, and a round head that narrows down to the muzzle. Lastly, these felines sometimes appear to be smiling due to their distinct facial bone structure.
Despite its odd stature, the Chartreux cat has fast reflexes and is prized for its excellent mousing skills.
Chartreux Cat Personality
Thriving alongside monks for a hundred of years, the Chartreux cats have evolved to be gentle, loyal, and sweet-tempered felines. They are people-oriented, always craving for human companionship and up for a snuggle.
As these cats build strong bonds with their owners, they can be seen following them around wherever they go. They would also amuse guests and visitors, as these furballs can warm with them pretty quickly. Having babies or toddlers in the house should not be an issue as Chartreux will harmoniously live with them, making them an ideal family cat.
When it comes to activity levels, Chartreux cats have their energetic and playful side. Known for incredible hunting skills, they love toys that move or a good game of fetch. Otherwise, they can be seen surveying the house in search of something to chase or play with.
Chartreux cats are also blessed with smarts. They can learn their names in no time and can be trained to come to their owner’s calls. However, these furballs are known for being quiet or even silent. They may open their mouths, but won’t produce any “meow.” Instead, they make small trills or chirps, which tends to be surprising given their large body. Moreover, they “talk” to their families in other ways, such as purring mightily or staring using their Halloween-colored eyes.
Caring for the Chartreux Cat
Chartreux cats need relatively low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. Their dense, short coat is repellent to water, and shedding requires regular combing instead of brushing to keep them healthy and prevent any knots. The undercoat sheds twice a year, but regular combing keeps it controlled and manageable. As with other cats, other parts of the grooming routine include dental hygiene, ear cleaning, and nail trimming.
As energetic and playful felines, they will play whenever they want to. While these furballs can easily find something to play with, if there is no toy available, it is best to provide them with playthings, as no one would like them to create one out of any valuable stuff in the house.
These cats prefer hunting games, in which they can showcase their hunting prowess. Not only will it stimulate their innate skills, but it would also ensure that they get adequate exercise. Chartreux cats may be naturally stocky and muscular, but they must engage in regular interactive plays to keep their weight at bay and avoid obesity.
Since they previously lived in large monasteries, these cats will be happiest if they have a vast place to explore. They will love plenty of spaces where they can sleep, play, or roam to look out for rodents.
In terms of health, Chartreux cats are generally a sturdy breed. However, they are vulnerable to some genetic diseases, the same as other cat breeds, such as medial patellar luxation and polycystic kidney disease. The best way to keep these furballs healthy is through proper nutrition, ample exercise, and regular consultations with the vet to prevent or detect any condition.
Chartreux cats are perfect for families looking for easy-going, quiet, and loving companions to their homes. They are fun to have around and will reward their master’s affection with their enigmatic smiles, polite disposition, and sweet devotion. Treating them patiently and kindly and will ensure any owner a friend for life.