A Guide To The Chartreux Cat Breed

portrait of a grey chartreaux cat in sitting pose in a modern living room

Do you want to invest in something that will provide you with years of cuddles and company? Then, get yourself the Chartreux Cat! Chartreux cats are lively like any other cat, yet their peaceful demeanor will make you fall in love with them all over again every day.

Their stunning copper eyes and blue-gray fur with silver borders make them stand out from the crowd. However, the best thing about Chartreux cats is that they are always mellow in nature. 

As a result, they are ideal friends for the house’s small people. So, if you’re prepared to let your tiny cuddly companion slumber in your lap, then you’ve come to the right place to learn about Chartreux cats!

An Overview of Chartreux Cats

Height9-11 inches
WeightMale: >12 lbs
Female: >12 lbs
Lifespan8-13 years
OriginFrench 
Attention NeedModerate 
Activity LevelPlayful but mellow
CompatibilityHighly compatible with kids and other cat-friendly pets
CoatMedium, wooly, blue with silver borders
Tendency to ShedModerate
Eye ColorsGold, Copper, Orange
Temperament Social 
AllergenicYes
Vocals Mewls 
Prey DriveHigh
a portrait shot of a grey chartreux cat with copper eyes against a walled backdrop

Characteristics

A Chartreux can be recognized from a long distance because of its vivid copper eyes and blue fur. Sometimes the kittens will have some spots or patterns in their fur. But as they grow older, these spots diminish. Also, their silky and smooth fur becomes more wooly too.

Not only do they have a magnificent appearance, but their features are also one-of-a-kind! Their muscular bodies, which are supported by their tiny legs, resemble “potatoes on toothpicks.”

These cats don’t make a lot of noise; instead, they have a cute mewling tone to their voice. They aren’t the most animated bunch, but they are a lot of fun. Their lightning-quick reflexes only add to their cuteness.

What separates these tiny cuddlers from others is their intelligence. You can actually teach your Chartreux things by practicing them daily. And finally, if you are able to maintain their daily routine, Chartreux can be your best companion for years to come.  

History

It’s difficult to pinpoint Charteux’s original origins. However, many people believe that this breed was brought to France by the Crusaders in the 11th or 12th centuries. Although we cannot be certain, some documents indicate that the French monastery at Chartreux used the breed to suppress rodents and they got their name from being peculiar to the monastery and mountains of the area.

In the year 1920, the Leger came across a Chartreux settlement on a small French island. Their distinct appearance made them the center of attention at the 1931 Paris cat show. 

During World War II, Chartreux’s existence, like that of humanity, was threatened. However, different crossbreeds with Russian Blues, Persian breeds, and other breeds were carried out in order to save them from extinction.

By this time, the entire world had taken notice of this stunning breed that not only looks but also performs admirably. By this time, the world had taken note of this gorgeous breed, which not only looked stunning but also had exceptional hunting abilities.

Chartreux cats were imported to the United States of America by John and Helene Gamon in 1970. As a result of their membership in the Cat Fanciers Association in 1987, Chartreux’s popularity grew in the United States as well. Chartreux is the treasure of France. 

However, it is hard to find purebreds outside France. Even in the United States, purebreds are hard to find because they have all been shifted back to France.

a grey chartreux cat standing in front of a white background

Personality

How often do you come across a pet that is both entertaining and loyal, such as a cat or dog? You’ve finally stumbled across one. Fortunately for you, Chartreux cats don’t require much to have a wonderful day. 

Routine naps, meals, and playtimes in between are all necessary to keep your Chartreux happy. They aren’t the most dynamic group, but they are really communicative. You can teach them to fetch balls like a dog if you teach them.

Chartreux cats are also exceptionally intelligent. Within a few days of meeting you, they’ll be following you around! They spend a lot of time observing their environment. Their mild demeanor does not imply that they are unable to communicate effectively. 

They don’t make a lot of noise to let you know if something is hurting them. As a result, you must pay great attention to them in order to gain a deeper grasp of their communication. Rather than being harmful, their quick speed is endearing.

While Chartreux has a ‘gentleness’ in their actions, they are not that shy. If they take a liking to your guests, they will be the stars of the party. If you don’t interrupt their routine, they have high adaptability. They don’t even mind if you leave them alone for quite a while.

They are pretty low maintenance when it comes to attention. They won’t demand your attention and cuddle all the time. But they do appreciate the affection and a little bit of ear scratching. They may demand to sleep in your bed once in a while to give you some extra cuddles if you are feeling down, though.

Appearance

Size

Females Chartreux cats are medium-sized, weighing between 6 and 9 pounds. Males are bigger in size, weighing between 10 and 14 pounds.

Coat

The Chartreux has a beautiful and thick coat around its body. For kittens, the coat seems to be silky and glossy. But as they grow, the coat forms a wooly texture. The texture of the coat is dependent on the weather and their region as well.

Colors

Primarily, the coat is a mixture of blue and gray with a little bit of silver at the edges of the fur. They have blue lips and red paws. Although the color and texture of the fur depend on the climate, they do not change drastically. They are one of the most famous grey cat breeds in existence.

Sometimes kittens have marks (also known as “ghost barring”) or rings on their bodies and tails. But as they grow older, these marks disappear.

a chartreux cat with copper eyes lying on a pillow looking to camera

Grooming

Since Chartreux cats are very low-maintenance, all you have to do is maintain a healthy cat routine. Since they are often indoor cats, they shed throughout the year. So look for products that will assist you in removing dead hair, fleas, and debris from your skin.

Use stainless steel combs and Furminators for shedding. These will gently remove all the excess hair and debris. Often, they are very sensitive in their tummy and back areas. So, curry brushes can be used to brush those areas.

You can also use nail trimmers and other shedding tools to make your grooming process a bit easier. But do groom your cat daily, especially since they shed quite regularly. 

Always clean the area beneath the tail and their eyes as well. Since they tend to gain weight as they grow old, you need to keep them on a healthy and balanced diet. This can also help you prevent dental problems. 

Give them a minimum bath. Use gentle products like shampoos and combs for grooming. Chartreux cats usually like grooming and bond with their pet parents over this. So you should try to make their grooming time as gentle as possible.

Health Issues

As wonderful as your Chartreux is, it will still require extra attention from you. Many of the health issues that Chartreux cats have are genetic, such as thickened heart muscle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM), deficiency in amino acids (dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM), blood clots (feline aortic thromboembolisms). 

FLUTD, renal failure, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, luxation, etc., are some of the diseases that you need to watch out for too, but these are common to most cats irrespective of breed.

Some diseases, as found out in surveys, are more likely to occur because of their physical and natural nature as well. For example, being overweight, dental problems, infections, parasites, etc. 

Like any other pet, a Chartreux is highly susceptible to some core bacterial and viral infections such as panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and rabies. To prevent these, you need proper vaccination.

Parasites are something that causes discomfort and pain for your cat. Sometimes, if ignored, this can lead to their death too. So look out for bugs or parasites like different kinds of worms or fleas.

Another important health concern is their proneness to certain types of cancer. Studies have shown that these cancers are likely to occur due to pregnancy. 

So, neutering your cat (male) or spaying your female Chartreux can eliminate the risk of cancer and also prevent unwanted pregnancies. These procedures are also supposed to make them less aggressive and territorial.

Price

How much do Chartreux cats cost? Usually, the price depends on the breeder you are buying from. On average, the price of a kitten Chartreux stays between $1,500 and $2,00 USD. But depending on the breeder, pedigree, or its performance ability in shows, the price can go up to 2500 USD as well.

Conclusion

No wonder the Chartreux cats are considered the national treasure of France. Their playful yet calm nature makes them the best tiny companions for you every day. 

Even if you are having a bad day and not in the mood to play, they are perceptive enough to not bother you. However, they will want to cuddle you to keep you company. 

Before you make up your mind, please remember to consider if you are ready to take responsibility for your pet or not. Granted, Chartreux cats are gentle in nature, so they are not much of a hassle. Still, they are living pets, and they require a steady and safe environment for them to be playful and calm.

So, if you are willing to take full responsibility, we hope this article will provide you with all the necessary information to take care of them.