Chartreux cats have a gorgeous, plush blue coat that has lightly brushed silver tips. Chartreux have an undercoat beneath a protective topcoat. Mature males sport the heaviest coats. Female and kittens under 2 years of age sport a thinner, silkier coat.
Chartreux are muscular cats with a medium-long body and has broad shoulders and a deep chest. Males are like Rambo, females are more “Rubenesque.” Males weigh 10 to 15 pounds while females weigh 6 to 11 pounds. Chartreux were cross bred with Persians after World War II. If both parents carry a recessive gene for long hair, long-haired Chartreux kittens will be born.
The breed is said to be named after the liqueurs of Carthusian monks in southeast France. The modern Chartreux breed was discovered in the 1920s, by two sisters who found a colony on Belle Ile off France’s Brittany coast. Chartreux cats have a long history of free-roaming. World War II ended that. Remaining Chartreux cats were bred with blue British Shorthairs or Persians and Russian Blue cats. The first Chartreux was imported from France in 1970.
Chartreux make loving, gentle companions that are quite quiet. (They had to be so as not to disturb the monks, you know.) Chartreux enjoy jokes (not at their expense though) as well as snuggle time. They will acquiesce to be in your lap. They form strong bonds, yet won’t be on top of you 24/7. They make great family pets, being able to share their love even if they really prefer just one person.
In times gone by, Chartreux rid France of rodents. Today that prowess remains inside them. They adore toys that move (preferably if it’s moved by their people); they love playtime! Some Chartreux can be trained to fetch. They are quick learners and will come when called.
They do very well with other cats and even cat-loving dogs. Just remember to keep the introduction to the family dog at your Chartreux cat’s pace; don’t force them to be together.
A final note: yes, Chartreux cats naturally smile.