Breed Issues

Lockets:  Recently lockets have started to surface in some Russian Blue lines.  Most breeders working with these lines have elected to spay/neuter the progeny so that we don't perpetuate this problem.  There are, however, some progeny and grand progeny who are whole and have the potential to pass the locket gene on.

Color:  Some associations thought that the lighter the coat of the Russian Blue, the better the cat.  This lead to a washing out of the Russian Blue color and the distinctive tipping blended away.  Interestingly the washed out color also tended to be accompanied by washed out yellow eye color as well.  The eye color was often overlooked in favor of the coat color.  Today, that situation is reversing as more breeders are concerned about the loss of the distinctive coat and contrast between the base coat and its silver tips.  The medium coats are typically accompanied by much better eye color.

Health:  The Russian Blue is a medium cat in all respects and the lack of extremes means we rarely see structural defects.  The breed does not have a set of inherited diseases and the cats tend to be very healthy commonly living into their late teens and early twenties.  All Russian Blues have Type A blood meaning we do not have to be concerned about blood incompatibilities.  Recently a Type B blood Russian Blue was located in Finland -- this cat traces its pedigree back to an Australian domestic shorthair outcross and is the only known Type B blood Russian Blue.

Temperament:  Russian Blue breeders have worked hard on the temperaments of today's cats.  There certainly was a time when judges quaked in fear at the thought of the Russian Blue class that was due to arrive -- and with good reason!  However, temperament has become an important criterion in our breeding programs along with handling to prepare them for the show ring.  These days temperament is much less of an issue in the show ring.  At home, they are intelligent, loving, playful cats who bond with their owners.  Russians are not vocal like Siamese however they will carry on a conversation with you if you encourage them -- they have a wide vocabulary including hissing and growling when they want to let you know they don't like something.  My girls go upstairs at night for a few hours while the boys watch TV with us -- the girls grumble and complain with hisses and growls all the way upstairs but don't try to escape (probably because they know there is a treat waiting for them as well).  Lunch time at the shows elicits another whole set of sounds as they beg for whatever we are eating -- and their long legs often reach out for the food as well.  And then there are the purrs and sleep vibes -- one Russian will close its eyes and make you drowsy, a second arrives on your lap and you are dozing off, if a third arrives you are done for the night!