The Chartreux is an ancient breed of French origin, which is well-known for its solid and muscular built, enigmatic glance of its amber-coloured eyes and woolly blue coat. This unpretentious and good-natured cat adapts easily to any environment as long as it receives enough love and attention from its master.
Photo: © Chartreux Cats Cattery BlueWind.pl (bluewind.pl)
There is a story that the Chartreux was widely kept by Carthusian monks. It’s speculated that it was used for controlling the population of household rodents in the Carthusian order. Actually it was granted with its current name for defending the staples of the monastery including the ingredients of the renowned Charteuse liqueur.
The breed was fairly common in France at least far back as the XVIII century and served as a ratter in homes, shops and barns. Unfortunately its gorgeous thick coat attracted interest of furriers who massively hunted down these cats for their rich blue pelts.
Today the origin of the Chartreux remains a great mystery. French grey-furred cats are referred in written records as early as in the second half of XVI century although its current name the breed acquired only in 1723 when it was mentioned the Universal Dictionary of Commerce, Natural History and the Arts and Craft (Dictionnaire universel du commerce, d'histoire naturelle et des arts et metier) of Jacques Savary des Brûlons.
Groups of stray Chartreux dwelled in Paris and other areas of France until the beginning of XX century. They were barely prized by humans except for their velvet fur and their natural propensity for vermin control. After World War I French breeders began to take coordinated actions to preserve this unique breed. They collected its best-quality specimens and established the breed standard. By the early 30s of the XX century this cat had been already exhibited in European shows.
The Second World War led to a significant drop in number of the Chartreux but thanks to the efforts of French cat lovers the breed was saved from complete demise. It attained recognition of the Cat Fanciers Association in 1987.Nowadays it can be rather rarely found outside its native France but it has recognition of all major cat registries.
The Chartreux is a beautiful and calm cat with a mild, biddable disposition. Your laps will become its favourite place in the house although it’s quite content with just being near its master and watch his doings. This playful cat can perform incredible complicated acrobatic tricks with a ball or a fishing pole and enjoys being in the spotlight. It tends to communicate its wishes with chirps and quite meows but it’s not overly talkative. This breed likes to spend time with children as long as they treat it with appropriate consideration.
The Chartreux is slightly reserved around strangers so it usually takes some time to make friends with this cat. It’s doesn’t strive for a constant human companionship and so it can be left alone while you are out earning the money for its food and toys. The breed member commonly gets on with other species of family pets although it will certainly prefer to co-exist with other cat. It’s noted with an average level of activity indoors and will make a calm and loyal feline companion.
Thanks to its sweet and biddable demeanour it’s a pure pleasure to live with the specimen of the Chartreux. This adaptable breed can be recommended for an avid traveller or a long-distance truck driver. It can get used to the wide variety to living situations as long as its daily order of the day remains unchanged. Always maintain a patient and tolerant attitude towards occasional mischiefs of your cat and you will be rewarded with an even-tempered and affectionate feline companion.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· patellar luxation;
· polycystic kidney disease;
· struvite stones in the urinary tract;
The Chartreux has rather basic grooming requirements. Weekly combing will help to keep its luxurious woolly coat healthy and beautiful. This cat sheds its fur in the spring so more diligent and frequent brushing during shedding time will noticeably reduce the amount of flying feline hair in your house. A bath is required rather rarely because the coat of this cat repels water and getting it wet enough for bathing is rather tricky.The rest consists of such standard care procedures as nail trimming and ears cleaning. Proper dental care will ensure good health in this area for many years. The litter box of the Chartreux should be cleaned regularly and carefully as this breed won’t tolerate your negligence towards its bathroom hygiene.