Russian Blue vs Chartreux Cat: What’s the Difference?

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

Russian Blue Vs Chartreux

Some cats look alike, which makes them difficult to distinguish. For instance, the Russian blue and Chartreux cats both have smooth and ashy gray coats, so people confuse one for the other.

However, these felines are entirely different, especially their eyes. And while they can look confusing, they have characteristics that can help you differentiate them.

In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between the Russian blue vs. Chartreux cat.

Overview of Russian Blue and Chartreux

1. Russian Blue Cat


Russian Blues are medium-sized cats with a muscular build. They have a short, dense, and plush double coat that is usually bluish-gray, giving them their name.

The exact origin of Russian blue cats is not well-documented. However, people believe they came from Russia, hence, the name. It is also believed that these felines’ ancestors were domestic cats from the colder regions of Northern Russia.

The result of living somewhere cold is the unique coat color that you will find in the Russian blue cat.

While there is no proof, there is a chance that the Russian blue migrated from Northern Russia to England via ship during the mid-1860s.

2. Chartreux Cat

Chartreux cat

Chartreux cats are medium to large felines with muscular bodies. Their heads are round and defined by high cheekbones, robust muzzles, and rounded ears.

This cat is popular for its distinct large, round eyes that are usually amber or gold in color.

Similar to the Russian blue, the Chartreux cat has an unclear history, although it is believed that it has a religious background.

The Carthusian monks bred this cat near Paris as working cats. The Chartreux breed was brought to France in the 1500s.

In the 1920s, selective breeding of the Chartreux cat began, giving us the strong and healthy feline that we know today.

Chartreux Cat vs Russian Blue: Differences & Comparison


Russian Blue Cat Chartreux Cat
Height and length A muscular body that measures 8 to 10 inches high

14 to 18 inches long

 9 to 11 inches high

15 to 18 inches long

Weight weighs 7 to 12 pounds. Weighs 6 to 14 pound
Appearance Dstinguishable through its emerald green eyes. Have copper-to-orange eyes.
Fur Type Dense, double-coat fur Thick fur strands; double-coat
Personality Friendly and quiet demeanor Active and playful lap cats
Grooming Minimal grooming Minimal grooming
Lifespan 10 to 20 years 11 to 15 years

Below are the differences that will help you distinguish the Russian Blue cat vs Chartreux:

1. Appearance


  • Size. Russian blue cats usually stand 8 to 10 inches and measure 14 to 18 inches from nose to tail. Chartreux cats are smaller, standing 9 to 11 inches and measuring 15 to 18 inches from nose to tail.
  • Cat Weight. The average weight of a Russian blue feline is 7 to 12 pounds, while Chartreux cats usually weigh 6 to 14 pounds.
  • Body Type. The Russian blue is a slender feline with a muscular build and thin tail. Meanwhile, The Chartreux breed has a muscular body and broad chest – a body type that ancient domestic cats had.
  • Eyes. The best way to distinguish a Russian blue from a Chartreux cat is by looking at its eyes. The latter has copper or orange eyes, while the former has emerald green eyes.

2. Fur TypeFur-Type-of-Russian-blue-cat-vs-Chartreux

Russian blue cats have dense fur. They are double-coated with soft and silky hair.

This feline’s fur is short yet thick and has silvery tips. The Russian blue is also popular for its blue-gray coat that looks bluish in bright light.

On the other hand, the Chartreux cat has short, double-coat fur that is silver-gray in appearance.

3. Personality


Russian blue cats are friendly but quiet felines. They have a gentle demeanor, making them ideal for families with children. However, you need to earn the trust of these cats. They can be very playful but may be scared of strangers.

Meanwhile, Chartreux cats are active lap cats. They are playful and will demand a lot of time with their caretakers. They require a large environment, as they love running and jumping around.

4. Grooming


Both felines have low grooming requirements, as they do not shed too much. You can keep their coat healthy and shiny through regular brushing.

However, these cats still need bathing from time to time. You also need to use feline-friendly shampoos to prevent irritating their skin.

5. Lifespan


Russian blue cats are a healthy breed; therefore, they are not prone to health issues. For this reason, they usually have a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years.

On the other hand, Chartreux cats have a shorter lifespan of 11 to 15 years. The reason is that they are more prone to medical issues. For instance, Chartreux cats are not fond of drinking water, making them susceptible to kidney diseases.

6. Cost Comparison


In terms of cat price, Russian blue cats are less expensive. A Russian blue kitten costs around $1000 to $1700 from a reputable breeder.

On the other hand, the Chartreux costs anywhere between $1500 to $2000.

However, it is worth noting that these prices are only initial costs. Once you have your chosen cat at home, you have to spend a significant cost on food, grooming, vet visits, entertainment, and its environment.

7. Pros And Cons

Russian Blue Cats

  • Quiet Cats. Russian blue cats are a quiet breed. While they tend to communicate their needs, they do it in a quiet and soft-spoken voice.
  • Low Maintenance. These felines do not require too much upkeep. You just have to provide them with a clean and interactive environment, and they can fend for themselves for hours alone.
  • Since Russian blue cats do not shed a lot, they do not trigger allergies. So, if you have allergies, these cats are an ideal choice.
  • Prone To Obesity. Russian blue cats love eating, which makes them prone to obesity. For this reason, you need to watch your calorie and carb intake.
  • Shy Pet. These cats do not socialize with people they do not know. You may also have a hard time earning its trust once you bring this pet home.

Chartreux Cats

  • Chartreux cats are popular for their kind and affectionate nature. These characteristics make them ideal for multi-pet homes and homes with kids.
  • You will never have to guess when a Chartreux feline needs something. Your furry friend will tell you when it is hungry, bored, or simply looking for cuddles using gentle meows.
  • Low Maintenance. Chartreux cats are easy to groom due to their short fur.
  • Picky Eaters. These cats are obligate carnivores, so they will naturally pick high-protein food. However, plant-based proteins are not ideal, as they might not provide the nutrients these cats need.
  • Chartreux felines are rare, making them more expensive compared to their more common counterparts.

Which Cat is Right for You?


The answer to which between Russian blue and Chartreux cats depends on how much time and patience you can devote to your pet. Once you bring your cat at home, you need to ensure that you can spend enough time to provide it with proper care and time for activities.

But, it is worth noting that if you work outside, a Russian blue is a better choice, as it is independent. Meanwhile, Chartreux cats are perfect for people who love cuddling with their pets.

Read next: Chartreux cat vs British Shorthair

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Identify a Russian Blue Cat

Russian blue cats are not unique when it comes to cat colors. That said, here are some characteristics that you need to look at when identifying a Russian blue:

  • Bright green eyes
  • Lavander or mauve footpads
  • Silver fur tips that shimmer under sunlight

Can You Create a Russian Blue Chartreux Mix?

The Russian blue and Chartreux cats may not be good breeds to crossbreed. These two felines look very much alike except for their eye color, so the resulting kitten will only look like a regular Russian blue or Chartreux cat.


Russian blue vs. Chartreux cat – when you compare these felines, you will find countless similarities. However, it is worth noting that the Russian blue and Chartreux cats are not related in terms of ancestry at all.

Regardless of this fact, both are elegant-looking cats that are worthy of proper care and attention. So, if you are planning to bring any of these breeds at home, you need to provide them with the right living conditions for them to thrive.

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