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Chartreux Cat Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Chartreux cat breed

If you’re a fan of cats with the fabulous “blue-gray” coat only found in a few cat breeds, there is a perfect chance that you may want to place the Chartreux cat breed at the top of your list of species to consider. Because these guys have one of the “best” blue-gray coats, this is one reason why we here at IndulgeYourPet really like this breed. Another reason is that they are also a SUPER-friendly cat breed that happens to be an excellent hunter if given a chance!

But is the…

Chartreux cat breed the “right” cat breed for you? Who knows, only you’ll be able to make that determination. But hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll be better prepared to answer this question and understand what it might be like to own a Chartreux cat or kitten should you adopt one. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Chartreux Cat Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  France

Size:  Medium to large

Eyes:  Round (copper or gold)

Shape of Head:  Oval

Life Span:  12 to 15 years

Origin of the Chartreux Cat Breed

It’s challenging to track down the exact origin of the Chartreux cat. However, the earliest mention of a grey cat in France was in 1558. The reference was in an epitaph for a cat named “Belaud,” written by the poet Joachin de Bellay. Fitting to the “mousing” ability of the Chartreux cat breed that is still strong in the breed today, the poet called Belaud the “death to rats.”


Nearly 200 years later, in 1723, the Chartreux name was first applied to the breed. While nobody is 100% sure why the Chartreux cat breed received the name Chartreux, it is believed that it could be because of their soft and fluffy fur that is very reminiscent of a satisfactory quality Spanish wool that used to be imported into France around that time which was called pile de Chartreux.

Sadly, like many…

Domesticated animals living throughout Europe during the early 19th century were nearly killed off as a result of both World War I and World War II. Had it not been for the discovery of a small colony of these cats in the community of Belle-Ile-sur-Mer, this breed probably would have been lost to us forever. Even then, to save the species, purebred Chartreux were crossbred with Blue Persians and British Blue Shorthaired cats to rejuvenate the breeding pool.

Then, in 1970, the breed finally made its way across the Atlantic to the United States, where their numbers and popularity continue to grow yearly.

Physical Characteristics

The Chartreux is first identified by its gorgeous blue-grey coat and big, round eyes that range from gold to copper. While many often confuse the Chartreux cat breed with their more famous cousin, the British Shorthair, they are their separate breed fully recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA). While it is true that both species will often have the same blue-grey coloring, the British Shorthairs can have many variations in color, unlike the Chartreux. The Chartreux will also have a short to medium-length double coat and a “beefier” body than the British Shorthair, with a more pronounced snout and ears set higher on the head.

Chartreux’s grooming and maintenance requirements

The Chartreux’s undercoat will shed, and regular combing is necessary to keep their coat in good condition. Note: combing, not brushing. This will help loosen and remove any clumps of hair stuck in the undercoat.

Personality and Temperament

The Chartreux is a very quiet breed of cat. That being said, they can also be quite playful and silly at times. These times will be generally split up by large chunks of leisure time. The Chartreux likes to spend time NEAR (not on top of) their human companions; though they enjoy attention, they won’t nag. They’re also excellent lap cats but won’t insist on lounging on top of you. So, for all of you “couch potatoes” out there, know this… the Chartreux cat breed is an excellent cat for anyone looking to have a cat to snuggle up with or just share the couch with. Your Chartreux will be OK with either option.

Just don’t expect them…

To greet your visitors at the door. You see, these guys tend to be a bit standoffish with strangers. Now, they’re not going to “freak out” every time the doorbell rings; they’re just not going to run up to every stranger that comes by until they have been properly introduced. And while they’re suitable as single pets, they can also share the house with other pets and cat-friendly dogs.

But be warned,

If you or your children have any “small” animals running around the house, like a hamster or guinea pig, you’re pretty much signing that animal “death warrant” if you bring a Chartreux kitten into the household. Because remember, at the end of the day, these guys at their “core” remain fabulous mousers, or as we like to call them, “urban panthers.”

Potential Health Concerns

Chartreux are usually pretty healthy cats and can live up to around 15 years. However, as with any breed, some health problems may arise. The most common health issue for the Chartreux is a condition called:

  • Patellar luxation. This is a problem that is passed through genetics. A cat with patellar luxation has a dislocated kneecap, which can vary in severity. Lesser cases may be almost unnoticeable, while the more severe cases can cause crippling lameness. To repair this, surgery may be the only solution.

Many other health problems can be avoided by giving your cat a healthy lifestyle. That means feeding them a proper diet and ensuring regular exercise.

Nothing is worse for a cat’s health than obesity. So, if you think giving treats to your cat all the time is showing your love, remember that it is only hurting them in the long run. The best thing is to play and have fun with your cat.

That said…

Accidents and sickness can always occur regardless of how careful you may be or how great of a diet you provide for your Chartreux cat. This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet always like to have our readers spend a minute or two and consider “possibly” purchasing a pet insurance policy for their new loved one.

Will a pet insurance policy be a good “fit” for everyone?

No, probably not, but until you fully understand how these policies work and how much they cost, how will you ever know if purchasing one might be right for you?

This is why…

We decided to write our own Best Pet Insurance Companies article so that our readers could quickly understand some of the pros and cons of owning a policy like this and find out how much it might cost to get one.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Blue September 24, 2020, 11:34 pm

    Thank you for the great info!
    Very helpfull!

    • indulgeyourpet September 25, 2020, 3:50 pm


      Thanks for your comment, we love to hear it when folks enjoy one of our articles!



  • Christian C. September 24, 2020, 11:35 pm

    5 Starsss!!!!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    • indulgeyourpet September 25, 2020, 3:49 pm


      You’re making us blush!



  • Renauld L. December 5, 2020, 9:20 am

    Mine is 5 years old, he is an excellent hunter, mousse or bird almost everyday.

    Spending a lot of time outside even in cold an rainy days. Summer is outside every night.

    But, he gives us plenty of affection, special when he come back from outside.

    Voila Grisou…

  • Rich December 22, 2022, 12:45 pm

    Hello, we adopted our cat earlier this year and I’m completely convinced he’s a Chartreux. My girlfriend doesn’t think so. Would you be able to help us find out for sure? The pictures and descriptions here are %100 like him.

  • RRM February 11, 2024, 6:02 pm

    Long ago, I adopted a cat, Mona, from an animal shelter. I beleiev she was at least part Chartreax. She had the heart-shaped face and coloring. Also she had a stately way of sitting. You see the Chartreax sitting this way in pictures, very poised and statuesque, with all their paws placed together. I didn’t adopt her as a mouser, but as a pet. However, at some point I bought an old house that had mice. She was an insanely vicious mouser. I have never known a cat that went after mice like Mona. Beautiful kitties. Love them.

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