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The Chartreux Cat Breed


Legend has it that the Chartreux cat breed is descended from cats brought to France by Carthusian monks. The monastery was located in the Chartreuse Mountains north of the city of Grenoble. No records have ever been found of any such cats living at the monastery.

Another story about the origins of this different cat breed is that Chartreux cats were brought to France from Syria in the 13th century by returning crusaders. Most of these crusaders became Carthusian monks.

References to grey cats with a sturdy build and copper eyes known as 'the cats of Syria' are found in 16th century French sources. However, it is more likely that the name of this cat came from a Spanish woollen fabric called 'pile de Chartreux'.

Chartreux cats could be found living in small colonies all over France and on Belle Ile, off the coast of Brittany.

Chartreux cat breed The Chartreux Cat Breed

The first documented mention of this cat breed was by French naturalist Buffon in the 18th century. An effort by European breeders kept the breed from extinction after its numbers dwindled drastically after WW I and WW II.

Helen and John Gammon brought the first cats of this breed to the USA in 1971 and in 1987, this cat breed was awarded championship status by the Cat Fanciers Association.

Another name for this cat breed is the Chartreuse cat.


Chartreux cat breed Tiarableu's Thalia Josephine - photo by Douglas Edwards

This large cat breed is muscular with short limbs and big paws. The head is rounded with a long, tapered muzzle. This gives them a smiling expression.

The Chartreux cat's coat is a soft plush of even blue with a silver sheen. Their eyes range from deepest copper to different shades of gold.

The coat length is short with a dense undercoat and a protective topcoat. Regular grooming is needed to maintain the coat’s condition and to remove loose hair from the dense undercoat.

The best way to keep the coat in good condition is to rub and stroke the coat with a soft cloth or a grooming glove.

Personality & Temperament

Chartreux cat breed

Chartreux cats are a quiet cat breed that rarely makes a sound, this might be why they are considered to be some of the cat world’s best hunters. They are intelligent and learn new things very quickly.

These cats are very playful and can be taught to play fetch. They are good with children and other pets but tend to bond strongly with one specific person in the household. Despite this, they are still affectionate and loving towards other family members.

Health Issues

The Chartreux cat breed is a healthy and robust cat breed. There is one health concern though - slipping kneecaps (patellar luxation). Speak to the breeder as they should have screened for this condition.

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My 14 year old niece brought a (chartreux) kitten to our house. He was a rescue from her friends aging grandmother. There was about 2 months that I didn't …

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