The bright green eyes and plush, grey coat of the Russian Blue make for an incredibly attractive cat. They have a slender and delicate frame; ensuring they move with ease and grace. Despite their slimline silhouette, this is a well-muscled cat that enjoys keeping active and is surprisingly strong.
The Russian Blue enjoys socialising with their family and is renowned for favouring one or two people within the household. They are also a fan of ‘alone time’ and will sometimes take themselves away from the hustle and bustle of the family, to wind down in their own space. It is important that owners ensure this is possible; something that can usually be achieved by having a comfortable cat bed in an area of the house that has low foot traffic.
Most Russian Blue owners will agree that this is a cat who likes to be kept busy. They require a good deal of interaction and enjoy being given a variety of things to do. Owners need to work hard to provide sufficient mental and physical stimulation, to prevent behavioural issues or anxiety.
This is a long-lived breed with most kitties living into their late teens. They suffer from few genetic medical issues, mainly thanks to the fact that they are a natural occurring breed so have a wide gene pool. Their owners should be aware of the following health conditions:
Bladder stones can cause a range of symptoms including bloody urine, chronic urinary tract infections, straining to urinate and urination outside of the tray. Not all stones can be felt within the bladder and some will show up on x-rays, while others show up on ultrasound. Due to this, they are sometimes missed. If a cat develops stones, the treatment will depend on which type of stone is present. Some can be dissolved with dietary changes and supplements. Others require surgery to eradicate. A surgery to remove bladder stones can cost from £800-1,500 depending on the size and number of stones present.
An inflammation of the bladder will cause similar signs to bladder stones. While some cases are caused by bacterial infections, most are not. Triggers can include stress and dehydration. Those who are over-weight, indoors only and a fed a dry diet are most at risk. We also know that cats who live in a multi-cat household are affected more often. A vet visit to analyse the urine and check the cat over is always important and most affected Russian Blues benefit from a short course of anti inflammatories and pain relief. Long term, bladder supplements and a prescription diet can help reduce the incidence of episodes. As many cats will be ‘repeat offenders’ cystitis can end up costing an owner several hundred pounds.
The Russian Blue can be quite food driven and is prone to obesity. This can lead to medical issues including diabetes, joint disease and even certain cancers. We know that obese cats experience a reduced quality of life and can even pass away sooner than cats who are within the healthy weight range. Owners can minimise the risk of obesity by ensuring their cats aren’t over-fed and that they keep active, even into their senior years.
These calm and affectionate cats are independent pets who are affectionate with those they love. They are intelligent and athletic, so owners need to work hard to keep them interested in their environment. Thanks to good genes, most Russian Blues enjoy very good health.