The Chartreux dates back to 16th-century France. Its thick, velvety coat is any shade of blue-gray, from ash to slate, with the tips lightly brushed with silver. The Chartreux’s copper or gold eyes hint at its relation to the Russian Blue, whose eyes are a deep emerald green. This high-energy breed is always up for a game of fetch and is highly inventive in subtly training its owners.
Despite the coat's thickness, it requires little maintenance. Running your fingers through the fur removes loose hair from the thick undercoat. Owners often comb the cat more for interaction than grooming.
Chartreux generally adapt to any lifestyle. Their days combine short energy spurts and mellow relaxation. "I often find my cats laid out on the floor sound asleep," says Mary Ann Sweeters, CFA Breed Council secretary for the Chartreux. "They have a tendency to play at full speed for 15 minutes and then they just crash." While they can be "couch potatoes," they are not necessarily lap cats. They enjoy interaction with people and develop favorite games such as "fetch."
Owners often find themselves negotiating an agreement with these intelligent cats about behavior. These friendly and devoted cats tend to pick a favorite person and form strong bonds with the family dog. Although Chartreux communicate in squeaks and chirps, they can create a large, rumbling purr.
The robust body features a broad chest and relatively fine-boned legs. The broad head, with powerful jaws and pronounced cheeks, terminates with a small, tapered muzzle. Blue remains the only acceptable color for this cat, although it may vary from light ash to deep slate. The mature adult should have a silver-tipped, woolly, dense coat. The eyes should be brilliant orange.