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Chartreux Cat

The Chartreux is an internationally recognized breed of domestic cat from France. The Chartreux is large and muscular, with relatively short, fine-boned limbs, and very fast reflexes. They are known for their blue (grey) water-resistant short hair double-coats which are often slightly nappy in texture (often showing "breaks" like a sheepskin) and orange- or copper-colored eyes. Chartreux cats are also known for their "smile"; due to the structure of their heads and their tapered muzzle, they often appear to be smiling. Chartreux are exceptional hunters and were highly prized by farmers.

The first letter of the official name of a Chartreux cat encodes the year of its birth; all Chartreux born in the same year have official names beginning with the same letter. The code letters rotate through the alphabet each year, omitting the letters K, Q, W, X, Y, and Z. For example, a Chartreux born in 2002 would have an official name starting with the letter T (Fogle 2001:128).
Though the Chartreux is a study of contrasts, the overall appearance of power and beauty is very pleasing to the eye and touch. During the crusades this breed was hunted to near extinction for its pelt and today these cats are still quite rare worldwide, including even in France. Historically famous pedigreed Chartreux owners include the French novelist Colette and French general/president Charles de Gaulle.

Breeders are very protective of the Chartreux cat. Preservation is very important to this feline community; therefore, waiting lists are usually long, and a Chartreux kitten must be reserved. The wait list is usually 6 months, and the cost of a kitten ranges between USD $800-$1000 on 2010 estimates.
Unlike any other cat, the Chartreux's blue fur is medium in length and woolly, with the proper coat breaking at the neck, chest, and flanks. A dense undercoat gives it resistance and a feeling of sheep's wool. The double coat is soft and luxurious, the thickness makes both the male and female appear bulkier. The top coat is water-resistant. They enjoy being softly stroked and petted, and this is almost the only grooming that they need.

The Chartreux's eyes are one of its most endearing features. They are rounded, but not as round as the Persian's. The outer corners curve slightly upward. Color ranges from gold to copper, the latter being most preferred by breeders.

Chartreux Cat Breed Data

- Dutch breeder raising Charteux cats. Site is in Dutch and English.
- Eine Züchterin der Katzenrasse Chartreux aus Eisenach stellt ihre Katzen vor. Mit Bildergalerie und Rassebeschreibung.
- Die weltweit umfangreichste Datenbank für Chartreux Katzen mit mehr als 7500 Stammbäumen.
- Also works with British Shorthairs in Belgium. Site in English, French, and Dutch. Photos and information on the cattery and their cats.  
- Dedicated to expanding the awareness of the Chartreux breed. Compares the American type of the breed to the "primitive" or original French type. Photos, breeder information, history.


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