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Carthusian cats

Country of origin:

Blue, silver

Quiet, calm, friendly, affectionate, gentle, adaptable, unobtrusive, hardy

4-7 kg

18-20 years

Other names:
Carthusian cat, Chartreux cat


Chartreux cats are also known as Cartouche cats. It is not a very popular breed – most of these cats are currently bred in Belgium and France. Carthusian cats are eye-catching pets that first captivate with their bright orange eyes and a big smile on their lips, and then later on with their personality. Although they look rather menacing, the Carthusian cat is in fact a very affectionate and gentle pet. They are very hardy and adaptable cats that can accompany their owners to the ends of the earth.This breed is ideal for calm people who love the purr of a cat and do not want an overactive pet that is always looking for ways to wreak havoc in the house.

Breed history

The Chartreux cat originates from France and is said to have developed naturally. The first Chartreux cats appeared at the beginning of the 16th century, and although they originate from France, it is likely that the breed has its roots in Syria – the cats may have been brought here by French monks. Until the 20th century, Chartreux cats lived in colonies in the wild (most of them in Paris). When the city’s inhabitants discovered that these cats were excellent mice hunters, they began to be kept at home. Unfortunately, the cats themselves were also hunted, as the French valued their meat highly. This is why the breed was in danger of extinction, but French breeders were instrumental in preserving the Chartreux cat. Today, the breed is very rare, and the free-living Chartreux cat is no longer to be found in Paris. The first Chartreux cats arrived in America in 1970, and to this day, American catteries are still considered among the best. In Lithuania, Carthusian cats are extremely rare.

Chartreux cats: appearance

The distinctive features of the Chartreux cat are its fluffy blue coat, bright coppery eyes and an expression that resembles a smile. The bones of its legs are very strong, its feet are rounded and its body is massive and muscular. The head of the Carthusian cat is large, the cheeks round, the whisker pads circular and sometimes very prominent. The eyes are very large, round and bright. Ears are medium-sized, rising high above the vertex, erect, with rounded corners. Although Chartreux cats appear to be larger, they usually weigh between 4 and 7 kilograms. The stocky build is somewhat reminiscent of the Maine Coon. The coat is dense and fluffy, with a grey-blue colour. The nose, whisker pads and outer side of the ears are covered with silvery hairs. The undercoat is fluffy and slightly downy.

Chartreux cats: character

Carthusian cats are very quiet, making them ideal for people who appreciate peace. Legend has it that Carthusian cats used to live with monks, so they took a vow of silence themselves. On the one hand, this can be seen as an advantage, but if a cat is in distress, it cannot call for help (its voice is very quiet). Carthusian cats are very friendly with both strangers and people. They are happy with children and animals. They are always interested in what is going on around them, never in a hurry, and explore their surroundings carefully. Aggression is not a characteristic of this breed at all – when confronted with unfriendly animals, Carthusian cats do not fight and simply go their own way. Carthusian cats are excellent hunters – at home they will surely catch all flies and spiders, and if they have the opportunity to go outdoors, they will bring their owner „gifts“ – mice or birds.

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