The Russian Blue is a naturally occurring breed that originated in the port of Arkhangelsk, Russia.
It is believed that the first Russian Blues were brought from the Archangel Isles to England and Northern Europe in the 1860s by sailors. The first recorded showing of the breed was in 1875 at the Crystal Palace in England as the Archangel Cat.
The Russian Blue competed in a class including all other blue cats, until 1912, when it was given its own class.
The Russian Blue has a lean elongated body and a short, plush, blue-grey coat.
The colour is a bluish-grey that is the dilute expression of the black gene. However as dilute genes are recessive ("b") and each parent will have a set of 2 recessive genes ("bb") two Russian Blues will always produce a blue cat. The coat is known as a "double coat," with the undercoat being soft, downy, and equal in length to the guard hairs, which are an even blue with silver tips. The tail, however, has very dull, almost unnoticeable stripes.
Only Russian Blues and the French Châteaux have this type of coat, which is described as thick and wonderfully soft to the touch. The silver tips give the coat a shimmering appearance. Its eyes are almost always a dark and vivid green. Any white patches of fur or yellow eyes in adulthood are seen as faults in show cats.
The Russian Blue is known for being a very intelligent, curious, and tranquil animal. They have been known to play fetch, and are sensitive to basic human emotions.They enjoy playing with a variety of toys and develop extremely loyal bonds to their loved ones.
The Russian Blue is also known for getting along very well with other pets and children in a household. They are known also for being quiet and clean animals that are normally reserved around strangers, unless they are brought up in a very active household. They also love to play with other small pets, such as dogs and other cats.
Males will typically be larger than females. Russian Blues have an average life expectancy of around 10–15 years, and have few health problems as they tend to have little to no genetic problems and are not prone to illness They are a moderate-sized cat with an average weight of 8-12 pounds when full grown.
The FIFe breed standard is available here