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The Russian Blue is a short-haired cat with a solid blue-gray fur and green eyes. The guard hairs on its fur are silver-tipped and thus give the cat a sheen. The Russian Blue is a medium-sized cat with a slender and fine-boned build that typically weighs between nine and twelve pounds when fully grown. It is sometimes described as a hypoallergenic cat, because its saliva and hair produce less Fel d1, which is the protein that triggers allergic reactions. The Russian Blue also has an upturned mouth that makes it appear to be smiling. Russian Blues are gentle and playful, and they enjoy playing “fetch.” They can also be shy and sensitive, and they hate loud noises. They are fastidious, even for cats; they hate a dirty litter box. Russian Blues are quiet cats with soft voices. They are healthy cats that can live upwards of 20 years.
All cats shed at least a little. Russian Blue shedding tends to be less severe than that of some other cat breeds; Russian Blues are short-hairs. They shed more during the fall and the spring during seasonal coat changes. The Russian Blue has a double coat of fur that stands at a 45-degree angle to the body rather than lying more or less flat against it. It therefore looks bigger than it actually is. A “double coat” is one that has two layers with the undercoat hairs being the same length as the guard hairs. The Russian Blue's fur is thus very dense and plush with more hairs per square inch than any other cat breed.
Despite their thick coats, Russian Blues are short-hairs, so they won’t need the daily grooming that a long-haired Persian need. They should be groomed at least once a week; some authorities recommend brushing Russian Blues two or three times weekly. Grooming the Russian Blue will not only remove dead hair, it will also distribute skin oils This will keep the skin and coat healthy and reduce the Russian Blue shedding.
Russian Blues generally don’t need to be bathed unless they are especially dirty, have parasites, a skin disease, or are being prepared for a cat show. Bathing will help remove excess hair, however. When bathing your cat, always use a shampoo designed for cats. They have sensitive skin and human shampoos are too harsh for them. Bathing a cat is typically a two-person operation, so have someone assist you.
Another thing to consider when trying to reduce your Russian Blue shedding is the diet and health. A poor diet can make a cat shed more, as can many allergies. There are four types of allergies in cats: insect, inhalant, food and contact. All four types can affect the skin and fur. Insect bites can cause allergic reactions in cats just as they do in humans.Grooming a Russian Blue is much simpler than bathing one. It requires only a brush and a comb designed for cats. You can also use a grooming mitt. The brush should have soft bristles, and the comb should have fine steel teeth. When brushing your cat, start at the head and work your way towards the tail. Always follow the way the fur lies. Don’t press too hard while brushing. Grooming should be a pleasurable experience for the cat, and pressing too hard can cause pain to your cat. Use the comb if you find any mats or knots. The grooming mitt or mitt brush is a glove with a toothed side that can remove loose hair and dander. They have the advantage of being gentle. You simply stroke your cat while wearing the mitt. Even cats that dislike being groomed find grooming mitts at least tolerable. Grooming a short-haired cat should only take a few minutes.
Flea bites are a particularly common cause of allergic reactions in cats. An inhalant allergy describes one involving mold, pollen and other irritants a cat can inhale. Food allergies are most commonly caused by eggs, fish, wheat or beef. Determining whether a cat has a food allergy requires the veterinarian to conduct a food trial that lasts eight to twelve weeks. Contact allergies are the least common type in cats, and their diagnosis requires a physical exam and lab tests.
Cats that have been spayed or neutered tend to shed less than cats that have not. Altering cats also reduces their chances of developing some forms of cancer. Cats that have been spayed or neutered are also less likely to roam, get into fights or mark territory. As cats can reach sexual maturity at four months, veterinarians recommend that they not be neutered or spayed any later than at six months, and an increasing number of vets alter kittens that are as young as eight weeks. Unless you plan on breeding your Russian Blue, have them spayed or neutered.
Russian Blue shedding is generally minimal in a healthy cat, so brushing it at least once a week should be sufficient. If the cat seems to be shedding excessively, you should probably take it to a veterinarian, especially if it shows signs of ill health like hair loss or constant scratching.
Check out our Russian Blue Cat apparel for cat lovers.