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russian blue shedding

Do Russian Blues Shed? Russian Blue Cat Facts & FAQ

So, you’re thinking about adopting a Russian Blue cat, but you’re worried about their shedding habits? Fret not! We’ll answer all of your frequently asked questions about this breed. Plus, we’ll let you in on some need-to-know facts about Russian Blue cats.

If you’re looking for more information on this rare breed, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled all the details you should know before you bring your Russian Blue to their forever home, where we know you’ll take great care of them.

Once you are done with this article make sure to check out our cute women's cat t-shirts - every purchase helps a cat in need. <3

We’ll cover topics such as:

  • Russian Blue shedding habits
  • Physical characteristics and personality
  • Are Russian Blues allergy-friendly?
  • The health and longevity of this breed
  • And much more!

Do Russian Blues Shed?

Russian Blue Shedding

It’s time to breathe a sigh of relief: your Russian Blue won’t leave too much of a mess for you to clean up - at least when it comes to fur! These cats make great pets because they don’t shed much and require minimal grooming - just enough to keep their skin in peak health. 

Long Hair

Longhaired Russian Blues actually go by an entirely different name: Nebelung. It can actually take almost two years for these kittens to fully develop their fluffy coats that you know and love.

Luckily, Nebelungs don’t shed excessively, but they will need one good brushing per week to save their luscious fur from becoming tangled or matted. 

Short Hair

True Russian Blues are all short haired and pretty low maintenance in the shedding department. However, it’s best to keep giving your cat a good grooming every now and then to catch any loose hairs and distribute healthy oils around their skin.

Plus, this breed has an attention-loving personality, so your cat will happily soak up some quality cuddling time. If you find that your pet is shedding more than usual, bathe them. This can help rid your cat of excess hair quickly and in a central location.

Russian Blue Fur: Why Is It So Soft?

If you have a Russian Blue in your family, you already know that your cat’s fur feels similar to a plush blanket - and you probably hear it from guests a lot too!

You can thank their double coat for crafting this distinctly soft, luxurious fur. A double coat is made up of a lengthy, coarse, protective outer layer with a fine, silky undercoat beneath. As you can probably guess, history experts believe that these blue gray cats first originated in Northern Russia.

A lack of information on this breed makes it hard to confirm this, but their warm, thick coats are definitely a sign that they came from a colder climate. They can survive without these now that they inhabit the United States, but they once needed that dense fur to insulate them!

Russian Blue Fur Texture

A Russian Blue cat has thick fur that is wonderfully velvety and often compared to a seal or beaver. In fact, history suggests that these fluffy friends were sadly once hunted for pelts.

Uniquely, their hairs sit at a 45° angle. Because of this, you can use your finger to draw patterns along your cat’s back that will actually stay visible until you wipe them away.  

Are Russian Blue Cats Hypoallergenic?

Russian Blue Kitten

Don’t worry if you have allergies; Russian Blue cats are hypoallergenic. This means you won’t have to keep popping the antihistamines to prevent allergic reactions. Rejoice!

Essentially, hypoallergenic just means that these cats produce fewer allergens than most breeds. Do note that, despite this, Russian Blues still produce some degree of pet dander, a common allergen from their skin. Don’t blame these felines for it, though!

Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable. Dander is universal among all cat breeds. If you find that even your Russian Blue gives you red, itchy eyes and a runny nose, don’t panic yet. There are some ways you can combat your allergies. Address the problem right at the source!

Giving your cat a good wash down can help rinse allergens such as dander, hair, and saliva down the drain. Try to bathe your cat monthly - if they’ll let you. If not, regular brushings can catch some of that hair before it sheds.

Keeping your house as clean as possible, especially floors and carpets where dander loves to hide may also provide you some relief. An air purifier can filter some of these allergens out of the air too.

Remember, Russian Blue cats don’t shed much and are considered hypoallergenic, so there’s definite hope that your allergic response will get along with your cat as well as you do. 

Types of Russian Blue Coats: What Do They Look Like?

Your typical Russian Blue will have a shiny, gray topcoat that darkens down the shaft until you hit their blueish-lavender roots. Their fur is densely packed and plush in both appearance and texture. These aren’t the only animals with fur similar to this, though - there are other breeds with blue coats too!

Russian Blue Fox Coat

Russian Blue foxes are more commonly known as the Arctic fox. You might be surprised to hear this, but no, Arctic foxes don’t always have that iconic snow-white fur.

When the weather gets warmer in places such as Northern Russia, these foxes shed their fur, and some even develop blue-gray coats in the summertime, hence their name. These silver foxes have a thick, beautiful coat, but it usually isn’t solid blue in color. Instead, it can feature brown tones as well. 

Nebelung Coat

Nebelungs bear that classic Russian Blue shiny blue gray coat, but their silver-tipped guard hairs only stand out much more on their heads and shoulders. This longer-haired breed has medium-length fur throughout their body that gradually grows longer between their shoulders and tails. Some people might even think their hair’ style resembles a lion’s mane.

British Blue Coat

According to the Cat Fanciers Association, the British Blue was one of England’s first cat breeds, with its history dating back to Rome. Despite their name, these short haired British Blues actually come in an array of colors. Many people adore this breed at cat shows, and one reason for this is because of their awe-inspiring plush coat.

Are Russian Blue Cats Friendly?

Russian Blue Cat Yawning

While this breed may have a shy side, Russian Blue cats are loyal, loving pets with a friendly personality. They love to play and could spend hours chasing toys or climbing up furniture.

They’re also intuitive, empathetic animals that care deeply about their family members. They’re known to hang around a loved one if they can sense someone is sad or upset.

These cats are tolerant and patient by nature. Most of them will take a liking to young family members and other pets, so long as they feel respected. Still, it might take a bit of time before your furry one will grow comfortable around guests. These cats can startle easily! Some think this may be because the breed used to be hunted in Northern Russia, but others dispute this.

Russian Blues thrive on schedules and predictability, so change can be difficult for them. You might find your cat withdraws around people at first or need to watch from the sidelines before they get adjusted. Either way, let your pet take its time opening up to new people. 

Are They Cuddly?

It may take a bit to develop a relationship, but once one of these cats comes grows fond of you, they’ll love having your attention. This breed has a sensitive personality, so cuddling your Russian Blue cat can help prove to them that you care about them.

This is important to do as they’ve been known to appear hurt if they feel ignored. There’s no better way to show your love for your pet cat than curling up with them, and one of our cat hoodies or sweatshirts is perfect for the occasion.  

How Long Do Russian Blue Cats Live?

Russian Blue cats are typically in great health, leading an average life span between 10 and 15 years. If your pet cat spends more of its time indoors and has less unsupervised time outside, its expected lifespan will be on the higher end of this range, sometimes even up to 20 years.

If you care for them well, your cat can live a lengthy, happy life. Generally speaking, this is a healthy breed. You can enjoy some peace of mind knowing that there are no particular health problems that plague these cats.

However, Russian Blues have an affinity for food and will eat as much as you give them. It can be hard to resist their relentless pleas for more, but if you’re not careful, your cat can easily become overweight, making them susceptible to many weight-related health concerns.

It’s best to measure their food and keep an eye out for anyone passing them any table scraps. 

How to Tell If a Cat Is a Russian Blue

Russian Blue Cat Facts

Russian Blues are rare cats, making them very highly sought after companions, but more on that soon. First, let’s dive deeper into how you can identify your Russian Blue. No matter what, remember that your cat is special regardless of its breed. 

Difference Between a Russian Blue and a Grey Cat

Grey cats are quite common, so there is a good chance your kitty is actually a different breed. Take a look at these characteristics that set a Russian Blue apart from other grey cat breeds like the British Blue.

Russian Blues are fine-boned and have a lengthy, muscular body. Their heads are quite flat, and some even describe their flat skulls as being cobra-like. These cats have quite a thin neck, but their thick double coat makes them appear small and wide.

Their pointed ears also sit to the sides of their head, as opposed to others’ that are more straight on. One way to tell if your pet is a member of the Russian Blue breed is by tracing a pattern into your cat’s blue fur and see if it stays put. The angle of a Russian Blue’s hair will hold these shapes until they’ve been brushed away. 

Tabby vs. Russian Blue

Occasionally, a Russian Blue may have what is known as a “ghost stripe.” This is a faint marking that tabby cats are famous for. Typically, kittens grow out of these, but it can make it all the more difficult to distinguish the two.

Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy way to determine if your cat is a tabby or a Russian Blue. The most accurate way would be to check out their DNA, but this is still difficult.

Unless your cat mates with another Russian Blue and produces similarly colored kittens or you have papers to prove it, it’s hard to say with certainty whether it’s a Russian Blue or a tabby cat.

Otherwise, you can use the process of elimination. If your cat doesn’t have a dense, short coat that is uniformly gray with silver tips and bright green eyes, it’s definitely not a Russian Blue. 

How Big Do Russian Blue Cats Get?

You can expect your cat to grow between 15-18 inches (38-46 centimeters) long (tail not included) and weigh between 7-15 pounds (3-7 kilograms). 

Are Russian Blue Cats Rare?

Feel free to rave about your kitty (even more than usual) when you bring a Russian Blue into your family. Though they are growing in popularity in the United States, specifically in cat shows, these felines are rare!

If you find yourself constantly gushing facts about this hard-to-come-by breed, you might be the type to call yourself “cat-obsessed.” Don’t worry, though. We’re into it. In fact, we made these crazy cat coffee mugs so you can announce that title proudly. 

What Color Are Russian Blue Eyes?

Russian Blues have intense green eyes that sharply contrast with the rest of their gray coats. However, their eyes aren’t always like that - they change. 

What Age Do They Change?

Fun fact: Russian Blues’ eyes shift colors starting at a mere four months of age, adding all the more magic to these already beautiful beings. These kittens are born with yellow eyes but begin to develop an emerald green ring around the pupil. As they grow, the color evolves and becomes even more of a vivid green tone.

Final Thoughts

Russian Blue cats are relatively allergy-friendly cats who shed infrequently. Their thick, silvery double coat is incredibly soft and well-insulating. These loyal cats can make fantastic lifelong companions for many people.

Though Russian Blues have heavy enough coats to keep warm without layering up, their two-legged counterparts don’t. Check out these cat shirts for humans to show your love for your feline friends.


Up Next: Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds: Which is Your Favorite?

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Fawn - May 26, 2022

about dead skin – my Russian Blue never has dander/dead skin and I don’t have to brush her much but when I do I don’t see any. She does groom all the time. I’ve never seen dander/dead skin anywhere on her or where she lies. She’s less than a year old – how old is yours? She’s an American Russian Blue, short-haired. Maybe take her to a vet for diagnosis. I’m no expert with the Blue Russians (my first) but have had a lot of cats.

Fawn - May 26, 2022

I just got my “Smokie” in 11/2021. Never heard of Russian Blues but she is without doubt one and is the sweetest thing – I found her at PetSmart with other cats up for adoption. She was in the arms of one of the employees, who gave her over to me. She let me cradle her for at least an hour, then let someone else cradle her for awhile too. Then she was up and about chasing a cricket around the floor. She has all the attributes of a Russian Blue – she was completely dark grey in November but now (4/2022) she has developed a lot of those silver highlights and in fact has silver streaks and her snout and mouth are almost solid silver and very soft! Indeed, she naturally takes care of herself and grooms a lot, I never had to teach her about litter boxes, she loves them! She loves water and wants to climb in a bathtub full of water (less so since she’s fallen in a couple times) :). Very curious about water (in fact very curious about everything!) Most of all the most telling trait is that she loves to play fetch. She loves to fetch and will run to fetch a toy that I throw (it has to land where she can see it), brings it back to me with pride and wants to be praised and petted, then she releases it in anticipation that I will throw it again. This can go on for quite awhile – up to 20 minutes or more! She loves to keep fetching and always brings it back to me and if I’m busy and don’t throw it again right away she will climb up my leg (ouch!) to let me know she’s ready to fetch again. She’s very lovable and now that she trusts me she is indeed quite cuddly. She is my second “dog-cat” because she follows me around like a loyal dog (fetching also puts her in the “dog-cat” category). I’ve had a ton of cats and highly recommend her, but be prepared to have lots of toys and to play with her every day. She doesn’t need grooming (except trimming the nails when they get sharp!) but loves a good brushing and will lay tummy-up for her brushing once she gets to know you and the brush. I call her Smokie because of her grey hair turning to smoke with all the silver. Can’t wait to see what she looks like at 1-yr old! Wonderful kitten! Oh and one last thing – indeed she loves climbing and will always investigate the highest places in the house. When I first got her at a few months old, within a day she made her way up to the cat tree by the closet then from there climbed up to that shelve in the closet just under the roof. And she loves to eat – my God she loves to eat!!! :P

LeGrand Siberians - May 26, 2022

good Post

Christine McMurtrie - May 26, 2022

This was helpful… I have 3 RB females 2 are sisters from the same litter and one is a cousin… same breeder
The 2 are 16 yrs old and still, young, healthy and vibrant 6& 7 lbs
My other girl is 10 she is 11 lbs
She recently stated over grooming and we are tryin to help her w a vets help
But the vet just told me to use this special comb which seemed to go very deep into her coat ( I brush them several times a week since we moved to Florida to help w shedding) I also was told by the breeder to bath them in the spring to help remove their winter loose hair which I’ve done every year
The vet just told me not to bathe them but to use this comb. So I’m glad to see in your information that bathing them is helpful
Thank you

Leah M Williams-Ayers - October 26, 2021

I have loved because we dont own cats but my Oliver was my my second Russian for 21 yrs he was my best friend I so miss him and his Bull Terrier misses him so much

...... - October 26, 2021

Why does my Russian blue have so much dead skin. Even after i brush her, more pops up. What can i do to fix this?

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