With its gray fur, sober as a monk's coat, it is no wonder that Chartreux in France was associated with the Carthusian word. The silent fellings would have been perfect companions for members of the silent, solitary order. It is a beautiful legend, but there is no real evidence that the cats were kept by the Carthusian monks, although they may not have been considered important enough to mention.
A more likely scenario is that the cats, a natural breed, were in France at least in the 18th century. Unfortunately for the beautifully hairy cats, they were also appreciated by furs for their thick blue shells. A type of luxury wool called "pile de Chartreux" may have gotten its name from the soft, wool-coated cats.
As with so many breeds, however, it is not really known how the cats got their name or how or where they developed. One of the earliest references to a French gray cat is from 1558, an epitaph for Belaud that belonged to the poet Joachin de Bellay. Bellay describes Belaud as "death of rats", which is really an attribute of the breed, then and now.
The first mention of the name Chartreux for the blue cats is found in the Universal Dictionary of Commerce, Natural History and the Arts and Trade of Savvary of Brusion, published in 1723, which also mentions cat association with the fur trade. The French naturalist George-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, described them as the cat of France and gave them the Latin name Felis catus coeruleus, meaning blue cat.
Free-ranging groups of cats lived in Paris and other areas of France until the early 20th century. They were not particularly valued except for their ability to fight skin and pests. It was not until after the First World War that French cat lovers took steps to preserve the breed. They collected as many cats as possible and wrote a breed standard. They only used the cats that met the standard and produced kittens that complied with it and could show the cats at European shows either in 1928 or 1931 depending on the source. One of the early followers of the breed was the author Colette, whose Chartreux Saha was proud of his place in his book La Chatte. General Charles de Gaulle was also known to love the breed and owned one called Gris Gris.
It was lucky that the breeders had started to breed Chartreux, because after the Second World War none of the free-ranging cats could be found. The still rare Chartreux was first imported to the United States in 1970 and recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1987. Today, cats are recognized by all the major American cat associations. Chartreux is even the official mascot for the Montreux Jazz Festival. They are less well known in Europe, even in their native France. Unlike many cat breeds, they have changed little over the years and remain, as Bellay wrote:
“Perhaps the most beautiful
This nature ever created in cat clothes. "
Chartreux usually weighs between 7 and 16 pounds.
Chartreux can very well be compared to a pantomime, quiet, but communicative and sometimes stupid. Short playing times, interrupted by a nap and lunch, are his idea of the perfect day. When he does not show his excellent timing and jumping skills "dead" toys with devotion, or performs acrobatic turns while chasing a bait toy, he is an attentive and gentle companion who likes to live close to his people and their movements on observed. He appreciates any attention he gets, especially when it comes to scratching his chin or between his ears, but he is not demanding, content to follow you devotedly, sleep on your bed and with you to cuddle you when you are not feeling well.
He rarely uses his voice and prefers to control your actions with a glance from his pumpkin-colored eyes. But if needed, he can communicate with a little meow or chirp. Make it a habit to look at him closely and familiarize yourself with his actions as it is unlikely that it will cause discomfort or make a noise to let you know where he is.
This is an adaptable cat with a middle class personality. He is not a social butterfly, but neither is he a shy wallflower. Expect him to look and wait before deciding whether to greet a guest or otherwise get involved in a situation. His calm demeanor makes him suitable for staying home alone while earning money for his sweets and toys, but he does not mind training with another cat or dog. This good nature makes it a good travel companion for a motorhome enthusiast or truck driver. As long as you keep his routine the same every day, he will be a happy camper.
Chartreux has a sunny, polite nature that is a pleasure to live with. This is a cat that does its best to follow the rules. Always treat him kindly and patiently and you will be rewarded with a friend for life.
Both pedigree and mixed breed cats have different frequencies of health problems that can be genetic. Chartreux are generally healthy, but the following problems have been observed with the breed.
Patellar dislocation is an inherited dislocation of the patella that can range from mild to severe. A slight displacement of the patella rarely causes problems. In severe cases, lameness occurs, but this can be alleviated through surgery.
The short, thick coat at Chartreux is easy to care for thanks to brushing every week. The coat falls off in the spring and may require additional brushing during this time.
A bath is rarely necessary. If your Chartreux needs a bath, keep in mind that it may take some time before the water-repellent coat is wet enough to bathe.
Brush their teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Cut their nails every two weeks. Wipe the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so that you do not risk spreading an infection. Check their ears every week. If they look dirty, wipe them with a cotton swab or a soft, damp cloth dampened with a 50-50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the inside of the ear.
Keep the Chartreux litter box completely clean. Cats attach great importance to hygiene in the bathroom.
It is a good idea to keep a Chartreux as an indoor-only cat to protect it from diseases transmitted by other cats, attacks from dogs or coyotes and other dangers that cats face when walking outdoors, for example. B. to be hit by a car. Chartreux who goes outside also risks being stolen by someone who wants such a beautiful cat without paying for it.
Fur color and grooming
Chartreux has the robust, strong body of a work cat, which is wrapped in a short, thick, water-repellent coat. Its most noticeable feature, in addition to its beautiful fur, is its deep orange eyes, which lie in a round, broad head. He has full cheeks and a sweet, smiling expression. Medium-sized ears lie high on the head.
His body type is sometimes described as primitive, he is hoarse and robust with broad shoulders and a deep chest. Its relatively short and bony legs rest on round, medium-sized paws that seem almost delicate. A lively, flexible tail is heavy at the base and tapers to an oval tip.
Do not be fooled by his glorious body and solid muscle mass. This is an agile, agile cat that usually weighs 7 to 16 pounds when mature. Pick it up and you will be amazed at its weight. Chartreux grows slowly and males in particular do not reach their full size until they are 4 or 5 years old.
The medium-length double coat has a slightly woolly structure that varies depending on the cat's age and sex and the climate in which it lives. For example, adult males have the thickest fur, while females or kittens have thinner fur or are silky smooth to the touch.
The coat can be any shade of blue-gray. The fur tops look like they have been brushed lightly with silver. Kittens may have a faint imprint of tabby markings (called ghost locks) or tail rings, but when they are adults, their fur should have a light, even shade. The look is rounded off by slate gray nose skin, blue lips and pink-taupe paw pads.
Children and other pets
The tolerant and soft Chartreux fits well into an orphanage. He is more likely to go away than to scratch himself if he does not like the way he is treated. Parents with young children should always monitor interactions to ensure that the cat is not abused.
Thanks to his lovable nature, he also likes to live with cat-friendly dogs. Introduce pets slowly and under controlled conditions to ensure that they learn to get along with each other.
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