Legend has it they get their name from being companions of Carthusian monks; hence their ‘vow of silence’. They are often confused to be descended from British Blues; however the two have distinct ancestry.
First mentioned around the sixteenth century as ‘blue cats of France’, the Chartreux are thought to be descendent of Syrian cats brought to Europe by the crusaders. Their natural colonies which existed in Paris became extinct after WWII, contributing to their rarity; this cat is now available only with breeders. The Chartreux was documented for the first time by French naturalist Buffon in the 18th century, but the breed could be found in paintings and poems from the early 16th century.
With a strong sense of proper behaviour and they tend to be extremely well behaved, and they expect the same courteous behaviour from others; the Chartreux do not easily forget the treatment they receive. Being highly sensitive creatures they respond properly to scolding and praise, but sometimes can be slow learners.
- Activity level: 4/5 (natural hunters)
- Intelligence level: 4/5 (very intelligent and observant)
- Curiosity: 2/5 (curious but dignified)
- Friendliness: 3/5 (quite friendly and loyal)
- Vocal: 0.5/5 (being less talkative and sometimes mute they can always purr but rarely meow )
They like to be in your vicinity, preferably getting their jowls scratched. They understand if you are sad or ill and try to soothe you. They can be wonderful for elderly people and people living alone. But they do not demand attention and sit quietly when one is busy.
Major specifications of these sturdy French breed are:
- Fur: Gray-blue colour of the woolly double coat makes it look antique, whereas a thick undercoat makes them water repellent.
- Eyes: Colour of the eyes varies from golden to orange and sometimes copper coloured.
- Body structure: A mature Chartreux has broad head and body with big jowls. The Chartreux appears much smaller and weighs lighter because of its shorter legs, compact build, and short coat.
- Facial features: The Chartreux appear to be smiling because of structure of their heads and their tapered muzzles.
- Weight: A female Chartreux weighs 7-10 lbs taking almost three years to reach their full size and male Chartreux usually take four or five years to reach their full size of 12-16 lbs or more.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org