Most Fabulous Grey Cat Breeds And Their Characteristics
What is it we love about grey cats? The answer might be in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats, based on the poems by T. S. Eliot. The first cat to sing in the musical is Munkustrap, a silver tabby who guides and protects the younger cats while keeping the mischievous Rum Tum Tugger in line.
There’s also the venerable Old Deuteronomy who shares his wisdom with the cats in his tribe. And of course there’s the star of the show, Grizabella, the grey beauty with a regrettable past who ultimately gets a second chance at a new life. Grey cats project an air of wisdom, dignity, mystery, glamour and beauty in one package.
The following cat breeds prove that grey is anything but dull.
The Charming Chartreux
As that silent x hints, this petit chat gris hails from France, dating back to the 18th century where these stealthy felines chased vermin from the monasteries of the Carthusian order. This breed is handsome, quiet yet playful. This is one of those cats who will sneak up when you least expect it and disappear like a ninja the moment you turn your back.
The chartreux cat’s coat is short and thick but luxuriously soft. This cat will want to be brushed at least once a week, twice in the spring. The coat is water-repellent, so bathing is not only largely unnecessary but next to impossible. Her deep orange eyes will contrast engagingly with that silvery grey fur.
The Companionable Korat
In Thailand, where they’re known as Si-Sawat, the Korats are considered so lucky they’re often given as gifts to brides, usually in pairs. Not only do their emerald green eyes associate with prosperity and fertility, this friendly and loyal cat symbolizes an unbreakable bond.
They’re energetic enough to play fetch, tractable enough to be leash trained and affectionate enough to sit in your lap and purr. The Korat’s silver coat is short and light, requiring minimal brushing. This breed is great with children, but will only get along with other animals if they let her be the boss.
The Robust Russian Blue
Be one with Russia, da? When you meet this cuddly critter, it’s hard to say nyet! They’re gentle giants with a thickset build and a heavy coat indicating their frosty origins. The Russian blue is sweet-natured, friendly without being clingy and prefer a regular routine. They’re patient creatures, but they have a breaking point that’s best not crossed.
Their dense, plush coat can best be compared to a thick shag carpet. As the name suggests, they’re a cool tone of grey that’s close to blue. Such a beautiful full coat calls for brushing twice or more a week with occasional bathing in the shedding season.
The Benign British Shorthair
This dapper little bloke had a life of fish and chips in Victorian England as a show cat, inspirer of nursery rhymes and beloved house pet. Dinah from Alice in Wonderland may well have been a British shorthair. Almost lost forever in the Blitz, the breed was revitalized and continues to keep that stiff upper lip.
Like a proper lady or gentleman, the British shorthair is reserved and well-mannered but not by any means aloof. Her coat can be as thick and grey as London fog, but she’s soft and cuddly. British shorthairs can come in other colors, of course, but blue-grey seems the favorite. The coat is short and smooth, needing only a weekly brushing.
The Ornate Oriental
If you’ve ever thought it might be cool to have a fennec fox but don’t want the hassle of an exotic pet, an Oriental cat may be what you’d like. They’re very vocal cats who won’t be shy about letting you know when their needs aren’t being met. They’re clever, curious, agile, playful and affectionate.
The short, fine coat of an Oriental is like a Siamese only more solid colored. Only minimal brushing is necessary, but a rubbing with a soft cloth will make your cat glisten like polished silver.
The Pretty Persian
Here’s a cat long associated with luxury. The first Persian cat to come to Europe in the 1600’s has silky grey fur but now can come in every color and pattern. Still, gotta love those smoky greys. With that snub nose, shoe button eyes and long, lustrous coat, it’s no wonder the Persian is the world’s most popular cat breed.
Like her shorter haired cousin the British Shorthair, the Persian is quiet and mild-mannered. She’ll play nicely with the kids, but she feels her raison d’être is to sit around and look pretty. To keep that coat looking fabulous, she’ll require daily brushing and combing with a monthly bath.
The Noble Norwegian Forest Cat
The clever little skogcatt, as they’re known in Norway, has roots in Viking heritage. These friendly cats were content to chase off mice in return for shelter and a warm place by the fire. As the name suggests, they do like to climb trees, but a Norwegian forest cat can be a happy indoor cat if given a kitty condo to climb.
Their ashen fur consists of a wooly undercoat and long topcoat requiring a weekly combing with a bristle brush, stainless steel comb or wire slicker brush. The coat is waterproof, so forget about bathing. This cat isn’t as skittish around water as most cats, so keep aquariums covered around her.
The Nebulous Nebelung
This shimmering katzchen has a name that means “creature of the mist” in German. Falling a bit into the German stereotype, they can be reserved until they get to know someone better and prefer a regular schedule. Going against German stereotype, they actually have a sense of humor, as long as they’re not the butt of the joke.
This is an intelligent, graceful breed. Once you’ve earned her attention, you have a friend for life. The Nebelung’s shimmering coat is long and dense enough to need combing twice a week.
- Chartreux cat Vetstreet
- About the Korat The Cat Fanciers’ Association
- British Shorthair on catbreedslist.com
- Familial cardiomyopathy in Norwegian Forest cats. März I, Wilkie LJ, Harrington N, Payne JR, Muzzi RA, Häggström J, Smith K, Luis Fuentes V. J Feline Med Surg. 2015 Aug;17(8):681-91. doi: 10.1177/1098612X14553686. Epub 2014 Oct 30.
- Nebelung cat The International Cat Association