The Chartreux breed of cat was first introduced into the Cat Fancier’s Association championship in 1987, although it seems that the breed has been around for quite a long time prior to the recognition by the CFA. There is a legend that states the Chartreux were named for the Carthusian monks of France, who they lived with. The breed has been noted in documents that date back as early as the 16th century.
The Chartreux has a large, robust body with wide shoulders, and short, finely boned legs. They have excellent muscle tone. Their blue fur is medium length and can only be described as “woolly”. The coat has the feel of sheep’s wool.
They are a very happy cat. They are well known for their smile. The head is rounded with a softly contoured forehead that flows down to a narrow muzzle, which gives the impression of the cat smiling. One of the most prominent features is the Chartreux’s eyes. They are slightly rounded and the outside corners curve upwards, thus the breed is said to have “smiling eyes”.
The Chartreux is a very loving and loyal breed, and can often be seen following their master around the house from room to room. They are very intelligent, and can be taught to play games, such as fetch, and will respond to their name being called. Some have even been known to sit for long periods of time watching television. They are fairly quiet, not meowing, but more chirping, and some have been reported as being mute.
The adult usually matures around age 3 years. Care is easy as brushing is not recommended. Rather, run your fingers thru the coat daily, and the grooming is complete. The breed is susceptible to Luxation of the Patella, which is, in simple terms, a trick knee.
That small health condition aside, the Chartreux is a wonderful addition to any family. They get along very well with children and other pets, although they do tend normally to only hold a strong bond with one member of the household, as opposed to the household as a whole. They are a very loving and affectionate breed, as well as happy and easy going. Besides the Patella Luxation, they are generally a healthy cat, and will be a loyal and affectionate pet to bring home.