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Russian Blue

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The Russian Blue is a natural breed thought to have originated in northern Russia. An old name for the cat is the Archangel Cat, because it is thought to have come from the port city of Archangelsk.

Much of the breed's early history is not known. The first Russian Blues were imported to England in 1890. World War II nearly ended this breed's existence, like so many other breeds in England, and Siamese had to be used to broaden the gene pool. As a result, it took years of careful breeding to restore the Russian Blue's plush coat. The first Russian Blue appeared in the stud books of CFA in 1949, from cats who had been imported to the United States in 1947, but no Russian Blue achieved a Grand Champion title until fifteen years later.

Russian Blues are noted for its short, plush, silvery blue coat, brilliant green eyes, and semi-foreign body type with long legs and body. This is a graceful, playful breed with a quiet, somewhat shy temperament. They are generally reserved with strangers, but fiercely loyal with family.

Some Russian Blues are born with "ghost stripes" as kittens, but these generally fade with age to the familiar, solid silvery blue of adulthood.

The American and European types have come to differ somewhat; traditional Scandanavian-type Russian Blues tend to be larger and more heavily built than American Russian Blues. Australian and New Zealand associations accept different colors (see Associations).

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