Nebelung


Introduction

The Nebelung (with the 'Ne-' pronounced as 'Nay-') is a very graceful, elegant cat that boasts having a lovely, dense, soft and silky semi-long coat that shimmers thanks to each hair being silver-tipped. The breed was first developed in the United States and they do look very similar to the Russian Blue although their coats are that much longer. Over the years, the Nebelung has become a popular choice outside of American thanks not only to their lovely looks, but also because they boast such gentle and kind natures too.


History

The Nebelung was first developed in the United States when a lady called Cora Cobb who owned two semi-long haired cats that resembled Russian Blues decided to see if it would possible to create a new breed in its own right by breeding from them. She enrolled the help of a geneticist, Dr Solveig who thought the breed should be called a "Semi-longhaired Russian Blue" and as such a breed standard was drawn up based on the Russian Blue with the only difference being in the length of a cat's coat.

Cora Cobb subsequently named the breed "Nebelung" and the first cats to be exhibited at a special Russian Blue Show in 2011 after which time they were officially awarded their own Championship status by the GCCF. Today, although still quite rare, the Nebelung is fast gaining a big fan base not only in America, but in the UK and elsewhere in the world thanks to their charming looks and kind, gentle and affectionate natures.


Appearance

The Nebelung is a very graceful, elegant cat that boasts looking very much like a Russian Blue with the only difference being in the length and texture of their coat. They are medium size cats with muscular, lithe bodies and slender legs that end in delightfully tufted paws. They have quite wedge-shaped heads with a nice width between their eyes and which is flatter between the ears. They have high, broad cheekbones and their foreheads seem flat with a slight convex angle across a cat's brow. They have straight profiles from their brow right to the tip of their nose. Chins are nice and deep being firm and cats have prominent whisker pads which all adds to their endearing looks.

A Nebelung has a long and slender neck that looks a little thicker than it really is thanks to the fact they have a slight ruff around their necks. Ears are wider at the base and as tall as they are wide being set nicely apart on a cat's head. They are pointed with the outside edge of each ear being covered in short, fine hair while the inside of their ears is only slightly furnished. They have large, almond-shaped eyes that are set well apart and which are a vivid green colour. Kittens tend to have yellow eyes to begin with, but the colour changes as they mature. Nebelungs always have a kind, gentle expression about their eyes.

They have long, elegant bodies which is reminiscent of foreign type breeds. Their legs are long, slender and elegant with cats having neat, rounded paws. Their tails are a lot thicker at the base, but taper to the tip being nicely-furnished forming a brush. Males are generally larger and heavier than their female counterparts.

When it comes to their coat, the Nebelung boasts having a semi-long, ultra-fine and soft to the touch coat that shimmers thanks to the tips being silvery in colour. They have a fine undercoat and a much denser outer coat that consists of thicker guard hairs. Males have more of a ruff around their necks than their female counterparts, but both have breeches and ear tufts which adds to their endearing looks. They have feathering behind each ear which is a lighter shade of their coat colour. During the warmer months, a cat's coat changes in density, whereas in the winter it's that much thicker offering them more protection against the elements. It’s worth noting that it can take up to 2 years for a Nebelung to grow their full adult coat. Colourwise, there is only one accepted breed colour which is as follows:

  • A clear and even medium blue

Kittens can have "ghost" marking in their coat which vanish as a cat matures. An adult cat's guard hairs are tipped with silver which gives the Nebelung their shimmering look.


Temperament

The Nebelung can be a little shy, but they thrive in a home environment loving nothing more than being part of the family and involved in everything that goes on around them. They love playing interactive games and enjoy fetching toys when they are thrown for them to retrieve. They form strong bonds with their owners and families. However, as previously mentioned they can be a little shy around people they don't know and when a kitten arrives in their new home it can them take a little longer to settle in than other breeds.

They are known to be affectionate, energetic and gentle cats that don't particularly like being left to their own devices for any length of time. As such they are best suited to households where at least one person stays at home when everyone else is out of the house. They are also creatures of habit and don’t particularly like any changes being made to their routine which includes moving furniture around in a home. They can be a little talkative at times, especially when greeting their owners or at meal times, but they are not known to be vocal preferring to be quiet and undemanding.


Intelligence

The Nebelung is a highly intelligent cat and one that likes to be kept busy when they are not cat napping, that is. Once they have formed a bond with their owners, these ties remain unbreakable for the rest of their lives. Being so smart, the Nebelung enjoys learning new things and enjoys playing interactive games like fetch. They love being able to explore the great outdoors, but cats should only be allowed to roam around outside if it is safe for them to do so.


Children and Other Pets

Although shy around strangers, the Nebelung is a great choice as a family pet and they are known to get on well with children. However, care has to be taken when very young children are around cats and any interaction should always be well supervised to make sure things stay nice and calm. With this said, younger children need to be taught how to behave around cats and when to leave them alone.

They also get on well with dogs more especially if they have grown up together. However, care has to be taken when introducing a Nebelung to a dog they don't already know just in case the dog does not get on with their feline counterparts. Although gentle by nature, it's always wiser to keep a close eye on any cat when they are around smaller pets, just in case.


Nebelung Health

The average life expectancy of a Nebelung is between 15 and 18 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate, good quality diet to suit their ages.

The Nebelung is known to be a healthy breed and one that does not appear to suffer from breed-related hereditary health issues. However, they are known to like their food a little too much which is why it's important to keep an eye on a cat's waistline throughout their lives and to ensure they are not overeating which could result in a cat carrying too much weight.


Caring for a Nebelung

As with any other breed, the Nebelung needs to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. On top of this, cats need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives which is especially true of kittens and older cats.


Grooming

Nebelungs boast having dense semi-long, double coats and as such they need to be groomed on a regular basis to prevent tangles from forming. A twice weekly brush is all it takes to keep their coats in good condition and tangle-free. Like other breeds, they tend to shed the most in the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent brushing is usually necessary to keep on top of things.

It's also important to check a cat's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure with ear infections. Cats often suffer from ear mites which can be a real problem which is why it's so important to check their ears on a regular basis.


Energy Levels/Playfulness

The Nebelung is an energetic, smart cat and as such they need to be given enough mental stimulation and exercise for them to be truly happy cats. They love being able to go outside and explore their environment which allows cats to mark their territory. However, cats should only be allowed to roam the great outdoors if it is safe for them to do so. As such, if you live in the country and it's safe to let your cat out, a Nebelung would spend much of the day exploring his territory. However, if you live in town or near a main road, it's best to keep a cat as an indoor pet.

Nebelungs do adapt well to being kept as indoor pets, but only if they are given plenty of things to do to keep them occupied when they are not cat napping, that is. They also need to have lots of places they can snuggle up for a snooze when the mood takes them because Nebelungs like other breeds love napping throughout the day.


Feeding

If you get a Nebelung kitten from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same kitten food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a kitten's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.

Older cats are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be given a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature cat several times a day making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements which is especially important as cats get older. It's also essential to keep an eye on a cat's weight because if they start to put on too much, it can have a serious impact on their overall health and wellbeing. Like all other breeds, Nebelungs need to have free access to fresh clean water at all times.


Average Cost to keep/care for a Nebelung

If you are looking to buy a Nebelung, you would need to pay upwards of £100 for a well-bred pedigree kitten and you would need to register your interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because not many well-bred kittens are registered with the GCCF every year.  The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Nebelung in northern England would be £13.63 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £25.17 a month (quote as of Sept 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a cat's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.

When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a cat’s life. This would set you back between £15 - £20 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Nebelung and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a cat when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £500 a year.

As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Nebelung would be between £30 to £50 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your cat, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a well-bred kitten.


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