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The blue coat colour in the cat-which is actually grey rather than blue, of course-is one of the most handsome and distinctive shades of all, and one that is highly desirable among cat lovers! However, it is also a fairly uncommon colour, and is unlikely to occur in the gene pool of the average moggy, unless of course they have a blue-coated ancestor. That said, there are several different cat breeds that either have blue as one of their acceptable colour variants or that have the blue coat as a distinctive trait of the breed.
If you have your heart set on owning a blue-coated cat, read on to learn about the six pedigree breeds that can be found with blue coats, plus a final addition to describe cats of mixed heritage that have a blue coat that you might want to consider too!
The British shorthair is of course one of the most popular cat breeds in the UK, and the most common colour for cats of the breed is blue, although they can be found in a wide range of other colours too, including lilac, white, black and chocolate.
The British shorthair is a stocky and rather cobby-looking cat with a large, expressive face and an appearance rather like a teddy bear!
The British longhair is a close relative of the British shorthair, but has a semi-long coat that sets it apart from their cousins. The breed originated from the British shorthair and is now almost as popular, particularly in the UK, and the British longhair can be found in colours including black, white, lilac and chocolate as well as of course blue.
They tend to be on the large size, and often appear even bigger thanks to their thick, plush coats!
The Russian blue is perhaps the best-known blue coated cat, which is of course how they got their name! However, whilst blue is the most common and well-known colour, cats of the breed can also be found in black and white too, and the shade of blue that the blue cats display can vary from a very dark steel grey to a much paler shade. You can also sometimes see a background of tabby or “ghost” markings, particularly in the bands of the tail, on some cats of the breed.
The Nebelung cat is actually a longhaired variant of the Russian blue, and only very recently did this cat receive recognition in the UK as a separate breed in its own right by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. Nebelung kittens are sometimes born with faint “ghost” markings like the Russian blue, however, these fade as the cats age, producing a uniform blue colouration.
The fur of the Nebelung is semi-longhaired and double coated, with a distinctive and attractive sheen to the upper layers of the coat. They are not particularly common in the UK, and you may have to wait a while to find a Nebelung kitten offered for sale!
The Korat cat is one of the most ancient of all cat breeds, originating from Thailand. They have a uniform, pure grey coat without any markings or colour graduations, and can only be found in the blue colour, although the shade of the coat itself can vary from very light to very dark.
However, the breed does carry recessive colour genes for blue and lilac colours, and so can produce kittens in these colours-although they do not fall within the Korat breed standard, they are actually recognised as separate breeds in their own right, being the Thai point lilac and Thai point blue respectively.
The Chartreux cat hails from France, and while they are very popular in their home country, they are not formally recognised as a breed in their own right here in the UK, due to their similarities to the blue variant of the British shorthair breed.
However, they are not close relatives of the British blue, and have a number of distinct differences, both in terms of temperament and appearance. Their coats are double-layered and only found in blue, although again the shade can vary from a dark steel grey to a pale ash colour.
Finally, a blue cat that is a non-pedigree almost certainly has ancestry from one of the above-mentioned breeds that carry the gene for the blue coat-and if this ancestry is known, the cat in question will likely be described as a cross of that breed.
However, cats with blue coats with an unknown ancestry, or blue-coated cats that do not fall within one of the recognised blue breed headings are generally known as Maltese cats. Maltese is not a breed in its own right, and the traits and appearance of any cat known as a Maltese can be very variable-it is simply a term used to describe the colour, in the same way that we call tricoloured cats tortoiseshell or calico.
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