All About Chartreux Cats and Kittens
The Chartreux is a quiet cat, and makes a devoted companion and a good traveler. They are not known for meowing, but emit a sweet chirrup and are experts at purring. Chartreux generally accept children, other pets, and household noises with little fuss. They will even adapt to a harness for getting exercise outside, as long as they decide where to go!
Very loveable and affectionate, your Chartreux will love jowl scratches, and will return it with head butting, which is a sign of love. Chartreux owners moving from room to room in their houses soon get used to seeing a grey shadow close behind. They are not demanding, but you might feel a pulling on your leg while seated, indicating that the cat wants to sit on your lap for a while and get a good petting. All in all, Chartreux make wonderful household companions and exhibit consistent devotion to their owners.
It’s not unusual to find “praying” Chartreux, like that shown in the photo on the left. Some kittens start this spontaneously when very young; if you see this, you can encourage the little one by dangling a toy in front of the kitten. In any case, it seems to be a quite natural behavior for some Chartreux and they retain this characteristic behavior all their lives, frequently “begging” for food or affection by this praying attitude.
The Chartreux coat is short to medium in length, and ranges from ash to slate grey in color. Plush and wooly in texture, it consists of down hairs close to the skin and longer guard hairs held up by kinkier support hairs. The hair starts out a light color next to the skin and grows darker farther out; the silver tips give the cat a lovely iridescent sheen. The degree of wooliness depends on the age, sex, and habitat of the individual cat. Kittens may show some barring, or faint stripes, and some rings on the tail, which usually disappears by about two years of age. You can see from these two photographs the result of this mixture of hair types: the characteristic “breaking” or wool-like appearance. The three-year old female on the left shows this beautiful texture to perfection, as well as the desirable flat whisker pads. The male on the right shows the heavy coat to be found on some males as young as three years of age. Your Chartreux will benefit from (and will absolutely adore) a daily brushing to remove the dead hair as it sheds, especially as Winter turns to Spring and then Summer. I’ve found that a good tool to use in addition to a brush is a roller lint remover!
When you look your Chartreux in the face, you will be first and foremost struck by the sweet, smiling expression, one of alert intelligence and satisfaction. The eyes will be from orange to a deep copper color, with a slight upward slant to the outer edge. The picture on the left shows a 6 month old male with gorgeous deep copper eyes; that on the right is of a 16 month old female with beautiful orange eyes. The nose is straight and of medium width. The muzzle is small and narrow, with no puffiness to the whisker pads. The ears are medium in height and width, set high on the head and erect.
The cat’s head will sit firmly on a short neck directly on a large, muscular, well-rounded body. The chest will be deep, and the Chartreux will have broad shoulders. The overall impression is of a large cat supported by relatively slender legs and smallish, rounded feet. There is a marked difference between the male and female cats: although the general proportions will be the same, females range from 8 to 14 pounds (3.5 to 6.4 kg), while males range upwards to 20 pounds (9 kg). Now that’s a lot of cat! You will be able to note a heavy, muscular appearance, and a short neck. In profile, the cat’s face will display a gentle slope to the nose; the ears will be very well proportioned and set high on a massive head. The standard Chartreux tail is moderate in length, heavy at the base and oval at the tip.
Further Reading About Chartreux Cats:
- Cat Fanciers: Chartreux Cat FAQ – Answers questions about this natural French breed.