Among France's oldest breeds of cat, legend has it that the Chartreux got her start—and her name—from Carthusian monks. And the French's love affair with this cat has continued through the centuries; President de Gaulle owned a Chartreux. This breed is a transnational treasure, to boot: they're the Montreal Jazz Festival's official cat.
This breed can grow to between 6-14 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years.
Daily play, please
I loooove being with you
I talk when necessary
Call me Fido
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS THE CHARTREUX'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Chartreux are attentive and devoted cats, likely to follow their favorite folks around the house all day. This is a loving, empathetic breed. These cats are loving and do well with children, but they're not overly effusive. Their independence and loyalty make them a great choice for families who have other pets or kids.
WHAT IS CHARTREUX BEHAVIOR LIKE?
These are muscular, agile, energetic cats. Chartreux also tend to be very quiet. Some say the monks they originally lived with passed on their vows of silence to these cats. The good news: she'll never interrupt you when you're telling her about your day.
They're also ingenious: they will figure out how to turn on your faucet, switch off your light switch, and you might even be able to train yours to snooze your alarm clock.
HOW CAN I KEEP MY CHARTREUX ENTERTAINED?
Your Chartreux will probably keep you
entertained with her eagerness to fetch and her willingness to come when called. This is one smart kitty, so she'll probably keep herself entertained as well, but it's a good idea you give her outlets to appropriately do so or she might get into trouble—some Chartreux turn on radios and can open doors! Scratching posts are also always a good idea.
CARE & HEALTH
WHAT DO CHARTREUX LOOK LIKE AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
They are grey cats with sweet smiles. Though honestly, they're a bit unusually shaped—Chartreux look something like toothpicks stuck into a sweet potato. Their distinctive blue fur and coppery-gold eyes are showstoppers. They do somewhat resemble British Shorthairs, but Chartreux have slimmer faces.
And remember: don't brush this gorgeous girl's almost-waterproof double coat! Just run your fingers through her fur to distribute natural oils (and earn yourself some purrs).
Your cat's coat and skin can tell you a lot about her health and well-being. Healthy cats have coats that are smooth and shiny; they should have supple, clear skin. Nutrition and wellness factor heavily into the texture and luster of your kitty's coat, but you can help keep her looking and feeling her best with regular skin care and grooming.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO CHARTREUX HAVE?
These cats are usually very healthy. Chartreux often slow down as they get older, and so can tend toward pudginess. Be mindful about portion control. Some are also prone to slipping kneecaps.
Remember that cats often hide disease symptoms! It's important to bring your furry friend in for veterinary checkups at least once a year.
ARE CHARTREUX GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
Chartreux aren't among the breeds generally recommended for allergy sufferers. (Especially because they're heavy shedders.) Dander (found in urine, dead skin, and saliva), not pet hair, is what sets off allergy sufferers. However, lighter-shedding cats will distribute fewer allergens around your home.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS MY CHARTREUX'S BEST DAY?
She did take a vow of silence, after all, so your Chartreux may never tell. But yours might enjoy watching television with you or the Bird Network, available on every window throughout your home. Consider putting a bird feeder outside your window, or playing your furry friend a DVD with feline-focused programming—your furry friend can watch her stories about fish, ducks, or squirrels.
SHOULD I ADOPT A CHARTREUX?
Mais oui! Chartreux are intelligent, affectionate (though not especially cuddly), and mellow. They also make wonderful travel companions. But this breed is often only available by reservation, so you might have to wait un moment to bring one into your home. If you're on the hunt for a calm, quiet cat with a distinctive look, this kitty could be your Char-“true” companion.
Have you decided that a Chartreux is the purr-fect cat for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.