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All about your Russian Blue

Affectionate and instinctive, while always ready to cheer up loved ones.

Gentle yet playful, the elegant Russian Blue is a dapper gentleman who will fit well into most households. Learn more about this devoted and loyal cat, from his grooming and exercise needs, to the things you can do to keep him happy and healthy.

Russian Blue Cat Resting Its Head

Breed information & advice

The shorthaired Russian Blue is affectionate, calm and will love spending time with you. He has a reputation for being shy and even reserved, but don’t get the wrong idea as he loves to climb, jump and retrieve.

  • Far from destructive he is graceful, agile, and generally a well-behaved breed.
  • He is meticulous in his hygiene habits, and his coat will need minimal grooming.
  • Typically he will weigh from 3kg to 5kg, when fully grown.
  • A healthy Russian Blue will usually live for 10 to 15 years.

Typical size of a Russian Blue

Medium

He is quiet and relaxed but also muscular, so while the Russian Blue doesn’t require lots of exercise, physical activity is still important for his strength. Try playing “fetch” with him, which will also keep his razor-sharp brain active.

Known for his healthy appetite, your pet will be happy eating any type of cat food – but don’t let him overeat, as this breed is prone to becoming overweight. Remember that he is also a carnivore by nature and will appreciate a protein-rich diet.

You should feed your cat twice a day from the age of seven months. When he’s a kitten you should feed him three times a day. The amount of food you feed him will depend on his size, age and activity levels – always read the packet instructions for portion size suggestions.

Intelligent and playful

Your Russian Blue will love nothing more than playing games with his family.

A Russian Blue Cat Laying On A Pillow In A Garden
Alert Russian Blue Cat With Green Eyes

Common health problems & illnesses

Russian Blues are generally healthy cats but they’ll need regular check-ups and vaccinations to stay in good shape. There are some conditions that this breed may be more prone to, and it’s worth being aware of the main symptoms, so you know what to watch out for.

1. Hyperthyroidism

Most common in middle-aged Russian Blues, hyperthyroidism usually starts with a benign tumour in the thyroid gland that causes it to produce too much of the thyroid hormone, that then speeds up metabolism. Signs to look out for in your cat include hyperactivity and nervousness, as well as vomiting and weight loss. Easily managed, there’s a high chance a cat will lead a healthy and normal life once treated through medication, radioactive iodine or surgery. A standard blood test can detect the illness.

Hyperthyroidism accounted for almost 13% of all Tesco Pet Insurance claims for this breed in 2015.

2. Diabetes

Just like humans, cats can suffer from diabetes – where the body does not produce enough or any insulin, or is unable to use it. The feline version is more common in cats aged over seven, while it’s more typical in males than females. Symptoms of diabetes include increased urination and thirst, and weight loss. Diabetes can be controlled with insulin shots, medication or diet advice.

3. Diarrhoea

This breed can suffer from an upset stomach or diarrhoea, and it’s often a sign that there is something wrong elsewhere in his digestive system. A change in diet, feeding him too much or even giving him too many dairy products can cause diarrhoea – cats and kittens should never be given cow’s milk to drink as most are lactose intolerant. Encourage your cat to keep hydrated by leaving him fresh water around the house. If the diarrhoea is chronic, you should consult your vet, who might want to administer fluids intravenously or investigate the cause further.

4. Injury

Like most breeds, Russian Blues can injure themselves while out and about – if they’ve been in a road accident, had a fall or been in a fight with another cat, for example. If there aren’t any obvious signs of injury but your cat seems weaker than normal, is having trouble breathing or appears depressed,  keep him comfortable and get him to the vet, who will explore and advise on appropriate treatment according to the injury.

5. Tumours

Tumours can be harmless benign growths such as warts or fatty deposits that can either be left where they are, or removed with surgery if they’re getting in the way. Russian Blues can be prone to developing them, although if your vet diagnoses something more serious such as cancer, treatment will vary and chemotherapy may be discussed. You can keep an eye on your cat’s skin and body during his weekly grooming sessions.

Cat name popularity

If you’re struggling to think of a name for your Russian Blue, take a look at the most popular ones at Tesco Pet Insurance for inspiration.

Cat name popularity
Bella
Blue
Charlie
Millie
Misty

Average treatment costs

Wondering whether pet insurance for your Russian Blue is worth it? We’ve put together the top five conditions claimed for by Tesco Pet Insurance customers in 2015, and the average cost of treatment.

ConditionAverage treatment cost
Lymphoma£483.07
Hyperthyroidism£204.37
Kidney and renal failure£348.96
Diabetes£154.07
Weight loss£606.70

Tesco Pet Insurance claims data from paid treatments including excesses from 01/01/15 to 31/12/15.

Considering Russian Blue insurance?

We know your cat is an important member of the family, so give them the protection they deserve with Tesco Pet Insurance.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.

What owners say

“My cat, Sophie, is a Russian Blue which means that whilst she is very nervous around strangers, she absolutely adores me.  She runs down the stairs to greet me with a 'head bump' when I get home and loves to sneak under the covers to snuggle between me and my husband on cold mornings.  She's also got a soft spot for lip-balms and if I put one down where she can see it she'll knock it over and chase it around and it's usually the last I see of it.”

Grooming advice

Russian Blues are exceptionally clean cats that require minimal grooming or cleaning. Use a metal comb to remove any loose hair from your cat’s plush coat and redistribute natural oils once or twice a week. In the spring, expect to brush a little more often to help him shed his thick winter coat. Even if your cat’s fur doesn’t need a brush, he will appreciate the extra attention.

The Russian Blue has wide ears, so it’s important to check inside them once a week for any debris, and gently clean them with damp cotton-wool buds.

Your cat can be encouraged to file his own claws with a scratching post, but you can trim them as and when needed, while you should clean the dirt from under them when it becomes noticeable.

Ideally you should also try to brush his teeth once a day with a pet toothpaste and pet toothbrush, but once a week will do. This will help to remove plaque and tartar build-up and prevent periodontal disease (when a tooth’s deep supporting structures become inflamed).

Fun & interesting facts

  • It’s widely believed this breed originated on the Archangel Isles of northern Russia.
  • He is typically an exotic blue, and the cartoon cat Tom of ‘Tom and Jerry’ fame is thought to be a Russian Blue because of the colour of his coat.
  • He is often regarded as the healthiest breed of cat.
  • A Russian Blue kitten can be born with “ghost stripes” that gradually fade as he grows – a reminder that all cats carry a tabby gene.
  • In Russian folklore, he was seen as a good luck charm.

Important information

KEY INFORMATION

The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to pet breeds, but does not constitute expert veterinary advice. If your dog or cat falls ill or has an injury, contact your vet immediately. Tesco Bank Pet Insurance has a partnership with vetfone™ which means that as a customer, you can benefit from their advice as part of your policy.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

All facts and figures were correct at date of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.

WHAT IS VETFONE?

Vetfone™ is a 24/7 helpline that provides expert advice from nurses qualified with the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). If your pet has a medical emergency, or you need reassurance on grooming, feeding or general advice, vetfone™ is there to help.

As a Tesco Pet Insurance customer, you can access expert veterinary advice provided by RCVS registered vet nurses as a standard benefit with your policy, and the service is provided at no additional cost. A quick call could answer any questions you have about your pet, give you peace of mind and could even save you an expensive trip to the vet.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

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