A Chartreux is a robust cat with blue gray fur and eyes that can be shades of yellow or yellow orange. The coat is notable for having a double thickness and at one time the pelt was even used to make clothing. Indeed, the cat was even eaten by people. Though it’s a well-muscled cat, the Chartreux has a look about it of affectionate curiosity and has a small voice. It’s gentle and quiet around its people, but is a great mouser. The Chartreux is probably descended from a gray, copper eyed cat that Crusaders brought back with them from the Middle East. It was named the Chartreux around the 17th century. So distinctive was the cat’s look that the naturalists Linnaeus and Buffon put the cat in its own species. Colonies of these cats congregated in the streets of Paris and it began to be associated very closely with France. Fortunately, after World War I, people began to see the Chartreux as valuable beyond its meat, fur and hunting abilities and strove to improve the breed. By 1928 the cat was being shown at cat shows. Now there are no feral colonies of Chartreux in France, and they can only be had through breeders. Despite their gentleness and good looks they are fairly rare cats and are not found in some countries. The United States is one of a handful of countries where the breed can be found. The breed hasn’t changed much since it was first shown, which is extraordinary when considering a cat like the Siamese and the morphological twists and turns that breed has gone through. One of the reasons that the Chartreux is so quiet is that some of them are mute. They can only purr. The ones that can meow have a small, soft voice and tend to chirp. Despite the fact that they used to congregate on the streets of Paris, the cat is generally not gregarious and tends to avoid trouble. It gets along well with children, other pets in the home, and strangers. As a hunter it's quite to the point and tends to chase its prey instead of toying with it for a while. It's the sort of cat that watches and waits for a time, then pounces at just the right moment. The Chartreux also loves routine and will play the same game over and over again.
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