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A Layman's Guide to the Chartreux

Reprinted with the permission of Jessie Strike-McClelland, Breed Historian, Chartreux, USA

The Chartreux is a quiet cat, and makes a devoted companion and a good traveller. 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.

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.  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 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.   


Current price of Chartreux kittens:   In 2016 this rare breed has fewer reputable breeders than when I started in 2003. In 2016 the cost is around $1,500.   A kitten represents the cost of a cattery which includes 365 day care of a breeding colony of Chartreux, multiple sires & enclosures for them, high quality food, cleaning, maintenance, vet bills, etc.   In the case of our cattery, our Chartreux are some of the healthiest in the US without  health issues. We breed healthy Chartreux and practice genetic diversity. This practice helps create Chartreux with strong immune systems that can fight off disease and remain healthy throughout most of their lives.                           


        The breed standard for eye color is gold to orange.