The Chartreux Cat is very independent, but also loving. It is extremely intelligent and considered to be a rare breed. They originated in France. If you decide on the Chartreux Cat for your family, it will take a bit of searching to find a reputable breeder. Breeders are considered to be just as rare as the cat itself.

In the U.S. you will be hard pressed to find a breeder, but you can inquire within France or Canada for breeders who can make arrangements to secure a Chartreux for you.

With the rareness of the breed comes the cost. The more rare the cat, the more expensive it can be to add one to your family.

Yet your efforts will not go unrewarded. This cat is considered to be an independent breed that does not need tons of attention. They are perfectly fine spending a day on their own. Their looks are similar to a British Short Hair, but that is where their similarities begin and end.

These are some of the most intelligent breeds in existence. Without any training this cat can learn just by watching their owners. They will discover how to open doors, turn on and off light switches, turn on water faucets and a few other tricks that may come as a surprise to many Chartreux owners.

They are great at observing a situation before making a move. This makes them great hunters. If you have deep pockets and a bit of time to research a good breeder, then the Chartreux will make an excellent addition to any family.


While the Chartreux has only been recognised by the various cat registries since the 1970's, the first reference to them is found in a French poem dated 1558. A Chartreux is also featured in a 1747 portrait. One version of the history of these cats includes a life in the monasteries in France. However, this has now been discredited and recent research paints a more complicated and less cheerful picture.

Some believe that although it is now a quintessentially French breed, the Chartreux may originally have been a feral species found in the mountainous areas of what is now Syria. It is thought that they were brought to Europe by Crusaders returning home.

In the 17th and 18th centuries these cats led very hard lives. They were needed for three things: their meat, their dense, warm fur or as working cats that were often not treated well at all. They were hunted for food and their pelts.

The Chartreux was first brought into America in 1971 by Helen and John Gamon. They began their very successful breeding program in California. The breeding lines produced by the American breeders are thought by many to be the purest in the world.

Another significant and unusual feature is that the Chartreux that is used for shows today is essentially the same as the ones shown in Europe in 1928. In other words, breeders have stuck closely to the original standards and have not made any adjustments or changes.


The Chartreux has a chunky or stocky and well-muscled body.

The breed's coat is unique. It is always blue-grey and without any pattern. Kittens sometimes have faint tabby labels. However, by the time they reach maturity the coat is even in tone. The hair itself is medium in length and its woolly nature means that it “breaks” or parts rather like sheep's wool. The coat also has a very dense undercoat, which means that these cats’ ancestors could handle very cold winters and being outdoors with a fair degree of ease. The coat even has waterproof properties.

The face of a Chartreux has perhaps two very striking and distinctive features: the rounded, copper (the breeder’s ideal) or gold eyes and the ‘smile’ that matches these cat's sweet nature. The smile is thanks to the head that tapers to a narrow muzzle. The nose is slate-grey and the lips are a blue that blends perfectly with the coat.


The Chartreux is a very gentle, loving, sweet-natured, playful, agile, adaptable and quiet breed. Although they become extremely attached to their owners they are never demanding and tolerate being on their own very well.

These smart cats fit into a range of households very well because they are tolerant and gentle. This means that they are good with other cats and cat-friendly dogs. A Chartreux that is being handled roughly or is not happy or comfortable will quietly leave rather than becoming aggressive. They are also perfect companions for the elderly as they are calm, loving and attentive.

They are also very sensitive and intuitive cats that pick up illness or unhappiness in their owner and respond by cuddling him or her, giving gentle head butts, purring or curling up and sleeping with them. This same sensitivity means that the Chartreux responds very well to praise but is badly affected by being shouted at.

A Chartreux will love getting attention from you, especially if it includes being rubbed or scratched under the chin and between the ears. However, if you are busy, he or she will be more than happy to quietly sit and watch you or have a nap. These cats often follow' their owner around but are polite and respectful.

Their adaptability and laid-back nature means that these cats travel well and don't find it remotely as traumatic as most breeds do. In fact they can travel over several days as long as they have a set routine for the duration of the journey and contact with their owner.

This breed is much less talkative than others. Some Chartreux are in fact mute and can’t meow, they can purr and hiss or growl if they are threatened. Others have make a small, chirp-like sound. Most often, though, the Chartreux communicates using his or her eyes or body language.

These cats are sociable and very playful. Chartreux kittens are quicker to begin to interact with people than many other breeds. This makes them fun companions in addition to being loyal and loving.

In keeping with the breed's history as hunters and their continued hunting skills, they enjoy games that mimic hunting. They enjoy fast, acrobatic games and they play in short spurts. The balance of their day is spent sleeping, grooming and eating.

Gallery of Chartreux