Animal Facts

Russian Blue Cat

Introduction

Cats are one of the most popular of all house pets. Millions of people around the world own one – or two or more! Historians tell us that cats were first domesticated by humans about 4,000 years ago. People found them useful for catching and killing mice and rats that would otherwise ruin their grain supplies. People have always admired cats for their beauty and sleek bodies. From the original domesticated cat came forth the other breeds that exist today.

The Russian Blue is one of these breeds. They originally came from a country in Eastern Europe called Russia. Their fur is not a bright blue like the sky or the ocean but rather a silver color with a blue tint. So the name is a bit misleading. Eventually these cats were shown off at fancy cat shows and became known to breeders worldwide. Now you can find them most everywhere.

Characteristics

Each cat has its own unique personality, but in general, you can say cats of this breed are gentle and friendly. They are also very intelligent, curious and playful. You can leave them at home alone while you are in school. When happy, cats make a purring sound. They are known for walking around quietly, crouching low to the ground when stalking prey, licking their fur to clean themselves, and using their tongues to lap up drinking water.

Cats are territorial and sometimes will fight each other to establish dominance. Before fighting, however, cats will hiss and arch their backs with fur raised to give a warning signal.

You may see a cat up a tree outside or on top of a table or bookshelf in your living room. Cats are good jumpers and climbers. They use claws on all four paws for gripping. Sometimes, however, they climb so high they get stuck – afraid to climb down. You may have to ask your parents to help you rescue the cat.

In the wild, cats hunt and chase prey animals. This uses up a lot of energy. So does eating. This explains why cats sleep so much – their bodies need sleep time to rebuild energy reserves.

Appearance

This is a small animal with a long and slender body. It has four muscular legs. The hind two legs are used for jumping and pouncing. The purebreds have a thick double coat of soft silver fur and green eyes. All cats have two triangular-shaped ears on the top of their heads and long furry tails.

Life Stages

The female cat gets pregnant by a male cat, goes through eight weeks of pregnancy, and then gives birth to a litter of babies called kittens. There may be several kittens born within the litter. These newborn kittens are totally dependent on their mothers for warmth, protection, and food. They nurse mother’s milk for nearly two months until they are able to eat on their own. This transition is known as weaning. Kittens become adults at only six months of age and are able to mate and produce a new generation of kittens.

Life Span

A life span of 10 – 15 years is common. Some individuals may live as long as 20 years. Stray cats typically do not live as long due to lack of food, injuries, and diseases.

Size

A Russian Blue is a medium size cat standing 10 inches tall at the shoulder.

Habitat

Domesticated cats have adapted to live comfortably with their human owners inside a house or an apartment. They do need a litter box which they use like a toilet. The litter box needs to be cleaned daily. Cats have an excellent sense of smell and may stop using the litter box if it is too dirty and smelly. They also need fresh clean water to drink and food to eat. They may sleep next to you in bed or sit on the couch.

Diet

Cats are carnivores. They eat meat – not plants. Stray cats will scavenge garbage for food, but house cats depend on their human owners to feed them. A veterinarian can give you the best advice on what to feed your cat. They need to eat and to drink fresh water every day.

Friends and Enemies

Some cats can get along with other cats especially if they are from the same litter. Some cats will also get along with dogs. Some do best without another pet in the house. The cats best friend is usually his owner – as long as the owner provides a good home, affection, proper food and regular medical check-ups.

A stray cat living outside faces many enemies. Other cats may attack and fight causing bites and painful scratches. A dog may chase and kill a stray cat. Then there are biting insects like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes that can pass along fatal diseases.

Suitability as Pets

A domesticated Russian Blue Cat is a very suitable pet for most people. One exception would be a family where the children or the adults are allergic to cats. As long as you provide a loving home and good care, a cat can be a good companion for many happy years.

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