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The history of the beautiful blue Chartruex is steeped in legend. The legend tells us the Chartreux lived with, and was named for, the Carthusian monks of France. Perhaps they even shared a tipple or two of their famous Chartreuse liqueur!
Recent research, though, indicates that the cat was given the same name as a well known Spanish wool of the 18th century, because of the character of the fur. This is the more likely story since it common in animal husbandry to name breeds using such a method.
The presence of this natural cat breed has appeared in documents as early as the 16th century, and was acknowledged for its unique coat texture and color. For whatever the reason, the Chartreux adopted France, and France likewise adopted the Chartreux. Today, the handsome blue cat is considered a French treasure.
The mature male Chartreux is gloriously statuesque and muscular. Females, structured on a smaller, finer scale, are no less vigorous and appealing, but few females achieve the hefty bone and substance that a full-grown male boasts. The woolly double coat is soft and lush and especially thick on the adult male. The fur appears to add bulk to either sex, but thereís still a lot of cat under that silver-tipped, blue-gray fur!
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, while males range upwards to 20 pounds. Wow! That's a lot of cat!
When you look your Chartreux in the face, you will be struck by the sweet, smiling expression, one of alert intelligence and satisfaction. The eyes will be from an orange to a deep copper color, with a slight upward slant to the outer edge.
The Chartreux is a quiet cat, and if you're expecting to hear a big bass voice resounding out of this bulky cat, then you're in for a surprise when you hear the Chartreux speak in a tiny voice that hardly reaches across the room. Although they are not known for meowing, they do voice 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!
Breeders agree that male Chartreux, when altered, make better pets, but both sexes are extremely dedicated to family life, make good companions, and travel well. Despite their bulk, these cats can perform with the grace and lightness of a trapeze artist, and need plenty of space for their stunts. They also love a romp with other family pets and the kids, a game of fetch, and, of course, prefer your bed to their own.
A Chartreux can learn its name, and will even come on call. Almost dog-like in their devotion and behavior, itís not surprising that many a dog fancier has found a place in their world for a Chartreux. How nice!