The Chartreux is a domestic breed of cat from France. Stories say that the breed’s ancestors were mountain cats from what we now call Syria, brought to France by Crusaders in the 13th century who entered the Carthusian monastic order. European breeders have had to put forth some effort to keep the breed from extinction, especially following the first World War. As of 2007 there are less than 24 active Chartreux breeders in North America.
The Chartreux is large and muscular with short thin limbs. They have been described as “potatoes on toothpicks”. They have blue short hair double coats that are water-resistant and copper or gold colored eyes. The structure of their heads in conjunction with their long, tapered muzzle gives them the appearance of smiling. They are exceptional hunters with quick reflexes.
Chartreux cats rarely make noises, and some of them are, in fact, mute. They are intelligent cats and quick learners; they can often learn to open doors and turn appliances and electronics off and on. They are playful cats that are good with children and other animals. They travel well and are generally very healthy. The Chartreux will oftentimes attach themselves to one family member and follow them around from room to room. Despite their preferential treatment, they are still loving and affectionate to other household members.