Let's talk Chartreux

It’s easy to fall for a Chartreux as they’re beautiful to look at with a calm disposition to boot. Their soft blue-grey coat and expressive eyes draw you in while the playful temperament of a Chartreux makes them a joy to be around. Content to explore outside or nap indoors, this cat likes to stay close while maintaining a safe distance. Shocker, a feline contradiction! They’re attentive, discreet, and easy-going—character attributes that make them a welcome addition to any family dynamic, including children, cat-friendly dogs, and even other felines.

Official name: Chartreux

Other names: Kartauser

Origins: France

Labrador Retriever adult black and white
Shedding level: High
Warm weather? Medium
Energy level (high, low, medium) *: Medium Family pet? * High
Compatibility with other pets:

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed’s specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy, healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socialising your pet as well as covering their basic welfare, social and behavioural needs.

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

Inline Image 15
Illustration of a Chartreux cat
23 - 28 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
4.5 - 7 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
18 - 28 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
3 - 5 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight

 Baby cat:  Birth to 4 months
 Growing kitten:  4 to 12 months
 Adult:  1 to 7 years
 Mature:  7 to 12 years
 Senior age:  From 12 years

Front on headshot of a Chartreux cat


Origins of the breed

For many enthusiasts, the Labrador Retriever remains one of the most popular all-round dogs worldwide. It’s thought that Labrador Retrievers originated from the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, where fishermen used dogs of this appearance to retrieve fish. The breed as we know it today, however, was established by the British in the early 1800’s.

The Labrador Retriever Club was founded in 1916 and the first standard followed soon after, predominantly tailored to working Labrador Retrievers who found early fame, having been originally introduced to the U.K. in the late 1800’s by Col Peter Hawker and the Earl of Malmesbury.

Chartreux kitten tucked in under a grey blanket


2 facts about Chartreux

1. Friends in high places

President Charles de Gaulle was the devoted owner of a Chartreux with the official name of Ringo de Balmalon, but more commonly referred to by their nickname “Gris-Gris” (Grey-Grey). The two were often spotted together on walks in the park. French author Colette was also a Chartreux devotee, making the breed the star of her novel ”La Chatte” (The Cat).

2. Quiet as a church mouse

If you like the strong, silent type, with an emphasis on the latter, then swipe right on the Chartreux. Preferring to communicate or direct with their eyes, this breed rarely makes a sound and is significantly quieter than your average feline. Certain Chartreux cats don’t utter a single peep in their whole lifetime but if there’s something to report, they’ll let you know with a chirp or meow.


History of the breed

The first Chartreux recording dates back to 1723 and it is believed that the breed arrived in France from the Middle East. There’s a lovely theory that Chartreux cats became the companions of Carthusian monks, matching their quiet demeanor and cloaks of grey, but while the name of the breed certainly lends the story credibility it is hard to prove through lack of official documentation.

With their former hunting talents, the breed was put on rat duty in homes, shops and stables throughout the 1700s and 1800s. At that time, they also, sadly, became the target of furriers, who favoured the beautiful colour of the Chartreux fur for expensive pelts. Happily, this practice has not returned since and remains a distant memory.

There is little information on the breed until the 1920’s, when sisters Christine and Suzanne Leger discovered a pack of blue-grey cats off the coast of France, believed to be Chartreux. They went on to domesticate the breed. In the following decade, the Chartreux appeared at European cat shows, gaining recognition.

After almost becoming extinct during World War II, the breed was carefully crossbred with Russian Blue, British Shorthair and Persian cats to ensure their survival. Making their first appearance Stateside in 1970, Chartreux were officially recognised in 1987.

Today the Chartreux is the treasured national cat of France though remains rare outside of Europe.

Black and white portrait of a Chartreux kitten walking towards the camera


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Chartreux

1. Head

Wide head with full cheeks and steady chin.

2. Eyes

Round, open eyes that are golden, amber or copper in colour.

3. Ears

Medium-sized ears that sit high and straight on the head.

4. Body

Sturdy, medium-sized length body with broad shoulders and delicate legs and feet.

5. Coat

Wool-like top coat, blue-grey in colour, with dense double coat.

Chartreux cat stood in hay turning head back to camera


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Chartreux
Chartreux cat sat in a living room with a fireplace


Caring for your Chartreux

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Grooming the Chartreux is a nice bonding moment—they purr like crazy with pleasure. Brushing or combing is advised once a week to keep their woolly top coat and thick undercoat looking sleek, and to prevent knotting. Increase to once a day when seasons change and they shed their undercoat.
Highly intelligent, Chartreux cats are receptive to discipline. As they are welcoming to other felines, dogs and children who show them respect, it is essential to establish good behaviour in your Chartreux from the get-go to ensure that everyone gets along.
Athletic, capable of moving faster than expected – surprising because of their stocky physique – they prefer exercising in short bursts and appreciate interactive stimulation with toys and games, a nod to their hunting heritage.


All about Chartreux

The Chartreux has a good life span of 12 to 15 years, so they’re here for the long haul. Because this breed of cat experiences minimal health problems, you shouldn’t have too many vet trips beyond the recommended annual check-up. However, do think to give your Chartreux antiparasitic treatment if they have outdoor access or share their space with other pets. They also manage to stay relatively active throughout their life so overall, the opportunity for quality time and loyal companionship is high.

No cat is 100% hypoallergenic. But the Chartreux cat sheds its undercoat generously one to two times a year and also has a dense double coat. So, it probably shouldn’t be a top choice breed for those with allergies as the sneeze factor is high. Sorry!

Aðrar tegundir sem þú gætir haft áhuga á


1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Cat Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book