There is a long-standing debate between cat people and dog people. Dog people often claim that dogs are so much better than cats and the same claim is made by cat people. Sometimes, you run into someone that wants both kinds of pets. If you happen to be one of those people, you’re undoubtedly looking for a cat that can get along well with your dog. Maybe you just want a breed of cat that is completely different from every other feline that you see walking around. If that’s the case, you might be interested in the chartreux cat, a unique and rare breed that got its start in France hundreds of years ago. If you’re not sure what a chartreux cat really is, think about the Stephen King movie Pet Sematary and the cat that was the star of the movie, Church. That is the same type of cat that is being discussed here. Of course, it’s important not to remember all the finer points of the movie, but merely what the cat looked like in his prime.
If you’re genuinely interested in knowing more about this breed and you think you might want to adopt one, you can find 20 interesting things about the breed if you keep reading. You’re likely to be pleasantly surprised, as the Chartreux cat is unlike any other breed of cat in existence for a number of reasons. It doesn’t really look like any other breed of cat, but more importantly, it doesn’t act like your typical cat, either. For that reason, it’s one of the most popular breeds around.
Here are 20 fun facts about the Chartreux:
1. They originated in France
The chartreux cat has been around for a very long time, dating back somewhere around the middle part of the 1500s. This is a cat that originated in France. In fact, it was a cat that was quite popular with the aristocracy of the time. As such, many of the most famous people in history actually owed these types of cats early on. Today, it has still maintained its lineage as a cat that is often considered to be the best among several different breeds of felines. And as such, it is still widely sought after by people all over the world. Generally speaking, the only place that doesn’t recognize it as a distinct breed is Britain.
2. These cats are rare
Despite its overwhelming popularity, there aren’t really all that many of these types of cats around. For many years, the cats were owned almost exclusively by people that were considered to be in the upper echelons of society. They had a tendency to carefully regulate how the cats were bred and ultimately, how many were bred. As such, there never was a huge population when it came to this particular breed of cats. Today, that still rings true. The cats are extremely popular, but they can be exceptionally difficult to find for the simple fact that there aren’t really that many of them in existence.
3. They’re relatively large
Some cats are just larger than others. Generally speaking, most cats are relatively the same size. On the other hand, these cats have a tendency to be somewhat larger than your typical house cat. They’re not necessarily taller, but they have a very muscular body which is typically thought of as being more athletic than a regular house cat. That’s saying a lot when you really stop and think about it. Virtually any house cat is athletic by normal standards. If this is a cat that is capable of moving faster or more assuredly than a typical house cat, it might be something that you literally have to see in order to believe.
4. They have a unique color
Chartreux cats don’t have as many color combinations as many other breeds of cats. In fact, they typically come in only one color. Their coat is a very unique blue gray combination that gives them an interesting appearance, to say the least. Most people regard these as being among the most beautiful breeds of cats there are. In reality, a lot of people that want to get their hands on one of these types of cats is interested in the breed because of its unique coat color. When you consider all of the other attributes that are typically thought of regarding this breed, it’s no wonder that so many people want to have one of their own.
5. Their hair is resistant to water
If you’ve ever seen a typical house cat that has been given a bath or worse yet, one that falls in the bathtub, you know their hair isn’t usually resistant to water. More often than not, a cat that gets wet looks as much like a drowned rat as anything else. These cats are different in this aspect as well. Their hair is actually resistant to water. If they somehow end up in a body of water, they can come out of it almost completely dry, in much the same way that a Labrador Retriever would do. It’s a relatively interesting aspect of their breed, as this is not considered normal for cats. It’s also one more reason why so many people strive to own one.
6. They have a short stature
Remember the part about this cat being larger than most other types of cats? This holds true, but maybe not in the way that most people think. The cats are typically relatively short in height. Despite that fact, they’re still larger than most average cats. Even though their legs are fairly short, they have a great deal more muscle than most cats. This makes them appear much larger to the naked eye. Think about a delicate Arabian stallion versus a standard draft horse. The Arabian is taller, but the draft horse is more stout in every way. Such is the case with the chartreux cat.
7. They have exceptionally quick reflexes
You might remember that these cats are typically more athletic than other breeds. Most cats have lightning fast reflexes so it’s hard to think about a cat that can react to something even faster. However, these cats routinely do exactly that. In most cases, their reflexes are so fast that they’ve already done whatever they were going to do before you even realize what’s happening. This makes them very interesting to watch, provided that you can keep up with them.
8. They have rough hair
Most cats are so soft that it’s almost hard to believe. This is not necessarily the case with this particular breed of cat. In fact, their hair has a tendency to be rather rough. A lot of people compare feeling their hair to what the wool of a sheep feels like. This is something that surprises a lot of people the first time they reach down to pet a chartreux cat. They’re expecting to feel that same soft, baby fine hair that they experience when petting most cats and they are in for a surprise when they reach down and feel something that is more akin to a ball of steel wool.
9. They smile
Maybe they don’t actually smile, but they look like they do. Chartreux cats are different in a lot of ways and one of those differences involves the bone structure of their head and jaw. As such, they always look like they’re smiling. Even if you have a chartreux cat that is furious with you, it’s probably going to look like it’s smiling right at you. This is another reason that so many people want to own one of these cats. The overall bone structure of their face gives them an exceptionally cute appearance that most people just can’t resist.
10. They have a unique eye color
Cats typically have fairly routine eye color. More often than not, they have eyes that are brown or in some rare cases, blue. With that being said, these cats have an eye color that is exceptionally unique to the breed itself. Typically, the chartreux cat has eyes that are either copper or orange in color. This gives them a unique appearance in and of itself. When you couple their unique eye color with the color and appearance of their coat, you know right away that you’re not dealing with a typical cat. In fact, these traits make it very easy to identify a chartreux cat, even for someone that isn’t intimately familiar with different breeds of felines.
11. They’re great hunters
Most cats are good hunters. However, some breeds of cats have a tendency to hunt better than others. It just so happens that the chartreux cat is one of those breeds that tend to be among the best. More cats of this particular breed like to hunt than others and the breed as a whole is considered superior when it comes to hunting. If you’re looking at owning cats from a practical perspective, such as controlling a rodent population, these cats are almost perfect for the job. They have an innate desire to hunt and capture prey and left to their own devices, they will do this consistently.
12. They’re highly intelligent
Have you ever wondered whether or not cats as a whole are intelligent? Most people talk about the intelligence of dogs all the time, but you hardly ever hear about the intelligence of cats. This is probably because it’s hard to measure the intelligence of cat as opposed to a dog. Generally speaking, cats would just prefer to be left alone and do their own thing. Most breeds don’t enjoy interacting with people on a regular basis and this makes it difficult to know whether or not they understand commands because they don’t have a tendency to follow them in the first place. Again, these cats are different. They have a demonstrated ability to allow their level of intelligence to be known by following commands and interacting in unique ways.
13. They’re quiet
Some cats barely utter a sound and others seem to meow all the time. It really depends on your personal preferences which one you prefer. If you’re looking for a cat that’s typically a relatively quiet one, chartreux cats might be a good choice for you. For the most part, they don’t have any tendency to make a lot of noise. Some of them never utter a single sound from the time they’re born until the day they die. Even the ones that are more vocal still have a tendency to be far less noisy than your typical cat.
14. They’re relatively calm
Cats can be hyper and in some cases, they can be downright mean. Anybody that’s ever been bitten or scratched by a cat knows how painful it can be when they’re in a bad mood and you made the unfortunate decision to try to pick them up or handle them in one way or another. Chartreux cats make a habit out of being unique and as such, they have a tendency to be relatively calm. They don’t usually scratch or bite and in most cases, they don’t even hiss at people. They usually take things in stride and don’t have a tendency to get over excited about much of anything.
15. They have a tendency to bond with someone
This is where you really get to see how different this breed is. Most cats want to be fed and watered and left alone. It’s really a rare occasion that a cat develops a true relationship with a person and even when it does, that relationship is usually on the cat’s terms, not the human’s. These cats are once again different. In fact, they’re so different that the chartreux has a tendency to bond with one person in much the same way that a dog would develop a relationship with its owner. In addition, once the cat bonds with somebody, it usually follows that person around on its own free will. It’s also capable of showing affection to other members of the family at the same time.
16. They prefer to be with people
Most people would never accuse a cat of having a desire to be with anybody. Cats are extremely self-sufficient. Typically, they would prefer that you set the food out and then walk away. More often than not, they simply don’t want to be bothered and they certainly don’t have a tendency to prefer being around people as opposed to being by themselves. If you own a chartreux cat, you’re likely to be in for a pleasant surprise. They don’t typically adopt that common cat attitude of wanting to be left alone. In fact, they usually have a tendency to go the opposite direction by showing an innate desire to be with other people. More often than not, they will pick one person in the family that they develop the strongest bond with but they have a tendency to develop strong bonds with everybody. This makes them act much more like a dog than a cat. It’s really something to see for someone that’s never witnessed it before. In fact, it’s hard for many people to wrap their heads around the idea that a cat could ever be so loving or that it could develop long-term relationships with someone in much the same way that the family dog does.
17. They’re loving
These cats don’t just develop bonds and then follow people around all day long. They actually go out of their way to show genuine affection. They like to be held and many times, they will initiate some type of action with the people they are around, signifying that they want to be held or petted. They also like to play. In fact, many of these cats have a tendency to want to play games with the people they’re close to much later in life than most other breeds of cats. There’s something about them that allows them to maintain that joy of being a kitten well into their senior years. As such, they don’t really have a tendency to get grumpy as they get older like a lot of other breeds do. If you are looking for a cat that fits well with your family and you’ve never thought of yourself as a cat person before, this might be the perfect place for you to start looking.
18. They’re good with kids
Sometimes, it doesn’t seem possible to have a cat in the family if you also have small children. If the cat becomes aggressive toward the kids, the last thing you want is for there to be an altercation where either one is going to be injured. It’s important to remember that an angry cat can do a lot of damage in a very short amount of time. Fortunately, these cats really have a tendency to gravitate towards children as opposed to showing aggression when they’re around them. It makes them an excellent option for households that have a lot of kids or that have children who are very young. The cats seem to sense that young children are perhaps more vulnerable than their older counterparts. As such, they typically show more compassion toward those younger individuals. Chartreux cats are frequently more gentle with children than they are with adults, and they are frequently considered to be one of the more gentle breeds in existence, regardless of who they are around.
19. They’re good with other pets
Maybe you have a situation where you have a lot of other pets in the family and you’re looking to add one more. You might have several dogs and maybe even one or two other cats running around. If you’re going to get another pet, you obviously want it to get along with the pets that are already there. The last thing you want to consider is doing something that would cause injury or even emotional instability to the situation you already have. Animals have a tendency to become very unsure of themselves when their routine changes. As such, they might sometimes act out when a new pet is brought in. If the pet that is being brought into the family has a tendency to act out as well, you could potentially have a disaster on your hands. Worse yet, things could go from bad to worse before you can even think about stopping it. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re able to make the dynamic work when you bring a new pet into the house. Chartreux cats are phenomenal when it comes to being compatible with other pets, including dogs and even larger animals. Their calm nature typically calms down the other animals that are becoming agitated and also works against allowing fights to develop.
20. They’re healthy
There are so many cat breeds out there that have a tendency to get one type of disease or another. It’s unfortunate but it is a fact. It’s also something that you have to be aware of if you’re considering purchasing a cat of a particular breed. It’s part of being a responsible pet owner to know what you might be getting yourself into as opposed to just grabbing whatever kitten looks the cutest and hoping for the best. Fortunately, chartreux cats have a tendency to be extremely healthy. Unlike many other breeds of cats, they don’t really have a tendency to develop any specific diseases. They’re extremely robust and resilient and many of them live long and happy lives without any specific difficulties. Even when the cats reach old age, they still have a tendency to be active and agile. This makes them a good choice for anyone that is apprehensive about dealing with a breed that could potentially have a lot of health issues later on down the road.
There you have it. If you want a cat that will bond with you, love you and stay calm when everyone else seems to be losing their minds, it might be time to see if you can find your very own chartreux cat. Remember, they are rare so you might not be able to find one right off the bat. However, if this is the type of cat you really want, you will be able to find one eventually, even if that means you have to wait a little longer to get it.