The Carthusian, also called the chartreux cat, is a breed of cat native to France. This cat is characterized by the coppery or orange color of its eyes and by its blue fur. His facial features resemble a smile. Carthusian development is slow: they need more than a year to mature.


Breed Origin:
France, Syria
Life Span:
8 - 13+ years
Average Weight:
7 - 16 lbs
Hair quantity:
General health:

Origin and History

The Chartreux is a historic French breed known for its striking blue-gray coat and a robust physique. This breed is often linked with legends that it was raised by Carthusian monks in France during the medieval period, although concrete historical evidence for this claim is scarce. The Chartreux might have arrived in France from the Middle East or Africa, brought back by returning Crusaders in the 13th century. Its natural hunting abilities were prized for keeping monasteries and homes free of rodents. The breed’s exact origins remain somewhat mysterious, but its presence in France has been well documented for centuries. It faced near extinction during World War II, but dedicated breeding programs in Europe helped preserve the Chartreux.


The Chartreux is distinguished by its sturdy, muscular body, broad shoulders, and deep chest, encapsulating a powerful build in a medium to large-sized cat. The breed’s most remarkable feature is its dense, woolly coat, which is water-repellent and comes in various shades of blue-gray, from light ash to deep slate. The coat is medium-short, plush, and has a unique texture that gives the Chartreux its cuddly bear-like appearance.

Another characteristic trait is its rounded, copper to gold eyes, set within a broad head with a sweet, smiling expression. The Chartreux has a straight nose, high cheekbones, and small to medium ears rounded at the tips. Its physique is complemented by a robust, tapering tail.

Personality and Temperament

The Chartreux is known for its quiet, gentle demeanor. They are often described as dog-like in their loyalty and tendency to follow their owners around the house. While they are not overly demanding of attention, they appreciate companionship and can form strong bonds with their family members. This breed is known for being particularly good with children and other pets.

Chartreux cats are intelligent and playful, enjoying interactive toys and games that challenge their hunting skills. Despite their quiet nature, they are capable of making a variety of sounds to communicate with their owners, although they are known for being less vocal than some other breeds. Their calm and patient temperament makes them excellent indoor companions.


The Chartreux is generally a healthy and hardy breed with few known genetic health issues. They are known for their longevity, often living into their late teens with proper care. However, like all breeds, they can be prone to specific health concerns. One condition to be mindful of is patellar luxation, a knee joint issue that can affect some cats.

Obesity can also be a concern for Chartreux cats, especially if they are not provided with enough physical activity. A balanced diet and regular playtime are essential to keep them in good shape. Regular veterinary check-ups are recommended to ensure they maintain optimal health.

Overall, the Chartreux’s quiet demeanor, robust health, and affectionate nature make it a cherished companion for those lucky enough to share their home with one of these blue-coated treasures.

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