- Its origins remain uncertain, but the Chartreux is believed to date back to the 13th Century from what is now Syria and brought to France by Crusaders who became Carthusian monks.
- French folklore touts that this breed was named for the world-renown yellow and green Chartreuse liquors made by the Carthusian monks.
- The first three Chartreux cats was brought to the United States in 1971 by Helen and John Gamon, of La Jolla, Calif., who led the effort to popularize the breed in this country.
- There are fewer than two dozen active Chartreux breeders throughout Canada and the United States.
- The Cat Fanciers Association, granted championship status to this breed in 1987.
Chartreux Behavior Concerns
- Stocky in size but quiet in voice, the Chartreux quietly watches his surroundings and is a quick learner. Some are able to turn on radios, lights and open doors.
- Very dog-like in devotion, this breed tends to bond with one person in the home and follow them from room to room. However, they are generous with their affection to others as well.
- This breed has earned a reputation through the centuries as being a superb hunter, particularly of mice.
- This breed is mellow and adapts to new surroundings and makes for a good travel companion.
- When conflicts arise, this cat prefers to leave the scene rather than be confrontational.
Look of Chartreuxs
- This breed sports wooly, dense blue-grey top coat and a thick undercoat.
- You will be immediately drawn to this cat's gigantic, beckoning eyes of copper or gold as well as its sweet smile. Full cheeks, straight nose and round ears.
- The body is big and strong with oversized paws and fine-boned legs.
- Females weigh between 6 and 9 pounds and are medium in size while males tend to weigh between 10 and 14 pounds and are large in size.
- The Chartreux takes up to three or four years to fully reach physical maturity.
Grooming Chartreux Cats
- Its dense, double coat benefits by weekly brushing to prevent matts. In the fall and spring, when shedding is worst, brushing should occur two to three times a week.
- Rarely needs a bath, but if one is necessary, be aware that it will be challenging to completely wet this water-resistant coat.
Suggested Nutritional Needs for Chartreux
- This breed tends to be sensitive to rich food or changes in the diet, so work with your veterinarian on selecting the right quality commercial food.
- Adult Chartreux are not as active and can become overweight.
Fun Facts of Chartreuxs
- The Chartreux tradition calls for all kittens born in a given year to be named with a specific letter of the alphabet for that particular year. Breeders use only 20 letters, skipping K, Q, W, X, Y, and Z. For example, 2008 is a "D" year.
- Fondly nicknamed "a potato on toothpicks" due to its big, broad body and finely boned legs.
- The late French general and president Charles de Gaulle was once a proud owner of this cat breed.