The Russian Blue is a naturally occurring cat breed that may have originated in the port of Arkhangelsk in Russia. They are also sometimes called Archangel Blues. It is believed that sailors took them from the Archangel Isles to Great Britain and Northern Europe in the 1860s.
The first reference to an Archangel Cat appears in British print in 1862. The first recorded appearance of one in a show was in 1872 at The Crystal Palace in England as the Archangel Cat.
However, Harrison Weir writing in 1895 reported that the early show cats under the Russian Blue name were British-bred grey tabbies, with separate grey cats arriving from Archangel in Britain in the 1800s with features consistent with the modern breed.
The Russian Blue competed in a class including all other blue cats until 1912, when it was given its own class. The breed was developed mainly in England and Scandinavia until after World War II.
Right after the war, a lack of numbers of Russian Blues led to cross-breeding with the Siamese. Although Russian Blues were in the United States before the war, it was not until the post-war period that American breeders created the modern Russian Blue that is seen in the United States today.
American breeders combined the bloodlines of both the Scandinavian and British Russian Blues. The Siamese traits have now largely been bred out. The short hair and slate-gray/blue color are often seen in mixed-breed cats, which can affect breeders and showers due to mislabeling a cat as a Russian Blue.
The world will never know the true origin of the Russian Blue Cat Breed.
Credit: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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