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First Russian Blue

History of Russian Blues

Historical records can, at times, be incomplete or misleading. However, our philosophy is the best way to determine the true origin of Russian Blues would be to consider the written historical record. Here are the earliest known drawings of a Russian Blue, beginning in 1873. Pretty neat right? Looks most like our Queen, Northern Sky. Moonlight takes after them as well, along with the other girls. 


The oldest reference to Russian Blues we can find is in the 1889 works “Our Cats and All About Them” by Harrison Weir where he writes:

“...first shown as the Archangel cat, then Russian blue...A fine specimen should be even in colour, of a bluish-lilac tint, with no sootiness or black, and though light be firm and rich in tone, the nose and pads dark, and the eyes orange-yellow. If of a very light blue-gray, the nose and pads may be of a deep chocolate colour and the eyes deep yellow, not green…. I feel bound, however, to admit that those that came from Archangel were of a deeper, purer tint than the English cross-breeds; and on reference to my notes, I find they had larger ears and eyes, and were larger and longer in the head and legs, also the coat or fur was excessively short, rather inclined to woolliness, but bright and glossy, the hair inside the ears being shorter than is usual in the English cat….The best and deepest coloured of the blue short-haired cats are from Archangel. Those I have seen were very fine in colour, the pelage being the same colour to the skin, which was also dark and of a uniform lilac-tinted blue.”

The note on eye color is later corrected, as noted on the fine site, by Mrs. Constance Carew-Cox in a letter to the editor of 'Our Cats and All About them', published in January 1904:

"I quite endorse 'Archangel's' remarks concerning Russian cats, in 'Our Cats' of January 2nd, and share his regret at the fact that half-bred blues are usurping the places formerly awarded to pure-bred specimens, simply because it is far easier to breed them with orange eyes, when crossed with English cats. As a matter of fact, the orange eye, although it is so attractive, is by no means symbolical of the foreign variety. Many dozens of imported cats have during the past twenty years passed through my hands, and, as a rule, their eyes were green….One of the best I ever saw came from Iceland. I now have one that was imported from the borders of the Black Sea. She has a beautiful coat of a soft shade of blue, and large wondering eyes of Emerald...."

Credits to:

The CFA Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 2155
260 East Main Street
Alliance, OH 44601
Tel: 330-680-4444
Web Site: The CFA Foundation/Feline Historical Museum
Facebook: CFA Foundation
Twitter: @FelineHistory

The Harrison Weir Collection

The Harrison Weir Collection is the passion of one person - John Smithson of New Zealand. Mr. Smithson is an historian, cat show judge, artist and writer with a fantastic collection of books, prints, and ephemera related to the early cat fancy. Besides maintaining a web site devoted to Harrison Weir, Mr. Smithson is currently writing a book about Weir's history in the cat fancy.

The Harrison Weir Collection
John Smithson
Web Site: The Harrison Weir Collection
Facebook: John Smithson

Helpful links on Russian  Blue Standards and History:

Standards (

The History Project: Russian Blue (

First Russian Blue
History of Russian Blue

Archangel Cat

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