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Chartreux

A cat or a dog?

Chartreux
origin:France
weight:3 to 7 kg
size: Medium-Largefur type: short
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History [ edit ]

The Chartreux is an ancient breed of cat that is said to have been originally raised by the Carthusian Catholic monks at their monastery in Grenoble both as as companion and mice hunter. It is a natural breed, that has remained unchanged since its first appearance in a cat show in 1928. The Chartreux’s ancestry is a deep mystery. One of the legends says that the Chartreux’s ancestors were Syrian feral mountain cats brought into France by the Crusaders in the 13th century. The first references to the “blue cats of France" and that this breed descended from the “Cat of Syria” (a stocky, wooly ash-gray coat cat with copper eyes) go back to the 16th century but the first documented reference to the breed was made by the French naturalist Buffon in the 17th century. It was probably also in the 17th century that the breed was given the name “Chartreux”. The reason for the name is also controversial: some say the breed was named by the Carthusian monks after their famous Chartreuse liqueur, others allege that because of the woolly texture of their fur, they were given the name of a Spanish wool well known in the beginning of the 18th century. Until the 20th century the Chartreux lived in natural colonies and were prized as working cats (ratters) or for their fur and meat. It was not until the end of the First World War that some French cat breeders became interested in preserving the Chartreux. They formulated a breed standard based on the descriptions made by Naturlists of the 18th century and started breeding from a stock originated in geographically isolated colonies such as  Belle Ile island. The breed was first exhibited at a cat show in 1928. Today, these purebred cats are not very common, even in France, and br