It is very hard to squeeze the history and characteristics of this distinct breed in just a few lines, as the Chartreux may be one of the oldest breeds. Its presence has been documented as early as the 16th century.As such, there are plenty of variations as to its origin and naming. The most popular story however goes that the knights returning from the Crusades brought them home, ending up at the French monasteries and taking their name after the Carthusian monks of France, together with their famous liqueur.
The Chartreux has been described as the magnificently elegant ensemble of several ugly parts. A robust body, broad shoulders and a deep chest, are paired by medium short, finely boned legs earning it the affective characterization of a “potato on toothpicks”. Its tail is of medium length, with a strong basis. In general, it is a very muscular and strong race, and make extremely good mouse hunters.Its coat and eyes, their most distinct features, are once more a study in contrasts. Their blue fur is medium in length, with a sheep-like appearance that is due to the breakings created by its undercoat. This dense undercoat gives it resistance to water, making them almost waterproof. The eyes have a warm color ranging from gold to deep amber, and a round shape with the outer corners slightly upward. Ears are medium in height and width, set high on the head. And of course let’s not forget the smile of the Chartreux, another distinct feature. Chartreux cats take their time and grow gracefully, completing their development between 3 and 5 years old.
A balanced, discreet breed, and social only when they care to be, the Chartreux becomes attached to their family that they like to follow everywhere in the house. They are quiet, making chirping sounds and meowing quite rarely. These dog-like cats are very good travelers and feel at home wherever, as long as their owner is with them. They are intelligent and very sensitive, recognizing their owner’s mood and feeling bad if being yelled at.