Health History and Character of the Chartreux Cat

by Michael
(London, UK)

Chartreux cat - photo copyright Helmi Flick - please respect copyright.

Chartreux cat – photo copyright Helmi Flick – please respect copyright.

There are some interesting aspects of the health, history and character of the Chartreux cat. On the main page I mentioned that this cat breed can suffer from patellar luxation. This can be found in tandem with hip dysplasia. Not only can this condition cause lameness it can make the cat reluctant to jump. The limb can be locked and the cat might try and pop the kneecap back into place. Hip dysplasia is found occasionally in the Chartreux cat. The symptoms are an abnormal walk together with intermittent lameness and a reluctance to jump. The disease can degenerate to severe joint disease. Sometimes the disease only shows up later in life. Surgery may be required in cats that are consistently lame.

Behavioral Traits – History – Registration

As mentioned this cat is quiet with a silent of very soft meow. This is very similar to the British Shorthair. Indeed the blue (gray) British Shorthair could be mistaken for this breed. This notable similarity has resulted in some confusion. Firstly it seems that some authors have claimed that it is identical to the British Shorthair. Although similar it is not the same cat. The pedigrees are distinct. Also on continental Europe some breeders refer to the Chartreux as the British Blue; an unwelcome confusion.

The similarity in temperament and appearance has also resulted in a merging of the two breeds by FiFe, the European cat registry, in 1970. The merged cat breed was called the Chartreux but was a blue British Shorthair in breed standard. The decision was reversed 7 years later. Sadly, the legacy of this blip in decision making can still be seen with some breeders and cat clubs continuing to use the name Chartreux for gray Brit SH cats and gray European SH cats. Accordingly, when buying a Chartreux on the continent caution needs to be exercised as the cat could be a blue Brit SH or cross breed instead.

Care and Grooming

Dr Clark (Medical, Genetic & Behavioral Aspects of Purebred Cats), says that people who keep this cat companion should not brush the cat’s double coat but stroke the cat and “finish with a chamois”. I have never heard that before. However, the website: http://web.archive.org/web/20141219090726/http://www.fanciers.com/, says that the coat does not require much maintenance but during the molting season the dead hair should be brushed out. The coat is dense and water proof so bathing the cat has its complications.

As to diet it seems that this cat prefers light non-rich food as they sometimes have sensitive stomachs. That said, owners will need to provide a diet sufficiently nutritious to maintain muscle mass in a not insubstantial cat.

It would seem that the health history and character of the Chartreux Cat are somewhat intertwined with the British Shorthair cat.

From Health History and Character of the Chartreux Cat to Chartreux Cat

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Health History and Character of the Chartreux Cat

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May 17, 2011 Elvis
by: Rosa

My Elvis, who was 4 years old died suddenly yesterday. He did not have any signs of sickness, ate well and acted normally. He was a very loving cat and very devoted to me. He was my “shadow.” As soon as I got home, he would follow and sit everywhere I moved. He slept every night next to me on his side. I just wish I knew what happened, why did he die so young?


Aug 20, 2009 Response to last comment
by: Michael (PoC Admin) 

Hi, thanks for sharing. It would seem that hip dysplasia can be accompanied sometimes by shaking.

“Hip dysplasia can cause pain and weakness as well as..signs such as shaking” – (Ask the veterinarian – Shaking dogs)

So, the answer is, it could be hip dysplasia. There might also be arthritis. Arthritis causes pain as we know. Pain can cause shaking.

I would have this rechecked. Hip dysplasia is an “abnormal formation” of the hip joint. It is less commonly seen in cats than dogs.

The Pet Center (thepetcenter.com) says that in confirming this condition a pelvic x-ray under anesthesia is the minimum requirement. Once again a good vet is required to check this out.


Aug 20, 2009 Unwillingness to jump
by: Anonymous

I see that you mentioned that some cats may have an unwillingness to jump due to hip dysplasia.

My cat Stevie came from the RSPCA and they said that they thought he’d been hit by a car and had neurological damage due to a slight tremor in his head and paw occasionally. Stevie could barely walk when we had him and has improved lots running around a bit but is not jumping higher than 18 inches.

Could this be due to hip dysplasia?

Is it possible that 4 vets could have missed this?

Is there anything that can be done for him?


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