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.