Do I have a Russian Blue mix?

It can be tricky to identify a Russian Blue by appearance alone. I would like to discuss the Russian blue mix. These are the offspring of a purebred Russian Blue and a domestic shorthaired cat. It should be the first filial or first-generation of a mating between a Russian blue purebred and a domestic shorthaired cat which is non-purebred. That’s the classic Russian blue mix. But the question is whether you can distinguish a Russian Blue mix from a purebred Russian Blue or a blue domestic shorthaired cat which looks very much like a purebred Russian blue! And you’ve got to do this from appearance only.

This is a picture of a purebred Russian Blue.

Russian Blue cat
Russian Blue. Image: MikeB using Canva.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

It’s very difficult I think to be absolutely sure that a blue, standard-looking domestic shorthaired cat is a purebred Russian Blue unless you are an expert and/or unless you are a breeder very much involved with this cat breed and therefore able to differentiate the genuine article from the pretty, grey moggy. The Russian Blue is a pretty standard-looking cat but a little slenderer i.e. ‘foreign’ than most standard domestic cats.

Very few Russian mix cats

Apparently, there are very few Russian Blue mix cats anyway because breeders sell neutered cats. But some breeders will sell unfixed cats under certain circumstances.

Eye colour turning from yellow to green

One defining difference I think between the Russian Blue mix and the purebred Russian Blue is the eye colour. I’m told that Russian blue kittens and young adults have yellow eyes that turn green. True Russian Blue cats never have yellow eyes. But all kittens have blue eyes because there’s no pigment in the iris. The yellow-to-green transformation must occur when the cat is a subadult or adult.

Yellow eyes in nice-looking gray cat is very common in non-purebred domestic cats. So, if somebody sold you an adult Russian Blue with yellow eyes you have not got a Russian Blue!

And I think the subtle differences between the purebred Russian Blue and the Russian Blue mix exposes purchasers to being conned by unscrupulous sellers. The point I’m making is that a person can sell a Russian Blue mix or even a good-looking random bred blue cat as a purebred Russian Blue. An unsuspecting purchaser won’t know the difference and may be scammed.

RELATED: J.D. Salinger’s Russian Blue Cats

Look for great-looking green eyes

One conclusion must be that if you are buying a Russian Blue you have to make sure that the eyes are green – actually deep emerald green ideally. But that applies to an adult cat and most people by kittens from breeders. But if you are buying from a breeder, you should select a bona fide breeder with a good reputation and you should visit them (could be hard I realise). Once again this exposes the problems of buying online from an unknown person. You really do take a big risk if you are buying a Russian Blue from an unknown person online.

One expert – or she appears to be an expert – says that the Russian Blue cats on the website are not true “Russians”. The aficionados of this breed called the cats “Russians”.

Russian mixes on social media

She’s saying is that nearly all the people who upload pictures of their Russian Blue cats to are mistaken about their cat’s pedigree. They think they’ve got a true Russian Blue but they haven’t according to this lady. That’s a worrying thought. And you wonder how many bought their cat from a breeder so-called but she wasn’t actually a breeder.

And on the website there are a couple of pictures of Russian Blue mix cats which look very much like the genuine article. They look like the purebred but they aren’t and one revealing appearance difference is the eye colour. These cats have yellow eyes when they should be green.

Credit: bottom-right: Posted by u/hellokittyishigh. Top-left Posted by u/Confident-Poetry2817 both on

An added complication

Gloria Stephens in her book Legacy of the Cat tells us that “The Australian Russian Blue is bred to standards that differ greatly from the Russian Blue bread in the United States. The Australian Russian Blues have a longer body type and a “puffy” muzzle, looking as though the cat is puffing out its cheeks. The Russian Blues that I saw in Moscow, Russia, were of semi-foreign type. They had deep, breathtaking emerald green eyes.”

The lesson there is that the body confirmation of this breed varies depending upon where you are. The Russians should know how do breed the Russian Blue.

Internet can perpetuate myths

The trouble with the Internet is that it does tend to perpetuate myths and it does tend to mislead people. There are a lot of articles about this breed and other breeds and sometimes they are misleading. For example, on a slightly different topic, many people say that Russians are hypoallergenic but they aren’t. Your see claims that many breeds are hypoallergenic but they simply aren’t. There are no hypoallergenic cats.

And regarding Russians, people say that they are always shy. The cat fancy does describe Russians as “gentle with a somewhat shy nature around strangers”. That quote comes from the Russian Blue Fanciers website. But they aren’t always shy. We have to remind ourselves that each cat is an individual with their own character. The expert I refer to says that she has a Russian who is very vocal and she says that her cat is not shy but likes to show off when they have friends over. I’m making that point because people researching cat breeds and the Russian Blue in particular need to have their eyes wide open and dig around a bit.

RELATED: When buying a purebred cat NEVER BE SCAMMED if you do this

You have to learn which sites tell the truth and I have to say, without boasting, that I always do my best to tell the absolute truth. I am a realist. Perhaps I’m too harsh for some people but in this world, there are too many scammers and we have to protect people from them.

“The sparkling, silvery blue coat and brilliant green eyes of the Russian Blue draw immediate attention to this shorthaired breed. But it’s the intelligent and playful disposition that makes the Russian Blue a perfect pet for most households.”

Russian Blue Fanciers
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