Categories: Nebelung

Nebelung cat


Photo of Nebelung Cat Lovenblues Mozart Bronikowski
copyright © Helmi Flick – please respect copyright.

This is what Helmi says about this photograph, “This cat was a Regional Winner, Southeast Region, TICA, and was photographed at the 2007 SE Regional Awards Banquet and Cat Show in July of this year. He was tired of being shown at cat shows and was ready to do his part with the ladies (so to speak) so was pulled from the show after Saturday and only came in on Sunday to be photographed. We found him to be a good model and we think he enjoyed his time in the spotlight.

Development | Appearance and Character | Name | Breeders and Standard | Quick Guide


Introduction

The Nebelung Cat is not the rarest purebred cat but the breed is one of the rarest (on a scale of 1-10 this breed ranks 7). Also, this is the only longhaired cat breed that has one coat colour, blue1. Although rare it is recognised as a championship breed by TICA (The International Cat Association). The Traditional Cat Association (TCA) recognised this breed in 1993. Other cat associations have not accepted it2 – except the WCF (World Cat Federation).

This cat is said to have “ancient mystical beginnings in Northern Russia”1.

The appearance is of “luminous elegance”2. Gloria Stephens brackets this breed with the Russian Blue, also from Northern Russia as it is a longhaired version of that cat. It is said to have been exhibited in the first cat show in England (see photo)!1 Harrison Weir is the founder of the cat fancy and was said to own the Nebelung that he drew.

This cat has a much more pronounced ruff than current Nebelung cats. The Nebelung’s modern story begins in the Nebelheim cattery in the Denver, Colorado area of the USA. The founding cats of this breed are two siblings, a male (Siegfried) and a female (Brunhilde). These two cats were the offspring of a cross between a female Black Domestic Shorthair (a cat called Elsa) and a father cat that looked like a Russian Blue.

Seigfried was born in August 1984 and Brunhilde some 5 months later. The father cat was a longhair resembling a black Angora in the words of founder/breeder Cora Cobb. The beginning of this breed then was from Domestic Shorthair (DSH) (moggie) and Domestic Longhair (DLH) stock as opposed to pedigree stock. Cora Cobb says that she was informed that the successful introduction of a new cat breed from non-pedigree purebred stock or by way of a genetic mutation had little chance of success in attaining championship status at TICA. (the CFA do not recognize this cat breed).

Development

Siegfried and Brunhilde were two out of six in the litter. Siegfried had medium-long blue hair. He was an outstanding kitten, big and handsome. Brunhilde was born from the same parents some 6 months later. She was also a blue longhair and very pretty. Her hair was longer and silkier than Siegfried’s hair. Cora thought that their outstanding appearance heralded the creation of a new breed of cat. In 1986 Cora mated Seigfried with Brunhilde. The result was a success with the kittens having the silky long hair of Brunhilde and Siegfried’s Russian Blue type body.

Cora decided to start a new breed and the long journey to achieve that objective began. I have gone over the beginning in some detail as it really is the most important part of this story. Cora found the TICA very helpful and the TICA registered the breed in 1987 under New Breeds. In 1997 the breed achieved full recognition as a Champion breed. In the early years of the breed she faced opposition from Russian Blue breeders.

The breed is also one that did not start from a “standout” genetic change as happens in the mutated breeds (e.g. American Curl). Since the early years there has been a lot of careful breeding including crossing with the Russian Blue. The Nebelung cat, although a rare breed, is now well established. This breed is recognized by the World Cat Federation (WCF) and Livre Officiel des Origines félines (LOOF). It seems the breed is more established in Europe and Russian than in the USA and North America. The Nebelung is also accepted (I believe) with CFF (Cat Fanciers Federation) and TCA (Traditional Cat Association).

Nebelung cat – Buju –  photo copyrightandby V La (Vanessa) This photograph is published under a creative commons license

History Time Line

Time line
Aug
1984
Birth of Siegfried (S) offspring of a black domestic shorthair and a Russian Blue look-a-like. He was the first Nebelung cat.
Jan 1985Birth of Brunhilde (B) offspring of same parents as Seigfriend.
1986Siegfried and Brunhilde mate to produce 3 fine kittens
1986Suggested name for the new breed was “Longhair Russian Blue”
1987
  • TICA accept the breed as Longhaired Russian Blues.
  • Schatzi a female from the 2nd litter of S & B mated with a champion Russian Blue
late 1980sBoth S and B die. Brunhilde of unknown causes (illness I guess) and Siegfriend by a car in a car park.
late ’80s
-early ’90s
Cora exports Nebelungs to France (Paris) while showing her cats in the New Breed Category. Some remain in France.
’92-’93Cora and John (husband, I’m guessing) where compelled to start a cat club “High on Cats” and held 1st show in Denver under TICA. TCA recognise breed in 1993.
1994Cora discovered a Nebelung living in the Netherlands that had been imported from Russia (was this cat described as a long hair Russian Blue by the Russian breeder?)
1996Silver Streak one of Cora’s Nebelungs declared best of the best NBC at a St. Petersburg cat show. The trip to Russia was intented to enter into breeding program with Russia breeders. This failed to work out.
1997Sigrdrifa one of Cora’s little Nebelung star cats had won Best of Best NBC at a cat show. Her lovely behavior at the half yearly TICA meeting convinced the TICA board to grant full championship status to the Nebelung – well done Cora and husband.Cora buys a Russian Nebelung (Winter Day Georgin of Nebelheim – George) imported to USA. He was a good traveller. George became the first TICA champion
1997-8Cora achieves deserved success in the show ring with descendants of the original Nebelung cats.



Update 28-7-09: Comment from an unknown but I believe knowledgeable person:

The Nebelung is actually a semi-longhaired cat–more on the length of a Somali versus an Aby. That is why Aleksandr is such a lovely boy, his fur is more the length wanted. The Neb that Cora found living in the Netherlands, Timofey, actually was imported from Russia as a Russian Blue, but his fur grew longer than normal…we have no contact anymore with Lettie, the breeder who imported him nor do we know what happened to him or his decendants. Again, the Nebelung is also accepted by many of the smaller, independent european registries, ie Neocat etc, in Europe.

Appearance and Character

The breed standard demands that the Nebelung cat is only blue. Elegance, as the picture below shows clearly, is one attribute of this cat breed – this is called a “foreign” body type. They have the Russian Blue body with long silky hair. Both the guard and down hair is solid blue2. This is a double coated cat. The draft breed standard was based on the Russian Blue with an amendment to take into account the long hair. Otherwise the standard is the same as for the Russian Blue.

The Nebelung “recreates” (Cora’s word) the Russian Blue longhair. The Nebelung cat can be outcrossed with the Russian Blue to help with genetic diversity. For this reason kittens sometimes have a coat length that is shorter than demanded by the breed standard. The coat is “silver tipped”1. The undercoat is dense. This breed is reserved with strangers but loving and close to their human companions.

This cat should have long limbs supporting a long body with a long plumed tail. The eyes are green and there is a slightly old fashioned look about this handsome cat. The Nebelung looks a bit like the cats you see in the 1900s photographs. The breed is essentially a Russian Blue with semi-long body hair and long tail hair. Blue (blue/gray) is currently the only color.

The fur is fine and light, and the Nebelung cat sheds a lot. Be prepared for lots of hair. This can be a lap cat. The voice may be whiny and this cat is laid back. The Nebelung is said to be “highly intelligent”1. This cat breed is nice and undemanding and suited to apartment life1. Some specific detail2:

  • eyes – very slightly oval, green and spaced widely.
  • head – modified wedge. Flat forehead and straight profile.
  • paws – small and round. Impression of walking on tiptoes.
  • tail – long and fluffy and tapering towards the tip.
  • ears – wide at base with rounded tips.
  • neck – long and slender.
  • body – lithe and slender
  • coat – double coated, fine and medium length with silver tipped guard hairs.

Photo directly above: © Jjtlondon under creative commons. Note: this cat is in fact the international champion Nebelung Aleksandr van Song de Chine. He is a stud cat and lives with Michel and Anke at their cattery. What I am saying is that I am not sure that the credit (Jjtlondon) taken from the Flickr website is correct as I think the photo has been taken by Michel or Anke. Their cattery is listed at the base of this page.

Update: Jessica has explained the origin of the name.

The temperament is sweet and gentle, intelligent and loving to towards his/her human guardian. Can be shy with strangers, especially young kids. They bond with owner and can follow from room to room. This breed is nice, quiet and reserved.

The Name

The name “Nebelung” is, apparently, a fusion of two words, the German word for mist, Nebel, and the Nibelungenlied (The Song of the Nibelungs) a German poem written between the 11th and 14th century. The source for this is the Wikipedia author. The Wikipedia author has assessed this to be the case but this is not “set in concrete”.

Lenny Nebelung cat – photo ©Leamington-Malfoof under a creative  commons license. This photo is a cropped version of the original. Cropping is allowed under the license.

His fur is probably too long to be a perfect “type” but he is damned handsome.

Breeders and Standard

I have decided not to list from a Google search. There are not many. As I said on the rare breed page this is a fairly rare cat.

http://www.geocities.com/heartland/acres/7070/ (link broken) NEBELHEIM CATTERY- This is the cattery belonging to the founder Cora Cobb. I am not sure where they are located, possibly Denver as that was the last place Cora Cobb worked from in her description of the history of the Nebelung cat. I’d start here.

Azadeh Nebelung (this link is now broken. I presume the person has ceased trading) – Located I believe in the Netherlands. Run by Michel and Anke. Their champion stud boy illustrates the Wikipedia article on this cat breed. He’s on this page here.

Le Pors – This cattery is not a specialist Nebelung breeder. Located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada (opens new window to a Google map).

http://www.paradigmnebelung.com/index.html (link broken) Paradigm Nebelungs  – Small website which doesn’t say where they are. Not sure if they still function.

The International Cat Association (TICA) – standard

Sources:

  • 1. Legacy of the Cat by Gloria Stephens and Tetsu.
  • 2. The Encyclopedia of the Cat by Dr Bruce Fogle – page 219.
  • http://www.nebelungs.org/
  • Wikipedia
  • Messybeast
  • http://web.archive.org/web/20130726214430/http://catconnect.com:80/int/Portrait/frri_nebelung.htm
  • Wikipedia authors’ comments
  • http://www.geocities.com/heartland/acres/7070/
  • Legacy of the Cat – Gloria Stephens
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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

View Comments

  • I have recently lost my beautiful Nebelike cat at age 14. He was the best cat I have ever owned, we were strongly bonded and his nature was loyal, loving and very placid. I am in Australia and these cats are a rarity here. I adopted him originally from a rescue centre at 8 weeks, he was one of a litter of 9, all identical, all dumped on the doorstep of a local vet clinic at the time the vet speculated that he felt someone's pure bred russian blue had maybe been exposed to a domestic long hair, maybe he was right? I never really knew what he was until a few months ago when I stumbled on the breed. Thankyou for such a detailed article about this stunning breed, I've been scouring the internet for information on the off chance I might find one here that needs adopting, but I'm not liking my chances!

      • Really interesting chat, thanks for sending through the link Michael! Funnily enough I live quite close on the mainland to French Island. I have been in the past actively involved with our local animal aide and also closely associated with wildlife rescue/hand rearing of native animals impacted by feral/domestic animals, so have seen many animals orphaned or picked up and damaged by cats and dogs, dealing with shock and puncture wounds.
        The attitude of many here is disappointing in relation to cat ownership,many people in denial claiming that their cats don't stray far and don't catch animals. We also have a camera out at our future acreage home which is often triggered by feral/adjoining farm cats passing through, far more than I expected, this camera has also regularly captured a ringtail possum and native birds. We live in a very special and significant part of the world for native animals, so this public attitude and sighting so many roaming cats in one small area is quite sobering to me.
        My cats are all indoors with access to a large enclosed cat run with plenty of places to climb, hide and look out at the world without damaging wildlife, it isn't hard to own pets responsibly without putting other species at risk.

  • Hi,
    I stumbled upon this site and read all the above stories. I have a very beautiful grey cat that we adopted 2 years ago. Because he has such unique fur and beautiful green eyes, I began searching to see what he was. He also has unique characteristics I’ve not seen in other cats. Would love to get your take on this beautiful boy named FIN

    • Hi Deanna. He definitely looks like a Nebelung. He has that 'look'. Slightly 'regal' :)

      We can't say for sure and can only speculate that he is a purebred cat and a Nebelung but he sure as hell looks like one. You'll need papers (pedigree) to prove it or DNA evidence which is not worth doing. Thanks for showing us.

  • Hello! What a great little gathering here! We got our cat Bugsy from a shelter after his human passed away. We were told he's about a year old and had not been neutered until the shelter had it done. The fact that he'd been kept as a "real man" by his previous people got me wondering so I did some research. He has such distinctive eye & coat color, eye and head shape....love that nose!, that gorgeous plume of a tail, wonderful athletically shaped body, and marvelous personality. So, I really feel like he might be a Nebelung. Doesn't really matter a whole lot, I just love this little man. I take him for a drive once or twice a week to local areas to walk on a leash, and he just trots right along...growling at the dogs if they get too close

    • What a fabulous photo of a fabulous cat! Love it. I think you are correct. He looks purebred (because of the outstanding appearance) and looks spot on for the Nebelung. I think you have been very lucky and adopted a former breeding male Nebelung cat. He looks absolutely super. That said I can't be sure. No one can because you need a documented pedigree to be sure (a family history) and registration with a cat association. Thanks Heather.

      • Ah! As I suspected! As much as I believe in spay and neuter, it's a bit of a shame with this guy. Alas, lovely boy nonetheless. One question, I live in Arizona and Bugsy doesn't seem to tolerate the heat well. He pants a lot and trots or runs between shady areas, doesn't even like sun on his body, so not "hot footing" it. I only take him out in the mornings. Is it perhaps that double coat? Oh, and he climbs or leaps up everything! Good grief, what athletic creatures they are!

        • Hello Heather, it is interesting that he does not tolerate the heat that well. As you know most domestic cats do because that characteristic is inherited from the wild cat ancestor of the domestic cat. I think you're probably right that his double coat keeps him particularly warm and I don't know what the weather is like where you live but perhaps it is very warm. There is a certain limit to what cats tolerate comfortably and most cats anywhere will retreat into the shade. There are limits even for domestic cats.

  • I'm so surprised that there seem to be so many of these gorgeous kitties around. I have a 4 year old girl who looks strikingly similar to all of the kitties mentioned previously. Her name is Luna. Luna was a stray kitty who was rescued off of the streets of Boston in January/February 2015. I adopted her from the MSPCA on 02/27/15. She's great. She was pretty emotionally damaged by whatever she endured for the first two years of her life and took a very long time to warm up but slowly, her true personality has shown itself. She's sassy, very devoted to me, and super playful. So glad to know about these cats. They're incredible. I didn't know anything about them. The MSPCA listed her as a medium haired grey cat. They said that I can't say that she's anything but because she doesn't have pedigree papers. Her vet called her a long haired Russian Blue, the second he met her. Thank you.

    • Your vet has described her well because as is the case for the other cats in the comments we don't know if your cat is a Nebelung even although the appearance is correct. You say you are surprised at the number around. The point is that they are almost certainly not Nebelungs but look-a-likes. That said I can't say for sure that they don't have Nebelung genes. Some might have. You just need pedigree papers to prove it. Thanks for sharing photos of your gorgeous Luna, Heather. I am envious.

  • Here's my Beautiful baby girl Suki, she apparently came from a Gypsy, who sold her to a young boy I knew, fortunately for me, they had a dog, who his Mum thought wouldn't tolerate cats, so she was walking around with two kittens, one black and white, and one grey, who became Suki. She was such a tiny kitten, and I first thought she may have been younger than six weeks old, however she was ravenous and ate the kitten food great. Her long fur didn't come in until she was about a year or so old, now she has very soft silky silver grey fur, a small triangular face, her nose and paw pads are grey also, she is quiet, shy, nervous at times, and is not very vocal, sometimes opening her mouth but no sound coming out lol. Her voice is very quiet she kind of news softly, she is very affectionate and loves her Mama, cuddling up with me when it's quiet at night. Now here's the thing, a friend of mine has a cat called Daisy, who is a Nebulung, and on comparing our cats we discovered they look like twins lol, my friend insists that Suki is a Nebulung or at least a cross, I've added a photo or two of her. Nebelung or not is my precious princess. The attached photo is soon after I brought her home.

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