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|
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).
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
|Birth of Siegfried (S) offspring of a black domestic shorthair and a Russian Blue look-a-like. He was the first Nebelung cat.|
|Jan 1985||Birth of Brunhilde (B) offspring of same parents as Seigfriend.|
|1986||Siegfried and Brunhilde mate to produce 3 fine kittens|
|1986||Suggested name for the new breed was “Longhair Russian Blue”|
|late 1980s||Both S and B die. Brunhilde of unknown causes (illness I guess) and Siegfriend by a car in a car park.|
|Cora exports Nebelungs to France (Paris) while showing her cats in the New Breed Category. Some remain in France.|
|’92-’93||Cora 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.|
|1994||Cora 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?)|
|1996||Silver 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.|
|1997||Sigrdrifa 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|
|1997-8||Cora 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.
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 “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.
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. 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
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.
- 1. Legacy of the Cat by Gloria Stephens and Tetsu.
- 2. The Encyclopedia of the Cat by Dr Bruce Fogle – page 219.
- Wikipedia authors’ comments
- Legacy of the Cat – Gloria Stephens