The Russian Blue breed standard is discussed here. There was a slide show here by Google ended the software. Here is a great looking Russian Blue instead.
As I said on the main page, this cat originates, it is said, from the north of Russia (the area marked grey) in the region marked red on the map below and more particularly the town/city of Arckhangelsk (Archangel to Westerners) – see the area in the pic below. The climate there is very cold in the winter (a record of -40 Celsius) and warmish in the summer months. You’d expect a rugged Siberian, Kurilian Bobtail (both Russian cats) or a Maine Coon like cat with long thick and densely coated hair to originate from such a place but no, not quite (it is dense though).
The Russian Blue is characterized by the only color allowable under the CFA breed standard, “bright blue” and a double coat of short but plush hair that should have a sheen of a finish due to the desired silver tipped guard hairs (the top layer of hairs) all covering a lithe but light boned and firm body. This then is not one of the big cat breeds (see largest domestic cat breed). If the coat is any other color than blue is means disqualification in competition. I guess that makes sense as you don’t want a Russian Brown in a Russian Blue show.
“Bright Blue” means to me a light and rather chilly blue grey and the preferred shade is the lighter one under the standard. Even the “nose leather” (the end of the nose) should be slate grey. This cat breed is one of the grey cat breeds.
The CFA breed standard is very short, perhaps in part, because a lot of a standard concerns the coat and there is only one type.
Here’s a bit more detail:
The head should be a “medium wedge”. For me this translates to a normal cat’s face (to use layperson language). The head should be neither long and tapered (as in the Modern Siamese or the Oriental Shorthair) or short and massive (as in the Persian or Exotic Shorthair). There should be no nose break (the angle where the top of the nose meets the forehead). This is similar to the Modern Siamese and you can see this is the photographs in the slide show, particularly the profile shots.
The ears should be “rather large” and this is amply demonstrated in the cats photographed by Helmi. There should be little in the way of ear furnishings (ear hair – see the Maine Coons for great tufts of hair). There shouldn’t be much hair on the outside of the ear either. The ear flaps should be thin and pointed more than rounded.
The eyes should be set wide apart and be “vivid green”. This fantastic color co-ordinates well with the grey and is, I think, a testament to good selective breeding. This means that the Russian Blue is not a natural cat and in fact the concept of naturalness is not referred to in the breed standard. I would have thought it would be if the CFA considered this cat natural as is the case for the Turkish Van breed standard. All the more reason to support my view that this breed does not strictly originate from the Archangel region (feedback anyone?). You can see the eye color very well in the close up photograph in the slide show.
The coat as mentioned should be blue only and that means no “lockets” (blob of white on the upper chest) or anything else to spoil an even coloration.