How to Tell the Difference in a Russian Blue Cat From a Domestic Cat

Written by lanh ma
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How to Tell the Difference in a Russian Blue Cat From a Domestic Cat
Cats with yellow eyes are not Russian Blues. (cat"s eyes image by lixai from

Cat fanciers introduced the Russian Blue cat breed in 1875, showing it at the Crystal Palace in England. They called it the Archangel cat due to its homeland in the Archangel Isles of Russia. Russian Blue cats received official recognition in 1912 from the British Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, which created interest in preserving the breed. Russian Blue cats display many similarities to American Domestic Shorthair cats, but awareness of the breed's distinguishing characteristics leads to quick identification.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Check the eyes. Russian Blues feature clear, dark green eyes. Cats with the signature smoky blue fur but with yellow, orange or blue eyes may have a Russian Blue ancestor, but they are not purebred.

  2. 2

    Look at the coat. Russian Blues earned their name for their solid, bluish grey coat. The individual hairs are solid blue-grey, tipped with white or silver. This tipping gives the cat its signature colour and smoky shine.

  3. 3

    Run your fingers through the cat's fur. The coat of a Russian Blue cat is short, plush and very dense. This breed's double coat stands out from the body due to its thickness. Look for the soft, silky fur of a purebred Russian Blue.

  4. 4

    Examine the smooth and hairless footpads located on the underside of the cat's paws. A Russian Blue shows off soft mauve or lavender pink footpads. The average American Domestic Shorthair features grey footpads.

  5. 5

    Look for widely set ears with pointed tips. Russian Blue cats feature ears spaced far apart, especially compared to the closely set ears of an American Domestic Shorthair.

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