Chartreux is a beautiful shorthaired domestic cat breed native to France. It has resided in French towns and villages for centuries though there is some controversy regarding its origin. Some believe it was brought over to France by Carthusian monks while others trace its ancestry to Syria. Even as it was widespread in its native territories since seventeenth century, Chartreux numbers plummeted during the first half of twentieth century owing to the two World Wars. It was only through concerted efforts of breeders that the felid was revived and the breed sustained even though the wild populations were lost by the mid nineteen forties. The breed was brought to United States in early seventies and gained recognition a decade and half later. It is still not accepted in United Kingdom.
A large yet gentle cat, Chartreux has a compact build with a deep chest and strong shoulders. Coat is double layered, dense and water repellent. It exists solely in shades of blue and gray. Head is round with broad cheeks and a narrow muzzle, giving the cat a 'smiling' expression. Eyes are rounded and occur in shades of gold, orange or copper. Ears are medium in size.
Chartreuxs are quite rare in the rest of Europe and North America. Majority remain as prized possessions of French breeders and are thus difficult to obtain. Some lines have a genetic defect amongst them that leads to dislocation of knee cap in the young, leading to varying degrees of disability. This trait is being bred out though and apart from the occasional teeth and gum disorders, there are no serious medical concerns with this cat.
Quiet and calm by nature, Chartreuxs are easygoing cats. They are not very demanding or vocal. They don't meow, and express themselves with a chirping voice. Some are even mute. As with other natural felines, Chartreux cats are skillful hunters. They have a good temperament and don't engage in physical conflicts with other pets. Reputed to be good travelers, these cute cats have a confident air about them. They are intelligent and sensitive and love their human companions. The humans love back and Chartreuxs are thus objects of great value and affection in France.