Chartreux Cats 101 – Fun Facts, Pictures, Price, Personality, Lifespan

The smiley Chartreux is one of a kind rare cat breed that is friendly, intelligent, super athletic, gentle and quiet in nature.

Most importantly, they make an adorable and lovable family pet as they become attached to their owners very quickly.

So, if you are interested in making Chartreux cat a part of your family, we have you covered!

From fun facts and personality trait to their health and price, we have all the information summarized in this article that you need to know about this adorable creature.

Fun Facts about Chartreux Cats

Chartreux cats are a unique cat breed for several reasons. You’ll be pleasantly surprised in finding out the facts that make them unique.

Take a peek at these 16 fun facts about the Chartreux cats below:

1. Chartreux Cats are very rare

Despite their increasingly overwhelming popularity, these cats are scarce, and you won’t find many of them around.

As for many years,  Chartreux were almost exclusively owned by people belonging to the upper class.

These people carefully regulated the breeding practices of the Chartreux cats, and also how many should be bred. Due to these practices and strict regulations, Chartreux cats were always limited in population and still are.

Although they are extremely popular, their limited availability makes them exceptionally difficult to find.

That’s not the case with only the purebreds, even the mixed bred are limited in numbers as well.

So, if you are thinking about adopting one, you have to make a lot of effort just to find them, let alone purchasing one!

2. Their unique color

They don’t have different color combinations like the other cat breeds, but that doesn’t mean they are less beautiful than them.

In fact, they usually come in only one color combination.

The unique combination of grey and blue color gives them an interesting appearance.

And they are regarded as one of the most beautiful cat breeds in the world by the majority of the people.

In fact, the real reason most people want them for adoption or are interested in them is because of their unique coat color.

Consider their uniqueness in color along with the other unique attributes, and you won’t be surprised why their demand is touching the sky.

3. Their large size

In general, most cats are usually of the same size, but some breeds tend to be larger than others.

Chartreux cats usually weigh between 7 and 16 pounds and have a tendency to be larger than a typical pet cat breed.

That doesn’t mean they are taller in height than a typical house cat.

But, their body shape is very muscular which makes them more athletic than a typical house cat.

You must be wondering that almost all house cats are athletic by normal standard so what makes this breed of the cat more athletic than your regular house cat?

Well, you have to see it for yourself to believe it, that they indeed possess more athletic qualities than a typical house cat!

4.Water resistant hair

Typically the hair of regular house cats isn’t water resistant.

Which is easily visible after giving them a bath or when they fall into the bathtub.

Most of the regular house cats look like a drowned rat after getting wet, as their hair gets soaked in water.

And yes, the Chartreux cats are different in this attribute as well!

The thick fur coat is actually resistant to water which is not normal among the cats breed.

They can almost come out completely dry, even after falling in your bathtub or in a body of water.

It’s a relatively interesting and unique aspect of their breed and is another reason behind the crazy demand for them in the market.

5. Short Stature

They are relatively larger than a typical house cat, but not in terms of height.

The height of a Chartreux cat is usually around 9 – 11 inches, which is relatively short in comparison with other cat breeds.

Then what makes them larger than usual cats?

It is the extra muscle they possess than most cats, which makes them look relatively larger to the naked eye.

To make it easy for you to understand, here is an example:

Compare an Arabian stallion with a standard draft horse, yes the stallion is much taller than the draft horse. But the standard draft horse is stouter than an Arabian stallion in every way, same is the case with a Chartreux cat.

6. Their adorable smile

Well, maybe they don’t smile in reality, but they definitely look like they do!

By now you might be losing count of the unique characteristics of this breed, so here is another one for you!

Their unique bone structure of their jaw and head, make them look like they are always smiling.

What’s so cute about this is that even if your Chartreux is angry with you, they will be still be looking like they’re smiling at you.

Their face bone structure gives them an exceptionally cute and attractive appearance that most of us cat lovers just can’t resist.

This is another major reason behind the increasing popularity and demand for the Chartreux cats.

7.Exceptionally quick reflexes

You might remember about their athletic abilities which are better than most of the cat breeds.

Almost all of the cats possess lighting fast reflexes, so it’s difficult to imagine about a cat that can react to things even faster.

However, you won’t believe it until you see a Chartreux cat routinely doing exactly that.

Often times, they are so fast with their reflexes that they’ve already done their deed before you even got to realize what’s happening around you.

Yes, they are very cute and after performing such actions they look even cuter.

You could find enough excitement and entertainment by watching them, but keeping up with them at their pace is the real challenge.

But one all the cat lovers will love to have, and that’s another reason behind their extreme popularity.

8. Rougher hair

Most of the house cats are so soft and fluffy that often times it’s almost hard to believe.

But, with Chartreux, that’s a completely different ball game, as their hair is rougher than most of the cat breeds.

Most of the times the feeling of touching their hair is compared with like one is touching the wool of a sheep.

Or, feeling something that is more similar to a ball of steel wool.

Most people get surprised by this feeling the first time they touch a Chartreux cat.

As with most people, they associate the soft and fluffy nature of fur with the cats and gets surprised when they experience the roughness of their fur.


9. Unique eye color

In general, most of the cat breeds have typically routine eye color that is brown, and in some very rare cases, blue.

Yes, you guessed it right! The Chartreux cats are unique in this attribute as well from the other regular house cats.

They have different types of eye color with gold, copper, and orange giving them a unique and beautiful appearance.

Combine the uniqueness of their coat color with their eyes, and you immediately know that you are dealing with a unique breed of cat. In fact, knowing these traits make it easy for you or anyone to identify a Chartreux cat.

Even for people who have little to no knowledge about the different breeds of the feline family.

10. Highly intelligent

We always hear about the intelligence of dogs from our peers and in the news all the time.

But, there is very limited to no mention about the intelligence of cats.

Well, the main reason is that dogs are more interactive and it’s relatively easy to measure their intelligence.

Whereas the cats prefer to be left alone and most cat breeds don’t enjoy interacting with people regularly. This makes it difficult to determine their ability to understand commands, as they don’t like to follow them anyway (rude but that doesn’t make them any less adorable)!

They are more like dogs, they make their intelligence known by following your commands and loves to interact with you in a lot of unique ways.

11. Very quiet

In the cat breeds, you will find cats that barely utter a sound, while the others just keep meowing all the time!

Choosing a certain type of pet cat will largely depend upon your personal preferences, whether you like a quiet one or the noisy one.

Chartreux cats are the relatively quiet breed and will be the best option for you if you’re for a quieter cat.

They are well known for making fewer noises, even some of them are said to never utter a single sound during their entire life.

Even the vocal ones in this cat breed are known to be far less noisy than a regular house cat.

12. The tendency to build strong bonds

Most of the cat breeds want food, water, and space, they don’t like to develop relationships like dogs do.

Very rarely we see a strong bond with a typical cat, and even that relationship is usually on the cat’s terms and conditions.

This is where the Chartreux shines and is increasingly becoming super popular among the cat lovers.

They are known to build true relationships with a person like a dog do with its owner.

If you have developed a strong bond with your Chartreux, they will follow you around on their own free will.

Forming a bond with a particular person doesn’t mean they don’t show affection to the other family members.

They are very playful and distribute their love and affection to all the family members.


13. Great hunters

Almost all the cat breeds are very good at hunting.

However, like all the aspects of life, some people are better at something than the others.

Same is the case with cat breeds, some are well known for their better hunting abilities than the typical cats.

And when you talk about the best hunters in the cats breed, Chartreux are known to be among the best ones.

This breed prefers hunting more and its much superior in it than most its counterparts.

As evident from their origins, as monks used them to hunt rats and mice, they are very effective in controlling the rodent population in your house.

They are the masters of hunting and will hunt and capture their prey, and are almost perfect in their job.

I think now you are getting a better picture of why their demand is sky high, and why people feel so proud of owning a Chartreux.

14. Great with kids

Having cats in the house while having small children in your family doesn’t seem possible sometimes.

You never know when your cat might become aggressive with your little ones.

Even worst this altercation might result in an injury to your kids or your cat.

Always keep in mind that an angry cat can inflict a lot of harm/damage in a very short period of time.

Well, if you have a Chartreux cat than you are one of the fortunate people.

They just gravitate towards your young ones instead of showing aggression towards them.

They are the best option for a household full of kids and are more compassionate towards your young ones.

They tend to have a secret sense that young ones are more vulnerable and become gentler with them as they do with the adults.

They are known as one of the gentler breeds of cats, and it doesn’t matter who they are around with.

15. Friendly with other pets

Thinking about adding another pet to your pet family, you may have a cat or dog or maybe both of them running around.

It’s very important to consider the possible outcomes while adding another pet.

That whether they will get along well, or will they fight and might even cause serious injuries to each other.

Most animals become unsure of themselves when they see changes in their routines and might act out aggressively if you bring in a new pet.

And if the newbie has a tendency to be aggressive as well, then you might have a World War III at your hands.

Always do your research about the pet’s nature and carefully select the pets that bond well with each other.

Chartreux cats are well known for their phenomenal ability to being compatible with other pets, even with dogs and other larger animals.

Their calm personality and nature also calms the other agitated pets, and also diffuse most fighting situations.

16. Love their owners

Majority of the people who know a little about cats would never accuse them seeking the company of others.

As the cats are usually extremely self-sufficient and prefer that you just pour in the food in the bowl and walk away.

Most of the times they don’t like to be bothered and have no tendencies for being around with people, instead, they prefer their alone time.

But the Chartreux is a complete opposite of your normal cat breeds.

They don’t prefer to be alone all the time and will show an innate desire in being around with other people.

They usually build strong bonds with all the family members, but they usually have a favorite with whom their bond is the strongest.

They are known to act more like a dog than a typical cat of your household.

They are so loving and will follow you around wherever you go, which are common traits in a dog rather than a cat.

It’s especially mind-boggling for the regular household cat owners to see a cat being so loving and developing long term relationships with the family.

Chartreux cats are an excellent choice to have as a pet, and after reading these facts you might want to own one already!

Origin of Chartreux Cats

The Chartreux cats have a religious background and are associated with the Carthusian order in France. Various documentation has shown that they have been around since the 16th century at least.

And, they have probably been named after the monks of the Carthusian order in France according to The Cat Fancier’s Association CFA.

Carthusian monks were the initial and also active breeders of the Chartreux cats.  With their gray fur cloak, they depict the soberness of a monk’s robes.

They were probably working cats for the monks, who used them to kill the rats and mice in the monasteries.

They were used especially in the grain storage areas to keep vermin away, as those grains were used to create their popular liquor known as Chartreuse.

The breed almost got extinguished during the World War II, but the efforts of determined breeders brought them back into prominence.

The first Chartreux cat was imported in the United States in the year 1970 and received championship status by the CFA in 1987.

Chartreux cats are very popular among the royal and political elites, with former French president Mr. Charles de Gaulle being a proud owner of a Chartreux cat.

Today they have achieved the recognition of all the major American cat associations, and even became the official mascot of Montreux Jazz Festival.

But their popularity levels are still low when we look at Europe and even in their homeland France.

Personality Traits of Chartreux Cats

The Chartreux cat is sweet and quite with an amenable, gentle nature.

Their unique face shape causes them to appear to be smiling always, which is very cute and refreshing.

They enjoy being a lap cat and are your ultimate pal’s when it comes to watching movies or television.

They are very interactive, and build strong bonds and will follow you around wherever you go.

They have lighting reflexes faster than most cats, get ready to be amazed by their acrobatics by giving them toys that encourage them to use it.

They will start chirping when they seek your attention but are very quiet otherwise. They are very intelligent and playful, challenge their abilities by giving them interactive toys like a puzzle, and so on.

Reward them with treats when they learn their ropes and give them your full attention too.

If you keep their routine similar on a day to day basis then you’ll almost certainly have a cheerful and obedient companion.

The lifespan of Chartreux Cats

The Chartreux cats when stays healthy can be your perfect companion for around 18 to 20 years.

Their lifespan decreases when they face substantial health issues or when they are not given proper care.

It is your utmost responsibility to take good care of such a unique and rare cat breed to increase its lifespan.

Regular visits to your vet are recommended to always keep their health in check and avoid any health issues.

Price of Chartreux Cats

They are among the most expensive cat breeds in the world.

A Chartreux kitten price ranges from $1000 – $1500 depending upon the breeder you purchase from.

charteux cat

Caring of Chartreux Cats

The Chartreux cats have a thick and short coat which is easily taken care for with weekly brushing.

Their coat usually sheds around during the spring season and often requires extra brushing during that period.

Due to their water repellent coat, it requires certain time to get wet if you are giving them a bath, and bathing is rarely necessary for the Chartreux cats.

To prevent periodontal disease, regularly brush their teeth.

It’s better to do it daily, for some reason if not possible at least do twice in a week, as its better than nothing.

Nail trimming should be done in every 14 days, and use a soft, damp cloth to wipe the corners of their eyes to remove any discharge.

Weekly cleaning of ears should be done with a soft damp cloth or a cotton ball moistened with a 50-50 combination of warm water and cider vinegar.

Always try to keep your Chartreux indoor to keep them safe from the dangers of outside like health diseases, dog attacks, and so on.

The health of Chartreux Cats

Just as we humans have the potential to inherit or get infected with diseases, cats also have the potential to develop different health problems.

Don’t accept the lies of breeders claiming that their breed has no genetic or health problems.

Start running away, don’t walk from breeders who don’t offer a health guarantee on his kittens, and tells you that they are 100% healthy.

The Chartreux cats are generally healthy but are prone to health issues like struvite stones in the urinary tract and polycystic kidney disease.

If a breeder doesn’t provide you a written health guarantee, don’t buy from him.

It is your responsibility to keep your Chartreux kitten at an appropriate weight to keep him active and protect from various health issues.

They prefer to run play which is the best way to keep them healthy and in shape, provide those means to burn the excessive calories.

Other health issues commonly known in the breed are Hip dysplasia and Patellar luxation (kneecap problems).

Regular checkups at the veterinarian are highly recommended to detect and treat these and other health issues in your Chartreux cats.

Related Questions

1. How do you tell if your cat is a Chartreux?

To identify whether your cat is a Chartreux or not, you have to assess its personality traits as well as its physical attributes.

Follow these methods:

i. Physical characteristics

  • Look for a short grey coat
  • Look for a narrow jaw and a smiling face
  • Recognize the Chartreux’s eye color (golden, orange and copper) and round shape
  • Assess the muscular build

ii. Recognizing Chartreux Behavior

  • Notice a quiet temperament
  • Playful and athletic disposition
  • Look for inquisitive behavior
  • Recognize an affectionate personality

iii. Getting Breed Verification

  • Discuss your cat’s breed with a veterinarian
  • Have DNA testing done
  • Talk with an expert in Chartreux cats

2. How big does a Chartreux cat grow?

They tend to be relatively larger than a typical household cat, but not in terms of height as they are around 9-11 inches taller.

They have solid muscles and are more athletic than your regular cat breeds, and usually weighs around 7 to 16 pounds at maturity.

The males of the breed are the slow growers and usually take around 4-5 years to reach their full size.

Their coat’s texture and size vary with age, gender and the climate in which they are kept.

As the females and young ones have a thinner coat in comparison with mature males who have the heaviest coats.

3. Can a Chartreux have green eyes?

Due to the subtle differences between the Chartreux cats and British shorthairs, many people believe they are the same.

The British shorthairs can have green eyes and that’s the reason people mistakenly think that Chartreux can have green eyes.

The eye colors of Chartreux are brilliant orange, golden and copper.

While the other difference that separates them with their British counterpart is their water-repellant thick fur coat.

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