Grey Cat Breeds: Where Hazy and Misty Meet Glamour

gray kittens
Steve Corelli
Written by Steve Corelli

It’s not easy to decide which cat breed you should adopt from. If you don’t have a particular character trait in mind, then the easiest way to make a decision is to go by coat colors. Grey cat breeds are some of the most popular choices.

Grey cat breeds come with beauty that is hard to miss. Most of these cats have an aristocratic bearing that makes them cherished and pricey pets. Their refined look has also been thought to transfer into their cool-mannered personalities. The introverted trait does not, however, apply to all blue cats; if your heart leans towards more playful and energetic cats, there are also a few grey cat breeds for you to choose from.

Below are five different grey cat breeds. If you are careful to compare and contrast each breed, you can tell that despite the shared coat color, there is a specific quality that makes each of these cats stand out, earning them a valued status amongst cat lovers and breeders.

#1: Chartreux

Chartreux cat

The Chartreux comes in different shades of blue-grey. They have a double coat which medium-length, thinner in females and kittens, and heavier in males. They weigh between 7 and 16 pounds and may take 4 to 5 years to reach their full size.

Their bodies are robust with wide chests and a round, broad head. They also come with medium sized ears, full cheeks, and distinctive deep orange eyes that complete the somewhat smiley expression. Despite their robust body and solid muscle mass, the Chartreux are agile and full of energy.

There are different theories that seek to connect the Chartreux to their origin. One associates them with the Carthusian order in France while another depicts them as mousers in France far back in the 18th Century. They are also believed to have had a brush in with furriers due to their thick blue pelts.

The breed was only valued for their mousing prowess and fur until after the 2nd World War. These cats nearly went extinct, but cat lovers collected as many as they could find and compiled a breed standard. In 1987, the breed was recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association followed by other associations later.

The Chartreux likes to spend time with their human companions. This doesn’t, however, classify them as attention seekers. They are content with short playtimes interchanged with naps, meals, and a little petting. They are rarely vocal, but they obey the rules and are pleasant to stay with. Chartreux cats are social but may require a little time to adjust to strangers. The breed is also great with kids and other pets.

Grooming the Chartreux isn’t taxing since they rarely require a bath; their coat is water repellent anyway. With a weekly coat brushing, a clean litterbox, and regular ear, eye, and dental care, the Chartreux will be good to go. Also, they don’t mind being left at home alone or going for a long drive with you; they will happily comply.

#2: British Shorthair

British Shorthair

The British Shorthairs are also commonly referred to as the British Blues. This is due to their blue (grey) coat color which is most common among other varieties of colors and patterns. Other colors include lilac, chocolate, white, black, pointed, and tabby plus many more.

The breed’s rounded body and thick coat, combined with their round head and eyes, give them a teddy bear appearance. British Shorthairs are sturdy and powerful, with males weighing between 12 and 20 pounds and females from 8 to 14 pounds. These cats don’t reach full size until they are about 3 to 5 years old.

The breed traces its origin back to England and is one of the most ancient cat breeds. It comes with several theories of origin; one traces them to interbreeding between the Egyptian cats brought to Great Britain by Roman invaders and the European wildcat, while another one associates them with Romans bringing their own cats to keep off rodents.

The mousers were soon to find their way into people’s homes, and it was not long before they won over the hearts of cat fanciers. They were the first official show cats in a cat show that took place on July 13, 1871, in Crystal Palace, London.

The breed barely survived the 1st World War, and with the same cycle repeating itself during the 2nd World War, it took the intervention of breeders to revive it. It was crossed with other breeds like the Persian, Russian Blue, and the Chartreux.

The British Shorthair is quite easygoing and makes a great family pet. These cats are patient with kids and other pets and don’t need a lot of petting or being carried around. They offer affection without expecting too much in return and would be happy to just laze on the couch when not letting off some bouts of energy running through the house or following you around.

Their coat does well with a weekly brushing while the ears, eyes, teeth, and nails just call for regular grooming.

#3: Nebelung


The name Nebelung is drawn from the German word Nebel which means ‘mist’ or ‘fog.’ This is just the perfect definition of the silky-blue (grey), medium-length coat that the Nebelung comes adorned in. The coat is sometimes silver tipped.

The breed may be mistaken for a Russian Blue, save for the shimmering coat. A Nebelung comes with a pointed and wedge-shaped head, wideset ears, and oval-shaped eyes. This is one grey cat breeds with green eyes.

Their body is athletic, medium boned, and well proportioned. Males weigh between 7 and 11 pounds while females fall somewhere between 7 and 9 pounds.

The ‘creature of the mist’ as the name suggests was developed when long haired male and female cats from different litters of the same parents were crossed. The parents were a long haired black male cat and a short haired black female cat.

The first litter was produced in 1986. Long haired Russian Blues were also used in the development of the breed. The breed was given New Breed status in 1987 and full recognition in 1997 by TICA. Other cat associations and federations have since followed suit.

The Nebelung is calm, gentle and may even be considered shy until they decide to become a bundle of activity. They love to play games and follow their favorite companion everywhere. Other times, they climb and perch on high places to survey and take-in their surroundings before they make up their mind to get involved.

They give affection and attention and expect that much in return. They are not destructive and do fine even when left alone at home. They don’t take readily to change but get along well with children and other pets especially when proper introductions are done.

Their dense hair will do with twice a week brushing to remove dead hair and spread skin oils. Be sure to care for their teeth, nails, eyes, and ears. Maintain a spotless litter box and keep your furry friend indoors to protect them.

#4: Russian Blue

russian blue

The Russian Blue comes adorned in a short, thick double coat; they have a sleek appearance often likened to that of a seal or a beaver. Their coat color is silver-tipped blue which comes out with a shimmer. Their body is compact and muscular with a long slender neck, and a smooth, wedge-shaped, cobra-like head.

If you fancy grey cat breeds with yellow eyes, you’ve got a winner. However, there’s a catch—you have to enjoy the color while it lasts. This is because only kittens come with yellow eyes. This lasts as long as the kitten is less than four months old. The eyes then gain a green ring around the pupil, and as the cat matures, will become vivid green.

According to CFA standards, they are only Russian Blues if they come in blue. However, other associations are a bit more flexible. In Australia and New Zealand, black and white coat colors are allowed, but they are just referred to as ‘Russians.’ The American Cat Fanciers Association also allows black Russians. Males weigh 7 to 11 pounds, and females weigh 5 to 8 pounds.

The breed is presumed to have originated in Russia, but much of its development was done in Britain and Scandinavia, back in the late 19th century when breeding cats and having cat shows was popular.

Initially, it was labeled as Archangel Cat—a name borrowed from the breed’s presumed island of origin. The breed’s other early names include Maltese and Foreign Blue.

By the year 1912, the breed had gotten well established through the help of a cat fancier. Like many other breeds, the breed was almost eradicated during the 2nd World War, but with the help of other breeds like the British Shorthair and the Siamese, the bloodline was rescued. It took some time to restore the breed back to its original appearance. In 1947, American breeders started developing their own lines.

The breed is loyal and affectionate. They love spending time with their companions and thrive in the attention showered on them. They can get anxious if their affection and attention are not reciprocated. This does not, however, affect their ability to entertain themselves.

The breed gets along with kids and other pets as long as introductions are done early and properly. They don’t take sudden changes kindly, so this should be kept to a minimum.

Their coats can do with brushing once or twice in a week. More brushing is needed in the spring when they shed more. The rest of the body only requires basic care.

#5: Korat


The Korat comes in a silver-tipped grey coat and conspicuously large green eyes. They possess the silver-blue coat from the time they are kittens. Kittens have blue eyes when they are born, then they turn to amber and later to emerald-green. Korats are said to be unusually heavy for cats their size. They are medium sized and weigh between 6 and 10 pounds.

The breed originated in Thailand and is said to date back to the 14th century. It got the name from the region where it originated from in Thailand. The Korat were associated with prosperity and fertility. Hence, they were popular gifts to brides and were always presented in pairs.

A cat presumed to be a Korat was exhibited at a show in England in 1896. In the United States, the first known Korats arrived in 1959 as gifts to an American couple when the husband retired from Foreign Service. The breed remains natural and has not been crossed with any other breed.

The Korat likes to be their own companion and the one or two people that they become very close to. Still, they have plenty of love to share with others as well. A Korat does not do very well in solitary confinement and can develop anxiety and aggressive behavior.

They like to play and can also learn a few tricks. They don’t, however, share their toys, so it would be a good idea to get plenty of toys if you happen to have more than one cat.

The breed rarely needs a bath. Combing the hair weekly is all that’s needed plus some hygiene routine that includes keeping the ears, eyes, and the teeth clean. The nails should also be trimmed regularly.

Wrap Up

five gray kittens

The color grey in cats is found across many breeds—these include Chartreux, Russian Blue, British Shorthair, Korat, and Nebelung among others. Each of these breeds comes with a wide range of qualities which can make choosing one difficult.

No matter the cat(s) that you choose to go with, getting the most out of a feline friend requires appropriate care, grooming, and regular visits to the vet. It is, however, worth noting that each fur baby is an individual and may have varying personalities depending on the love and care that you give them. In fact, cats are well-known reciprocators and so be sure to treat them the way you want to be treated.

Of the breeds discussed above, which one appeals to you most? Is there another grey cat breed that we may have left out? Also, let us know if there is a specific personality that you associate with grey coats which led to you looking for a grey cat. Check in using the comment section below, and check out our article on grey and white cat names next once you’ve decided on the cat you want to adopt.

About the author
Steve Corelli
Steve Corelli

Steve Corelli is a Pet Nutrition Expert from Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many nutritional strategies for different breeds and a member of some Pet Food development teams. His Maine Coon Stephan, as you might guess, is always well-fed.