Nebelung Cat: A Devoted yet Shy Companion

A grey Nebelung cat sits in an old, wooden, well bucket
Martha Harvey
Written by Martha Harvey

Every pet owner would confess that their furry companion is a source of endless joy, but they do need to spend a large amount of their time looking after their pets. If you lead a busy lifestyle, you’re probably looking for a pet that would not demand too much attention but will still be a devoted, loyal, and reliable companion while you are at home. The good news is, there is a cat breed that has all the characteristics mentioned—the Nebelung cat.

Perhaps you are busy working from 9 to 5, and all you want is to go home at the end of the day to someone that would greet you enthusiastically so you can forget about the stress of the day. If that’s the case, the Nebelung cat is the perfect choice for you. Unlike the Birman who can’t stand being left alone at all or the Dragon Li that’s so independent it doesn’t really matter whether you’re there or not, the Nebelung does well alone, but they are always eager for some familiar companionship.

Close-up image of a Nebelung cat

In this article, get ready to learn more about Nebelung cat personality, history, health, grooming, size, and their famous mild temperament that makes them a great house companion. We will also explain some of the possible health problems that your cat may develop. Be sure to bookmark this article so you and your Nebelung cat will be able to live a happier life in each other’s company for a longer period of time.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: Average

  • Grooming: Moderate

  • Health: Good

  • All Around Friendliness: Good

  • Exercise Needs: Moderate

Cat Breed GroupSemi Long-Haired, Crossbreed
Weight8 – 10 lbs
Lifespan15 - 18 years

The Nebelung is a relatively new cat breed known for having a stunning, semi-long, and unusually silky blue coat. Their fur is often silver-tipped, which gives them that alluring shimmer in the light.

The Nebelung is a breed that started with two cats named Siegfried and Brunhilde. Cora Cobb is an American breeder who admired the beauty of both cats because of their semi-long fur which they took after their mom Elsa—a black domestic shorthair who mated with a Russian Blue. The breed was presented to the Governing Council of Cat Fancy in 2011.

Nebelung Cat sitting on a wooden wall

This cat breed is characteristically sturdy, with good muscles, tufted paws, and slender legs. They have blue hair which is of medium length while the tail is thick and bushy. Male Nebelung cats are larger and heavier compared to the females.

While this breed is known for their high intelligence and their love of the company of humans and other pets, they are also known for shying away from strangers. This cat could bond well with family members and loves to stay in the lap of their favorite humans, but they tend to hide when they notice new people around the household. One thing that owners love about their Nebelung cat is the fact that they are very soft spoken; they do not bother their human companion unnecessarily.

A grey Nebelung cat sitting and looking at the camera

Even though they are very quiet, owners should also remember that the Nebelung is an active and athletic breed which requires both mental and physical exercises. They are generally healthy, and no known disease is associated with this breed. They are big eaters, though, so owners should make sure that they are not feeding their cats too much as it could lead to obesity.

The Nebelung will need gentle grooming three to four times a week for their coat to stay soft and silky and so their hair will not tangle or mat. They are also likely to shed their coat according to the changing seasons.

Main Highlights

  • The Nebelung is considered a relatively new cat breed.

  • This breed started with two cats named Siegfried and Brunhilde who were the offspring of a black-haired domestic cat named Elsa and a Russian Blue cat.

  • The cat has characteristically blue hair with a silvery sheen and a bushy tail.

  • The Nebelung is a loving and loyal breed. They get along well with people and other pets in the household.

  • Despite their warm disposition to their owners, this cat breed shies away from strangers.

  • The Nebelung is an active and athletic cat breed that demands regular mental and physical stimulation.

  • This cat breed is known for being a big eater, so owners have to be mindful of their feeding habit to keep them from being obese.

  • To keep their coat from matting, the Nebelung needs weekly grooming. They shed moderately, but after the cold season is over, they tend to shed more.

Breed History

The Nebelung trace their birth to the early 1980s when computer programmer and cat enthusiast Cora Cobb gave her son a black short-haired cat named Elsa. The cat mated with a Russian Blue and later on gave birth to a litter of five black and blue short-haired kittens.

Cobb noticed that there was one kitten that had long blue hair and so she decided to keep him and named him Siegfreid. Elsa then gave birth again, and she had another blue longhair. Cobb decided to keep the kitten as well and named her Brunhilde.

Knowing there was something special about the silvery-blue long-haired cats, Cobb decided to get them recognized as a new breed. She named the breed Nebelung, which is a German word meaning creatures of the mist—because of their unique appearance.

Nebelung Cat lying on the sofa

She then contacted Dr. Solveig Pflueger—who was then the chairman of The International Cat Association. Cobb chose to keep the cats’ standard nearly identical to that of the Russian Blue with the exception of their coat length.

The Nebelung earned TICA’s recognition in 1987, but fanciers of the Russian Blue were hesitant to accept it. They also expressed their reluctance in crossbreeding the cats, which became a major hurdle for Cobb.

Vladimir of Castlecats, Supreme Grand Champion in 1989, offered Cobb a Russian Blue so that she could cross him with one of the daughters of Brunhilde. It led to an increase in the number of existing Nebelung cats—which also propelled the breed to fame. However, the Nebelung is still not recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association.


The Nebelung is a medium-sized cat but is known for being long. Their neck, legs, body, and tail are all long by cat standard. Because of this trait, they are considered a slim and graceful cat. Despite the slim body, they are well-muscled and sturdy. They weigh about 8 pounds for females and about more than 10 pounds for a sterilized male.

Personality and Character

This cat breed is known for their devotion to their owners and family members. The Nebelung is intelligent, but they can be a little shy when there are strangers around. Kittens will need some time before they start to warm up to you after you’ve just brought them home, but once the cat is settled in their new environment, they will show you their playful side.

They love to cuddle and will follow their owner from room to room to keep you company. Despite their warm and playful disposition though, they may still shy away from visitors and choose to hide under chairs or beds just to stay away from them.

Nebelung Mix Cat in the garden

They are soft-spoken cats and will not bother their owners with constant meowing at night. Despite being affectionate, they know when to leave their owners be to do things on their own. They are not demanding and are perfectly capable of keeping themselves amused.

The Nebelung is a very loving cat. Needless to say, they also expect their human companions to give back the kind of love that they are giving. Nebelung cats are quite independent, so they can make a perfect companion for people who lead a busy lifestyle, but they also crave companionship and love, so be sure to not leave them alone for an unreasonable amount of time.

Health and Potential Problems

The Nebelung cat is a generally healthy cat, but they can also potentially develop health problems like renal failure, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism. Despite being a product of crossbreeding, this cat is known to have few genetic health issues.

Image showing a white Nebelung Cat lying down

The few genetic health issues that they do inherit mostly come from their Russian Blue parents. Be wary of bladder stones. Just like when caring for any other cats, be sure to keep up to date with their vaccination and routine check-ups.

Care Features

The cat is also very active so it would be better to have an exercise tool ready in their play corner. Owners should also spend some time just playing with the cat or massaging them to deepen the bond that you share.

Feeding Schedule

The Nebelung is known for being a very good eater, and while this looks like a good trait, it should not be encouraged. Keep to a regular feeding schedule and make sure that the cat is eating only the recommended amount to avoid obesity. Have the cat checked by your veterinarian to ensure that their feeding schedule and the amount is just right.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

You would have to wait two years for your Nebelung to develop fully and when they do, their fur will start draping over their body. Their hair will be longer from shoulders to tail. Males will have thicker neck ruff, but both male and female Nebelung cats are known to have soft pantaloons on their hind legs. The fur also has a silvery sheen which is most notable on the cat’s head and shoulders.

Black nebelung cat playing with christmas lights

Their long hair is tangle-prone, so it would be good to brush it up to four times a week. The cat will also be shedding more during spring and summer. Also make sure to clean their ears, brush their teeth, wipe off eye discharge, and clip their nails.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

When a Nebelung finally overcomes their initial shyness, they will warm up to everyone in the house and dedicate their life to being a loyal friend and companion. They may not mix well with very young children, though. The Nebelung dislikes a chaotic and noisy house so homes with rambunctious kids and pets would stress the cat out. Cat lovers who have small children may have to postpone getting a Nebelung until the kids are a little older. As or their compatibility with other pets, the Nebelung does best with older pets that are calm and collected—be they cats or dogs.

Wrap Up

The Nebelung is a rare domestic cat breed that charms humans with their graceful, slim, but muscled body. Their set of green eyes, dense fur, and mild disposition make them a well-loved cat. A product of crossbreeding between a short-haired black cat and a Russian Blue, the Nebelung has a distinct silvery draping that makes them shine in the light.

As a companion, this cat is far from being problematic especially because they are mild-mannered and very soft-spoken. They actually love to play and cuddle with humans and other pets, but they can also feel stressed out in noisy and messy environments.

Nebelungs are very family-oriented although it could take a bit of time before they warm up to these family members. Once they warm up, though, they would act very affectionate, though not demanding. They love to be petted and curl up with their humans as a show of love and loyalty.

Nebelung cat eating a plant in the yard

Known for being generally healthy, there are no specific health problems that would bother a Nebelung cat. However, owners should be very careful in feeding them as they could eat too much and become obese. They should also be given time and toys to play since they are naturally active and playful.

Does the Nebelung cat with their mystifying looks and mild manner draw you in? Or would you perhaps be more interested in a cat that looks rather intimidating at first glance but actually has a heart of gold? We welcome any opinions, suggestions, and stories of your own in the comments section below!

About the author
Martha Harvey
Martha Harvey

Martha Harvey is a skilled veterinarian and a member of American Veterinary Medical Association from Greeley, Colorado. She has 20 years experience of working in Animal Hospital. Martha loves all of her patients, but her favorite one is the Russian Blue cat Stitch, who lives with her.