Nebelung cat breed: also known as the creature of the mist, long considered a longer-haired version of the Russian blue

László Enikő, 2023. January 6 - Source: Photos by Getty Images Hungary

For many people, the similarity with Russian Blue is striking when they see a Nebelung. While some say that the relationship between the two species is undeniable, others are clear that it is not.

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This rare breed has captivated fans with its beautiful coat and penetrating gaze. He is a sensitive, gentle and somewhat reserved cat, but he loves his family very much. At home he is playful and affectionate, a lovely companion, not just the jewel in the house. He likes calm and steady, and of course lots of cuddles!


The Nebelung for a long time considered to be a longer-haired version of the Russian Blue. Because long-haired kittens have always appeared in the litters, but they were only kept as pets, not registered officially. Cora Cobb, however, noticed these cats and in the 1990s, she pushed for them to be registered. But Russian Blue breeders were deeply opposed to this. Cobb first became fascinated with long-haired silver kittens when a male kitten with longer fur was born in Denver in the summer of 1984. The litter was sired by a Russian Blue-like male and a black, short-haired domestic cat female named Elsa. Cora took the special kitten, named after Siegfried, one of the heroes of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, into her home. Shortly afterwards, another litter was born, containing a female who resembled Siegfried, with a silvery, long coat. She was given the name Brunhilde. And in the spring, the offspring of two special kittens were born, the perfect blend of the two parents.

When Cobbs wanted to register the long-haired individuals as an official breed, a geneticist advised him that it would be best to consider them a variant of the Russian Blue. Cobbs wrote the standard, which was the same as the Russian Blue’s, except that the Nebelung had longer fur. However, the Russian Blue breeders of TICA objected to this and the breed standard was revised. As a result, a distinct breed was finally described, which resembles the bluish-grey cats that were imported to Russia in the 19th century and the early twentieth century.

TICA was the first association to recognise the Nebelung and grant the breed standard. The Nebelung breeding programme aimed to produce a blue cat of the same type as the early Russian imports, and this type had to be combined with a thick, medium-length shiny coat. Nebelung was awarded championship status by TICA in 1997, but is still considered a rare breed.

Breed standard

The Nebelund is a medium-sized cat breed. Overall appearance is long, strong and well muscled. The head is proportionate in size to the body, slightly wedge-shaped, pointed rather than rounded, although the longer hairs may give it a rounded appearance. The eyes are slightly oval, medium sized. Their colour can be green or yellowish green. Kittens are typically yellow-eyed, but by 8 months of age there will be a green tint around the pupil and by 2 years of age the eyes will be bright green. The richer and deeper the colour, the better. Its ears are large and pointed. The neck is long, gracefully slender. It may appear shorter because of the dense hairs.

His body is proportioned and athletic, his general build is long and graceful. Limbs are proportionate, medium long. Paws are oval, with tufts between the toes. Tail should ideally be at least equal to the length of the body from the tail to the shoulder blades. The hair on it is longer than on other areas of the body. His hair is medium long, soft and double layered. Its colour is a silvery blue shade. He weighs about 3.5-6.5 kg. Life expectancy is 11-16 years.


The Nebelung’s character is easy to like. He is an intelligent, playful, affectionate companion who is a bit reserved but very affectionate. He is really friendly, but it takes him a while to relax around strangers. He’s also keen to learn tricks and command words, and his sharp wit contributes to this. He is very loyal to his family, tends to follow his owner into every room, and when he finally sits down, he will quickly jump into the lap for a cuddle.

Ideal environment

This breed is specifically requires stability, has difficulty with changes in its environment, for example
moving from one home to another
. For this reason the daily routine is also important to him, he doesn’t look kindly on late dinners! He tends to bond with everyone in her family, but often chooses one special person to bond with even more. Towards strangers he can be a little distant, but he will eventually loosen up and kindly rub his fabulous fur against selected guests. However, in the home, he prefers calm and predictability, so he is not suited to families where there is constant coming and going and noise. With children, he can be withdrawn and needs time to get used to them. But it is important that little ones learn how to treat a cat with respect. He typically gets along well with other cats and dogs with calmer temperaments.


To keep his fabulous coat from tangling, he needs regular brushing to prevent matting. So it’s worth taking a few minutes a day to look after it. Its coat thickens considerably in the autumn and winter months and becomes thinner in the spring. More frequent combing is necessary during the shedding periods. You should cut his claws shorter if they are too long. Keep your pet’s eyes and ears clean at all times.

Common health problems

The Nebelung is a very healthy cat breed, with no typical diseases. However, kidney stones can occur in these cats, along with other common cat diseases that are not breed specific. Care must be taken when feeding, as many individuals are very fond of their bellies, and this can easily lead to obesity.

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