History and Origins
Country of Origin: Russia
The Russian Blue cat was originally known as the Archangel Cat because it was said to have arrived in Europe aboard ships from the Russian port of that name (Arkhangel'sk). It has also been known as the Spanish Cat and the Maltese Cat, particularly in the US where the latter name persisted until the beginning of the century. There is, however, strong evidence linking the cat with Russia. Large numbers of cats with similar coat colours are found in Scandinavia and their dense coat is indicative of living in a northern climate. Although blue is considered the typical colour of this breed, black and white Russians are known. These colours arose during World War II when the few remaining Russian Blue cats were crossed with the British Blue and the Siamese to maintain numbers.