Nebelung Cat

Nebelung
Overview
Characteristics
Nebelung
Temperament
? The breed’s dominant personality traits. While each individual has a unique personality, breed-specific genetics affect qualities like sociability, playfulness, and intelligence.
Intelligent, affectionate, loyal, quiet
Origin
? Where this breed was first established.
United States
Other Names
? In addition to their official names, most breeds earn a few nicknames.
Long-haired Russian Blue
Group
? Breeds are grouped by their size and coat type.
Small to medium-sized long-haired
Height
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
9"- 13"
Body Length
? The typical adult body length among individuals of this breed. A cat’s length is measured from the base of the tail to the tip of the nose.
14"-16"
Weight
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
7-15 pounds
Life Expectancy
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
11-18 years
Price
? The average price.
$600-$1,200
Affection Level
? Breeds with a high affection level want to give and receive a lot of attention, while less-affectionate breeds are not as interested in petting and snuggles.
0 100%
80%
Activity Level
? Breeds with high activity levels will engage more in active play and demand more space and attention.
0 100%
80%
Pet-Friendly
? How well the breed tends to get along with cats, dogs, and other pets.
0 100%
80%
Kid-Friendly
? Breeds with a higher rating in this area tend to be gentle and patient, while lower-rated breeds may feel uncomfortable with children.
0 100%
60%
Sociability
? Breeds with a higher sociability rating will want to spend time with you all day, while less-sociable breeds seldom seek out human interaction.
0 100%
80%
Intelligence
? Breeds with higher intelligence ratings are more curious, investigative, and easy to train. Less-intelligent breeds are less trainable but often laid-back and easygoing.
0 100%
80%
Playfulness
? Breeds that score higher in this area have strong hunting instincts that make them great playtime companions.
0 100%
80%
Independence
? Breeds that score higher in this area are able to spend hours alone, while less-independent breeds require plenty of attention.
0 100%
40%
Vocality
? A higher rating in this area indicates a breed prone to plenty of meowing and other vocalizations, while less-vocal breeds are happy to stay quiet.
0 100%
40%
Grooming
? Breeds with higher grooming scores require more maintenance like brushing and bathing, while lower-scored breeds are virtually maintenance-free.
0 100%
60%

About the Nebelung Cat

Also known as the long-haired Russian blue, the Nebelung cat is a relatively new breed as well as one of the rarest cat breeds in existence.

If you are lucky enough to bring a Nebelung cat into your home, you can expect a friendly, laid-back companion with stunning good looks to match an outstanding personality. This cat's silvery topcoat and pure blue undercoat lend a magical appearance that's much admired. This kitty is silky soft and while it is technically a long-haired breed, the coat is actually a medium length; longer than that of a shorthair cat but not near so long as that of a cat with very long hair, i.e. a Persian.

Nebelung cats are wonderfully affectionate, with lots of love to share with their families. They're fond of curling up for long naps and TV watching sessions, and given the chance, they'll cuddle up with her favorite people at bedtime.

The Nebelung cat is as playful as it is gentle. This breed is highly intelligent, and is easily taught how to play fun games like fetch. These kitties can learn how to walk on leashes, which allows for safe exploration of the outdoor world and provides some much-needed exercise.

While some breeds need constant attention from their people, the Nebelung cat is all right with a bit of alone time. This doesn't mean you can leave your cat unattended for days on end, but it does mean that your kitty will be okay entertaining itself while you're away at work. Of course, these cats get along well with kids and other pets, and they appreciate the opportunity to socialize whenever it arises, so long as socialization takes place within their family group.

Speaking of socialization, it's very important to introduce the Nebelung cat to a variety of situations, sounds, and people from a very young age. These kitties are prone to nervousness and require a bit more socialization than the average cat.

About the Nebelung Cat

Care

Nebelung Cat Care
Nutrition
Nutrition
Grooming
Grooming
Exercise
Exercise
Health
Health

The Nebelung cat has the same nutritional needs as most other breeds, meaning a high quality, high-protein diet is essential for good health. You may want to choose a food with added Omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health and keep this beautiful kitty looking its best.

Since the Nebelung cat has a thick double coat, regular grooming is essential. This cat requires daily brushing to prevent mats from forming. Frequent grooming reduces shedding, which in turn keeps your furniture cleaner and reduces the frequency of hairballs.

Even though the Nebelung is a gentle cat breed in general, these kitties still have an instinctual need to jump and climb. Keeping their toenails trimmed helps prevent damage to your furnishings. If you plan to trim your cat's claws, it's best to teach them how to accept this routine from a young age.

Last but not least, you may want to teach your cat how to have its teeth brushed a few times per week. At home dental care is an excellent habit since it helps prevent periodontal disease and can cut back on costly professional dental cleanings particularly later in life.

Like all other cats, the Nebelung cat requires plenty of physical exercise to maintain strength and agility. Treat your cat to the proper exercise equipment – a cat tower, if you scratching posts, and plenty of toys, including interactive options that let you join in the fun – and you'll be setting them up for a lifetime of well-being.

Nebelung cats are sometimes prone to obesity with age, however you can help prevent it by encouraging your cat to be active.

The Nebelung cat is quite healthy in general, with a lifespan that extends well over 15 years in some cases. At this time, there are no known concerns.

History

The Nebelung cat breed was developed in the 1980s when Cora Cobb, a woman who owned two blue-grey cats that looked like Russian Blues, but with semi-longhaired coats. These cats, named Siegfried and Brunhilde, ultimately became the foundation for the Nebelung breed.

This didn’t happen without some effort on Cora Cobb’s part. With the help of an American Cat Association feline geneticist named Solveig Pfleuger, who determined that Cobb’s beloved pets were best defined as semi-longhaired Russisan Blue cats, Cobb presented a breeding standard that incorporated all traits of the Russian Blue breed with the exception of the coat length.

The International Cat Association (TICA) revised Cobb’s description after Russian Blue breeders voiced their objections. The new breed - now known as Nebelung - would be held to standards that more closely resembled early blue-grey cats imported from Russia beginning in the 19th century.

Today, the Nebelung cat breed is recognized by a few registries worldwide including Livre Officiel des Origines Felines (LOOF), the World Cat Federation (WCF), and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) as well as a few independent associations. Despite growing interest and popularity, it is still difficult to find Nebelung cats in most places.

Nebelung Cat History

Did You Know?

The word Nebelung is a descriptive term that translates to "Creatures of the mist" in German.

Like a few other breeds, the Nebelung cat has a tendency to choose a favorite person.

While some cats are highly adaptable, the Nebelung is not fond of change. These cats often hide when strangers come to visit, and they can suffer from a bit of anxiety whenever something changes in their environment. It can take some time for a Nebelung cat to become accustomed to new things including new people and new pets.

The Breed Standard

About the Nebelung Cat

Eyes

The Nebelung cat’s eyes range from yellowish-green to green in color, and should have a slightly oval shape.

Legs & Paws

The legs should be long and well-muscled. The paws should display tufting between the toes.

Tail

The Nebelung cat’s tail should be long and graceful, with elegant plumage.

Body

A Nebelung cat’s body should be long and lean, yet well-muscled, with an overall appearance of grace.

Head

The head should have a modified wedge shape, more pointed than it is round. It should sit atop a long, graceful neck.

Ears

The ears should be large in proportion to the head, and should display prominent furnishings.

Coat

The coat should be of medium length on the body, with the longest hair being on the tail. Both layers of this double coat should have a fine, silky feel. These cats should display a ruff at the neck that’s more prominent in males. All Nebelung cats should have longer fur “pantaloons” on the hind legs.

Color

The outer guard hairs should be a lighter silver color than the undercoat, which should be a deeper blue.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Nebelung cat cost?

Nebelung cats cost between $600-$1,200.

How big do Nebelung cats get?

Nebelung cats tend to be small in size. A fully grown Nebelung cat might weigh between 7-15 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 9"- 13" inches tall.

How long do Nebelung cats live?

The Average lifespan for Nebelung is 11-18 years.

Do Nebelung cats shed?

Nebelung are long-haired cats, so you do have to expect a certain amount of shedding from this breed, but they don't shed as much as other cat breeds.

32 thoughts on “Nebelung

  1. Ashley

    My nebelung (Dio) is the best cat in the world. His soft hair helps my anxiety. He is an a*shole though. Super loyal. Only downside is he has a urinary problem and can only have prescription food. not sure if it goes with the breed or just male cats in general.

    Reply
    1. Elena

      Hi Ashley. I just took my cat Bob, who looks exactly like nebelungs, to the vet due to blood in his urine. They said it is probably a stress response. I left for a week with my boyfriend Ive been living with for his whole life, so I promise I didn’t torment him. They said it should return to normal but it hasn’t and it had been two weeks. I was doing a little research and saw your post. I was wondering if Dio has the same issue. Thanks!

      Reply
    2. AimeeS

      My cat has the same urinary issue. My vet recommended staying away from food that had seafood in it and she has been fine ever since I switched.

      Reply
    3. Melissa Deak

      Mine too his name is Smokey and he is the best cat I’ve ever had! He has never ever peed or pooed in my house, he played fetch when he was younger he loves to go for walks and walks next to me without a leash, he listens he’s respectful and so soft and just an all around beautiful cat! I was lucky got em on craigslist 10 years ago had no idea he was a very rare cat!

      Reply
  2. Ashley Stanbrook

    My cat Loki has white markings on his paws, belly, and neck but otherwise matches the description of a Nebelung. Could he be Nebelung or a mix?

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Ashley, unfortunately, we have no way of knowing if your cat is related to a Nebelung, but this is a rare pedigree and in part defined by a solid blue coloration (no white). You can safely say that Loki “looks like a Nebelung”, but he sounds like a moggie/domestic longhair to me.

      Reply
  3. Richard

    I have two boys from the same litter Sammy and Sasha. Both are full grown males that exhibit all the traits of a traditional Nebelung especially their fondness to one person and their shyness to strangers. They are very curious and enjoy watching guests from the top of our stairs. Once they come around a few times (meaning 2-4 days or more) they feel more trusting and meow won’t leave the guests alone as they need their attention.

    Reply
  4. Lisa Latimer

    My cat Vita is a Nebelung but could also be a mix! All the personality of a Russian blue but with medium hair length, and she has white points on her as well. Can Nebelungs have white points on them? She has such an adorable face with green “to die for” eyes and a permanent smile. Sweet docile personality, almost as talkative as a Siamese, but can also be very quiet. Love her to pieces!

    I went down this rabbit hole of discovering her roots and only recently discovered she has Russian Blue roots, but didn’t know about the nebelung until last night after watching a video.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Lisa! Thanks for commenting. So, no cat can be considered a purebred or a purebred mix unless they are registered. I’m not sure how you found out about Vita’s Russian Blue roots, but if you know for certain that one of her ancestors was a Russian Blue, that’s the most you can safely claim about her breed. Other than that, it’s all fun and guesses. White points are not part of the Nebelung breed standard, which describes an even, clear medium blue coat.

      Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Lisa, thanks for commenting. Long whiskers are not part of the Nebelung breed description—the only whisker-related trait we see in Nebelungs is puffy whisker pads.

      Reply
  5. Lisa Latimer

    Yes, I know they have to be registered. I have no interest in doing that. It’s really a matter of knowing more about my cat, and why she behaves the way she does.and more about her preferences. This whole process started by accident. I have had her for 13 years without knowing anything about her roots.

    I found out about Russian Blue cats also by accident, by watching a video. I then watched several more videos and then in one of those videos they talked about “a Russian Blue with medium length coat is actually called a Nebelung.”

    Even if she is only partly Nebelung I don’t care. Knowing about this breed and the traits she has that match her to a T is very fascinating to me.

    There are a lot of these grey cats with white points, adorable green eyes and fixed smiles, and it’s quite possible there are many of these in North America by now, while the Nebelung remains rare. Since 1986, a lot of variations can happen.

    Reply
    1. Jeannie

      Lisa, it does sound like your kitty is a Nebelung, regardless of whether or not she’s registered. It’s still the breed of the cat. 😉
      By Mallory’s condescending comment that a cat is only a breed if it is registered, would that mean that if I had an actual tiger, it wouldn’t be an tiger unless it was registered? The difference is saying you a have a nebelung cat or if you have a registered nebelung cat. But that’s just my opinion…and maybe the opinion of several others.

      Reply
  6. Lisa Latimer

    Yes, so it would indeed be difficult and expensive to get an actual Nebelung. I read about the importance of going to a Nebelung breeder not a general one. I have no interest. I tend to get rescues or cats given to me. My Persian kitty was indeed a purebred and I got her from a friend but I wasn’t going to go out of my way to find papers to prove it. I adopted a Siamese named Cookie who was very much a Siamese who likely was abandoned because the so-called pet parents didn’t bother to do the research to look more deeply into this breed and what to expect. I know a family who has a bengal cat who was a rescue but no doubt in my mind she is a pure bengal based on appearance alone and by getting to know her as a pet sitter.

    Vita may even be not meet the standards of a Nebelung based on neck length (not really a long neck) and leg length. Hard to tell. Her eyes are an emerald green. Her ears are far apart but not unusually large in proportion to her head. She has the fixed smile, plumed tail, and tufts in between her toes and ears. Really soft delicate coat. I brush her almost daily but I don’t need to. Her underside coat is supposed to matt easily (as in Nebelungs).

    Reply
  7. Lisa Latimer

    The American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) and The international Cat Association (TICA) help regulate the cat breeder industry. Even still, potential buyers need to do their due diligence. Reputable breeders will belong to either of these clubs or other ones around the world.

    Breeders can also be fraud by advertising with a sense of urgency an/or asking for large amounts of cash upfront.

    Even if I wanted a Nebelung, currently I cannot find any reputable breeders for Nebelungs.

    Reply
  8. Joanne Miller

    We have a Nebelung.
    He was at a kill shelter we volunteered.
    He was sick but we took him home and we didn’t know he was pedigreed until our pet sitter said google long haired gray cat and the picture of the Nebelung came up.
    We think he was a breeder and got sick and was thrown away.
    One clue was when he would lay on newspapers.
    He also allows you to hold him like they do in shows.
    Loves to be groomed and is just gorgeous.
    Has the pantaloons too.
    Silky gray fur with a ruff around his neck and very loving.
    We named him Cosmo from the movie Moonstruck.

    Reply
  9. Carol Verdant

    I adopted my 8-year old Nebelung 3 years ago from a no kill cat shelter. Most people seem to dump their sick cats at shelters so the unsuspecting new owner gets stuck with the health issues. Lagerfeld (Lenny) stopped eating & drinking & started to hide. As well as being dehydrated, the vet listed a myriad of health issues including early kidney disease as well as problems with his liver and gall bladder. He also suspects IBS or IBD and said that Lenny had bad teeth. He performed an ultrasound without my permission to diagnose some of the issues. Lenny has had severe diarrhea for almost 2 weeks and the 3 types of meds he’s on aren’t helping. I’m a senior so I don’t have a lot of money to cover the huge vet bills. I just had to have my Bombay put down 2 weeks ago due to kidney failure & my Selkirk Rex the month before. My remaining cat is stressed from losing all his best buds.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Yikes, all of that does sound very stressful, Carol. I can’t suggest any particular course of action—I’d just advise minimizing your own stress as much as possible. Hope everything turns out alright for Lenny. – Mallory

      Reply
  10. Carol Verdant

    Thank you Mallory. I’m trying to manage one day at a time. I lost my Mom and three cats at Xmas several years ago so it’s a particularly hard time of year for me. I didn’t even put up my lights this year. My cats are my only family and I can’t meet with friends because of Covid. Very depressing.

    Reply
  11. Lillian Johnson

    This makes me so excited!! We found our boy Pepper last year. He was very young, on the brink of death, and appeared to be dumped. We had no idea what his breed was, but now he’s big and beautiful. I stumbled upon this article, and it made me look more into it and so some research and got some second opinions and the photos in this article are identical to my boy. I wish I could post a photo. Thank you so much for solving this mystery for is

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Lillian, that’s great! Just remember that it’s unlikely that Pepper is actually a Nebelung—you can’t consider a cat to be part of any breed unless they have the appropriate papers, and, especially compared to dog breeds, purebred cats are rare in general. I would describe him as a grey domestic longhair who has a lot of Nebelung-like traits. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
      1. Lillian Johnson

        Thank you for the reply! Fortunately, they have that kind of testing for felines (I’m obsessed with this stuff lol!). because we only wanted to know what he was, I’m not seeking documentation, which I probably wouldn’t have been able to get anyway . I was just excited to find this article because it started our pursuit to find out what he is. Again, thank you! Very informative!

        Reply
      2. Samantha

        People are coming here to read this article because they want to know more about their cat. Nobody cares about the particular standards of the breed or whether or not their cat is a pure bred ‘registered’ Nebelung. You don’t have to go reminding everyone, or making remarks like “just remember it’s unlikely that pepper is actually a Nebelung”, nobody f*cking asked you, Karen. Do you really waste your days replying to peoples comments correcting them by telling them they don’t know sh*t about their cat? Do you go to bed feeling accomplished? I hope you are surrounded nightly by all your highly pedigreed creatures with your stacks of paperwork proving their breed legitimacy. I hope you’re living the dream.

        Reply
        1. Mallory Crusta

          Samantha, thanks for the feedback. It’s part of my job here at All About Cats to reply to comments and provide information, and I thought people would appreciate knowing that it’s very unlikely that a cat without a pedigree is purebred. As someone who’s spent years researching cats and trying to share factual information, my commitment has been solely to facts—not any elitist agenda. However, I can see that, especially when we’re talking about cat breeds, this comes across as condescending. Condescension was never my intention or an approach that represents the values of All About Cats. I’ll change my approach in the future. Thanks again, and I hope you have a good day ahead.

          Reply
      3. Jennifer

        A cat is the breed it is you don’t need no papers saying so wth you’re basically saying it’s not any breed just because there’s no paperwork on it, what bs

        Reply
  12. Adrianne Coleman

    We adopted a ‘grey’ kitten from a foster cat family that is mostly Nebulung, with a white chest blaze and four white legs/paws. ‘Dibs’ is also a ‘wobbly cat’ with cerabellar hypoplasia. He flops and wobbles, with his big bushy tail flailing behind him. We laugh at his antics, and feel blessed to provide him a loving home.

    Reply
  13. Pamela

    Hi,
    About ten years ago I fell in love with a young grey cat in a shelter. Apparently, she was found lost, dirty and running the streets. I brought this grey bundle home with me. It wasn’t until a month ago that I even knew this breed existed. I texted pictures of Nebelung cats to my daughters and they all thought they were photos of Eowyn. Her personality matches the Nebelung perfectly. Whether she is or not, she is a constant joy in my life. Wish I could include a picture of this beautiful girl.

    Pamela

    Reply
  14. SG Brunner

    We lucked out and got a Nebelung at the humane society after it was abandoned in a dumpster as a kitten …. One man/woman’s trash is another man/woman’s treasure. He’s been pure gold. All the characteristics and such a great playful personality I started a TilTok channel on him @cheipisworld … he can get aggressive while playing but being a kitten some of it is teething. Overall best cat ever ranking.

    Reply
  15. T.

    We got our boy at an SPCA foster home. He was 3 months old and from a wild cat colony. He was everything Negelung. Anyone who saw the breed photos thought it was him..Interestingly, his coat changed length with our Canadian seasons. His sister was a diffuse tortie. Unfortunately, he died from heart complications just as the breed is known for. He was a joy. He was only 9 when he passed. We miss him.

    Reply
  16. Crystal Bessler

    Hi! 3 weeks ago I found a gorgeous kitten hiding in my shed, she is gray with long hair and soooo extremely sweet. She had horrible smelling urine so I took her to the vet and it was determined she was around 5 weeks old and had a UTI. She has been on antibiotics and doing really well! I believe she may be Nebelung as she has a thick gray coat and looks very similar to all the photos I’ve researched. We are attempting to transition from wet food to dry kibble, it’s not going well, any advice?

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Crystal, that’s a great question, but I wonder why you want to transition to dry food at all! Wet food is nutritionally superior in multiple ways, and you can learn about that here. I would keep feeding her that wet food, personally. You’re fortunate to not have a kibble addict!

      Reply

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