Grey cats come in a variety of breeds, from the well-known Persian to the less common Nebelung. While some grey cats may look similar, each breed has its own distinct set of characteristics and personalities. Some are more social than others, while some are more intelligent or active. Some require lots of attention, while others will spend most of their time outdoors on their own.
Here is our list of the top purebred grey cats, and a selection of facts about these wonderful grey cat breeds.
12 Of The Most Attractive Grey Cat Breeds
The Chartreux is a French breed that has been around since the Middle Ages. It is distinguished by its thick, blue-grey fur and round yellow eyes.
Legend has it the Chartreux’s ancestors were feral mountain cats from what is now Syria, brought back to France by returning Crusaders in the 13th century, many of whom entered the Carthusian monastic order.
Chartreux cats tend to be quiet, rarely making noises such as mewing or crying and some are mute. They are playful cats well into their adult years; some can be taught to fetch small objects in the same manner as a dog.
Unlike any other cat, the Chartreux blue fur is medium in length and woolly, with the proper coat breaking at the neck, chest, and flanks. A dense undercoat gives it resistance and a feeling of sheep’s wool.
The Russian Blue is one of the most popular grey cat breeds. This breed is known for its lush coat and striking green eyes. It has a short, dense coat that is silver-blue in color and tipped with silver-tipped guard hairs to give it a silvery sheen. The coat is thick and plush, so it has a luxurious feel to it. It also has long, silky guard hairs that are slightly darker than the undercoat.
Russian Blues have large, bright green eyes that contrast nicely with the grey fur. They have a wedge-shaped face, which gives them an alert appearance. Their ears are large and wide set while their nose is slightly upturned.
The Russian Blue is known to be an intelligent breed that is active and playful. They thrive when they have plenty of interaction and enrichment activities such as playing fetch or hide-and-seek.
The British Shorthair originates from the native working cats of the United Kingdom, which in turn originated in Rome.
British Shorthairs are compact cats with large heads and wide-set eyes. They come in a variety of colors, including grey. Their coat, although short, is incredibly dense, smooth and fluffy to the touch. It is known for its seemingly perpetual smile; Lewis Carroll chose the breed as the model for his Cheshire cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The body is rounded and sturdy. The British Shorthair has a broad chest, shoulders and hips with short legs, round paws and a plush tail.
This breed does not require a lot of grooming because the fur does not tangle or mat easily. However, the coat should be brushed weekly to remove loose hair and minimize shedding.
American Shorthair cats are known for their short, dense coat and friendly personality, making it an ideal choice for pet owners looking for a low-maintenance pet.
The American Shorthair comes in many colors and patterns, including solid colours like black and white, as well as tabby cats with stripes or spots. The most common color of American Shorthairs is grey, which can range from light to dark.
American Shorthairs are known for their easy-going nature and friendly disposition. They tend to be calm and affectionate cats that enjoy spending time with their owners. They are long-living, and disinclined to behavioral problems; they get along well with other family members, including dogs.
The Korat Cat
The Korat is a rare breed from Thailand that has short, silver fur and large eyes with a distinctive blue hue. This breed is known for its intelligence and loyalty. It is named after the Nakhon Ratchasima province, although in Thailand it is often known as Si-Sawat, which means good fortune. In fact they are often known colloquially as the “Good Luck Cat” and are given in pairs to newlyweds or people of high esteem as a wish for good luck.
They are one of a few breeds that have only one colour: a silvery gray that often has lavender undertones – generally called blue in the cat world, although it is notably different in viewing from other ‘blue’ cats.
Their bodies are semi-cobby, and are surprisingly heavy for their size. They are intelligent, shy, soft-voiced, playful, active cats and form strong bonds with people.
The Devon Rex first appeared in England in 1960 and was actually the result of a natural mutation. This breed has large, alert ears that are set wide apart and may be either upright or curved inward. Their eyes are typically oval-shaped and come in a variety of colors including green, yellow, orange, blue and copper.
The Devon Rex’s coat is usually short and sparse, with soft waves or curls that can be seen close up, similar to that of the Cornish Rex. The most notable feature of this breed is their wavy fur which often comes in shades of grey – from light silver to dark charcoal. Despite their short fur, they are surprisingly tolerant of colder temperatures.
Known for their regal bearing and angular features, Oriental cats are prized for their unique looks.
Oriental cats have a slender, long body with a sleek coat of fur that comes in various shades of grey. Their eyes are almond-shaped, and their ears are large and pointed. They have a long, tapering face with a pointed muzzle.
Oriental cats have an active personality, making them perfect for people who enjoy playing games or being physically active with their cats. They are highly intelligent and often form strong bonds with their owners.
Norwegian Forest Cat
Norwegian Forest Cats have a thick fluffy double-layered coat, tufted ears and a long bushy tail to protect them against the cold. Their coat is essentially waterproof due to its coarse outer layer and dense underlay.
The breed is a very old one which occurred as a natural adaptation to the cold climate of the region, but it was not regarded as anything other than a standard house-cat until the late 1930s.
Adding to the grandeur of a fully coated cat are the ruff, mane, fluffy knickerbockers and beautiful long fluffy tail which should extend back to at least the shoulders in a cat of good ‘type’.
They are not easily stressed and are quite patient, which makes them great for a family with children. They enjoy high vantage points and enjoy tree-climbing.
The Nebelung is a rarely-seen grey cat breed that has long, silky fur and captivating blue eyes. It was developed in Germany in the 1980s as a cross between a Russian Blue and a domestic longhair.
It is a medium-sized feline with long, silky fur that comes in two shades – silver and blue-gray. The alluring grey hue of the Nebelung cat inspired its name, which in German translates to “creature of the mist”, an enchanting title that captures thed feline’s beauty.
A full-grown Nebelung can weigh up to 8 or 9 pounds, with males generally being larger than females.
Nebelungs are known for their inquisitive and friendly personalities. They are loyal and devoted to their family, often following them around the house and seeking out attention. They can become quite attached to a single person in the household, though they typically get along well with other pets.
The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica suggests that the Persian is derived from the Pallas Cat. A photograph accompanying the entry in the Encyclopædia shows a Blue Persian Cat, the conformation of which we would now call a “Doll Faced Persian” or “Traditional Persian”.
The Persian cat has a long coat that can come in many colors, including grey. This breed is known for its gentle nature and sweet temperament.
Because their fur is too long and dense for them to maintain themselves, Persian cats need regular grooming. To keep their fur in its best condition, they must be bathed regularly, dried carefully afterwards, and brushed thoroughly every day.
The Sphynx is an intriguing breed of cat that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Their unique physical features and personality traits have made them a favorite among many cat enthusiasts.
The Sphynx is a hairless breed, though they may sometimes have some light fuzz on their skin. Most often their coats are pink or grayish beige and they lack the fur of traditional cats. The Sphynx is a medium-sized breed, though they have long legs, making them look slightly larger than they actually are.
Because of the lack of hair that would normally absorb body oils, the Sphynx needs to be bathed periodically. This is not a difficult task with a cat that has been accustomed to a bath from kittenhood and it takes no time at all to dry a Sphynx.
These can be a good choice of hypoallergenic cat for those that suffer from cat allergies. But not all sufferers can tolerate them, so it’s best to trial your tolerance before committing your home.
Scottish Fold Cat
The Scottish Fold is a breed known for its distinctive folded ears. These cats can come in a variety of shades, ranging from light ash gray to smoke gray, and even silver-tipped.
It is a medium-sized cat and is quite affectionate with their owners. They tend to be quiet, gentle cats that enjoy being around people and will follow them from room to room in the house. They are also quite playful despite their mature demeanor and can often be seen chasing toys or playing hide-and-seek.
The folded ears of the Scottish Fold are one of its defining features, though not all cats in the breed have this trait. The ears can curl forward or fold down and are sometimes accompanied by a “frown” that gives these cats an especially sweet appearance.
Facts About Grey Cat Breeds
- Grey cats can come in shorthair, longhair or tabby varieties.
- All Grey Tabby cats have an “M” on their foreheads.
- The Korat, British Shorthair, Chartreux, and Russian Blue are all members of the same cat family, known as the “blue cats.” All of these breeds share common characteristics, such as a blue-grey coat color and round eyes with a yellow hue.
- The agouti gene is responsible for the tabby coloring in all tabby cats, including grey tabbies.
- Grey cats have a variety of coat colors and patterns. Some grey cats are solid colors while others have tabby or tortoiseshell patterns.