The Chartreux is a rare breed of domestic cat from France and is recognised by a number of registries around the world. It is not recognised by the GCCF in the UK, ostensibly for being too similar to the British Shorthair, one of whose colours is a similar blue-grey. The Chartreux is large and muscular, with relatively short, fine-boned limbs, and very fast reflexes. They are known for their blue (grey) water-resistant short hair double coats which are often slightly nappy in texture (often showing “breaks” like a sheepskin) and orange- or copper-colored eyes. Chartreux cats are also known for their “smile”: due to the structure of their heads and their tapered muzzles, they often appear to be smiling. Chartreux are exceptional hunters and are highly prized by farmers
The first letter of the official name of a Chartreux cat encodes the year of its birth; all Chartreux born in the same year have official names beginning with the same letter. The code letters rotate through the alphabet each year, omitting the letters K, Q, W, X, Y, and Z. For example, a Chartreux born in 2011 would have an official name starting with the letter G (Fogle 2001:128).
Chartreux cats tend to be quiet, rarely making noises such as mewing or crying, and some are mute. They are quite observant and intelligent, with some Chartreux learning to operate radio on/off buttons and to open screen door latches. They take about two years to reach adulthood. Chartreux cats are playful cats well into their adult years; some can be taught to fetch small objects in the same manner as a dog. Chartreux are good with children and other animals. They are non-aggressive, affectionate, good travelers and generally very healthy. Chartreux tend to bond with one person in their household, preferring to be in their general vicinity (often following their favoured person from room to room), though they are still loving and affectionate to the other members of the household.