Nebelung Personality and Temperament
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.
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.
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.
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
Legs & Paws
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.
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.
Hi Ashley, thank you for telling us about Dio! He sounds lovely.
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!
Such a,m wonderful, beautiful and fun breed. Margie was a rescue. Shes very vocal and, once comfortable, gets into the mix of a crowd.
I’m lucjyvto have found her.
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.
My cat his name Bey..also gpt same issue..but after him took urin pill that i bough at pet shop now he be ok..its bcoz of normal cat food its too much of salt..we muat change to dried food no added colour or salt
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
What about the whiskers? My cat Vita has long whiskers.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
I adopted Walter as a 12 week old kitten from a foster home. At the time I feared his tail was going to be a little … thin … and his coat would be short. Before long, the fur on his tail was growing (and growing), and he was growing out the softest most luxurious coat I’ve ever seen on a cat. Walter’s first birthday is next month. I’ve loved and believe I’ve been loved by each and every cat who has adopted me — Duchess, Sam, Bob, Sam II, and now Walter — and Walter is different, beyond description. Physically, he’s beautiful – silver tipped medium long dark gray fur, emerald green eyes, a true ruff, pantaloons that are so precise they look like they’ve been trimmed that way, a black nose and black whiskers, a magnificent plumed tail, and he’s so athletic! He follows me everywhere, likes to crawl up into my shoulder and then have me hold him like a baby. When he relaxes in that position, he stretches his front paws over his head and stretches his back paws out full length – and becomes a looong cat with an exposed belly. The level of trust in me that he communicates is overwhelming in all my experience with cats. He is smart and loves to play – I don’t know how he manages to be graceful and goofy at the same time, but he does. When I give in to the urge to take a nap in my chair, Walter will curl up in my lap and sleep there for an hour, quietly purring the whole time. He loves to be brushed – another moment of what seems to be pure joy for him. It may sound like I’m a little over the top about my Nebelung – but Walter is unlike any cat who has ever lived with me or that I’ve ever seen.
Walter sounds wonderful, Connie! It sounds like he really trusts you and the two of you have a wonderful bond.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/VhPSESmLKxvBSdas9 here is our little nebelung his name is Thumper unfortunatly we cant keep him because it turns out the landlord wont allow it. Where would be the best place to find the perfect family for thumper do you think
Hi Helen, sorry about the late reply! I would list him in local Facebook groups, along with physical ads—flyers in public places can sell a cat! Some local rescues and shelters may also be willing to advertise Thumper while not actually taking him in. You can get some more tips here: https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/need-find-your-pet-new-home
We love our Waldo so much. We named him that cause you can’t see him at night and he blends with our furniture. He loves to play with our calico and they run like crazy through the house. He is a wonderful smuggler and we all love him so much.
My Nebelung She is my everything. Her name is Optimus Feline, a.k.a. Miss Opie for short. I have not had a cat like her and I’ve grown up with them and have had cats my whole life. Don’t get me wrong, every cat has a personality and unique self. However, there’s just something about my Nebelung. She has been incredibly devoted to me, intuitively knows when I’m upset and always comforts me. We bonded the moment we met at a humane society in Nashua, NH. I remember begging my (ex) boyfriend to let me get this beautiful kitty because in my soul I knew I needed her with me. She is so kind and loving, playful and cute. She’s silky with silver tipped, long, blue fur. She loves my family, but is even more loyal to me. She follows me around the house, snuggles and sleeps with me. My heart melts when she gives me eye kisses and headbutts. Her pantaloons are quite possibly my favorite! She’s full of personality and she even alerted us in the middle of the night when someone was breaking into our vehicles!!
I only recently found out what her breed was – I became frustrated when I was unable to find any merchandise (i.e. stuffed animal, or printed t-shirt) that resembles my kitty in any way. So I followed the Google search rabbit hole, which eventually brought me to information about Nebelung’s. When I saw the pictures of this breed on the internet I was blown away at how my pretty kitty looked identical to them! I’m very happy I discovered all this information!
I don’t know how I got so fortunate in this lifetime. I will ALWAYS have a significant place in my heart for Miss Opie, my Optimus Feline.
A very sweet story. Thank you for sharing.
One of my neighbors “adopted” a Nebelung and his two cat friends (other breeds) a few years ago when they were kittens. I named the Nebelung Grisgris (Greygrey in English) and he is totally loyal to his two cat friends; not to forget that he is totally adorable.
A beautiful Nebelung girl adopted me when I visited a local L.A. shelter just a week ago. I had been looking at her on the website, and hoped she would choose me. The shelter folks had her listed as a Russian Blue, but I wondered about the slightly longer coat, so I did some research online. They didn’t even know what they had! It took a few days to bond, and today she had her first vet visit. She was remarkably well behaved considering all she’s been through. The former human said she pooped outside the box. Hmmm, maybe that’s what you do if you have to share and you don’t know how to flush the toilet! She’s been perfect with me. Her growling and hissing has gradually lessened as we learn to respect boundaries. Don’t touch my underbelly too long human! I love Miss Dinah Blue! XO
Sounds like you two are off to a wonderful start! Congratulations.
My nebelung’s name is Bella. He’s (yes, he’s a boy, we unfortunately didn’t notice until it was too late, but he already answered to the name, so now we nicknamed him things like Mr. B and Beazer) fiercely loyal and surprisingly an outdoor cat. We got him from a neighbor who was selling the litter and he was the runt that no one wanted. We lucked out quite a bit because we had no idea he was rare. We thought he was a Russian Blue or a Norwegian Forest Cat before we figured it out. He’s very well behaved with no accidents and super gentle. Even when my toddler brother snipped his ears with scissors (much to our horror). He’s very much a family cat. Our B is now 14 years old and still incredibly spry and BIG. He’s an amazing cat. If I were to own a cat in the future, I would want it to be another nebelung. They are AMAZING!!!
i have a 2yr old nebelung who is both the driving force of my life and the reason i have anxiety (only partially joking
her name is river and she’s an absolute demon, specializing in the fields of terror and giving people heart attacks
I give my cats spring water. The other water in the house goes through a water softener. One cat had a UTD and once I got it cleared up and only spring water no problem.
I’m not sure why cat seem to be such “throw away” animals to some people. My son adopted a nuberlung from someone who was just going to leave this cat on the street because it wasn’t compatible with their lifestyle anymore. His name is Fuful and he’s a great cat. He gets along fine with my son’s two hundred pound Alaskan Malamutes and has become a great companion and addition to his home.
We got our little girl Shadow along with a sister Moki at 5 months old from a foster agency. They are 2 1/2 years old now, and wonderful cats — Shadow fits the Nebelung description in appearance and behavior. Her sibling looks and acts more like a tiger cat (even has the “M” marking on her forehead, tiger striped legs, big strong-willed girl) so we wonder if these litter mates have the same mom but different fathers, which does happen sometimes with cats. Shadow curls up every night on my right shoulder as we fall asleep. She loves the backyard but doesn’t wander (Moki goes all over the neighborhood), and indoors she is never far away from me unless we have visitors, and then she just disappears until the guests leave (hence the name Shadow). No digestive problems except for the occasional hairball. We’ve had a lot of cats over the years, and my husband and I agree that we’ve never encountered one quite like her. Bright, observant, playful, shy but not meek, very loyal to her sister, and keeps the mouse population to a minimum. I don’t care if she is or isn’t purebred, she’s a wonderful little girl cat. Didn’t know about Nebelungs until just a few weeks ago when someone told me they had one – checking the website, it’s clear she has a lot of Nebelung in her, from mom or dad (or both?).
My cat’s name is Loki. And true to his name is is mischievous. He’s a bit different in his size from the average ones you have described. He’s almost 20″ long with shorter legs and he weighs in at 22lbs. His coat is identical to the description made in the article but we have him groomed 4 times a year cause I think he hates his fur. He’s my buddy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.