It doesn’t take much until you are seriously contemplating the Russian Blue cat breed. It seems as if in many ways their alluring blue eyes put you in a trance and naturally draw you in. But before you go out and bring one home, it’s good to ask a few important questions. Especially to set your expectations and understand what is required for their care. One common question often asked by prospective owners is how long this particular breed lives. Here is what you want to know.
So, how long do Russian blue cats live? Russian blue cats typically live between 15 to 20 years on average. Although it has been known for some cats of this breed to only live to 13, while others have been reported to live longer than 20 years. They are generally long-lived cats, with no specific and genetic health issues currently associated with the breed.
Now of course there are always factors that will influence life span. And we will get onto those shortly.
But one thing is for sure; the time you do have with your Russian blue will be joyful if you do proceed to get one.
These cats are highly intelligent, actually quite trainable, a typically have a very gentle and affectionate nature.
These cats develop strong bonds with their owners, and they even get along well with other pets.
Better yet; they are also an ideal breed for those with pet allergies as they are naturally low shedding.
Their coats are easy to groom and you shouldn’t expect to find a lot of loose hair around your home.
What a result.
Nevertheless, let us now take a closer look into the life expectancy of the Russian Blue, including the most significant factors that can influence their longevity, both in and outside of your control.
We will then look at whether this breed is susceptible to particular health conditions and how you can ensure they live a long, happy life if you do decide to take one home.
So if you are serious about a Russian blue, keep reading to get all the information you need!
What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Russian Blue Cat?
Russian blue cats generally live between 15 to 20 years. Some Russian blues may only reach the age of 13 years, while some others have been known to exceed 20 years. However, this is quite rare.
When you compare the life expectancy of this particular breed with others, you can see that it is on the longer side.
Take the Maine Coon for example. They typically live for around 12.5 years.
The Tabby cat averages between 12-20 and the American Bobcat averaging 13-15 years.
But it is not just how a long a cat lives their life, but how they live it.
It makes the Russian blue pedigree an excellent choice for anyone searching for a companion and essential family member.
Who can resist their beautiful bright eyes, silvery coat, and enigmatic smile?
Good looks aside, this cat is really gentle, affectionate, playful, intelligent, and curious.
Russian blues know how to cheer you up when you’re not feeling your best; they will lick your face, sit on your lap, and rub against your head – they are full of love.
As a loving cat owner, part of ensuring they live a long life is keeping them happy and content. Thankfully this is not too challenging to do.
But it will mean that your cat has enough toys to play with; due to their intelligence, this breed needs quite a bit of mental stimulation to keep them occupied throughout their day.
You should engage in playtime with your Russian blue; try to schedule two ten-minute playtime sessions each day.
Better yet, have one session in the morning and one in the evening.
You do need to make time for this cat.
They love cuddles and snuggling up comfortably on your lap.
They also enjoy a grooming session, and this is one such way of keeping your cat’s coat in optimal condition. All that is required is a small amount of combing once or twice a week.
One thing to note is that Russian blue cats can be shy with new people at first.
However, with regular socialization and introductions to new people, pets, and environments over time, they’ll soon come around.
Once they get to know people, they enjoy their company and the attention they receive.
Factors That Influence A Russian Blue Cats Lifespan
The main factors that influence a Russian Blue cat’s lifespan include nutrition, exercise, appropriate veterinary care, and other environmental influences.
Beyond this, you must ensure that they generally live a good, calm life as stress is not good for anyone and has been known to impact the health of cats.
It naturally follows that you must do all you can to ensure your cat’s health and vitality by meeting all of their needs.
Whatever they may be.
Thankfully, Russian blue cats as a breed are typically healthy and tend to live out their full expected lifespan.
Nevertheless, pets often die due to neglect on the part of the owner.
It goes without saying that you want to avoid doing anything that will harm your cat, but sometimes it’s those unintentional things that you have to really think about to avoid.
Sometimes they’re not so glaringly obvious.
Let’s look at factors that can influence a Russian blue cat’s lifespan:
Russian blue cats need a high-quality diet from kittenhood through to adulthood.
Kittens need lots of calories, as they have more energy than when they become adults.
Cats are strictly carnivores, and their diet must consist of mostly meat protein, either chicken, turkey, beef, or fish.
Fat is also essential as it absorbs vitamins A, D, E, and K. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and chloride are also a must-have.
There should also be some carbohydrates in your cat’s diet, like rice or wheat. Whether your cat prefers wet or dry food, all the essential nutrients must be present in their diet.
Russian blues require adequate exercise for each life stage.
Kittens love to play and require lots of playtime and interaction from you.
As adults, they need at least two ten-minute playtime sessions.
You can also let them play outdoors when the weather permits, some Russian blues enjoy playing in the water.
If that’s your cat, you can put a paddling pool in your yard and let your cat splash about.
Play provides your cat with much-needed exercise to burn off calories and keep fit, but it’s also good for their mental well-being.
Veterinary Health Care
Cats are often susceptible to parasite infestations, which can become life-threatening if ignored.
They also can impact sufficient growth and development, and impact their final adult size.
At the same time, if your cat gets injured, this could even affect its ability to return home. Even a small injury can cause major problems if it results in a wound.
Those that are left open are susceptible to infection. Besides most cats spend a lot of time in the outside environment.
If you see anything unusual with your Russian blue, make sure that you inspect them totally, and seek out veterinary attention. Sometimes, you may need to drop everything to get them the care that they need.
Did you also know that health care isn’t just limited to medical care?
Grooming is also an essential part of your cat’s health.
It keeps them clean, removes mats, loose fur, and foreign items that often get stuck in the skin or paws.
Cats are quite inquisitive.
Being on all fours, using their noses to analyze the ground and the air, and grooming themselves with their tongues doesn’t always help them.
Each one of these means that they can easily ingest and absorb toxins like fertilizer, pesticides, insecticides, and other harmful chemicals from the outside environment.
And it doesn’t matter how careful you are with your own property.
If your cat was to explore your neighbors, they may have a completely different setup that could harm your cat.
Equally, if your cat was to consume a mouse or even a rat that has been purposefully killed with poison, this will automatically be entering your cat’s system.
General neglect and not being looked after and taken care of will undoubtedly impact the longevity of your cat.
Happy, comfortable cats with everything they need, including love and attention, generally live longer lives.
Do Russian Blue Cats Have Health Issues?
Russian blue cats are extraordinarily healthy as a breed. There is actually little to no risk for an inherited disease.
There is actually a reason for this.
Partly to keep them a valuable breed, and otherwise, to control their breeding, most Russian blues are sold having been already spayed.
It comes with its advantages.
This means that the gene pool of Russian blues is better kept.
It ensures that Russian blues are mostly bred from healthy cats and those less likely to be carrying a health condition/complication.
Again, this likely impacts their price.
That being said, no cat is entirely immune to health complications.
They can suffer from any illness or condition that other cats can.
It’s just as a breed, there is nothing specific that they will inherit that other breeds do not.
For this reason, it’s essential to be proactive.
All owners should still practice preventative healthcare for their Russian blues.
It all starts with diet.
Despite being relatively healthy, Russian blue cats are actually more at risk of obesity because of their love of food.
They will look at you with those bright eyes of theirs and cry, begging for more and more food, and it’s all too easy to give in.
In fact, the best treat for your cat is providing them with attention and playtime; this is the exercise they need. Plus, it burns calories and keeps their mind off food.
Feline obesity is considered a bodyweight that is 20% or more above their standard weight – which is 7-15 pounds for this particular breed.
So, a Russian Blue at 18 pounds and heavier are considered obese.
However, you will likely notice this without getting out the scales; the clinical signs are often undeniable. Nevertheless, when noticed, they should be taken seriously and addressed straight away.
Obesity can rob your cat of its full potential, its love of physical activity, and overall quality of life.
Significant weight increases can aggravate conditions like osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, and cardiovascular issues.
Sadly, and somewhat ironically, obesity is a growing problem.
Too often, owners don’t stick to a feeding plan for their cat and almost feel that overfeeding their cat and seeming them heavier is advantageous.
In reality, it’s not.
Outside of weight, Russian blue can and do still develop the common cat diseases, as the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) points out:
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
- Feline Leukemia Virus (FelV)
- High-Rise Syndrome
- Upper Respiratory Infections
Keeping an eye on your cat, ensuring they live in a comfortable clean environment, and regular veterinary health checks can ensure you stay on top of any disease if it were to unfold, providing you with the care and treatment options you may need.
How To Ensure Your Cat Reaches Their Full Life Expectancy
There’s a lot that a Russian blue owner can do to help their cat reach their full life expectancy.
It begins by learning how to take care of a cat.
Normally, with the Russian Blue, breeders are particular with whom they sell them to.
Therefore, it is likely that you will need to put in the research ahead of time anyway. You need to be able to display that you are committed, willing, and able to put in the time and effort to care for such a cat.
Let us now briefly look at what it takes to care for a Russian blue fully:
Russian blue cats have specific nutritional requirements depending on their age, this is especially true during their first year of life.
So, to ensure that their needs at met, you will need to select a complete and balanced food designed for kittens. This will provide her with all the nutrients vital to her growth and development.
From there and when the time comes, you will need to transition your cat onto an adult diet and feed accordingly.
As previously mentioned, Russian blue cats famously love food – but you should never feed them more than what they should eat.
Cats must be fed twice per day and stick to a feeding schedule rather than free-range feeding.
This way, you can monitor your cat’s food intake and quickly notice if your cat is eating less, which might indicate a health issue.
Read the food packaging to discern how often to feed your cat and how much food to give her.
Feed your cat high-quality cat food and avoid giving too many treats as this breed is susceptible to weight gain.
Water is a vital part of your cat’s diet even though they have a low thirst drive.
Ensure that they have access to clean water at all times throughout the day.
If your cat doesn’t get enough water, it can develop urinary and kidney problems – so it is a serious matter.
You can increase your cat’s water intake by supplementing their diet with premium canned food mixed with water.
You can also purchase a water fountain to entice your cat to drink more water when the water is running or moving.
Clean The Litter Box Regularly
Russian blue cats appreciate having a clean litter box and often will not even enter one when it isn’t clean.
You should scoop out feces daily and thoroughly change the litter box twice a week, at a minimum.
These cats are especially particular about hygiene, which means you must clean their litter box more often than you might like to ensure they eliminate routinely and on a proper schedule.
Equally, a clean litter box reduces odors and the collection, growth, and transference of bacteria.
It also leads to a much nicer home environment so it’s in your interests
While visits to the vet can be expensive, and they usually charge a per-visit fee at a minimum, it is recommended that if you suspect your cat is unwell, in pain, or suffering, you get them to a vet.
The earlier they get treatment the better chance that it will be successful.
Getting cat insurance will help to cover you should the need arise for any expensive medical procedures.
This will also subconsciously increase the chances that you get them the care that they need, as the cost will not be a factor that is on your mind.
Russian blue cats live a long time, around 15 to 20 years on average. Some have even lived up to the ripe old age of 25 years!
These are truly fabulous cats, that are naturally very healthy and low maintenance to look after and care for.
This is a cat you can easily raise with your children; they’ll also be much more than just a household pet.
Russian blues soon become family members – close and affectionate with everyone at home.
So, if you want a medium-sized, low-maintenance, low-shedding cat with a loving disposition, look no further than a Russian blue.
Every owner will regale you with anecdotes of this beloved cat.
Just remember, the Russian blue cat doesn’t require extra care, but they do require consistent care.
Lastly, one thing to consider is that with a longer life expectancy, you need to ensure that you can afford them for the duration of their life. There are costs involved, which you would do best to look at first.
Our Russian blue cost guide is perhaps the best place to start looking at the financials and finding out exactly what is involved.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.