By Sharon Parry
Last Updated March 31, 2021

The Nebelung is a longhaired variety of the much-loved Russian Blue breed. Their romantic and magical appearance have made owners fall in love with them. Now recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA), The Cat Fanciers Association, and many other feline organizations, this gorgeous new breed with its distinctive coat and striking green eyes is now bred all over the United States, as well as Europe, Canada, and Russia.

The breed is noted for its grace, elegance, and intelligence but it is also a very loving cat that makes a wonderful family companion and lap cat. They get on well with children and make loving pets. It’s a lucky family that has this very special cat come to live with them. Read on to find out what you need to know about them before choosing one as your pet.

History of the Nebelung Cat Breed

The Nebelung cat is a relatively new breed and can only trace its history back to the 1980s. That history starts with a chance meeting between a shorthaired black female cat and a black longhaired Angora-type male kitty. This brief encounter produced three kittens, one of which as given to the family of a computer programmer called Cora Cobb who lived in Denver, Colorado.

The kitten, who was given the name Elsa, had her own encounter with a short-haired Russian Blue type tom cat and produced a litter that included one longhaired solid blue male kitten. Both parents must have possessed the gene for a long coat. Cobb was so impressed with the kitten that she decided to keep him. It turns out that Cobb loved to give her cats names based on operas and gave him the name Seigfried from an opera called The Ring of Nibelung. A second litter from the same pairing produced a female kitten with the same characteristics. She was given the name Brunhilde from the same opera.

Cobb successfully mated the brother and sister to produce what appeared to be a new breed. This result was obtained because both long hair and blue color are carried by recessive genes. Cobb decided to name this new breed Nebelung – this is the German name for “creatures of the mist”.

Of course, a new breed also needs written standards and Cobb soon set about doing this for the Nebelung cat breed. She based it almost entirely on the standards for the Russian Blue because this breed was essentially a longhaired Russian Blue. She took guidance from The International Cat Association genetics experts. Her informal breeding program had been a great success!

Finally, The International Cat Association accepted the Nebelung for registration in September 1987. Today, the breed is recognized by the United States Cat Fanciers Association and many other leading cat organizations.

Appearance

The American Cat Association has a standard for the Nebelung breed appearance which can be found on their website. In general, these cats have a medium and well-muscled body type with a long and level back and a medium bone structure which gives them a graceful and athletic appearance.

Their head is slightly pointed with cute, rounded whisker pads. These beautiful pets have large and pointed ears and slightly oval, wide-spaced eyes. Nebelung kittens have yellow eyes but these change to green eyes when they become an adult. It can take two years for them to reach the vivid green that is one of the characteristics of the breed. A sign that the eyes are beginning to change is a characteristic green halo in the yellow coloration.

Their legs and feet are of a medium size and they appear to walk on the balls of their feet. Nebelungs have medium length fur all over their body. There is a difference in length between the shoulders and the tail – the coat at the tail is longer. The cats have a gorgeous double coat – the outer coat is fine and silky – it is water resistant but can take two years to develop fully.

In terms of color, Nebelungs look like a long hair Russian Blue – the coat is blue all the way to the roots and has a sheen. The undercoat is very soft and has a down-like texture. It is a lighter shade of blue compared to the outer coat.

Fun Facts

The Nebelung is a wonderful cat breed with its own unique breed characteristics. Here are five quick fun facts about the Nebelung cat – you are sure to find one fact that you didn’t know!

  • The Nebelung has a sweet personality. Whilst some cat breeds can be quite aloof, the Nebelung forms a strong bond with family members.
  • The Russian blue long haired cat contributed to the development of this breed and they share many genes. The Nebelung is often mistaken for this breed as the cats are very similar colors.
  • The Nebelung has a long and dense coat – this means that you as their owner will have to put in some work to look after that gorgeous blue coat.
  • Your Nebelung will grow up to be a medium-sized cat with a long body and a fairly muscular build. They are athletic and graceful cats.
  • Don’t expect your Nebelung to greet people visiting your home, they will probably ignore them and will much prefer the people that they live with!

Character

The Nebelung cat personality is completely charming. They will become attached to family members and will be a devoted companion to their owner. The overall Nebelung cat personality is affectionate and sweet. Their personality traits include affection, love, and trust. Your Nebelung cat will get on with adults and children making them excellent pets for families.

Nebelung cats will constantly watch their favorite humans and will always want to know where you are. With these personality traits they are more like dogs than some of the more stand-offish cat breeds and they form a deep attachment with their human family.

Your Nebelung cat will like to sit beside you or on your lap and as you stroke their gorgeous blue coat. Nebelung cats form a particularly strong bond with one or two people in the house and will not like it when those people are not around. They will find it hard when their humans need to spend a prolonged period out of the house – especially if they are used to them being at home all day. It’s a good idea to get them used to being alone if this is something that they are going to have to cope with in the future. If you work full time, this is something you will have to make arrangements for. Some owners arrange for someone to come and check in on their cat during the day.

The Nebelung cat is not especially vocal but will let you know if they are not satisfied with the state of their litter box or their food bowls. They can be quite particular about their environment and very reserved around humans that they do not know. Early socialization will help with this so get your friends and family to visit your new kitten once they have settled in.

Care & Grooming

In general, it is less stressful for both cats and humans for Nebelungs to be household animals and stay inside all the time. This prevents them from catching diseases and from being attacked by other animals or hit by a vehicle. These are premium breed cats and people will pay a lot of money for them so they also run the risk of being stolen. They also like their things to be scrupulously clean – litter boxes and feeding area.

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Nebelung cat standing on a wooden sculpture

Feeding

Your Nebelung cat will do well on any high quality premium cat food with plenty of protein and no artificial additives. They can be very fussy about the cleanliness of their feeding bowls so be mindful of this. Some cats are fussy eaters and you may need to try them with a few different foods. Never change it abruptly. Gradually swap from one to another by mixing them together and changing the proportions.

The Nebelung cat breed likes to have a regular routine so make sure that the meals are always served at the same time. Set an alarm for yourself if you have to. They also need plenty of fresh water – you could use a cat bowl or even a cat water fountain as some cats are fussy drinkers.

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Grooming

To maintain that gorgeous appearance, your Nebelung cat will require regular grooming. Unlike Russian Blues, the Nebelung has a long coat and all that body hair requires some attention.

They have medium grooming requirements and their coat would benefit from a gentle brush of their fur a few times a week. It also distributes oils over the coat and helps the texture of the double coat. When you groom cats, it helps prevent fur from collecting on your carpet and soft furnishings and will also help to develop the bond between you and your cat. Brush in the direction that the fur is growing. Look out for any matted areas that may need some extra attention.

Use this opportunity to check in their eyes and ears to make sure that they are healthy and have no signs of discharge or infection. Wipe any discharge away with a soft, damp cloth. Use a separate cloth for each eye and ear to prevent cross-contamination. A 50-50 mixture of water and cider vinegar works well for cleaning ears. Do not use cotton buds as they can cause damage inside the ear.

You should also brush your cat’s teeth to prevent periodontal disease – this can be done a couple of times a week. Cats need a nail trim every other week also.

Health

The Nebelung cat breed usually has no major health problems. They are generally a very healthy and happy long haired grey cat. However, all cat breeds can develop health issues that can affect any part of the body including the eyes, kidneys, intestines or thyroid.

Some of the most common problems in all breeds of cat includes hyperthyroidism, renal failure, and diabetes. There are no particular genetic diseases associated with Nebelung breed cats.

Adopt Don’t Shop (Rescue Groups)

The Nebelung cat breed make great pets. Even though it is a new breed and some may still consider it to be a rare breed, it has become popular with many people. The combination of the stunningly soft double coat, the lovely name, the relatively easy pet care and the ability to get on with children, makes them a good fit for many householders. This breed of cat also has very few health issues and are unlikely to cause problems for pet owners. Anyone who is a fan of Russian Blues is also likely to fall in love with the Nebelungs

You have the choice of obtaining your pet from a breeder or from a pet adoption center. However, it may be hard to find a rescue center that is specifically for Nebelungs because they are still quite a rare breed. It would be best to contact all of your local rescue centers and enquire whether they have any Nebelungs. Cats are brought in on a regular basis so keep checking back in with them every few weeks.

The other option is that you find a cat breeder who has a breeding program for Nebelung cats. They will probably adhere to the cat breed standard produced by the appropriate organizations. You can ask if your Nebelung kitten will have the characteristics to fit that cat breeding standard.

Gray cat Nebelung cat is lying on the sofa at home.

Price

Nebelung cats are expensive pets to buy. They are one of the more rare breeds and this can drive up the price. Litters may need to be registered with the Cat Fanciers Association of the country where you live.

You can expect a Nebelung cat to cost between $600 – $1200 USD depending on the area, breeder and individual cat. These cats can be expected to live up to 16 years so you will have a long term cat companion.

Sharon is a Ph.D. scientist and experienced pet content writer. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a Cockapoo puppy. She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and turning it into easy-to-understand articles that offer practical tips. When it comes to our furry friends, she knows that there is always something new to learn!

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