Nebelung Cats

New Breed is Sweet Natured Companion

A chance meeting between two cats led to a new breed known for its beautiful coat and its unusual name.

Often referred to as the “longhaired Russian blue,” the nebelung cat does share some similarities—and genes—with the breed, but has its own distinguishing features, most notably its silky fur coat. A people pleaser, the nebelung is an affectionate, devoted companion that has won the hearts of families around the world.

Nebelung cat

The nebelung cat is a newer domestic breed, created during the mid-80s by Denver, Color.-based Cora Cobb, the owner Siegfried and Brunhilde, cats named after characters in the medieval Germanic opera, “The Ring of the Nibelung.” The cats were siblings, albeit from different litters, born through the union of Cobb’s adopted stray cat and a neighborhood tom cat.

Cobb thought Siegfried and Brunhilde were unusually pretty; they looked like Russian blue cats but had long hair. They each had very sweet personalities as well. Curious about breeding the two cats, Cobb reached out to a geneticist at the American Cat Association, who thought the cats were best described as longhaired Russian blues, and began developing a breeding standard. The resulting breeding program closely followed that of Russian blue cats during the late 19th and early 20th centuries with an emphasis on developing the breed’s shiny, thick blue-grey coat into a longer length.

The name, “nebelung,” is a combination of the name of the opera from which Siegfried and Brunhilde were named—“The Ring of the Nibelung”—and the German word “nebel” which means mist or fog. Loosely translated the name means “creature of the mist.”

The nebelung cat is recognized as a new breed by The International Cat Association, the American Cat Fanciers Association, the World Cat Federation and other cat associations overseas.

While there are now nebelung cat breeders in the United States, Canada, Russia and Europe, the availability of the breed is limited.

Nebelung cat

Nebelung cats are playful, affectionate companions, often described as mild-mannered but highly intelligent.

The breed is people oriented, usually choosing to spend time with family members and paying little attention to strangers.

Nebelungs often prefer to bond with one or two people within the family, following them closely and communicating when something doesn’t meet their needs. Nebelung owners have compared this breed’s behavior to that of a dog’s. They like to have clean litter boxes at all times, can be particular about the food you feed them and demand a healthy amount of attention and TLC.

The nebelung cat is also known to get along well with other cats. This breed prefers to spend the day either in the company of its favorite people or other feline companions.

Nebelung cat litter

The nebelung cat is known for its silky blue-grey fur coat and its yellowish green to solid green eyes.

The breed is a medium-sized cat with a long, muscular build with a long sweeping tail and ears proportionate to the cat’s head. The breed weighs, on average, between seven and 14 pounds, depending on gender.

Often mistaken for a Russian blue cat due to the similar coloring, the nebelung cat’s notable difference is its semi-long coat, which is soft and silky to the touch.

Nebelung cat

The nebelung cat is considered to be a healthy cat; while all cat breeds can potentially develop health problems—most commonly renal failure, hyperthyroidism and diabetes, this breed is known to have very few genetic health issues.

There are no known health issues specific to this cat breed at this time, although it has been reported that bladder stones can be an issue for Russian blue cats, of which the nebelung cat includes as an ancestor in its breeding program.

As with any pet, be sure to regularly consult a veterinarian for routine care and medical advice for your four-legged friend.