Origin: United States
Type: Pedigree / Semi-foreign
Size: Small to medium
Coat Length: Medium hair
Body Type: Semi-foreign
Appearance: The Nebelung is a small to medium-sized cat. The males weigh around 6.5 kg and females 3.5kg. They have long dense fur and unlike most cats Nebelungs come only in grey, which in the cat-fanciers world is referred to as ‘blue’! This breed has a double and water-resistant coat. Their ears are rather large and pointy and their eyes medium and deep green.
Grooming Requirement: Very often – twice a week.
Activity Level: Average
Time Alone: 8 hours a day
Attention: Needs average attention
Temperament: Nebelungs are gentle and loyal cats. If you don’t pay them enough attention they may become shy and anxious, so make sure to leave some time to play with them or buy a toy to keep your cat busy. Nebelungs can adapt to different situations and environments but they don’t like changes.
Interesting Facts: The name Nebelung comes from the German word Nebel which means mist or fog. Roughly translated their name would be something like “creature of the mist”.
Behaviour Toward Other Animals and Kids: Nebelungs are great with well-behaved children and won’t cause you any problems. Of course no pet is friendly if someone’s pulling its tail. The Nebelung behaves well with dogs and other animals too, as long as they’ve grown up together or you’ve made an effort to socialise them.
Common Health Problems: Nebelungs are healthy cats in general but in some cases genetic issues may occur. Cats of this breed are known to have a huge appetite, so obesity might become a serious problem if you aren’t careful.
Lifespan: Average 11 to 16 years.
The Nebelung was developed by Cora Cobb in the 1980s. A cat named Elsa – a black domestic shorthair she had given as a present to her son, gave birth to a litter of kittens fathered by a Russian Blue. One of the kittens, named Siegfried, had a long blue coat and when a second litter produced another female kitten with the same unique coat, called Brunhilde, Cobb decided to start a breeding programme to preserve the beauty and personality of the kittens.
In May, 1986 Siegfried and Brunhilde produced a litter of three kittens, all bearing the blue long-haired coat. Following the advice of TICA’s genetic chairperson, Dr, Solveig Pflueger, Cobb wrote out the breed standard for the Nebelung to match that of the Russian Blue, with the coat length as the only difference, and applied for New Breed status. The Nebelung was officially recognised by TICA in 1987. Russian Blue breeders were initially reluctant to provide breeding stock for the development of the Nebelung. After the owner of Supreme Grand Champion Vladimir of Castlecats offered her cat for a stud with one of Brunhilde’s daughters, however, the number of Nebelungs steadily grew. With the Russian Blue as a designated out-cross, the addition of foundation cats has significantly developed the Nebelung gene pool.
The Nebelung was recognised for championship competition by TICA in 1997. The World Cat Federation (WCF) spells the name of the breed as “Nibelung.” It is considered that the name Nebelung, which means “creature of the mist” in German, is intended to represent the cat’s distinctive silky blue coat.
The breed standard of the Nebelung matches the one of the Russian Blue, with the coat as the only difference – the Russian blue’s coat is short and dense, while the Nebelung’s fur is medium-long, fine, soft, silky and double layered. The coat is semi-long over the body beginning at the shoulders, where the coat is slightly shorter. The hind legs possess pantaloons, and the tail sports an elegant plume. The Nebelung is a medium-sized cat with a semi-foreign, well-muscled body build, long tail, and a silky blue coat frosted with silver draping the body. The ears are large in proportion to the head, and the wide-set eyes are light yellow at birth, transforming into green at the age of 3-4 months.
The Nebelung’s personality lives up to their aristocratic bearing. They are generally reserved around strangers, which given the behaviour of people, could very well be interpreted as a sign of intelligence. Guests may not be endowed with his presence but his family will gladly discover the loyal and affectionate side of his character. Nebelungs are sensitive, mild, soft-spoken cats who will relish the peace and quiet of a stable environment. The affection they display has to be reciprocated, otherwise the lack of attention can make them anxious and fearful. The Nebelung does not like change and has a very strict routine – he might double as an alarm clock if he thinks his breakfast is late.
Nebelung cats are generally healthy. The main concern you should pay attention to is their diet. The Nebelung’s hearty appetite may take its toll on its long graceful body.
It is safe to feed your Nebelung most high-quality manufacturer’s food, both dry and wet. Nebelungs need to eat a high percentage of meat for fat and protein. A long diet of carbohydrates will lead to excess weight gain and put the cat at a risk of diabetes. Ensure he has enough protein intake, and add vitamin and Taurine supplements. Don’t feed cow milk – it can cause stomach upset. Base your Nebelung’s diet on its age and activity level; whether it’s an indoor or outdoor cat, sterilised or not. Consult your vet about the optimal weight and amount of food. Nebelungs like to have small meals throughout the day, so make sure you leave out enough food. These finicky eaters tend to go on a hunger strike when they don’t like a particular food, so be prepared to ensure a diversity and change the diet gradually.
Even with the double layered coat, the Nebelung’s fur doesn’t mat and requires less maintenance than other longhair breeds. Use a good-quality steel comb to groom twice or three times a week and every other day during the seasonal shedding periods. The Nebelung sheds more profusely in the fall when they shed their summer coat and in the spring when they shed their winter coat. The Nebelung’s coat length may vary seasonally.