Caring for your Chartreux

The Chartreux is regarded as a ‘low-maintenance’ breed, and apart from a few points, it will happily thrive by just applying a sensible cat care regime.

They can have sensitive tummies and we would advise feeding them with high quality, grain-free cat food. A mixture of wet and dry food can be given and like all cats, they have their likes and dislikes. Some Chartreux, especially the males, have a tendency to put on weight as they get older, so you do need to watch for that. Chartreux are happy with a routine, so mealtimes are a perfect scheduling opportunity for your cat’s day.

These are indoor cats so do make sure there is fresh water for them to drink. Placing more than one bowl of water around the home provides additional interest for your cat, replicating a cat’s natural instinct to find water. Running water from the tap and cat water fountains are also preferred by some cats.

Even though it is an indoor cat, it does like to spend time outdoors when the weather is nice. When outdoors, its movements must be restricted, it should not be allowed to roam freely. The normal ways of achieving this are either with a purpose-built enclosure/cat run or, if the garden is fenced in, by adding cat fencing or a radio containment system. Some also enjoy being taken out on a lead and even for walks, although others will not tolerate this.

Chartreux are curious creatures and enjoy looking out of the window watching the world go by. But don’t leave windows open however little. These are strong cats who can easily push them open further and get out. If you want or need to keep your external doors or windows open you may want to consider purchasing some pet screens. It is possible to buy these made to measure at a reasonable price.

Although the Chartreux is an agile and athletic cat it actually requires very little additional space. These cats are energetic in short bursts when they will thoroughly enjoy interaction and play. Toys on a string that they can catch in the air or pounce upon on the ground, softballs thrown up and down stairs or long feathers waggled in front of them; in fact, anything that appeals to their strong natural hunting instinct will keep them amused. Toys or games which make them think are often very rewarding and some owners have remarked that in this regard they behave more like a dog than a cat. I fact, the Chartreux is called the ‘French dog-cat’.

Some people think it is cruel to keep a cat indoors, restricted from roaming, however, Chartreux are usually focused on their humans rather than the space they inhabit. But it remains the owners’ responsibility to keep that intelligent and active Chartreux mind engaged and stimulated.

They appreciate it when you can accommodate their desire to be with their humans, high-up and comfortable. Chartreux are ‘high-up cats’ and like to be off the ground, they can often be found sitting on top of your furniture, your window sills or kitchen worktops.

They like to climb, so a cat tree is a must to keep the cat happy. Bear in mind that they are muscular cats and we recommend that you choose one that is sturdy, heavy and sable.

Chartreux have beautiful fur. It is a dense, double coat. It is slightly woolly on top with a very fine, soft undercoat. Groom your cat regularly as indoor cats shed throughout the year due to the artificial light in the house and the more constant temperature. This helps remove dead hair, encourages natural oil production, and keeps the coat looking healthy. It is suggested that these cats should be combed rather than brushed, although a wide pin cat brush can also be useful. If, while brushing you encounter a knot, don’t use force but gently tease the knot out using your fingers and a comb. With regular grooming, knots should be a rare occurrence. So long as you are gentle, most Chartreux love to be groomed and it’s a perfect bonding opportunity. Also, ensure that your cat’s eyes, ears and teeth are clean and healthy and that the claws are trimmed regularly.

The Chartreux is considered to be one of the healthiest of all pure breed cats with little to no genetic problems.