Kittens Available! Simply request Pet Breeders contact you promptly! Breeders will email or call you with specific breed information and available pets and prices. Request Nebelung Kitten InformationThe Nebelung kitten (NAY-bel-ung) is a medium-longhaired domestic cat with brilliant green or yellow eyes, and a luscious silky grey-blue coat frosted with silver. The name “Nebelung” is derived from the German word for mist or fog—Nebel--and a medieval Germanic saga poem called the “Nibelungenlied.” The goal of the Nebelung cat breeding program has always been to produce a blue cat of the same type as those imported from Russia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with the conformation, physical traits, and personality of the Russian Blue, but with a thick shimmering coat of medium length added.
The Nebelung (NAY-bel-ung) is a domestic cat with brilliant green or yellow eyes, and a lusciously flowing, silky blue-grey coat that sparkles with silver. The name “Nebelung” is derived from the German word for mist or fog – Nebel – and a medieval Germanic saga poem called the “Nibelungenlied.” The goal of the Nebelung cat-breeding program has always been to produce a blue cat identical to those imported from Russia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The ideal result would match the conformation, physical traits, and personality of the Russian Blue, with the unique addition of a glamorously thick, shimmering coat.
Devoted to its owners and family members, the highly intelligent Nebelung cat can be quite shy with strangers and young children. In time, the playful Nebelung will become a loving companion, cuddling on human laps for petting, and often following its owners from room to room to remain in their company. It is an active, affectionate, good-natured, gorgeous cat.
The story of the Nebelung breed began in the early 1980s when Cora Cobb, not a professional breeder yet, gave a black domestic shorthair named Elsa as a gift to her son. Elsa mated with a Russian Blue, producing a litter of five black and blue mostly shorthaired Nebelung kittens. However, one kitten in that litter was born with medium-long blue hair – a beautiful, large kitten with long legs and a long, full tail. Cobb kept this curious male cat and named it Siegfried, and when Elsa gave birth to Brunhilde, another blue longhair, she also took Brunhilde home. These two would become the basis for the Nebelung breed.
Siegfried and Brunhilde had their first litter together in 1986, and produced three blue longhaired kittens. After consulting the genetic expert at The International Cat Association, Dr. Solveig Pflueger, Cobb was asked to write the breed standard. She chose to keep it nearly identical to that of the Russian Blue, except for the part in which coat length is described.
The Nebelung was recognized by TICA in 1987, but Russian Blue advocates were hesitant to accept the new breed. Furthermore, they were reluctant to crossbreed their cats, making it harder for Cobb to continue developing the fledgling Nebelung lineage.
Finally, in 1988, the owner of Supreme Grand Champion Vladimir of Castlecats agreed to offer her a Russian Blue to cross with one of Brunhilde's daughters. Since then, the Nebelung has increased exponentially in number and popularity, and the breed has ignited worldwide fervor. The Nebelung has appeared twice on the front cover of a Japanese cat magazine, and Nebelungs were shown and sold at the 1989 TICA cat show in Paris. Only a handful of Nebelung breeders are currently working with the Nebelung cat, but that number is expected to grow. TICA recognized the Nebelung for championship competition in 1997. However, it has yet to be recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association—a goal that Nebelung supporters hope to achieve in coming years.
The Russian Blue was designated as an official outcross for the new breed, an important way of diversifying the gene pool. Since some Russian Blues carry the longhair gene, they provide indisputable value to the advancement of the Nebelung breed.
The beauty of the Nebelung revolves around the cat’s long physical features: long, graceful neck and body, long legs, long coat, and long tail. Although the overall size is medium, the body is powerful and well-muscled. The coat length is medium on the body but longer on the tail, with lighter-colored guard hairs (the outer layer of fur). The overall appearance is sleek, with the long, strong body draped in a silky medium-length blue coat of shimmering silver tips. The long tail is thickly plumed gracefully balancing the long body. The ears are large in proportion to the head and continue the elegant lines of the head and face. The widely-set eyes which range in color from yellowish-green to darker green are clear windows to an impressively intelligent feline.
The primary difference in conformation between the Nebelung and the Russian Blue is coat length; otherwise, the standards are almost identical. Where the Russian Blue's coat is short and dense, the Nebelung's fur is medium-long, silky soft, and thickened by a dense undercoat. The bright blue color is contrasted with silver-tipped guard hairs, which catch the light and give the fur a luminous, misty, almost mystical quality. Even with its dense undercoat, the Nebelung’s fur resists matting, and can suffice with a thorough, once-a-week brushing.
Males and, to a lesser extent, females, also have a ruff around the neck. Tufts of fur are found behind the ears and in between the toes, and the hind legs sport furry “pantaloons.” The Nebelung’s coat does not reach full maturity until it is approximately two years old. The weight range of the Nebelung is large: from five pounds for small females to as heavy as sixteen pounds for large males (with the average male weight ranging from eight to eleven pounds). The typical life-span of a healthy Nebelung is sixteen-plus years. Eye color takes a few months to develop as well: a kitten may have yellow eyes that deepen to green as the cat matures. By four months, a green ring should appear around the pupil, with eye color intensifying as time passes. (The TICA standard calls for green eyes for showing, but yellow-eyed Nebelungs are ideal as pets.)
Although the extremely intelligent Nebelung may be a bit fussy about its preferences, its somewhat subdued personality may camouflage its high level of intelligence. In spite of the fact that it is an active cat, it enjoys its indoor safety. Nebelungs are most comfortable with their own families and often keep a distance from strangers, sometimes even hiding under the bed until they gain enough courage to venture out. A Nebelung will tolerate the company of another cat that shares its quiet personality, but it may be intimidated by the presence of rowdy dogs or highly active cats.
Nebelungs are very good communicators and will remind their owners of problems or issues that concern them. This may happen often, since Nebelungs can be very picky about such things as litter cleanliness and food type. This is a cat that likes routine, may require a little time to adjust to changes in the household and likes to have its needs attended to on a regular schedule. Early socialization with all members of the household, including other pets, can help it to become more adaptable as an adult.
A conscientious breeder will make an effort to individually socialize Nebelung kittens during its early life. While it is not unusual for a Nebelung kitten to be bashful, retreating to a private space when meeting a new potential owner for the first time, it is important to observe the kitten’s warm acceptance of the breeder. This is a good sign that the kitten has been raised with the kind of personal attention that it needs. Nebelung kittens need time to adjust to their new homes and should be allowed to make their own advances to new families at their own pace.
Nebelungs can get very lonely if left alone for long periods of time. So if you work full-time and are considering getting a Nebelung, it would be best to consider getting two—or one Nebelung cat and another type of good-natured, peaceful cat. The ideal owners for this lovely pet are families with older children, people with a quiet and established lifestyle, and senior citizens. The Nebelung cat will show a lifetime of loving affection and devotion to the right kind of owner.
barron’s encyclopedia of cat breeds, j. anne holgren