With just one look at a Nebelung cat, you’ll no doubt notice the undeniably similar appearance between them and Russian Blue cats. Rest easy, though. You aren’t seeing double. There’s a good reason these breeds resemble one another—they are related.
Compared to most other cat breeds, which are typically hundreds or even thousands of years old, the Nebelung cat breed is quite new—first appearing in the 1980s. Though the name Nebelung, meaning ‘creature of the mist,’ is German, these cats originated in the United States.
It all started when a lady named Cora Cobb gave her son a male, black Domestic Shorthair cat. This cat ended up having a litter with a Russian Blue, and one of the kittens had long, blue hair. Cobb adored the beauty of this cat, and she decided to name him Siegfried and keep him for herself.
A few years down the road, Cobb’s son’s cat had another litter, and this time there was a long-haired female with a blue coat. Cobb also kept this kitten and named her Brunhilde.
Cobb bred Siegfried and Brunhilde together, and the resulting kittens were the start of the Nebelung breed.
Before welcoming a Nebelung into your home, it’s essential that you first familiarize yourself with the quirks, characteristics, and behaviors of this breed.
Nebelung Cat Behavior
The typical Nebelung personality is an easy one to like. These cats are easy-going, happy, and loving. They often show a strong devotion to their family, and it’s not unusual for a Nebelung to form an even tighter bond with one person in particular.
Though these felines are incredibly friendly, they don’t usually run up to greet newcomers. More often than not, if someone new is visiting your house, then your Nebelung will most likely keep their distance or stay aloof. However, this is not to say that these cats will never interact will strangers, but it will take them more time to introduce themselves and become comfortable around visitors.
That said, great care should be taken if your Nebelung will be meeting a child. It’s vital that you teach children how to interact with cats properly and to keep their meeting a calm and positive experience. While Nebelungs may be hesitant around kids, especially if they are not used to them, most Nebelungs do wonderful with children when raised together in the same house.
On average, this breed gets along well with other cats and cat-friendly dogs that are not overly rowdy. Though Nebelungs don’t mind spending some time by themselves, if they will be home alone for an extended period every single day, then you may want to consider getting them a four-legged friend to keep them company.
This is an intelligent cat breed who can be trained to learn various tricks and commands. It’s also not unusual for a Nebelung to prefer a routine, so don’t be surprised if yours seeks you out when it’s their mealtime. Anytime there will be a shift in their schedule or a significant change (like a move) is occurring, it’s helpful to give your feline some time to adjust.
Nebelungs have also been known to be picky eaters and particular about their litter box—though this is a trait they share with many other cat breeds. If a cat’s litter box is not up to their standards, there’s a risk that they may avoid using it, so be sure to clean their box out frequently.
Nebelungs are a medium-sized cat that has a long body, tail, and legs. They are quite muscular and, on average, weigh between 7-15 pounds. Their medium to long, soft double coat typically has a silky appearance and is blue in color, though some coats are also silver-tipped. Their eye color is usually green to a yellow hue.
For this cat breed, the expected lifespan is 11-16 years, though it is not unheard of for some to live as long as 18 years. Despite this being the average life expectancy for a Nebelung, every cat is unique and may live below or above this average.
Nebelung cats do not shed an excessive amount. However, they are still not a hypoallergenic cat breed. Coming as unfortunate news to any cat-allergy sufferers, the Nebelung may not be the best choice for you.
On that same note, if you have not previously spent an extended amount of time around a cat and you are considering adopting one, it is essential to first interact with and be around a friend or family member’s feline friend. This is a quick way to make sure you don’t have any unknown allergies to cats.
Grooming and Care
When it comes to their grooming routine, Nebelung cats are not high maintenance. In order to help keep their coat clean and healthy, they should be brushed at least twice a week. Plus, being brushed more often means less cat hair being left around your house and on your clothes.
Every few weeks, you should check your cat’s ears. If they appear dirty, clean them out with a cat-safe ear cleaning solution and a cotton ball—never use cotton swabs. When checking your cat’s ears, you will also want to keep an eye out for any usual redness or if there is a bad odor, both of which could be a sign of an ear infection.
If you believe your cat has an infection, it is best to schedule a visit with their veterinarian as soon as possible.
Your cat will additionally need their nails cut every few weeks to once a month, though the frequency can vary from cat to cat. If you feel comfortable trimming your cat’s nails yourself, then you can conveniently do them at your house with just a pair of nail trimmers. However, if you do not feel quite ready yet, ask your veterinarian or a local pet groomer if they offer this service.
It is not unusual for felines to squirm or put up a little fight when it’s time to get their nails done. To help ease this process, try to work on just one paw per session, wait a few hours, then trim another paw’s nails.
Another grooming item cat parents should implement into their cat’s grooming routine is brushing their teeth. This should ideally be done a few times a week, always with cat-safe toothpaste.
Besides their grooming routine, it is equally important to provide your cat with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.
All cats require a nutritious and age-appropriate diet. Be sure you are also feeding your feline the correct amount of food. If your cat is naturally not as active, then they may not need quite as much food. Just be sure not to overfeed your Nebelung, as this could lead to weight gain and a list of other health problems.
By providing your pal with plenty of toys, brain games, climbing posts, and scratching towers, you can ensure that they are being stimulated both mentally and physically. Plus, when you play games with your cat, they may be more apt to get up, be active, and join you.
Common Health Issues
Nebelungs are relatively healthy cats, but they are still susceptible to developing some health issues just like any other cat breed. According to our claims data,** the most common conditions that affect this breed include,
Even though these health problems are most common for this breed, there is no guarantee that your Nebelung will develop any or all of these listed. Plus, the possibility still exists that your cat could be diagnosed with an entirely different condition.
One of the best ways to keep an eye on your cat’s health is to take them for annual checkups with their veterinarian. These yearly appointments are an ideal time for your friend to get updated on any necessary shots, for your veterinarian to run any necessary tests, and for you to bring up any questions or concerns you may have about your pal’s wellbeing.
With Nebelungs being a fairly new breed, there is still much to learn about the intriguing cats.
- Nebelungs are a rare cat, and you may have to search far and wide before you can find one up for adoption.
- Many people have described these cats as “dog-like” in their personalities and behaviors.
- The names Cobb chose for her cats (Siegfried and Brunhilde) were inspired by Richard Wagner’s German opera, “The Ring of the Nibelung” or “Nibelungenlied.”
- The long and silky coat of the Nebelung cat may take up to two years to fully develop.
- These felines require early and frequent socialization, or they may become skittish or withdrawn around anyone new. Regular socialization can also help keep them from becoming anxious.
What’s not to love about these stunning, intelligent, and kind-hearted felines?
When it comes time to choose a name for your cat, the possibilities are endless. To help you in this process of narrowing down choices in order to find the perfect name, check out the compiled list of German-inspired names.
With the forebears—or rather fore-felines—of this breed having German names, and the breed itself bearing a German name, it only seems fitting to carry on the history and have a Nebelung with a German-inspired name as well.
**Internal Claims Data, 2015-20
The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.