Nebelung cats are a relatively new purebred line. Their name is associated with the German word “nebel” which means mist or fog. The cats have long blue and silver coats that give them a misty appearance.
Characteristics of a Nebelung Cat
Body size. The Nebelung cat size is medium to large. On average, they can weigh anywhere from seven to 15 pounds. Males are usually heavier than females. Talk to your veterinarian if you’re concerned that your cat is too far under or overweight.
Body shape. Nebelung cats are sturdy, well-muscled animals with long bodies. The overall effect should be balanced. The cats shouldn’t be too lean and leggy or overly compressed and small.
Their feet are medium-sized and have a rounded oval shape. The coat should form tufts between their toes.
Other Nebelung cat characteristics include heads that are more pointed than they are round. These are topped by large, pointed ears. They have medium-length muzzles with noticeably puffed whisker pads.
The cats have balanced tails that are about as long as their bodies when you measure from their rear ends to their shoulder blades.
Lifespan. The Nebelung cat's lifespan is relatively normal for this animal species. On average they live anywhere from 11 to 16 years. Some individuals have even made it to 18 years old. This means that you should be prepared for a long, full life with your companion before you choose to adopt one of these cats.
Coat. Nebelung cats have distinct coats. Their coats should be a medium length, and they get longer as you move down their bodies and towards their tails. The coats also feather out behind their ears and grow particularly long on their tails. Males sometimes have pronounced growth around their necks.
Their coats actually have two different layers. The outer layer is silky and smooth to the touch. The inner layer is denser and grows closer to the body. These layers combine to help weatherproof your cat. The coat should be thick enough to essentially be water resistant.
The coats should be entirely blue across their bodies. The undercoat tends to be a lighter blue than the outercoat. Ideally, the tips of the outercoat will have a silvery sheen all over your cat’s body. But most only show visible silvery areas near their heads and shoulders.
The cats should have an overall lustrous sheen when they’re properly groomed. It can take up to two years for your cat’s coat to fully develop into its final coloration and texture.
Eyes. Nebelungs have medium-sized, widely-spaced eyes. They should look like ovals. The breed standard prefers vivid green eyes. The deeper and richer the color, the better. Eyes can also have a greenish-yellow hue.
Personality. The Nebelung personality is that of a devoted and affectionate pet. These cats love spending time with their owners. They’ll follow you around the house as you go about your daily activities. Then they’ll cuddle up in your lap when you sit down for a moment of rest.
Like most cats, Nebelungs can be playful and curious about the world around them. Although they’re perfectly happy lazing about, they also like to play and explore.
Nebelungs are even known for forming tight relationships with one human in particular out of a family. They’re ideal companions — eager to be loved and to give love in return.
Caring for a Nebelung Cat
Grooming. Nebelung cats need regular grooming or their coats will develop lots of mats and tangles. For the best results, you should brush your cat for a few minutes every day.
Their coat gets particularly thick during cold winter months. Then they need to thin out in the spring. This can lead to some shedding. You should brush your cat more during shedding season to keep dead hairs off of your clothes and furniture.
Make sure to check their ears regularly for debris or signs of infection. Signs of infection include unusual red patches and bad smells.
You should also trim your cat's nails every few weeks. This can be difficult to do on your own. You can try to find a groomer or carefully go one paw at a time with a pair of regular nail trimmers.
Brush your cat’s teeth with a cat-safe toothpaste to complete their grooming routine. The more frequently you brush their teeth, the better off their dental health will be.
Feeding. You should consult your veterinarian for the most accurate feeding advice for your pet. In general, you need to make sure that you’re tailoring your cat’s diet to their stage of life and activity level. Cats at different ages have unique nutritional needs. Cats that are less active don’t need as much food as energetic ones.
Make sure that your pet has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Some cats can struggle with getting enough to drink. To get your cat to drink more water you can add ice cubes to their bowl or use a flowing fountain.
Exercise and mental stimulation. Nebelungs are playful animals that need a decent amount of both mental and physical stimulation.
Make sure that your cat has access to toys so that they can entertain themselves. But they’ll be even happier playing with you for a few minutes every day.
These cats are incredibly intelligent. You can train them to perform tricks and carry out commands. This is another great way to stimulate them both mentally and physically.
Veterinary visits, medications, and immunizations. Your veterinarian is the best person to determine all of the vaccinations that your pet needs, but all cats should get a core set.
This includes vaccinations for:
- Feline distemper
- Feline herpes virus
You should also discuss non-core vaccinations with your veterinarian to see if they’re right for your pet. For cats, these can include vaccinations for problems like feline leukemia:
All cats are susceptible to flea infestations. Oral and skin-based applications are available from your veterinarian or other distributors. You should follow the directions for these very specifically. Use them at any time of year that your cat needs them.
Heartworms are less common in cats than in dogs. Unfortunately, there isn’t a treatment for heartworms in cats. This means that your best bet is prevention. Have your veterinarian check your cat for signs of heartworms on an annual basis. Also have your cat take a preventative that your veterinarian recommends.
Health Problems to Watch for with a Nebelung Cat
Nebelung cats are a generally healthy breed. There aren’t any breed-specific health problems that you should be aware of.
Instead, the most common Nebelung health problems are those that are also common in other cat breeds. These include:
- Vomiting. Vomiting can be caused by a number of different problems. The severity and treatment will depend on the cause.
- Asthma. This affects between one and five percent of all cats. Signs include wheezing, coughing, hacking, and other breathing problems. Your cat is never fully cured of asthma, but your veterinarian can treat the condition with medication.
- Kidney problems. This can include conditions like polycystic kidney disease (PKD), but Nebelungs aren’t known for having exceptionally high rates of this particular disease. You should still have your veterinarian regularly screen for this and related problems since severe kidney problems can lead to death.
- Gastrointestinal problems. There's a wide range of problems that your cat can develop in their digestive tract.
Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are the only way to guarantee that your cat stays as healthy as possible.
Special Considerations for a Nebelung Cat
There are a few things that you should keep in mind before you decide to make a Nebelung cat the newest member of your family.
The cats can be very skittish with strangers and small children. Depending on the individual pet, your cat may not come out at all when a stranger is present. They’re much more comfortable hanging out with their loved ones.
You also need to make sure that children know how to gently and calmly handle an animal before you allow them to interact with your cat. This will prevent your cat from becoming anxious or uneasy.
When you first bring home a kitten, you should keep this nervousness in mind. Allow the cat to relax and explore at their own pace. They’ll be much friendlier and happier once they’ve had a chance to figure out their new environment.
On the other hand, Nebelungs tend to get along well with other cats and cat-friendly dogs. They can even get lonely if they’re left by themselves for long periods of time every day. You might want to consider getting your cat a friend if you need to leave them alone during long work shifts.
History of Nebelung Cats
Nebelung cats haven’t been around for a very long time. The breed was developed by a woman named Cora Cobb in the 1980s.
The founding cats came from two separate litters made by the same parents. The parents were a black domestic shorthair and a longhaired male that looked like a black angora. These cats had a litter in 1984 that included one longhaired all-blue kitten. This cat was named Siegfried.
In 1985 the same cats had another longhaired, blue kitten. This time, the kitten was a female named Brunhilde. Both cats are named after main characters in a German Saga called the Nibelungenlied. Along with their coloration, this is likely another inspiration for the breed’s name.
These siblings were bred together to create the first litter of Nebelung cats in 1986. The breed standard is loosely based on cats that were originally brought to England from Russia in the early 1800s.
The Russian blue is the only acceptable outcross for this breed. Luckily, some lines of Russian blue cats contain the gene for long hair.
The International Cat Association (TICA) first accepted the breed in their championship competitions in 1997. Although the breed has gathered some passionate fans, kittens can still be difficult to find.