Nebelung Cat: Creature of the Mist

The Nebelung is a rare domestic cat breed. Its name is a combination of the German word “Nebel” which means mist or fog, and the name of a medieval Germanic saga, “Nibelungenlied”. In German, the name Nebelung means “creature of the mist”, in reference to its shimmering silvery-blue coat that seems to float over its body. They look similar to the Russian Blue cats but they are two separate breeds. Let us know more about the history and characteristics of the Nebelung cat breed.


The American Foundation of the Nebelung cat breed was started by the cats Siegfried in 1984 and Brunhilde in 1985. They were owned by Cora Cobb and she was very impressed by the beauty of the blue-grey cats. These cats looked like a Russian Blue but they have a semi-long coat. Cora got in touch with the geneticist of the American Cat Association to know if it was possible to start a new breed with these cats. She was supported by a geneticist named Solveig Pfleuger who said that the breed was best defined as semi-long haired Russian Blue. With this, Cobb wrote the breed standard according to the Russian Blue but with a difference with its coat length.

However, the Russian Blue breeders from the International Cat Association objected to it and the breed standard for the Nebelung was thus revised to describe a unique breed. In the late 1980s, Russian Blues that carried the gene for long hair were imported from eastern Europe and they contributed to the development of the Nebelung breed.

In 1987, The International Cat Association or TICA provided the breed standard and in 1997, they gave the Nebelung breed a full recognition. It was also recognized by the Cat Fanciers Federation and the Traditional Cat Association.

The goal of the Nebelung breeding program is to be able to produce a blue cat that is the same type as those early Russian imports and to combine this type with a medium-length, thick shimmering coat. The breed has appeared twice on the front cover of a Japanese cat magazine and they were shown at the 1989 TICA cat show in Paris, France. On May 1, 1997, the Nebelung cat breed was granted championship status in TICA which had brought the breed national and international attention.

Characteristics of a Nebelung Cat

Average weight: 7 – 14 pounds

Life span: 11 – 16 years

Hypoallergenic: No

The Nebelung cat has a well-proportioned and athletic body. Its overall body structure is long and graceful with medium boning. Its head is in good proportion to its body which is more pointed than rounded but its longer hair may give it a rounded look. Its ears are large and pointed and its yellow and green eyes mixture are very slightly oval in medium size and are widely spaced. It has long legs with medium boning. Its feet are medium-sized with generous tufting between the toes. Its tail length is balanced with the length of its body.

The Nebelung cat stands out because of its luxurious coat and striking color. It has a medium-length double coat that covers the body, increasing in length from the shoulder to the tail. Males usually have a distinct neck ruff while females are not as well endowed. It also has fur covering the back of its upper thighs, giving it the appearance of wearing pantaloons. Its coat does not usually develop fully until it is two years old. The color of its coat is blue all the way to the roots but it might look gray because it is silver-tipped, making the coat seem to sparkle.

The Nebelung is known to be a gentle, quiet cat that is also a bit shy. But even though this cat has a reserved nature, it also loves to play and it enjoys jumping and climbing around. It is ever loyal to its favored person and family members. It is also a sensitive cat and if ignored, it will be hurt especially when you do not give it the same amount of affection it gives. This cat breed also loves to live in a quiet and stable environment.

It can live well with children who treat it kindly and respectfully. However, they can be wary of younger ones who pet them clumsily. They can also accept and live with other animals like dogs as long as they are not chased by them.

Caring for a Nebelung Cat

The long dense coat of the Nebelung is easy to take care of. You just need to comb it twice a week to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. Aside from keeping the coat beautiful, only basic grooming is needed by this breed. Make sure to brush its teeth daily or weekly to prevent bad breath and periodontal disease. Trim its nails every two weeks and clean the corners of its eyes using a soft damp cloth to remove any discharge. Make sure to check your pet’s ears weekly and if they are dirty, wipe them with a cotton ball or soft cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water.

To keep your Nebelung cat clean, make sure to always clean its litter box. It’s also a great idea to keep your pet as an indoor-only cat to protect it from diseases spread by other cats, from attacks from dogs and other animals, and from the risk of being hit by a car.

When feeding a Nebelung cat, it’s better to give them foods that are manufactured by quality brands. Also, remember that feeding them cow’s milk can cause stomach upset so avoid giving them some. It’s better to consult your local vet to know more about what kinds of diet and foods are appropriate for your Nebelung cat.

The Nebelung is one of the most beautiful cats among the other breeds and it is also very gentle. It also does not suffer from many health problems like other cats do. And more importantly, it is a loyal and affectionate cat that loves to spend time with the family, making it an excellent pet.