History of the Nebelung


The first longhaired Blue cats from Russia which resembled Russian Blues were first shown at the cat show in the Crystal Palace in 1871. But these longhaired blue cats lost their place in the spotlight in the turbulent beginning of the cat fancy in the 20th century. At the same time more breeds almost got lost in cat fancy.

Recent history

The recent history of the Nebelung started in the United States with the birth of Siegfried (born in 1984) and Brunhilde (born in 1985). Both kittens looked like a Russian blue with semi-long hair. Cora Cobb was very impressed by these kittens, and considered that this could possibly be the beginning of a new breed. Cora contacted the geneticist dr. Solveig Pfleuger associated with TICA. This geneticist advised that these cats were best defined as semi-longhaired Russian Blue cats. Supported by dr. Pfleuger, the breed standard was written based on the standard of the Russian Blue with only one difference; the hair length. Whereas in the United States breeders are busy with developing and showing the Nebelung, on the other side of the planet several events take place with long-haired kittens born from Russian Blue parents. 

The Russian twist

In 1993/1994, the first Nebelung in the Netherlands arrived. Not from the United States, as one might assume because of the recent history, but from Russia. A Dutch Russian blue breeder, Letty van den Broeck, purchased a Russian Blue kitten from a cattery in Russia. Totally unexpected this cat (Timofeus) turned out to be semi-longhaired Russian blue. At that time, Timofeus was the first known longhaired Russian blue stud in western-Europe. His name is not found in the pedigrees of the current Nebelung population, but his existence mattered. This longhaired Russian blue cat confirmed the possible presence of the longhair gene in Russian blue population (the longhair gene is recessive, therefore cats can carry the gene without it being known).  

In this period of increasing communication with formerly closed Eastern-Europe it appeared that quite often long-haired Russians are being born. . In 1995 Cora Cobb was contacted by a TICA judge who had seen a Russian Nebelung kitten in a home in Moscow, which was born from two Russians Blue parents.  The first exchange of Nebelungen between Russia and the United States  takes place soon after. Cora managed to contact the breeder of this Russian Nebelung and purchased the kitten, a Nebelung male called  Winterday  Georgin of Nebelheim..  This  Russian blue and Nebelung  cattery  in Moscow (called Zimnij Denn in Russian) has bred many Nebelungen over  the years which in Russia have won many titles.  Also the highest title in WCF, World Champion, has been won by a Nebelung from Winterday cattery.


At the beginning of this century breeding of the Nebelung in Western-Europe started. Some Russian Blue breeders from Russia and their beloved cats come to Western Europe, among which are some Russians blue cats that carry the longhair gene. The longhaired kittens of these cats are registered as Nebelungen. And in the Netherlands the first Nebelung from America was imported for breeding. 

At present

At the moment Nebelung pedigrees are issued by the WCF for breeders in Russia, Poland, Germany and Belgium. LOOF, TICA and independent clubs in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands recognize the Nebelung. The number of Nebelung cats and breeders is increasing all over the world and Nebelungs are often shown at cat shows. Pedigrees are filled with Nebelungs and/or many Russians blue cats which earned their titles at cat shows.   


The Nebelung and the Russian blue

The Nebelung and the Russian Blue cats are genetically closely related as seen in the History chapter.

The connection between the Nebelung and the Russian blue, and thus the natural occurrence of the receive gene for longhair in the Russian blue population, is obviously reflected in the pedigrees of the Nebelung. Most organizations recognize the Nebelung therefore in the same group as the Russian blue. Like the Somali is in the breed group of the Abyssinian.  Only TICA recognizes the Nebelung as a separate breed.

At present WCF does give a Nebelung pedigree to longhaired kittens of Russian blue parents. This is the same for the LOOF and the independent cat clubs.

All the organizations recognizing the Nebelung allow Nebelungen to mate with Russian blue cats to increase the genetic pool and to improve the phenotype of the Nebelung.  Kittens born from such mating will be shorthaired (the short hair gene is dominant over the longhair gene) but all kittens carry the longhair-recessive-gene. Most cat clubs call these kittens Russian blue variant (RUS a var). TICA calls them shorthaired Nebelungs.  Russian blue variant kittens are not easy to distinguish from a Russian blue. Therefore, Nebelung and Russian blue breeders prefer to know which cats do carry the longhair gene via the pedigrees. This enables both the Russian blue breeders and the Nebelung breeders to be able to choose correctly the cats for their future breeding needs as a Nebelung breeder might want to use a Russian Blue variant for their breedings, where a Russian blue breeder will not want to use that variant to keep the longhair gene out of their lines.