Nebelung

Janelle Leeson
By

Janelle Leeson

. Reviewed by Barri J. Morrison, DVM
Updated Jul. 2, 2024
gray longhaired nebelung cat with bright green eyes lying down in shadowy background

Abel Garcia/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

In This Article

General Care

The Nebelung is a relatively uncommon cat breed in the U.S., much like their close relative, the Russian Blue.

Both breeds share a unique coat color: blue. But unlike the typical blue that might come to mind, this hue is a genetic dilution of black pigment, resulting in a stunning grayish-blue coat. Sometimes, Nebelungs have shimmering silver tipping, but their fur is always long and silky. 

Nebelungs are medium-sized cats, typically weighing 7–15 pounds and standing 9–13 inches tall. 

Caring for a Nebelung Cat

Technically, the Nebelung cat’s story didn't start with the Russian Blue. But rather, according to The International Cat Association (TICA), with a black domestic shorthair and a longhair resembling a silky, black Turkish Angora.

However, because more genetic variation was required in the new long-haired blue cats, the Russian Blue was adopted as an acceptable outcross. And like their Russian Blue cousins, Nebelungs possess a quiet sweetness. Reserved with strangers and not ones to pester for attention, they form strong bonds with their family.

A Nebelung's favorite spot is a high perch where they can survey their domain. These intelligent cats appreciate a predictable, routine quiet time to themselves; if your home tends to be bustling, a Nebelung will appreciate being provided with a quiet retreat.

Nebelungs are comfortable spending time alone, making them well-suited for pet parents who work outside the house. 

Nebelung Cat Health Issues

Being a relatively new breed (developed in the 1980s) with no TICA-registered breeders in the U.S., the Nebelung cat breed does not have much of a track record as to their long-term health. However, they are generally considered healthy cats, and the typical Nebelung lifespan is 11–18 years.

As with all cats, some potential health concerns exist.

Obesity 

Nebelungs are long and slender, and while their silky fluff might obscure their body, a healthy Nebelung should still have an hourglass shape when viewed from above. A thin layer of fat should cover the ribs, although they should still be easily felt, similar to the knuckles on the back of your open hand. 

According to Donna Raditic, DVM, DACVIM (nutrition), a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, more than 60% of cats are overweight or obese. “And what comes with being overweight? Arthritis, diabetes, and—worse yet—a shorter lifespan,” she says.

To keep your Nebelung at a healthy weight, Raditic suggests limiting treats to 10% or less of a cat’s daily calorie intake and weighing their food for every meal. She also suggests scheduling small meals throughout the day, which she says is a more natural feeding schedule for cats. 

Dental Disease

Another common health concern among cats is dental disease, including gingivitis, periodontal disease, and tooth resorption, all of which can cause bad breath and pain. The best defense against plaque and tartar build-up is routinely brushing your cat’s teeth with a cat-specific toothbrush and toothpaste and keeping up with regular dental cleanings by your veterinarian.

When it comes to diet, Raditic says the best defense against dental disease is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate cat food. Some kibbles and treats can help clean a cat's teeth by manually scraping off buildup, too.

The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) lists approved products for fighting dental disease in cats. 

What To Feed a Nebelung Cat

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require a diet rich in animal-based protein for their essential nutrients and vitamins.

The best way to ensure your Nebelung kitten or cat is getting a complete and balanced diet is by purchasing a cat food that meets the nutritional recommendations set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). You’ll know a cat food meets this standard if the bag or can includes a printed statement from the organization, which is usually located underneath the ingredient list. 

Choose a food that's appropriate for your cat’s age, whether that be kitten, adult, or senior. Talk to your veterinarian about finding the best cat food for your Nebelung.

How To Feed a Nebelung Cat  

Raditic says many small meals a day is the best approach to feeding cats. If you're away from home during the day (which Nebelungs don't tend to mind!), consider setting up an automatic feeder to dispense meals. There are quality options for wet and dry foods, such as the Cat Mate C500

How Much Should You Feed a Nebelung Cat?  

How much a cat needs to eat is based on their age, lifestyle, and health, as well as their current and ideal weight. While there are general feeding guidelines on cat food packaging you can refer to, your vet is the most qualified source to recommend daily serving sizes. 

Remember: Cat treats shouldn't make up more than 10% of your feline’s overall diet. If your cat is overweight, your veterinarian might recommend reducing treats to 5% or even eliminating them all together. Another option would be using low-calorie cat food as a healthy treat alternative.

Nutritional Tips for Nebelung Cats

As long as your cat is eating a complete and balanced diet, they shouldn't need supplements.

If your cat has health conditions that could benefit from supplementation, your vet can recommend the appropriate product and dosing. 

Behavior and Training Tips for Nebelung Cats

Nebelung Cat Personality and Temperament  

“Vertical territory is important to cats,” says cat behaviorist Stephen Quandt, founder of Stephen Quandt Feline Behavior Associates. This is especially true for cats such as the Nebelung that tend to be reserved, wary of newcomers, and keep a watchful eye from above. 

However, don't be too quick to chalk up a Nebelung cat’s personality as aloof. They have plenty of affection to give, but it might be on their own terms. While they can happily live with small children and even other pets, it's important to teach little ones in the home how to play gently with their feline companion.

Nebelung Cat Behavior  

Nebelung cats are known for their calm and quiet demeanor. Unlike some breeds that might wake you up with a meow at dawn, Nebelungs are happy to enjoy a peaceful morning alongside you.

While they may not be chatty throughout the day, they appreciate companionship and will often be found close by their humans. Like most felines, they have a playful side and enjoy interactive play sessions that mimic hunting behaviors, such as stalking and pouncing.

These intelligent cats appreciate a predictable, routine quiet time to themselves; if your home tends to be bustling, a Nebelung will appreciate being provided with a quiet retreat.

Nebelung Cat Training

Nebelungs are intelligent cats, but they may need persuasion to try something new.

Keeping training sessions short and positive can help build their confidence and keep training fun. By starting training activities when your kitten is young, you’ll establish a strong foundation for an outgoing kitty. Creating a training schedule and sticking to it can also help your cat thrive. 

Fun Activities for Nebelung Cats 

Nebelung Cat Grooming Guide

Despite their long fur, the grooming needs of the Nebelung cat are similar to that of their demeanor: undemanding. 

Coat Care  

Their fur, while double-coated, is silky smooth, so it doesn't tend to easily mat.

While Nebelungs are not prolific shedders, brushing them once a week will provide a good bonding opportunity and get rid of loose fur. 

Eye Care  

Nebelung cats have striking green eyes that should be bright and clear. If you notice redness, discharge, or cloudiness, see your vet for a check-up.

Ear Care  

Nebelung cats don't need special ear care. However, regularly check their ears for signs of infection, such as a foul odor or discharge. If you notice anything unusual, schedule a visit with your veterinarian.

Dental Care  

Because of the risk of dental disease, brush your Nebelung cat’s teeth every day with a cat-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. Certain treats and foods can also help promote dental health, though these are not substitutes for a regular brushing routine.

Nail Care

Like all cats, Nebelungs need their nails trimmed every few weeks to prevent overgrowth. If you can hear your cat’s claws on the floor, or if they’re getting stuck in the blankets they’re kneading, it’s time to cut them.

Considerations for Pet Parents

Thinking about adopting or purchasing a Nebelung kitten or cat? Pedigreed Nebelungs are difficult to come by, as there are no TICA-registered breeders in the U.S.

For those lucky enough to have a Nebelung cat, the breed’s reserved nature means a gradual introduction for your newest family member is important. Provide a separate room for them to adjust at their own pace before slowly introducing them to the rest of the house.

These kitties value their personal space, so offer high perches and cozy hideaways throughout your home that allow them to survey their surroundings and feel secure. By providing a calm and predictable environment, your Nebelung will repay you in many soft purrs and cuddles for years to come. 

Nebelung FAQs

Are Nebelung cats expensive?

Pinpointing the exact cost of a Nebelung kitten is tricky, as the breed is quite rare. Many pet parents find Nebelung mixes or look-alikes at their local shelters and rescues, a budget-friendly alternative to purchasing a cat from a Nebelung breeder. 

How do I know if my cat is a Nebelung?

Nebelung cats are slender with long, silky, blue-gray hair that plumes at their tails. They have green eyes. Nebelungs are also known for their quiet and reserved nature, often seeking companionship on their own terms.

Do Nebelung cats like to cuddle?

Nebelung cats may like to cuddle with their human family members, though they are shy with strangers at first.

Do Nebelung cats talk a lot?

Unlike some breeds that might meow for attention, Nebelungs are more likely to express themselves through body language or subtle vocalization. Breeds like the Siamese or Maine Coon are known for being more chatty feline friends. 


Janelle Leeson

WRITTEN BY

Janelle Leeson

Freelance Writer


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