Fun Facts on the Chartreux

PetMD Editorial
Updated: May 16, 2017
Published: January 25, 2010
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Meow Monday

Upon hearing the word "Chartreux," you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a French wine. It isn’t, though. Chartreux is a truly unique breed of cat. Read on and discover five fabulous facts about this pious cat from France.

1. 'A Potato On Toothpicks'

No, we haven’t finally gone and lost our minds. The Chartreux is often described thus because she’s got a boxy body with broad shoulders and shortish, finely boned legs. When you think about it that way, why wouldn't the French call her "a potato on toothpicks."

2. Mighty Mouser

This pretty kitty doesn’t let her looks carry her through life. Her mousing skills are topnotch and well-recorded, even in a few more well-known pieces of French literature. And while she could go on and on and boast about such fame, the Charteux is a quiet bunch, choosing to make chirping sounds instead of meowing.

3. Monk-e-see, Monk-e-do

Legend has it the Chartreux lived with the Carthusian monks of France in the order's head monastery, the Grande Chartreuse. In fact, there are also claims the cats and monks shared sips of the liqueur, Chartreuse, which manufactured at the monastery. Of course, many believe this is where the breed got its name. Another theory suggests the cats were found in the mountains of Syria and brought back to France by crusaders during the 13th century.

4. Dog-Like

This cat is perfect for those who want a cat with dog-like behavior. She will follow you from room to room, and even play fetch! And, unlike other felines we know, she’ll actually respond to her name and come when called.

5. What’s In a Name?

Actually, when it comes to the Chartreux, quite a lot. By tradition, all kittens born in the same year are given names all starting with the same letter. Breeders leave out K, Q, W, X, Y, and Z, and rotate the remaining 20 letters. So there’s never going to be a Chartreux kitten with the official name of Zeus, or Xerxes, unfortunately. However, we’re sure if you were to get your very own kitten you could change her name to anything you’d like.

So there you have it. Five fun facts about the Chartreux. One word of warning: if you want one, you may be in for a long, long wait. As they are rare and in demand, the Chartreux is available only by reservation. But like anything of value, the Chartreux is well worth the wait.

Meow! It’s Monday.