Nebelung cat lying on cat bed
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Nebelung Cat Breed Profile

Est. read time: 8 min.

The Nebelung is a gorgeous, long-haired blue cat that is fiercely loyal. They are a playful and loving kitty that benefits from spending a lot of time with their humans. Nebelungs are a newer breed, having originated in the 1980s. 

“Nebel” is the German word for “mist,” which is an accurate description of the color of the Nebelung’s coat. Their long fur adds to their mysticism and elegance as they prowl around your home. 

These cats tend to bond with only a few people and take some time to open up. To learn more about the Nebelung and their behavior, read on!

Nebelung ...at a glance
Personality Loyal, playful, independent
Life expectancy 15-18 years
Weight 10-15 lbs
Coat & colors Semi-long or long; blue
Energy level Medium
Affection level High
Friendliness Medium
Shedding level Medium
Required grooming Medium

Overview of the Nebelung cat

Nebelung cat

Nebelung cats are medium-sized but can appear larger due to their thick, dense coats. They have a big presence but tend to be lowkey, relying on their humans for love and affection. They are wonderful cats to have in your home, though they prefer calm and quiet households. 

Weight

Nebelungs are medium-sized cats with good proportions. On average, Nebelungs weigh between 10 and 15 pounds, with males being slightly heavier than females. 

While they are generally laid-back, they still like to play and need exercise to feel content. They are great at maintaining their own weight by staying active throughout the day.

Length

Nebelung cats have bodies that are proportionate to their plumed tails, but their tail hair length must be longer than the hair on their bodies. This makes the Nebelung look longer than they truly are when, in general, they only grow up to 16 inches in length.

Coat

The Nebelung cat’s coat is typically semi-long. Coat lengths can vary, but the same shade of blue (sometimes thought of as grey) should be present throughout the coat. The Nebelung will not display patches of white or other colors on the body, but having slightly lighter blue coloring behind the ears is common. The tips of their fur might have a silvery tint, which adds to the allure of these cats.  

The ruff of fur on male Nebelungs’ necks might be woolier than on females, but every Nebelung will have dense fur throughout their coat.

Life expectancy

Nebelungs have a long average lifespan of 15 to 18 years. Be prepared to fall head-over-heels for this cat, whom you may be bonded to for almost two decades! 

Proper nutrition, regular exercise, and yearly veterinarian check-ups is the best way to stay on top of your Nebelung’s health.

History of the Nebelung cat

Nebelung cat lying on side

Despite the German name, the Nebelung originated in the United States. Nebelung translates to “creature of the mist,” which perfectly encapsulates their shimmery silver-tipped coats. They are beautiful felines with a fascinating, spontaneous beginning.

In the 1980s, a woman named Cora Cobb had given a female black Domestic Shorthair to her son. This cat ended up mating with a blue shorthair cat that resembled a Russian Blue. Six kittens were born, one of which had long blue hair that Cora took an interest in. She fell in love with his look and named the kitten Siegfried. 

Her son’s cat had another litter with the same male, and of the six kittens born from that litter, there was one female with long blue hair. This cat was named Brunhilde, and Cora’s next step was to create a breeding program using Brunhilde and Siegfried.

Long-haired Russian Blues?

Cora used the kittens that came from Brunhilde and Siegfried to create a long-haired cat with the blue-silver coat. They did resemble Russian Blues, and in fact, Russian Blues were used to bring genetic diversity to the breed.

At first, the Nebelung was considered a long-haired Russian Blue and was held to the same breed standards. In 1987, after some Russian Blue breeders expressed their misgivings, the Nebelung became a new breed that was held to their own standards. 

What does the Nebelung cat look like?

Nebelungs are strong, medium-sized cats. They are very agile, and underneath all of their fur, they sport a muscular body. They have an alert appearance due to their wide-set, tufted ears. It looks as if the Nebelung is always listening, waiting for their cue.

The Nebelung’s eye color can range from yellow-green to emerald green, but breeders and cat associations prefer as deep a green of eyes as possible. These eyes usually contrast starkly against their blue-silver coats.

Nebelungs have long, sturdy legs that give them outstanding balance. They have medium to large paws and tufts of fur between their toes. In general, the Nebelung cat will take up to two years to fully mature.

Personality and behavior

two young Nebelung cats playing on couch

Like Russian Blues, Nebelungs are famous for their shy disposition. They take a little while to warm up to new people and won’t come across as the most extroverted of cats. Don't be surprised if your Nebelung hides away in your home when strangers visit. Once they do warm up to people, they can be extremely friendly and affectionate cats. 

This kind of behavior—the adorable, loving kindness—is reserved for their favorite humans. They will follow you from room to room and find any excuse to jump on your lap and cuddle. They also enjoy being pet, which can be calming and relaxing for them (and you!). 

As much as they will be by your side when you're home, they are also independent and don't mind if you have to leave for work. They will greet you when you come home, but not in a demanding way. These cats are intelligent but also laid-back. Essentially, if they had to pick, they’d rank cuddling over active playing, 

Playful and energetic

So far, you might think of the Nebelung as a contradiction, as mysterious as their translated name. That's because they are both energetic and laid-back, playful and calm. This cat knows when to bring out different sides of their personality.

The best thing to do for a Nebelung is to involve yourself in their playtime. Have lots of toys and puzzles around the house to stimulate your cat. Due to their intelligence, Nebelungs can be trained to do tricks, walk on a leash, and even play a game of fetch. All of these behaviors are interactive, which will keep your Nebelung happy knowing their human is involved. 

Caring for a Nebelung cat

young Nebelung cat sitting outside

Any cat, including the Nebelung, can adopt an anxious personality if not properly socialized from an early age. They can become unsettled and nervous quite easily, so teaching them how to properly socialize, both with humans and other animals, is a fantastic way to ease their anxiety.

Easing into a routine and building trust is probably the best way to make a Nebelung comfortable. They will truly benefit from this, and you will see the change in them as they continue to grow. Who knows, you might even end up with a Nebelung that is outgoing and fearless.

You will want to keep your kitty fed on time and their litter box clean. The best way to ensure that their bathroom is up to their standards is by using a self-cleaning litter box like Litter-Robot. And this way, you don't have to worry about scooping.

Grooming

Nebelung cats have long, double coats that take two years to fully grow in. While they don't shed as much as some other cats, they do require regular grooming in order to keep the hair shiny and healthy. If you don't maintain a proper grooming schedule, their hair risks becoming matted and tangled. 

Regular nail trimming sessions (either by yourself, a groomer, or a vet tech) are vital for preventing discomfort and scratched-up furniture. Dental hygiene practices are necessary to help reduce the chance of feline periodontal disease.

Health-related issues

There aren’t any known breed-specific health conditions in Nebelungs. As long as you bring them for regular veterinarian check-ups, provide them a healthy and nutritious diet, and ensure they get plenty of exercise in a day, your Nebelung can live a long, happy life.

Loving a Nebelung 

When you bring a Nebelung cat into your home, you are adding a built-in best friend to your life. They are loyal and loving cats that just need some time to warm up and build trust. They are a great kitty if you are looking for a dedicated companion. 

If you think that a Nebelung is the right cat for you, you will be pleasantly surprised with just how incredible they truly are. 

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Photo credit: © Nebelung / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0