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Nebelung Cat: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

nebelung cat

Height: 9–13 inches
Weight: 7–15 pounds
Lifespan: 13–16 years
Colors: Gray with silver
Suitable for: Families with children, solo cat owners, couples, apartment dwellers
Temperament: Affectionate, sweet, loving, loyal, intelligent

The Nebelung cat is a new and rare breed closely related to the Russian Blue. Known for being gentle, mild-mannered, and affectionate, these cats are popular for families, single people, and cat lovers in general. They’re easy-going enough for families with children and other pets, though they’re happy to spend time with their owner or on their own.

The breed first came about in the 1980s when a computer programmer, Cora Cobb, gifted a black domestic short-hair cat to her son. The cat bred with a Russian blue male, creating a litter of kittens with long, blue hair. The cat was recognized as a new breed by The International Cat Association in 1987 and later by the Cat Fanciers Federation.


Nebelung Kittens


Nebelung cats are somewhat rare, so you may have to wait to find a breeder with available kittens. You may find a Nebelung in a shelter or rescue organization, but these cats aren’t often given up by owners. Rescues are more likely to have mixed breeds rather than true Nebelungs.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Nebelung Cat

1. They’re Named for an Opera.

The Nebelung cat got its name from The Ring of Nibelung, a famous opera and favorite of the breeder.

2. Their Name Loosely Translates to “Creatures of the Mist.”

“Nebelung” is a German word that loosely means “creatures of the mist,” which is an appropriate moniker for a cat that’s inherently shy.

3. They’re Models

The Nebelung cat has been featured on the front cover of a Japanese cat magazine twice.

nebelung cat
Image Credit: mama_mia, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Nebelung Cat

Nebelungs have excellent personalities. They’re sweet, affectionate cats that form strong bonds with their owners and families, including non-human family members.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Nebelung cats are a great choice for families. They tend to stay close to their owners and enjoy getting attention. They’ll spend most of the day near their favorite humans and ask for petting and love. Though they tend to bond with one person, they generally get along with the whole family. These cats are reserved, so it’s important that children are taught how to interact with the cat and not to allow rough play or too much excitability.

One important aspect of this breed is that it thrives on routine and structure. Nebelung cats tend to be slow to adapt to changes, so it’s important to provide a lot of love and affection during major life changes like having a baby or moving. They may not be ideal for homes with a lack of structure, such as frequent travel, a lot of daily activity from multiple family members, and flexible schedules. For this reason, the cat may be ideal for “homebodies” and quieter environments.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Nebelungs are shy and reserved around strangers and may hide under the bed or in another safe space. This may also be true of other household pets, especially when they’re new. Because they do bond strongly with humans, they may not be happy in a home where they need to compete for attention with multiple cats or dogs. These cats like other pets, but they don’t need or thrive on company.

If you work out of the home or travel often and live alone, you may wish to find a companion for your Nebelung. Both quiet dogs and other agreeable cats are good companions, especially with early socialization. Despite its friendly nature, the Nebelung is still a cat with a high prey drive, and it’s best to keep small animals, such as birds or rodents, separated.

nebelung cat
Image Credit: Del Green, Pixabay

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Things to Know When Owning a Nebelung Cat:

Nebelung cats are gentle and easy-going, but they do need attention, exercise, and enrichment. Here’s what you need to know before bringing this cat into your home.

Food & Diet Requirements

Like other cats, the Nebelung cat is an obligate carnivore and requires a high-quality, high-protein diet. Commercial cat food certified by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is ideal and provides balanced nutrition for your cat. Nebelung cats can be picky about their food, so you may need to try a few brands and formulas to find one your cat likes. Once you find a food your cat likes, however, it may try to overindulge and can become overweight.

Exercise 🐈

Nebelung cats are playful and will need some enrichment to be happy. It’s important to provide your cat with plenty of toys and cat furniture, such as cat towers, perches, and scratching posts, for entertainment when you’re not around. These cats thrive on routine, so they’ll find ways to stimulate themselves when left alone. Because of their adaptability, they’re well-suited to apartment living.

nebelung cat
Image Credit: Amandad, Pixabay

Training 🧶

The Nebelung cat is known for its intelligence, making it easy to train. Compared to other cats, the Nebelung cat is more dog-like in its ability to learn commands and tricks. It’s important to build up to tricks slowly and always use positive-reinforcement-based training rather than punishment. Though generally agreeable, these cats have high standards for their environment and will let you know if something is amiss, such as a dirty litter box.

Grooming ✂️

Nebelungs have long, double coats that can take years to fully develop. Though they don’t shed much, they require weekly grooming to avoid mats and tangles. Their coats are thick, soft, and shiny. These cats can be taught to tolerate regular tooth brushing and nail clipping, which are important for maintaining your cat’s health.

nebelung cat in vet clinic
Image Credit: Juice Flair, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Ringworm
  • Upper respiratory infection
Serious Conditions
  • Cancer
  • FIV
  • FelV
  • Heartworm
  • Rabies

As a newer breed, Nebelungs don’t have as many inherited conditions as some older breeds. Overall, they are healthy cats and known for their longevity. Like other cats, they may be prone to obesity, which can lead to health problems like heart disease and diabetes. Nebelungs may also develop conditions that are common in all cats, such as cancer, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline leukemia virus (FelV), heartworm, ringworm, rabies, and upper respiratory infections. Many of these conditions are treatable or preventable with routine vaccinations.

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Male vs Female

Male and female Nebelungs have similar personalities and sizes, so choosing between them comes down to your preference and the personalities of the available kittens. Regardless of sex, it’s vital to get your cat spayed or neutered. This not only helps with possible behavioral problems, such as vocalizing, marking, and escaping, but reduces the risks of reproductive cancers and health conditions. Plus, no one wants more unwanted litters.

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Final Thoughts

Nebelung cats are rare cats that were only bred recently. With a name that loosely translates to “creatures of the mist,” the Nebelung cat seemingly came out of nowhere and bred with Russian Blues, leading to a beautiful silver-blue breed that’s known for its friendly, easy-going, and mild-mannered nature. These cats bond strongly with owners and enjoy being the focus of love and affection, but they can get along with children, dogs, or other cats. Because they don’t need a lot of exercise and thrive on routine, they may be a good choice for apartment dwellers or single people as well.

Featured Image Credit: Therese Elaine, Shutterstock

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