Nebelung Cats: Feline Elegance, Mystery & Rarity, Combined

Nebelung cats are new and rare, but also shy, sweet, and smart. Find out why this rare cat breed's popularity is growing.

Updated December 14, 2023

Have you heard of the Nebelung cat? If they’re totally new to you, you’re definitely not alone. This rare cat breed is still relatively new itself, so not many people are aware of it, but that’s all about to change. These stunning cats are almost as epic as their name. If you have the pleasure of meeting one, go slow because they’re pretty shy. The mysterious Nebelung cat breed has a personality and appearance that sets them way apart from other cats.

Nebelung Means “Creature of the Mist”

“Nebelung” isn’t your average breed name, but these aren’t your average cats. The name came from the German phrase meaning “creature of the mist,” which definitely sounds a little eerie for these majestic kitties.

Fast Fact

Despite having a German name, these cats are an all-American breed that originated in the United States.

Nebelungs Are Still a Fairly New Breed

The Nebelung was first developed in the 1980s by breeder Cora Cobb and was eventually accepted as a distinct breed by The International Cat Association in 1987. They’re also recognized by the World Cat Federation and American Cat Fanciers Association, among others, but not yet accepted by the largest U.S. cat registry: the Cat Fanciers' Association.

Nebelungs Are Related to the Russian Blue

If you think the Nebelung cat breed looks an awful lot like the Russian blue, you’re right. The breeds are closely related, and some people even refer to the Nebelung as the “long-haired Russian blue.” Still, the two are separate breeds according to most cat breed registries.

Nebelung Cats Are Muscular

Nebelungs have a muscular build, similar to their cousin, the Russian blue. There’s actually a name for this body type, which is “semi-foreign.” This means it’s the middle ground between slender cats like the Abyssinian and cobby cats like the British shorthair.

The Nebelung Coat is Shimmery and Silky

These cats have a blue coat with a silvery sheen at the ends of their fur. In the sun, it looks downright shimmery! What’s especially cool is that the hair on their tail is even longer that their body hair, which creates a luxurious plumed effect.

Many have a ruff of fur around their neck area, which is more pronounced on male Nebelungs. They can also have long hair feathers on their ears, back legs, and their toes.

This Hair Takes Effort

Because of their fine hair, the Nebelung isn’t quite as prone to mats as some other long-haired breeds, but they will need regular grooming. A good brushing at least twice a week will keep their skin and fur healthy and mat-free.

And Nebelungs Have Gorgeous Eyes to Match

Another thing that makes this breed so unique is their striking eye color. All Nebelung cats have green eyes, which can range from a vibrant emerald shade to a yellowish green.

Fast Fact

Did you know all kittens, including Nebelungs, are born with blue eyes? But their eye color can change as they mature.

Nebelung Cats Are Shy, Sweet, and Smart

Nebelung are quiet, gentle cats that can be shy around strangers or lots of activity. Even so, when they’re bonded with a person, they’re super affectionate with them and turn into the biggest lap cats. But if you’re looking for an active or energetic pet, the Nebelung isn’t for you.

These shimmery beauties are a good choice for quiet households, like those with adults or senior citizens, or a family with older children. Because of their shy nature, their feline or canine housemates should have a similar, calm personality.

The Nebelung is one of the smartest cat breeds out there, which means they can be easy to train. This also means they need plenty of mental stimulation to keep them from getting bored.

Quick Tip

Keep your Nebelung busy through clicker training, brain games, or other enrichment activities.

They Live Fairly Long Lives

A Nebelung cat’s lifespan is, on average, between 12 and 18 years, which is pretty long for a cat. For reference, an average cat will live between 10 and 15 years. This breed isn’t known for any serious health conditions so far, but like all cats, they can be prone to obesity if they don’t get enough movement in or if their diet isn’t managed properly.

Nebelung Cats Are Definitely Rare

Finding a Nebelung cat or kitten isn’t impossible, but it’s really difficult because this breed is so rare. If you are lucky enough to locate one, you’re looking at $600 to $1,200 or more for one of these special felines.

You may have luck searching for Nebelung cats on national adoption sites like Petfinder or by calling your local shelters. Expand your search to look at long-haired gray cats because it’s possible they might not be listed under Nebelung.

Is the Nebelung the Right Cat for You?

Nebelungs are no doubt beautiful and sweet cats, but it can take a lot of effort and time to find one. Instead, you could consider other calm and laidback breeds, like the Persian, Sottish fold, or British shorthair, or better yet a mixed breed long hair cat at a shelter. Individual cat personalities always vary, so spend time with a cat before bringing them home to make sure they’re a good fit.

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Nebelung Cats: Feline Elegance, Mystery & Rarity, Combined