Grey is a color that can evoke an air of quiet mystery, introversion, and stability. It's no wonder grey cats fit the stereotype of the typical enigmatic feline! Whether you have a cat with this coat color or are considering getting one, it can help to learn about grey cat personalities and their rarity. Which grey cat breed is your favorite?
Grey Cats Are Not Rare
Grey, also called "blue" in the pet world, is not a rare color among cats. In fact, it's a dilute version of black. In addition to solid grey, this shade can be seen in patterned cats like tabbies, particolors, torties, calicos, and more.
Some cat breeds that only come in grey, such as the Russian blue, are harder to find, which may have led to the belief that all grey cats are rare.
Grey Cat Personality
While cat lovers tend to have steadfast beliefs about how a cat's color affects their personality, there's no serious research demonstrating that this is the case. Experts at the University of California Davis say it's possible that the level of melanin in a cat's pigment can affect their temperament. However, a cat's personality is more likely determined by their breed tendencies, as well as their socialization and environment.
That hasn't stopped researchers from trying to find links, though. According to a survey of cat owners, grey cats are often perceived as being more shy, calm, and soft-spoken than other breeds, but your results with individual grey cats can vary widely.
Grey Cat Breeds
There are a few cat breeds where solid grey can be found more often than others. If you have your heart set on finding a grey feline, these are the breeds you should check out first.
1. American Shorthair
The American shorthair cat has been in North America ever since they first arrived as mousers on the Mayflower in 1620. These cats are athletic and muscular, with a short, dense, and "hard" coat. They are known for being outgoing, friendly, and calm cats that aren't clingy and are great with older children and other pets.
American shorthairs are a playful breed known for being easy-going, although they do not love being handled. They are not the best cat if you or your children want a feline you can carry around.
2. British Shorthair
The British shorthair is closely related to its American shorthair cousin, and grey is actually the most popular color for this breed in the United Kingdom. The British shorthair is a very laid-back and affectionate cat that makes a pleasant companion.
They have the same similar big round head as the American version, but their body is a bit cobbier (or stocky), and they don't get as large overall. They also have the same thick, plush short coat.
The National Cat of France, the chartreux is a heavyset cat known as the "potato on toothpicks." They are muscular cats with a primitive body frame and thin legs. They only come in blue (grey), and they have a wooly, medium-length double coat.
The chartreux is a quiet and affectionate cat that enjoys people but isn't overly clingy. Owners have described them as having a dog-like personality, and they are a great cat for teaching tricks. They also have quite a prey drive and are excellent hunters.
4. Devon Rex
You'll never forget a devon rex once you've laid eyes on this unusual cat. They have large, bat-like ears, a pointed face, a triangular head, large round eyes, a lithe body shape, and a curly coat. They are known as the "Pixie of the Cat Fancy" because they look like little forest elvish creatures.
The devon rex's coat is made up of tiny, tight curls all over their body, and they may be hairless in some areas. These cats are outgoing and active with silly personalities that make them a favorite with children and families who want a cat that's more dog-like.
The Korat is a rare breed in the U.S. and hails from Thailand. They are one of the oldest cat breeds in existence today. They have a short coat that only comes in a blue-grey shaded with silver tips.
The Korat has a shimmery effect to its coat as it moves, and coupled with its emerald green eyes, it makes a stunningly beautiful cat. The Korat is known for being a quiet, calm cat that can be shy with strangers but affectionate with humans.
Another rare breed is the nebelung, which also comes only in a greyish-blue shade. The nebelung has a "semi-foreign" build and weighs between 5 and 16 pounds. Their name means "creature of the mist" in German, which is a perfect description for their silvery blue-grey long coat.
Their long hair is luxurious and fluffy, with a ruff around their neck and a plumed tail. These cats are known for being calm and quiet, and they can be shy. Nebelungs do best in calm households with older children, adults, or seniors.
7. Norwegian Forest Cat
One of the largest domestic cat breeds, the Norwegian forest cat, stands out because of their long, thick double coat. They resemble wild cats with lynx-like hair around their ears and a ruff around their neck. They are moderately "talkative" and are excellent hunters and climbers.
Norwegian forest cats are affectionately known as "wedgies," and they adore people.
The Oriental is a shorthair cat closely related to the Siamese. While white tends to be the most popular color for Orientals, they also do come in a beautiful grey shade. The Oriental has a wedge-shaped face, large bat-like ears, and big, almond-shaped eyes. Their bodies are long and angular.
The Oriental cat breed has a very similar vocal personality to the Siamese, along with their intelligence and fixation on their people. These are great cats to teach tricks, and this helps to exercise their active brains. Orientals do not enjoy being alone and do best with another cat to keep them company, or a cat-friendly pet like a dog.
Blue Persians are particularly gorgeous cats, with their lush, long fur. Persians come in either "doll face" or "Peke face" varieties, the latter having more of a flat face like a Pekingese dog. They have a stocky body and tend to be medium to large-sized cats.
The Persian breed is prized not only for their beauty, but also for their sweet, gentle personalities. They are quiet cats that enjoy being lap cats, and they can be playful in a low-key way. However, they require a lot of grooming care, so the Persian is definitely not a low-maintenance cat.
10. Russian Blue
The Russian blue is another breed that only comes in grey. They are the medium-haired version of the nebelung, with a coat that's plush and stands on end because it's so thick. They also come with striking emerald-green eyes.
Like the nebelung, the Russian blue is a quieter cat that is affectionate with people they're comfortable with, but is not outgoing with strangers. They also tend to fixate on one person in a home, though they will be friendly to other members of your household.
11. Scottish Fold
The Scottish fold's most distinctive trait is its ears, which fold forward. They have big, round eyes and a medium-sized body with a round, stocky appearance. The Scottish fold can come in both short- and long-haired versions.
These cats are very vocal and love to talk, although they're not quite as loud as some other breeds. Scottish folds tend to be very affectionate and engaging companions.
The Siberian is one of the largest domestic cat breeds, just behind the Maine coon in size. These cats are very playful and are a great breed to teach tricks to. They have a long, thick coat with three layers of fur designed to keep them warm during frigidly cold winters.
The breed is known for being very friendly and outgoing. Unfortunately, they are rare in the United States, so it may take some work to find a kitten.
The sphynx is a hairless breed, and even though they do not have a coat, they still show colors on their skin. Some may not be totally hairless, with some soft, small areas of fur around their ears and feet. The sphynx has a triangular head, large pointed ears, and big eyes on a lithe, athletic body.
They love people and are very fixated on their keepers, and they enjoy the company of other cats, pets, and children. They require a regular grooming routine due to their specific skin-care needs, so make sure you are aware of the work involved before looking for a grey sphynx kitten.
The sphynx is described as dog-like, and it has an effervescent, clownish personality. If you are looking for a quiet lap cat, the sphynx is not for you!
Choosing the Grey Cat of Your Dreams
If you're set on finding a grey (or blue) cat, there are obviously many breeds for you to choose from. Make sure the breed's general personality works with your lifestyle, and, of course, realize that individual cats will still have their own quirks and temperament. You'll need to ensure that you're aware of your cat's grooming needs, as well, so you can keep their beautiful grey coat healthy throughout their lifetime.