Nebelung, creature of the mist
The Nebelung cat (Nay-bel-ung) is a fairly new and rare cat breed, recognizable by its steel grey coat and green wide-set eyes, long well muscled body, long dense fur and a long tail.
Nebelung cats are lively, playful, affectionate, good natured and mild in disposition. They are intelligent cats but the cat's mild-mannered state and personality may not always reveal this intelligence to their owners. In spite of the fact that it is an active cat, it can and does live very well indoors.
Cat of the Month ~ July 2010
Nebelung cats are relatively big animals for domestic pets. The head is wedge shaped, large, and pointed. The blue-grey coat has a dense undercoat of grey as well as being tipped with silver guard hairs, which give it a shimmery quality. Males have a ruff of fur around the neck which resembles a lions mane. The coat on the tail is often longer than the body fur, as is the coat on the hind legs. During the shedding months, the Nebelung cat may require twice weekly brushing to deal with the thick undercoat. So keepers need to be dedicated to this feline.
Nebelung are very reserved and prefer their own family, often keeping at a distance from strangers. They do not like change or loud noises and will take a while to warm to new home with new people, but once they do, they are a devoted and affectionate cat.
Nebelung are active, but do not make (or like) a lot of noise so families with small children should consider a different breed. Families who travel a great deal or have a varying routine should also look elsewhere. The ideal owner of a Nebelung cat is a quiet person, a family with gentle, older children, and senior citizens. They are are very good communicators, and never hesitate to remind their owners of any problem. It is said this happens often, since Nebelungs can be very picky about things such as litter cleanliness and food.
The breed (though similar to the Russian Blue except for the much longer coat length) is recognized by the International Cat Association, and has its own breed standard.
The name Nebelung is apparently a portmanteau of the German word Nebel for 'Mist or Fog' and a medieval Germanic saga, 'Nibelungenlied' or 'The Song of the Nibelungs', which is an epic poem in Middle High German. (The story tells of dragon-slayer Siegfried at the court of the Burgundians). So the 'mist or fog' will almost certainly be the cat's distinctive silky, smoky blue-grey coat - whilst the breed's ancestors, the Cats 'Siegfried' and 'Brunhilde', were named after two major figures in the Nibelungenlied. Hence 'Nebelung'.
Bred in the United States, Canada, Russia and Europe at present the Nebelung is recognized not only by TICA, but also the WCF, LOOF, ACFA and the independent cat associations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany. It is still rather rare, so if you would like to befriend one, please be prepared to wait for a kitten or cat of this breed.
Origin and History
Miss Cora Cobb of Denver, Colorado, is one of the developers of the Nebelung cat breed in America. The basis of the breed then was created by Siegfried (1984) and Brunhilde (1985). Elsa, the mother of both Siegfried and Brunhilde, was a black short-haired house cat whose father resembled a black angora cat.
Ms Cobb adopted a stray black shorthair named Terri, who had a few female kittens. She gave one of these female kittens to her son, who bred the cat with a blue tinted neighborhood tomcat (showing traits of a Russian Blue).
Six kittens were born out of this nest, one with half-long-hair, named Siegfried. Siegfried was a special cat. He had the characteristics of a Blue Russian together with the very unusual half-long-hair. Five months later Elsa gave birth to a nest with the same father. Seven further kittens were born. Two of them had half-long-hair. One of them was black and the other was blue (Brunhilde).
These two litters then, each contained one longhaired blue kitten. One was male, and one female, so Ms Cobb decided to breed the two together and see if the breed was true. These two cats produced a litter of three longhaired blue kittens. Miss Cobb then contacted the International Cat Association (TICA) for genetic guidance in developing the Nebelung cat breed. TICA accepted the new breed in 1987, and so Ms Cobb wrote the standard for the Nebelung breed to exactly match that of the Russian blue, with a different coat length. Since 1987, the Nebelung cat breed has slowly grown in numbers, and is increasing in popularity.
The goal of the Nebelung breeding program is to produce a blue cat of the same type as those imported from Russia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and to combine this type with the trait of a thick shimmering coat of medium length. Body and tail should be long, the ears large in proportion to the head, and the eyes a range in color from yellowish green (in kittens) to full green in an adult cat. The coat should be medium long on the body, longer on the tail, with lighter coloured guard hairs. The overall appearance is long, sturdy and well muscled.
The Nebelung cat breed is still a rare breed, so prospective buyers are likely to encounter waiting lists at the breeders. A list of Nebelung cat breeders in the United States and Canada is available on the Fanciers Breeder website. The website for the Nebelung cat breed is http://www.breedlist.com/breeders/neb.html. The price of a Nebelung kitten can vary between $300 and $500 (£150 to 250), depending on whether you want a championship or show quality kitten.
From an original article by Amanda Nelson. Several other sources were consulted and selected content added by yours truly.
For the full story of Siegfried and Brunhilde written by Cora Cobb, please visit the website cited above
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