The Nebelung is a shy, intelligent, longhaired cat with silvery, blue-gray fur and a quiet, undemanding temperament.
The Nebelung (pronounced nay-bel-ung) is a recent breed that began with the adoption of a single stray. Quiet, intelligent, and sweet-tempered, the Nebelung has an endearing personality that has contributed to its rapid increase in popularity.
Nebelung Cat History
Terri, the mother of the Nebelung breed, was a black stray adopted by Cora Cobb in the early 1980s. Terri had three kittens with an anonymous father that was probably part Turkish Angora. Cora gave one of Terri’s kittens to her son, and this kitten (Elsa) grew up to have a litter of her own with a blue-gray neighbourhood tom. One of Elsa’s kittens was a blue semi-longhair, which was named Siegfried (after the hero of Wagner’s cycle of epic operas, The Ring of the Nibelung).
Cobb, entranced with Siegfried’s personality and beauty, worked to develop the breed by mating him with his sister from a subsequent litter. The sister, Brunhilde (named for Siegfried’s love interest in The Ring of the Nibelung), soon produced a litter of blue longhaired kittens. Cobb named the new breed Nebelung, which means “creatures of the mist” in German.
Initially, Russian Blue breeders resisted helping with the development of the new Nebelung breed as it did not originate from pedigreed stock or mutation. Cobb persisted, and eventually was able to forge alliances with other interested breeders. Nebelungs were subsequently mated with Russian Blues, creating a small but growing population of Nebelungs.
With a limited number of North American breeders, purebred Nebelungs are still relatively rare. Some Nebelungs have been imported from Russia to support American breeding programs and strengthen genetic lines.
The Nebelung was accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) in September 1987, and breeders hope that it will be recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in the near future.
Nebelung Cat Appearance
The Nebelung is nearly identical in appearance to the Russian Blue, except that it has medium-long, silky fur and a glorious plumed tail, whereas the Russian Blue has short, dense fur. Both cats have lean, elegant, athletic bodies; wedge-shaped faces; wide-spaced, green eyes, large ears; blue-gray, silver-tipped fur; and luminous double coats. The Nebelung’s coat length often varies with the seasons.
Nebelung Cat Personality
The Nebelung is a mild-mannered, gentle, soft-spoken cat that tends to be shy and timid around strangers. With those they know well, Nebelungs are affectionate and playful but undemanding.
Like their Russian Blue relatives, Nebelungs react badly to change and are slow to forge bonds with others. Once they do establish a relationship, they are very loyal and loving, and tend to favour one particular person in a household. Many are lap cats.
Being cautious and timid by nature, Nebelungs are upset by clumsy or rough handling. As such, they are not the best choice for households with small children, though they can bond well with older, gentler children.
Although undemanding, Nebelungs can get very lonely if left on their own, so anyone who works long hours and wishes to adopt a Nebelung should consider getting two.
Nebelung Grooming Requirements
The Nebelung does not require as much grooming as other longhaired cats because its coat is not prone to matting. As a general rule, combing about three times a week during the shedding seasons (spring and fall) and twice a week for the rest of the year is sufficient.
Adopting a Nebelung Kitten or Cat
The price of Nebelung kittens depends on a variety of factors including whether they are classified as show quality or pet quality. Purebred Nebelung kittens are still quite rare and typically cost around $600 to $1,200 (breeders list here).
To maintain a healthy breeding pool, Nebelung breeders use Russian Blues to support their breeding programs. Because the shorthair gene is dominant, many kittens born from such matings are shorthaired Nebelungs, which resemble Russian Blues but cannot be registered as Nebelungs or Russian Blues. As such, these kittens have the appealing Nebelung/Russian Blue personality but are less expensive and more readily available.
You may also be able to adopt adult Nebelung cats from breeders or via PetFinder’s list of Nebelung shelter cats available for adoption.
- Cobb, Cora, Nebelheim Cattery, Nebelungs.org. (n.d.). “The Nebelung” CatConnect.com.
- Helgren, J. Anne. (2009). “Choosing a Nebelung.” PetPlace.com.
- Petfinder.com. (2009). “Nebelung Cat”