Nebelung Cat Breed Profile

Nebelung Cat
Nebelung Cat, Nebelung, Wikimedia Commons

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.

For more cat breed articles, visit the main Cat Breeds page. For a full list of cat articles, see the main Cats page.


    • Cobb, Cora, Nebelheim Cattery, (n.d.). “The Nebelung”
    • Helgren, J. Anne. (2009). “Choosing a Nebelung.”
    • (2009). “Nebelung Cat”

11 thoughts on “Nebelung Cat Breed Profile”

  1. I haven’t been able to find any good information on Nebelung hyperthyroidism incidence, which isn’t surprising, given that this is a relatively new breed. One pet insurance site says the breed is no more prone to developing hyperthyroidism than non-purebreds, and another says they might develop it, but I don’t think anyone really knows if the likelihood is higher than average at this point.

    I hope Cora Cobb is okay as well! I did a search, but there didn’t seem to be any information about her other than the history of the Nebelung breed’s development.

  2. I just adopted a cat that has somewhat of an unknown history.
    She sure looks like this breed, guess what , first vet visit for blood work
    Hyperthyroidism. We thinks she is about 8 yrs old.
    She is now in hospital having radioisotopes to cure it.
    Fingers crossed.
    Definitely looks like she is a nubelung

  3. I love my little Nina. She is a Nebelung. She has bonded with my male Bombay, but hated when I took her to the groomers to clip her nails…..My groomer will not see her again!/Users/toby/Desktop/45636821_10213127170917319_7341185722704986112_n.jpg

    1. My Nebelung is 11 weeks old. I took her in last week to get her nails trimmed and she sat there. She just doesn’t like it when I had to put drops in her ears.

      1. Did you go in with her? That makes me question how she was handled by the groomer.
        When Portia first went to have her nails done they put her in a bag that zips at the bottom. to access her feet , now she goes every 6 to 8 weeks for her nails, as I am unable to do them myself. She is very tolerant of it. the vet techs love her for it.

  4. December 2017 my sons friend was moving their cats had a litter of 8 kittens and we took one. He’s about a little over a year old his names Majesty. He is a Nebelung too. Reading this info about this breed helps me under stand Majesty more. He is such a baby, cuddling and he has a strong bond with my son. When Joshua leaves for school Majesty gets worried and waits for him in the window by front door. He loves retrieving his toys when we toss them across the room. Such a special furbaby.

    1. I just lost my nebelung one from Cora Cobb. Sweetest cat ever. Kidney failure. My heart is broken. He was 19/12 years old. Anyone know any Nebelung cattery with kittens? miss him dearly

  5. I just got two kittens that I’m pretty sure are Nebelung the boy for sure. The girl looks like Russian Blue cross. I still haven’t gotten them fixed yet and they are about to go into heat. He tries but she won’t have it….should I get them a DNA and allow them to breed, not necessarily with each other. Or maybe fix one of them. I think I have a month before I no longer have a choice. Can a brother and sister have kittens?

    1. A brother and sister can have kittens, but there is a significantly increased risk of genetic problems, which can cause serious health issues. Inbreeding is not a good idea – cats tend to be much healthier with a more diverse gene pool.

      I recommend getting them fixed, or if you choose to breed one of them, do it with an unrelated cat.

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