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The cat with the most unique smile

By: Kelly Caldwell


If you want a cat who is always happy then the Chartreux is for you!


Legend has it the Chartreux were bred by Carthusian monks in France. There is some debate about when they turned up, some saying it was around the 13th century, while others say it was the 18th century. Research indicates that these French cats actually originated in ancient Persia and were most likely brought back to France by knights returning from the Crusades.

Appearance and Markings

The Chartreux is often described as a potato on toothpicks due to their broad upper body and short legs. Their blue-grey coat is thick, water-resistant and is said to feel similar to sheep’s wool. Their most desirable trait, however, is their permanent smile—the result of a rounded head that tapers to a narrow muzzle. One look at those upturned lips is sure to brighten anyone’s day!

Behaviour and Temperament

These smiling beauties are very communicative, but not in the same way as other breeds. Rather than meow, the Chartreux communicates either through their expressive eyes or via a small chirping noise. They are known to be excellent hunters (which is probably why the monks kept them around) so need to be stimulated with lots of toys. However, the Chartreux also likes their down time, needing lots of spaces to be able to curl up and take a nap.

The Chartreux is calm and affectionate in nature, and therefore does well with children who understand the importance of approaching animals with care. While they don’t dislike people, they aren’t social butterflies either, so it may take them a while to warm up to new family members or guests. However, they are quite loyal to those they love and are always up for cuddles. If you’re looking for an intelligent cat who can follow the rules then the Chartruex is for you.

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