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  care and feeding guide

Part 2


The only supplement that you should need is hairball medicine (Laxatone, Femalt). This will loosen any accumulated hair in the cat’s stomach and he should pass it or throw it up. Used regularly, it should pass. Most cats love it and all that you have to do is offer a bean-sized blob on your finger for him to lick off. If for some reason he doesn’t like it, try Femalt’s Fish flavor (as opposed to the Malt flavors of the others) or smear it on his paw for him to clean off.

Additionally, several manufacturers now offer a hairball control dry food. The extra fiber in this food helps the fur pass through the cat's system. Use alone or mix with your cat's current food.

If the skin or fur begins to feel dry, add a couple of drops of Lipiderm or flax oil to his wet food. DO NOT ADD VEGETABLE OIL. Lipiderm and other skin supplements contain Omega Fatty Acids which will improve the textures of the fur and skin. Oils really won’t do this, and cats can breathe the oil droplets into their lungs.

Because you are feeding a completely balanced diet, you shouldn’t have to give any other supplements. If you think that your cat may have any other dietary problems, talk to your vet.


Russians are pretty low maintenance as far as grooming. Comb them with a medium to small toothed metal comb every few days (they will like it because they think that they are getting attention). This will remove any loose fur before they ingest it and it forms a hairball.

Nail clipping is pretty easy. Remember, your cat has had his nails clipped from the time he was only a few weeks old, so he is used to it. Get a good pair of nail clippers. These will be easier for you to manage and you will do a better job. Cradle the cat on your lap and push up on the pad of the foot to make him display his nails. Russians have a translucent nail, so the pink vein is easy to see. Cut just beyond the vein. Don’t hit that vein or he will bleed, be in pain, and not trust you for a while. Quickly do each foot (back ones, too). Then, (secret hint here) give him his hairball medicine. Most cats think that it is a treat, and you can kill two birds with one stone. Some of ours can’t wait to have their nails clipped because of this. We recommend that you clip once a week.

Examine ears weekly. If they are dirty, put some olive oil on a Q-tip or cotton pad and swab out the ear.

We do not advocate Russian Blues (or any other indoor cats) wearing collars. Cats should remain indoors......and Russians have very little desire to be outside. If you absolutely feel that your cat must wear a collar make sure that it is a breakaway collar. A regular decorative collar could easily kill or maim your cat! The collar may hang on something and strangle your cat. Also, he may try to work to collar off, only to work a leg though the collar - this collar will then proceed to cut through the skin at the leg joint, maiming or killing the cat.


Russians are very smart cats and generally can be disciplined. Consistency is the key. The same action must get the same response all of the time; it can’t be right to do something sometimes and not right other times. If he is doing something undesirable (getting on the counters, for example) catch him in the act and shout "NO" (or "DOWN" if appropriate). If that doesn’t work, repeat "NO" and shoot him with a water-filled squirt bottle. Remember, you can’t go back and discipline, because one minute later he won’t understand what he has done wrong.

Do not ever let your cat do anything once that you will not want him to do again! For example, if you don’t want them trying to steal food from your dinnerplate, then never give them a treat from the table. If a cat does not realize that something is available, he won’t seek it out.

Most Russians will not scratch furniture if you provide them with plenty of alternatives. Regular scratching posts are fine, but most seem to prefer the rougher types covered with sisal rope. Flat cardboard scratching boxes (Bizzy Kitty) are great too. Rub catnip into them well and they will go crazy. The key here is to have plenty around; only one small post off in a back room just isn’t going to cut it when the urge strikes. And remember, because their nails are clipped, they should do little damage anyway.

Never call your cat if you are going to punish him or do something that you know that he won’t like (such as going to the vet). If you do, he will never trust you again.


This should seem obvious, but a cat should have easy access to his litter box. If he has to travel two flights of stairs or go through some other type of maze, he may decide to seek out an alternative that you may not approve of. It should also be large enough for your cat to move around in. We personally prefer the covered variety – they help keep the odor down.

Use whatever type litter your cat seems comfortable with but if you use a clay litter, stay with the unscented variety. We use a pine pellet litter. It is lightweight, you use a much smaller amount of it than the clay variety, it seems to control odor much better, and doesn't leave a clay residue all over everything in the room. A Berber–style mat in front of the box will catch most loose litter that your cat tracks out.

(Personal note: Equine pine bedding - found at feed stores - is identical to the pine pellet litter, except that it cost 1/3 as much. Should you not have a feed store or the like nearby, Petsmart has their own version of the pine litter, which is significantly cheaper than the national brand)


Russians love to play, and most like to play rough. Give them fur toys that they can bat, carry and kill, balls to bat around, and paper bags and boxes to hide in. Vacuum cleaner belts are great because they can toss them, but they are big enough that they can’t destroy them. Watch your cat with a new toy - some rough players can hurt themselves if they ingest something that they have destroyed. Give them feather "birds" on a string or mylar kitty teasers - but only with supervision. Put them away someplace where your kitten cannot get to them when playtime is over so that she won’t eat them.

Return to Part 1