Short gray coats can be found on many types of cats, including purebred, mixed breed and domestic shorthair cats. Silvery gray fur on cats is usually referred to as blue. The blue breeds look similar at first glance. Those who don't have a specific known breed are often called Maltese, not to be confused with the all-white Maltese dog, because blue-gray cats from Syria were kept on the island of Malta. This Maltese color is seen in the Russian blue, Chartreux and Korat, but it can appear in almost any other breed as well as nonpurebreds, according to Fanciers.com. However, there are key differences that let you tell one gray cat from another.
Russian Blue Cat
The Russian blue has a plush, silky silvery gray coat that doesn't shed much. Her eyes are large and bright green. Shy around strangers, she is affectionate and devoted to her owner. Like a dog, the Russian blue likes to play fetch and greet you when you come home. Little is known about this cat's origin, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association. Some people believe this cat is from northern Russia, and others say she's descended from pets belonging to the Russian czars.
The Korat was found in the Korat province in Thailand. Her shimmery-looking fur is silver-tipped blue and gives a halo effect. The Korat has a single coat and like the Russian blue doesn't shed when petted. Her head is heart-shaped and so is her nose. She appears to be thin but is heavier than she looks, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association, sort of like "a well-coiled spring." This cat loves to cuddle and bonds strongly with people.
The Chartreux originated in ancient Persia, but she only achieved Cat Fanciers' Association championship status in 1987. A muscular cat, she has a robust body and broad shoulders, but her legs are short and finely boned. Her medium-length blue fur is uniquely woolly with a dense undercoat to resist the elements. She has rounded eyes that can range in color from gold to copper, and she's known for looking like she's smiling. Playful but quiet, she can more often be heard chirping than meowing.
British Shorthair Cat
The British shorthair is a calm, easygoing and quiet cat. While affectionate and easily trained, she's not a fan of being carried. She's a large cat with large, round eyes and a dense coat. The Cat Fanciers' Association calls her "probably the oldest English breed of cat," with her ancestry linking back more than 2,000 years to ancient Rome. Some people call any gray cat a British shorthair. But just like not every blue cat is a British shorthair, not every British shorthair is blue. They come in a variety of colors and patterns.