The Nebelung (pronounced nay-be-lung) is a relatively rare breed of cat that came about in August 1984 when a black domestic shorthair named Elsa and a blue longhaired father with the appearance of an Angora had a litter of six kittens.
Five of these kittens had short hair, but one a male had a semi-long coat, this kitten was named Siegfried. Elsa belonged to Karl, the son of Cora Cobb of Denver, Colorado. Five months later Elsa had another litter of seven kittens. This litter contained two long haired females, one was black, one was blue. The blue kitten was named Brunhilde. It is Siegfried and Brunhilde who were to become the foundation cats for the Nebelung breed.
Both cats had the appearance of long haired Russian Blues and in 1986 Brunhilde gave birth to a litter of kittens, fathered by Siegfried. It is then that Cora decided to try and establish a new breed from these cats and contacted Dr. Solveig Pflueger of TICA who advised her to write a breed standard based on the Russian Blue but with the longer coat and to find other people interested in breeding these cats.
Cora applied to TICA (The International Cat Foundation) for NBS (new breed status) in 1987 and they were accepted for Championship status in 1997. There has been some resistance from Russian Blue breeders but despite this, the breed is slowly gaining in popularity.
Some Russian Blue cats carry the recessive long-haired gene and outcrossing to these cats is permitted to increase the gene pool of the Nebelung.
The names Siegfried and Brunhilde, as well as the name Nebelung come from Wagner's The Ring of the Niebelung.
Appearance of the Nebelung:
The appearance of the Nebelung is similar to the Russian Blue with exception to the silky medium length coat which has a thick undercoat. They are a medium sized, well-muscled cat with a "foreign" body type which is lithe and lean with medium bone structure. The legs are long and slender, the tail is long and plumed.
The coat is a blue/grey colour with shimmering tips at the end, it is medium in length, with pantaloons on the hind legs and a ruff around the neck.
The head is a modified wedge which is longer than it is wide, the green eyes are oval shaped and set wide apart, ears are large and sit on the head.
Temperament of the Nebelung:
The Nebelung is a gentle and quiet breed of cat. It is said they are quite a shy cat compared to other breeds, especially around people they don't know but are very loyal and affectionate with their owners.
They are and intelligent breed, playful and active. They get along with children but are generally better with older ones. People often describe them as "dog-like" in personality, often following their human companion around the house.
The medium/long coat will require daily grooming to keep it matt free.