Country of origin

FRANCE: This breed of cat arose in France. Legend holds that they were originally raised by the monks at the monastery of LaGrande Chartreux near Grenoble, makers of Chartreux liqueur. Other sources claim that the breed name is a reflection of their woolly coat, which resembles Spanish wool of the same name that was well known in Europe in the 18th century. The Chartreux breed of cat had almost disappeared by the 20th century.

In the 1920’s, two sisters by the name of Leger discovered a colony of blue cats on the small Brittany island of Belle-Ile, off the coast of France. These free-roaming cats lived around a hospital in the city of Le Palais, and the cats matched the description of the Chartreux breed. The Leger sisters decided to work with the breed and in 1931 were the first to exhibit Chartreux cats in France.

The Chartreux made its journey to the United States in 1970, when the late Helen Gamon of La Jolla, California, brought back a male Chartreux from France, a breeder who had pure Chartreux lines.

Gamon aided in establishing and promoting the Chartreux in the United States and in getting the breed accepted in the associations.