What’s best for a Russian Blue—an indoor cat lifestyle or an outdoor one?
Few cat breeds are as calm, relaxed, and collected as Russian Blues. They are incredibly intelligent, observant, and go about their day with the perfect dose of playfulness, but what lifestyle suits their temperament? Is a Russian Blue an indoor cat, or do they need plenty of outdoor time to be at their mental and physical best?
When planning a kitty’s lifestyle, basic yes or no answers won’t do. You need to understand a particular breed’s behavioural patterns in depth to make the best decisions for them. Read this guide to learn:
- Whether an apartment-type environment would work for a Russian Blue
- What the pros or cons of letting your feline companion roam outside are
We’ll also discuss the right nutrition and fitness regime for this breed and explain how Untamed cat food products help optimise Russian Blues' quality of life.
Is a Russian Blue an indoor or an outdoor cat?
Russian Blues, like Maine Coons, Korats, and Savannahs, are large cats with dense bones and muscular bodies. Despite their athletic physique, RBs are predominantly indoor kitties. Keep in mind that there’s a difference between cats enjoying indoor setups and those putting up with it. Luckily, Russian Blues prefer living indoors because of the following characteristics:
- Strong need for consistency and familiarity—These kitties are creatures of habit who rarely embark on outdoor adventures. You’d find them hanging out at the same spots in the room, demanding meals at the exact time, and playing with the same toys on repeat. Exploring outdoors doesn’t come naturally to them, especially if they have grown up indoors
- Docile temperament—Russian Blues are companion animals to humans. They are easy-going, trainable, and cuddly purring machines who may not display the sassy spunk and competitive intensity of outdoor-loving breeds like Bengals and Siamese
- Passive hunting instincts—Russian Blues usually don’t have the urge to go on hunting sprees for mice, bugs, and other garden critters. If we’re talking extremes, this breed is likely to meow hard for food, albeit politely, in case you forget to fill their bowl
- High boredom threshold—This breed doesn’t get bored quickly, and if they do, they don’t resort to destructive behaviour like chewing slippers or scratching the sofa. That’s because Russian Blues develop a good sense of what’s acceptable or unacceptable in a household from kittenhood
You should be aware that a breed’s typical characteristics help predict their behaviour, but only to an extent. A kitty’s personality also depends on how they are trained or socialised.
I see that you live indoors, hooman. I’d call it a feature, not a bug.
Source: Elisa Pérez Rodríguez
Can Russian Blue cats go outside?
While Russian Blue cats don’t crave going out, they like some fresh air and interesting new smells from time to time. They’ll also benefit from the exercise. The critical factor here is—human presence. Since this breed is fiercely loyal, they prefer playing outside as long as they have their human by their side. Russian Blues are independent and not clingy, but the role of solitary wanderers doesn’t appeal to them.
You need to be mindful of two aspects:
- Safety measures
At what temperature do Russian Blue cats like to go outside?
Outdoor trips for Russian Blues are ideal when the temperature is mild or cold. Like British Blues and Norwegian Forests, Russian Blues originate from cold regions and have a plush double-coat to protect them during harsh winters. Since this breed tends to grow lethargic and sleep a lot during winter, even a lazy stroll in the park would perk them up. They especially enjoy frolicking about in the snow and are always down for a game of fetch with their humans.
If you want to take your Russian Blue out for a play date in the peak of summer, opt for early morning or afternoon time slots when the weather is cool. Vets don’t recommend keeping this breed out for long in hot weather (over 28°C or 83°F) as they can get a heatstroke. Take your kitty to the nearest animal clinic immediately if they start panting, retching, vomiting, or drooling after spending time in the sun.
Besides the heatstroke, Russian Blues may experience excessive shedding if they linger outside on hot summer days. Fortunately, this breed is the next best thing to hypoallergenic because their fur and dander contain minimal levels of the Fel D1 protein responsible for triggering cat allergies in humans.
Me and snow get along because we’re both super cool.
What precautions to take while keeping a Russian Blue cat outdoors?
Here are some essential safety tips to follow when taking your Russian Blue cat outside:
- Don’t leave them alone—Leaving Russian Blues outside is not wise not only because they can hurt themselves but also because of pet thieves. Fine specimens can cost anywhere between £400–£1,700. They are one of the most likely breeds to get stolen
- Keep them in an enclosed area—If your kitty likes to hang out in your backyard or front lawn, ensure the site is properly fenced to minimise the risk of escape or a traffic accident
- Kitty-proof your garden—If you keep houseplants or an outdoor garden, get rid of plants like tomatoes and lilies that have kitty-toxic components
- Prevent encounters with aggressive or unfamiliar pets—Russian Blues are shy, territorial cats and feel overwhelmed upon encountering unfamiliar pets behaving aggressively. Keep in mind that this breed doesn’t pick up fights but is not good at self-defence when attacked by other animals either
Shy cat problems—When your hooman leaves you with a bunch of extroverted pets from the neighbourhood and says, “Have a good time!” Yeah, but how?
Source: MuFei Xu
Should a Russian Blue be an outdoor cat or an indoor one?
Russian Blues are typically indoor cats who occasionally enjoy going out under human supervision. Keeping them in small living spaces isn’t cruel or unnatural, which makes them great companions for apartment dwellers. The opposite is not true, though. Russian Blues don’t fancy being outdoor-only pets as that living arrangement can make them feel lonely and expose them to various risks.
You should establish a healthy lifestyle complementing the natural disposition of this breed. Their optimum physical health can be achieved with:
- Regular exercise
- A healthy diet
Physical activities for Russian Blues
Most people think Russian Blues are lazy cats because they don’t actively seek exercise. That couldn’t be farther from the truth as they merely dislike being forceful with their humans about their daily exercise or engagement needs. With the right toys and games, they’ll enjoy showing off their skills as capable jumpers and climbers.
Check out some indoor and outdoor activities suitable for this breed:
Type of activity
Your kitty will love any toy that enables climbing, sprinting, and jumping, such as:
Ensure climbing toys are sturdy as the flimsy ones can collapse under a Russian Blue’s weight, causing them injuries
Choose activities that promote bonding between you and your kitty, including:
Keep your adult kitty in top shape by exercising them for at least 20 minutes a day. Senior Russian Blues are mostly mellow and prefer spending their leisure time napping.
It’s called energy-saving mode, hooman.
Source: Melissa Keizer
The right diet for Russian Blues
Your kitty’s daily meals and feeding schedule play a massive role in keeping them fit. Ideally, Russian Blues should follow the natural feline diet consisting of:
- More than 50% protein (derived from lean meat like chicken, turkey, salmon, and tuna)
- Up to 20% fat
- Under 3% carbs
The problem is that commercial cat food products don’t always offer these nutrients in appropriate quantities. Dry food is popular because of the price, but the product generally contains a far lower percentage of animal protein than recommended. Russian Blues on a low-protein diet are prone to:
- Loss of muscle and bone density
- Weight gain and diabetes (due to increased intake of carbs and fats)
- Frequent gastrointestinal issues like constipation and diarrhoea
Vets recommend a high-protein wet food diet for Russian Blue cats, and the proteins should come from meat, not substandard sources like meat derivatives, vegetables, or grains.
Real meat or fillers on repeat—what’s in your cat food?
Image (c) Untamed
Minding nutrition for Russian Blues is easy with Untamed
Untamed brings you the best wet cat food to support the overall health of your Russian Blue. We offer gravy and jelly products formulated by vets to meet the crucial dietary needs of your kitty—at every life stage.
Our meals pack twice more protein than the industry average, and the best part is that we use human-grade whole meat from ethical and sustainable sources as our primary ingredient. Vets recommend whole meat for all cats as it's natural to their digestive system and contains essential micronutrients like taurine and vitamin E.
Besides delivering animal protein, Untamed preserves the quality of cat food by keeping it free from grains, processed animal by-products, vegan proteins, sugar, harsh preservatives, and artificial taste enhancers. Our recipes cater to the needs of all breeds because we use:
- Balanced and allergen-free formulas—Our recipes don’t include known allergens. Whether a growing kitten or a senior with a poor appetite, our meals complement them all. We also offer single-protein-source meals for cats with food allergies or acute stomach sensitivity
- Gentle cooking methods—We steam our food to preserve its nutrients and bring out its natural flavour, colour, and texture. Even finicky cats who had ignored wet food before changed their ways after getting a taste of Untamed!
We offer various fish and meat dishes, including chicken and liver, duck, tuna, salmon, and ham. Take our TRY NOW quiz and tell us about your Russian Blue to find out which Untamed products they should check out first!
Russian Blues don’t feel blue when they feast on healthy Untamed delicacies every day!
Image (c) Untamed
Health benefits of a long-term Untamed diet
With Untamed on the menu, maintaining your RB’s long-term health will be effortless. All you have to do is offer them suitable portions to ensure balanced calorie intake. Our low-carb, moisture-rich, and high-protein meals are perfect for:
- Regulating blood sugar
- Stabilising overall weight in adult cats
- Reaching optimal weight in kittens and malnourished cats
- Regulating renal and urinary functions and preventing diseases like bladder stones and UTIs
The feedback of our long-time cat food subscribers has helped us present the benefits of switching to Untamed:
The Untamed flex—making healthy and eco-conscious cat food accessible to all!
Image (c) Untamed
Get your Untamed trial pack delivered in a day!
At Untamed, quality meets comfort. We deliver products to your doorstep within a day of online ordering and charge no extra shipping fees. Here’s how you can get our trial pack for your Russian Blue:
- Take our TRY NOW quiz
- Select items that suit your Russian Blue’s taste preferences and health status
- Place the order
You’ll receive your trial pack in 100% recyclable packaging. If your kitty fancies the taste, you can enjoy monthly deliveries of their selected meals. It’s easy to modify, postpone, or cancel an order at your convenience.