The Russian Blue  |  Cattery  |

Welcome to the homepage of Alyona Russian Blues.

My name is Maartje Schoenmaker and I've been involved with this beautiful old breed since 2004, when I purchased my first Russian Blue cat as a pet.

As a child, I always had a deep fascination for cats, especially blue ones - those were just mystical and rare to me.
I used to go around the neighbourhood, blinking my eyes at all cats in friendship, and I did soon make friends - I even had cats meeting up with me every day on my way back from school. I also was everybody's cat sitter, and would easily bond with even the shyest of cats.

I remember borrowing the same book from the library time after time; a book with pictures of purebred cats and general information on them.
The Russian (one of English style) already caught my eye back then.

When the time came for me to get a cat of my own nearly a decade later, I borrowed that same book again - again the Russian jumped out, not just for its looks, but even more so for the temperament that was described. I researched the breed further through books and the internet (no Russian Blues were ever present at cat shows in the neighbourhood) and was just fascinated.

I got in quite a hurry to get my first Russian and still believed that a registered breeder with pedigreed cats and kittens automatically was a good one. So I bought the first boy available to me (Of course I adored him!) as well as his sister a short while after, because I have always felt that to a cat, nothing can really replace the company of another feline.
Even though these two Russians were quite difficult characters in retrospect, they still got me hooked on the breed's honesty and pure felinity.
These cats would spark a flame in me that isn't likely to ever die.

And so the love affair began...
I soon decided that I wanted to be a breeder; not just a registered one, but a really good one, so
I started to bury myself in reading material on cat genetics and breeding.
I didn't just like the idea of having kittens around every year, I really set out to make a contribution to the breed from the start, with my focus being on health, temperament and plenty genetic variety to help guarantee the breed a bright future.
I had so many questions which often experienced breeders couldn't even answer - thankfully, I was fortunate enough to find a few who could and did, and pride myself in the fact that they are still my breeder friends today. You'll find these special people's catteries  in my 'links' section.
See, as a breeder you can never work alone, you need people with the same views around you who are willing to help and exchange cats with you.
You also need the knowledge of a collective about the ancestors of all the cats you plan to use in your breeding. Unless you've personally met all these cats, that knowledge has to come from other breeders, since a pedigree in itself doesn't offer information about health or temperament. And finally, you also need a shoulder to cry on when things don't go as you had hoped for - breeding isn't always easy and does involve some heartache.
My cats have opened up a world of people sharing the same passion and goals, and I have my Russians to thank for so many great friends around the world - I'm very glad to be a part of that collective.

My cattery was finally registered in 2005, and by the end of 2006 the first Alyona kittens had been born.
As my knowledge of the breed grew, so did my outlook on my own breeding program, and as soon as 2007 I had already decided to radically change course.
Meanwhile, renewed insight in pedigree registering made me change my affix to a prefix.
In a joint effort with a close breeder friend we decided to import a few unrelated young Russian Blue females from Australia - unrelated as could be to each other, as well as as unrelated as could be to the cats present in Europe already.
As you can imagine, the process of selecting catteries on the other side of the world, digging through pedigrees, exchanging emails and waiting for the desired combinations to produce kittens of the right sex, took a while - but my treasure finally arrived to me in 2010.
Tyana Sileny Lilia is the new foundation of my cattery, and will hopefully be able to pass down many of her valuable traits to the Russian Blues that will come after her, not in the least through her daughter Alyona Bella Barinya, who stayed to reinforce the team.

Hopefully my cats will fulfill all hopes and dreams people have when they ask me for a kitten - true to the breed descriptions and the mysticism that surrounds them. My own cats sure have!

I hope you enjoy your visit to my website and getting to know more about the Russian Blue breed, my cattery and my cats.
I am located in Weesp, a small town close to Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
For details on how to get in touch with me, please have a look at my "contact" page. Thank you for visiting.

Updates this month:
Update: 23-05-2011: "Kittens" page updated with information sheets about nutrition.

All images and text Cattery Alyona