The Nebelung looks much like the elegant yet muscular Russian Blue, but with a thick, shimmering, medium-length coat. His general appearance is that of a long, sturdy, well-muscled cat.
The International Cat Association breed standard for the Nebelung calls for him to have a modified wedge-shaped head that is more pointed than rounded, although his long hair may give the head a rounded look. Large ears are wide at the base with pointed tips, and rich, deep-green eyes have a slightly oval shape and are set wide apart. Kittens may have yellowish-green eyes, but by the time they are two years old they should have developed into the vivid green of maturity. The nose pad is charcoal gray.
A long, slender neck sometimes looks shorter than it actually is because of the Nebelung’s dense fur. The body is what’s called semi-foreign, meaning it is moderate in shape, falling somewhere between the short, compact body of breeds such as Persians and the sleek angles of Oriental breeds such as the Siamese. It is athletic but not bulky, with a medium-boned body that is well proportioned.
Supporting the body are long, medium-boned legs set on medium-size, well-rounded oval paws with generous tufting between the toes. The Nebelung looks as if he is walking on the balls of his feet. His tail is at least as long as his body from shoulder blades to rear end, covered in fur that is longer than the body hair.
The Nebelung stands out for his luxurious coat and striking color. A medium-length double coat covers the body, increasing in length from the shoulder to the tail. Males have a distinct neck ruff, but females are not as well endowed. Behind the ears is feathering in a lighter shade of blue. Fur covering the back of the upper thighs gives the Nebelung the appearance of wearing pantaloons. The outer coat is fine and silky, topping an undercoat that is soft and downy. The coat typically does not develop fully until the cat is two years old. It is thicker, longer and softer in winter.
To the uninformed, the Nebelung might look gray, but in cat show terms he is blue all the way to the roots. It’s ideal if the fur is silver-tipped, which makes the coat seem to glisten, but often silver tipping is noticeable only on the head and shoulders. Some Nebelung kittens are born with “ghost stripes,” a reminder of the tabby gene that all cats carry, even if it isn’t expressed in their coat, but these generally fade, leaving the cat with the solid blue coat of maturity.