Maltese Cat: Info, Appearance, Facts & Price (With Pictures)

Maltese cat having a bath time

If you are looking for an irresistibly good-looking pet, you should check out the Maltese cat. Despite its glamorous color, this cat remains to be underrated today. 

If you haven’t heard about Maltese cats yet, it is the term used to refer to any cat with blue or gray fur. Though grey is a pretty common color for cats, a lot of people do not know that certain cats have this captivating color.

In this article, I will share with you everything that you need to know about this underappreciated Maltese cat color, including some truths and costs that you need to prepare if you want to take home one. 

What Is a Maltese Cat?

Maltese cat with blue gray coat lying on towel

Maltese cats refer to any domestic cat of an unknown breed that features either complete or partial gray or blue fur pattern. Though lesser-known, Maltese cats are said to be friendlier and more affectionate than other cat colors. 

Though the term Maltese cat was originally used to represent grey or blue cats of indeterminate breed, the term is now also widely used to refer to any cats that exhibit this coat pattern. 

To date, several other breeds may be considered Maltese cats, such as the breed called Chartreux. In addition, the Russian Blue and Korat cat breeds are also considered Maltese cats. 

These are among the few cat breeds that exclusively exhibit gray or blue fur. Aside from the solid gray or blue colors, cats with a combination of both colors may also be considered Maltese cats. 

Any cat with solid gray coloration, regardless of its breed, has two pairs of double-recessive genes for the non-agouti and color-dilution traits. 

So an exclusive mating of two solid gray cats should produce solid gray kittens. Such color combinations may also produce blues in the offspring’s coat.

READ NEXT: 15 Beautiful Grey Cat Breeds You’ll Want to Adopt

Maltese Cat Origin and History: Where Do Maltese Cats Come From?

While it is not clear when and how the presence of cats was established on the Maltese islands in Malta, experts believe that the cats were smuggled out of Egypt and exported to Europe to mitigate the rat problem. 

Another historian claims that the first blue-gray Maltese cats were originally brought from Syria and were kept on the island of Malta and given to monks.

The Maltese cat has been a quite common sighting in Malta up until the late 1800s. They were regarded as the queen of the house and were highly praised for their hunting instincts to keep houses rodent-free. 

While they are described as a native of Malta from which they derive their name, by the early 1900s, the Maltese cat lost its geographical link to the Maltese islands. 

To date, the Maltese cat name is now used to describe the blue and gray colorations rather than the breed or origin. 

Maltese Cat Appearance: What Does a Maltese Cat Look Like? 

Adorable grey Maltese cat near bowl with food at home

As far as the original Maltese cat breed in Malta is concerned, they were described by historians as very small cats with short legs, tiny ears, and paws. They feature short fur with solid color and appearance similar to gray rats. 

Similarly, they have round faces that go along with their green eyes. However, until today, there is no information about the standards or specifications of a true Maltese cat. 

The common denominator of the Maltese cats we have these days are their coat and eye colors. 

Several cat breeds that are considered Maltese cats exhibit almost the same eye colors of either blue, orange, gold, or copper. 

Similarly, the Maltese cat we have now are medium to large in size — unlike the very small cats they had way before. They feature a muscular body, though several other breeds still have short legs. 

Regardless of the difference in facial features and build, the Maltese cat of today still flaunts primarily gray or blue coloring. 

READ NEXT: 13 Amazing Facts About Grey Tabby Cats (With Pictures & FAQ)

Cat Breeds That Are Considered Maltese Cats

As of today, there are several cat breeds that always produce blue kittens that have either completely or primarily gray or blue fur. These cat breeds may also be called Maltese cats. 

Russian Blue 

Russian Blue Maltese cat with white background

The Russian Blue cat is among the most popular gray cat breeds. They feature a plush coat that is deemed to be hypoallergenic. Their coat is tipped with a silver guard that gives it a luster look. 

This cat breed is born with yellow eyes that change into emerald green as they grow. Russian Blues are known to be active hunters, and their pretty long legs are very useful when they’re out catching small prey.

READ NEXT: How Much Does a Russian Blue Cost? (2023 Price Guide)


Chartreux cat Maltese cat with white background

The Chartreux, which is a French cat breed, comes in a gray color but is often mistaken to be silver. They feature bright orange, gold, or copper eyes with short and upright ears along with a soft-looking yet muscular body. 

Their distinctive gray-colored coat is water-resistant with a wooly texture that helps them during cold weather. 

Korat Cat

Korat cat Maltese cat with white background

The Korat cat, which is dubbed one of the oldest cat breeds in existence, also falls on the list of breeds considered Maltese cats. Korat cats flaunt a gorgeous grey or blue coat with silver tipping that gives them a shimmering look.

Similarly, these small to medium-sized cats have lovely round eyes with a captivating shade of green eye color. They also have heart-shaped marks on five areas of their body. 

British Shorthair 

British Shorthair Maltese cat with white background

Aside from being quite expensive cats, the popular British Shorthair is known for having a wide range of colors.

This includes a blue variant of the breed that is sometimes referred to as the British Blue. Such coloration was so common that some thought it was its own breed.

Like the other gray cat breeds, British Blue cats feature large, round eyes with eye colors that can either be orange, gold, or copper. They also carry a double coat that is very thick and dense. 

READ NEXT: How Much Does a British Shorthair Cost? (2023 Price Guide)

Other Meanings of the Maltese Cat

Aside from being used to describe short-haired bluish-gray cats with unidentified breeds, the term Maltese cat also describes specific cat breeds that produce blue or gray coloration.

These breeds include the Korat, British Blue, Chartreux, and Russian Blue. Additionally, Maltese cats also have cultural references that may be considered another meaning of the term.

In literature, Rudyard Kipling wrote a short story entitled The Maltese cat, wherein the story was about a polo mat in British colonial India. The story was told from the point of view of one of the ponies, a gray named the Maltese cat. 

Aside from the meanings mentioned above, let me restate that the term also originally refers to cats from Malta. 

If you are interested in how these original Maltese cats look, watch this video:

Maltese Cats - Malta - La Valletta (Soundscape)

How Much Does a Maltese Cat Cost? Kitten Prices and Expenses

The price of a Maltese cat starts from $600 to $2,000, depending on the cat breeder and the quality of the cat you’re getting. Certain factors like the location will also determine the cat’s price tag. 

Your expenses, however, do not end there. On top of the Maltese cat’s price, you also need to prepare funds for other things that are necessary for your new cat’s transition to its new home.

Here is the initial cost associated with Maltese cat ownership: 

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$20 – $50
Food and Water Bowls$10 – $25
Litter Box$20 – $160
Litter Sand$15 – $25
Collar and ID Tag$5 – $20
Cat Bed$15 – $30
Cat Carrier$20 – $60
Toys and Scratching Post$15 – $70
Grooming Essentials$25 – $35
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $250
Initial Vaccine Shots$25 – $50
Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medications$30 – $100
Neutering or Spaying$200 – $500
Microchip$40 – $60
Miscellaneous Supplies$15 – $30
Total Initial Cost$555 – $1,465

On top of the kitten’s price, you need to prepare an amount between $555 and $1,465 to cover the initial expenses. This excludes the monthly and yearly expenses of raising a cat. 

To give you an in-depth idea about the costs of raising a Maltese cat, you may refer to the costs of each particular breed that can be called Maltese. For instance, the cost of owning a Russian Blue

Places to Find Maltese Cats for Sale and Adoption

Three Maltese cat kittens for sale and adoption

Finding one of these Maltese cats may be challenging as these are very rare. Thus, potential owners wanting to take home one of these must prepare to go through a little bit of treasure hunting. 

In this section, we will provide you with a list of places where you can get a Maltese cat. As always, in-depth research about the breeder is encouraged to ensure that you’re getting a good quality kitten. 

To start your search, here are some places where you can find Maltese cats for sale:

  • Blue Cat Farm – This CFA-registered boutique cattery produces blue cats such as the Chartreux. Though they mostly cater to Chartreux, they sometimes have other blue cat breeds available. They take pride in producing robust, sweet, and friendly kittens that are suitable for families looking for companion pets or cat shows. 
  • Royal Blues Cattery – This Ohio-based cattery offers well-socialized Maltese cats, specifically Russian Blue kittens from European champion bloodlines. They are dedicated to producing sweet, healthy, and outgoing kittens that will be your companion for many years to come.
  • Blue Duchess Cats – Blue Duchess Cats sells high-quality British Shorthair cats, including British Blue kittens. Kittens are ready for rehoming at around 12 weeks old. New pet owners will receive a sales contract, a pet passport, and a package with samples of the kitten’s food.

If you haven’t found the Maltese cat that you’re looking for with the breeders above, you can also consider adopting. Aside from helping you save money, you also get the chance to save a kitten’s life. 

I have here a list of adoption websites where you may be able to find Maltese cats for adoption:

  • Cat Adoption Team – This cat shelter is the largest one in the Pacific Northwest. With nearly 25 years of experience and more than 56,000 adoptions, this shelter has already proved its dedication to saving the lives of homeless felines. To check if they have Maltese cats up for adoption, you can check their website.
  • Kitten Rescue Los Angeles – For Los Angeles-based cat lovers wanting to take home a Maltese cat, you can check out this volunteer-run organization that is one of the largest and most respected animal welfare groups in Los Angeles. They have been devoted to finding loving new homes for homeless and unwanted cats and kittens since 1997.
  • Cat Rescue & Adoption Network – This organization started in 2006 as a program to find homes for cats from the Lane County Animal Regulation Authority in Oregon. They work with other societies, including animal rescue groups, to rehome rescued animals like the Maltese cat. While in their care, they provide cats with medical care, disease testing, and vaccinations. 

If you have already checked out the places above and didn’t find the one that you’re looking for, you can read our guide on ways to find free kittens for adoption in your area

READ NEXT: 11 Ways to Find Free Kittens in Your Area for Adoption (2023)

Final Thoughts

With their enthralling fur and mesmerizing eye color, the Maltese cat will surely capture your heart and make you want to take one home. 

While they may be a good addition to your family, there are responsibilities associated with owning a Maltese. 

Depending on what cat breed you’re getting, your new pet will have different needs that you should be aware of. It is important to understand your cat’s needs early on so that it can live its best life with you. 

Are you ready to take home a Maltese cat? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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