History of the Chinchilla Cat:
Named after a south African rodent, the Chinchilla is essentially a silver Persian although some claim it is a separate breed. Either way, it is a cat with Persian-like qualities, although less extreme in the face. The breed came about in an attempt to create a silver coloured Persian cat.
It is one of the oldest "man breeds" with breeding beginning 1882 with a cat by the name of "Chinnie". Chinnie was the result of a chance mating between a blue Persian and a stray tom (of unknown origins), the resulting litter produced a smoke-coloured kitten who was sold to a Mrs Vallence, who named her Chinnie. Chinnie was mated to a silver tabby and one of the kittens from this litter gave birth to the first Chinchilla male (Chinnie's grandson). He was named Silver Lambkin.
The breed is also referred to as "shaded silver Persian or golden shaded Persian".
Appearance of the Chinchilla Cat:
The Chinchilla is a large cobby cat with a round head and small ears. The eyes are either green or blue-green in colour, highlighted with black "eyeliner". The nose is less extreme than on the Persian but has a slight break, finishing with a brick red tip which is outlined with a darker pencilling of black.
The coat is long and luxurious with a pure white undercoat. Tipping occurs at the end of each hair strand. Despite the name, the Chinchilla comes in both silver and gold.
Personality of the Chinchilla Cat:
Placid, quiet and gentle are three words to describe the Chinchilla. They are very loyal cats, and can become especially attached to one member of the family.
The Chinchilla is extremely intelligent and can often be quite playful, even into adulthood.
As would be expected, they have a similar temperament to the Persian cat. They are better suited to quiet households without small and boisterous children.
Chinchilla cat health:
The Chinchilla is a generally healthy breed of cat. As with the Persian, polycystic kidney disease can crop up in this breed and when selecting a kitten, ask the breeder if the parents have been screened.
Furballs can become a problem if the coat is not well maintained.
Blocked tear ducts can occur, but are not as prevalent as in other Persian cats.
The coat requires daily grooming to prevent matts forming. This only takes 5 minutes but is extremely important.
Eyes may occasionally need to be wiped down with a damp cotton ball to remove the discharge.