The Chinchilla are considered a variant of the Persian race. However, for some feline breeding specialists it is per se a differentiated breed. In Great Britain, for example, it has been recognized since 1901. Its similarity to the Persians is evident, although there are some physical and character traits that distinguish them.
Their bone structure is smaller and finer than that of the Persian, and they are more active and sociable than their peers. British royalty had a lot to do with its popularization in Europe, being today one of the most valued and sought-after breeds. However, they are not easy to obtain and their price is very high.
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- Origin Europe (United Kingdom)
- Medium size
- Weight from 4 to 7 kg males and 3 to 6 kg females
- Long, thick, dense and very soft hair. It has an internal underlayer that gives it great volume.
- His appearance is very pompous. There are two subtypes: the Chinchilla Silver and the Golden. In the first, the coat is white and the tips are silver. In the Golden the coat can be golden, yellow, ocher or light brown with the tip of the tail black
- Broad, rounded head
- Ears small, well separated from each other and more elongated than those of the Persian
- Eyes larger than those of the Persian and colored blue, green or a combination of both
- Short and very bushy tail
- Estimated longevity of 12 to 18 years
- Difficulty taking care of it medium
Character and behavior of the Chinchilla cat
These kittens are very sweet and whimsical. They love being the center of attention and will only treat you to their company when they feel like it. They are somewhat more active and outgoing than Persians , but they don’t like being held. You will have to get used to it from a puppy. They do not tolerate spending time alone or hit it off with young children.
However, they are an ideal pet for the elderly or for families without young children. They have a strong hunting instinct and greatly enjoy walks outside in winter. They are cats that like the cold and outdoor exploration.
Care required by the Chinchilla cat
His long hair tangles easily. Therefore, it requires daily care by brushing it every day with a brush with long, separate bristles. The bathrooms newspapers and haircuts facilitate maintaining your cloak in perfect condition. Given the length of their hair, it is common for some excrement to adhere to it.
Like the Persians, ocher or brown spots around their eyes are common. You will need to clean them daily to prevent infection. The hygiene of the ears and mouth should also be habitual , in this case it will be enough if you do it once a week. Take care of your diet by offering quality, varied and rationed food.
Due to their morphology, they are prone to developing obesity, if they eat more than they need and do not exercise daily. Provide him with enough toys and stimuli that encourage him to move every day. Toys that appeal to their hunting instincts are very suitable.
In addition to the trichobezoars that they share with all long-haired breeds, 40% of Chinchillas suffer from polycystic kidney disease. Water sacs or tumors lead to kidney failure. In turn, there are other pathologies associated with this breed that you should know about. They are as follows:
- FIC . This is the inflammation of the bladder that is usually more common in neutered males.
- Urinary listiasis or kidney stones . Also more present among males and sterilized felines.
- Carcinoma . It is cancer of the skin of the head or neck.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy . The thickening of the left ventricle can put the survival of the pussycat at risk.
- Progressive retinal atrophy . It involves the irreversible loss of sight.
- Corneal necrosis .
- Entropion . It is the fold that occurs at the edge of the eyelid inward.
- Idiopathic epiphora or alteration in the secretion of tears.
- Ringworm . It has ulcerated nodules on the back or at the base of the tail.
History of the breed and fun facts
Its origin dates back to 1882 when a British breeder crossed a blue Persian cat with a stray cat of unknown origin. His Chinnie calf is considered the first specimen of this breed and his grandson the first Chinchilla male. Queen Victoria’s niece was captivated by its beauty and contributed to its spread across the continent.
These felines were quickly associated with a high social status . After the Second World War they were on the brink of extinction . Today they are highly sought after, but few copies exist. As a curiosity, the Persian cameo is a recognized breed in the US, but in Spain, for example, it is classified as a subtype of the Chinchilla.
The coat of these kittens has a silver or ivory base and one eighth of each hair is red. This tipping is best seen on the tips of two fingers and around her pink nose. In short, the Chinchilla is one of the oldest breeds of cats created by man to achieve a specific color. His hair was originally darker.