- Height: 8-12 inches
- Weight: 9-12 lbs
- Lifespan: 12-16 years
- Physique: Short, compact
- Best Suited For: Singles, seniors, and families with older children and other pets
- Temperament: Friendly, social, easygoing, loving, loyal, smart, adaptable
- Comparable Breeds: Persian, Burmilla
Chinchilla Cat Breed History
The Chinchilla cat could also be referred to as the Chinchilla Persian because this breed is actually a type of Persian cat. The name “Chinchilla” is a reference to the cat’s fur, which is similar to that of the chinchilla rodent, and this is a feline that has been selectively bred to produce a specific coat color.
This manmade cat breed has origins that date back to around 1882 in England. That is when a smoke-colored kitten named Chinnie was born after a stray tomcat mated with a blue Persian. Chinnie’s owner then had her mate with a silver tabby cat, and then one of the kittens from that litter would go on to give birth to the first male Chinchilla cat.
Breeders continued to encourage the unique coloration in an effort to establish the breed, and that is how Chinnie’s descendants started to showcase the preferred appearance by the early 1900s. It was also during that time that the first standards for the Chinchilla breed were created by the Chinchilla, Silver and Smoke Cat Society. And, since 1920, this breed’s standards have not changed much.
The Chinchilla cat could also be referred to as the Chinchilla Persian because this breed is actually a type of Persian cat.
Chinchilla cats are considered docile, gentle, smart, adaptable, easygoing, and quiet kitties that really like spending time with people and are relaxing to be around. They are also known for their loving disposition, as they will give their human family loads of affection. A Chinchilla could become attached to their owners and show a strong sense of loyalty and devotion to their favorite people, so they prefer getting plenty of attention in return. But even though these cats could be really comfortable around the people that they know well, they could be nervous and shy when they are around strangers.
Although these cats are not too active, giving your Chinchilla a variety of toys to play with will be important, and spending time playing with your cat will also help keep him happy while allowing him to get some exercise.
When not playing, these kitties will love sitting in your lap and cuddling. And, in addition to getting along with people, these cats could also get along well with other cats and other pets, such as friendly dogs. However, because Chinchilla cats are quiet and tend to prefer peaceful households, they may not be the best choice for families that have young children.
The Chinchilla cat features a body that could be described as short, stocky, round, and compact. The body will be large and heavy boned, the neck will be thick, the hips and shoulders will be broad, and the paws will be big and round. The legs will be thick and short, and the tail will be bushy.
Other features that you may notice when looking at a Chinchilla cat include the eyes, which will be expressive, round, and large, as well as the ears that are small, rounded at the tips, and set wide on the head. The head is described as broad, large, and round, the cheeks could be described as full, and the jaw is considered broad, while the chin is firm. And even though these cats are a type of Persian, their nose, which could be described as snub, will not be as short as that of other Persian kitties, and it will feature a slight beak as well.
The Chinchilla features one main coat color, which is pure white. However, you will notice that the coat is tipped subtly with black, giving the fur a lovely silver sheen. More specifically, the undercoat will be pure white and the coat will be tipped with black on the flanks, ears, head, tail, and back to produce the silver shimmering effect.
It should be noted that blue-tipped Chinchilla cats are also possible, and the breed also features gold coloration in addition to silver.
This breed also features bright green or blue-green eyes that are lined with black or dark brown, so it looks like the kitty is wearing eyeliner. The lips and the nose, which is a brick red color, is also lined with black or dark brown.
The Chinchilla cat will feature a luxurious, long coat and a dense undercoat that will require regular grooming sessions in order to keep the fur free of mats and tangles. Plus, maintaining the coat could also help reduce the incidence of hairballs, and it will help prevent other health concerns, such as skin problems.
Brushing your Chinchilla cat daily is important, but you do not need to spend a long time brushing your cat, as just five minutes could be sufficient. Another option would be to groom the cat at least every other day for about 10 to 15 minutes. And if your Chinchilla cat develops any discharge from the eyes, you could gently wipe it away using a damp cloth or cotton ball.
Photo credit: Talitha Botha/Shutterstock; ZAHRA22/Shutterstock; cynoclub/Shutterstock