Chinchilla cats are not a separate breed of cats, but an amazing color that turns the hair of British, Scottish and Persian cats into a silver or gold fur coat, slightly covered with a dark haze.
Cats with precious silver color first appeared in the UK in the 80s of the century before last. It is believed that the owners of the Persian cats were helped by a chance – their smoky and marbled silver pets gave birth to kittens with an unusually beautiful fur coat: the white hairs on the tips were painted black.
Persian cat lovers decided to deliberately draw stable lines of cats with this color. For breeding, smoky British cats were used and over time, silver-colored cats got their own name “chinchillas” and love around the world. American breeders joined in the breeding of chinchillas, and over time, silver chinchillas got “brothers” of a golden color, whose golden or apricot hair at the ends of the hair also has a dark color.
Characteristics of the Chinchilla cat
Chinchilla is distinguished from classical Persian skins only by its unique color, the rest of the breed parameters are the same. These are cats with a muscular body of medium length, leaning on short thick legs. Strong skeleton, broad chest and shoulders. Massive round head with a wide skull. The ears are small with a rounded tip low and wide set.
The forehead is convex, the cheeks are full, and the chin is strong. The nose is wide, small and upturned. The eyes are large, round, widely spaced, chinchillas have a bright green or aquamarine color. The coat is thick, long, silky and thin to the touch. The tail is medium long, very fluffy.
Chinchilla cat behavior
– Persian chinchillas are affectionate, sociable, very drawn to people and will follow their beloved owner “tail,” says Tatyana Marunich, owner of the Show Dream nursery. – I believe that Persian chinchillas are the most tender cats of all breeds that exist today. They are always next to the owner, calmly lying on the couch or on their favorite pillow.
Persian chinchillas will not climb the cabinets and shelves, they will not throw a flower in the pot off the windowsill, they are very neat, try not to cause any inconvenience. Chinchillas are not jumping, they will not hang on your curtains or rush about rooms, they are very delicate and calm cats.
If Persian chinchillas live in a house for the soul and do not participate in exhibitions, then caring for them will not cause owners much trouble.
“Of course, one should look after the luxurious long fur of Persian chinchillas,” explains Tatyana Marunich, owner of the Show Dream kennel. – Once a month they need to be bathed using special shampoos, which are now very numerous. It is better to choose shampoos for light cats.
After the bath, the Persian chinchillas must be completely dried with a hairdryer so that the dead hairs are completely gone. Then the cat can not be combed for two weeks. Kittens need to be bathed more often – once every two weeks, because moving babies get dirty more.
Chinchillas should be combed regularly so that their beautiful silky fur glistened, lay flat and did not fall into tangles.
“If we talk about feeds, then I choose professional lineups of food for Persian cats for my cats and be sure to add natural food to the diet,” explains Tatyana Marunich, owner of the Show Dream cattery. – But I do not mix industrial and natural food during one feeding, but distribute them in time. In the morning, for example, I give meat, then dry food, once a week – cottage cheese, yolk and boiled sea fish.
Health and Diseases of the Persian chinchilla
Persian chinchilla cats are cats with good health, but due to the peculiarities of the structure of their skull, there are several problems that require special attention and care from animal owners.
“Increased tearing is one of the features of Persian cats, and chinchillas have not escaped it,” explains Tatyana Marunich, owner of the Show Dream cattery. – So that the tear canals do not become inflamed and the cats do not have serious problems that require the intervention of veterinarians, they need to be taken care of daily.
Every day you need to wipe the eyes of the Persian chinchillas with a napkin dipped in water. And wipe to a clean coat. Then, the area around the eyes should be treated with a grooming paste and combing the treated wool with a special brush (there are a lot of similar products on sale and they are already sold complete with a brush). The surface treated with paste should be sprinkled with special powder. And, if you carry out this procedure regularly, then no problems with the lacrimal canals will arise.
Another weak point of Persian chinchillas is the nasal septum, which is slightly curved due to the structure of their skull. Therefore, Persian cats can hardly stand colds – they have a severe runny nose, difficulty breathing. In order to prevent such a development of events, Persian chinchillas must be vaccinated against viruses once a year, to monitor the temperature in the house, avoiding drafts, because of which cats can become cold and sick.
History of British and Scottish chinchilla cats
Although an amazing color resembling a fur coat of a rodent chinchilla – a light body and the very tip of a hair painted in dark color, appeared among representatives of British cats at the end of the 19th century, the name of the cat, who became the ancestor of this precious line, has survived to this day. The first “official” British chinchilla was called Silver Lambkin. It was his felinologists who considered the ancestor of British chinchillas, although kittens with a silver color, tucked up with a slightly dark veil, appeared before him.
This unusual color of a fur coat was achieved by crossing British cats of a smoky color with snow-white Persians. British chinchillas immediately won the hearts of cat lovers – the precious color was not only beautiful and sophisticated, but also very rare, so having your own chinchilla was very prestigious. Chinchillas found a worthy place in the homes of aristocratic and wealthy cat-mates, and breeders of Great Britain and the USA continued intensive breeding to get the most spectacular shades of these imposing short-haired and half-length cats. Over time, another precious shade was added to the silver chinchilla – the golden chinchilla. Now she is in fashion because of her beauty and rarity.
And in the 1960s, when the Scottish fold cat (Scottish fold) was actively breeding in the world and the breed was recognized by most international felinological organizations, Scottish cat breeders also decided to get chinchilla color for their pets. This was quite easy to do, because British cats are actively involved in breeding the Scottish breed. By crossing Scottish fold cats and British chinchillas, charming Scottish silver and gold chinchillas appeared.
Characteristics of the British Chinchilla
British chinchilla cats have the same breed standards as their counterparts of other colors. These are large animals with a well-developed skeleton, muscular body and massive head. The head is rounded with pronounced cheeks and a strong chin passes into a thick short neck. The nose is straight short and wide with a small hollow. Ears are medium, wide with rounded tips, widely spaced.
The eyes are large, round, widely spaced. In British chinchillas, green and blue eyes are allowed. The body is compact, muscular with a wide chest. The limbs are short, muscular with round thick legs. The tail is thick, medium length with a rounded tip. British chinchillas can be short-haired and half-long-haired.
“British chinchillas can be silver and gold, but these basic colors also have their own sub-species,” explains Elizaveta Lipovenko, owner of the Ermine Trace cattery (“Ermine Trail”). – In silver, the color is better, the lighter. And in gold, on the contrary, the brighter the better. The rarest and most valuable chinchillas are precisely the golden color.
Characteristics of the Scottish Chinchilla
Scottish chinchilla cats have the same standards as their relatives of other colors. Medium proportionally developed muscular body with a good skeleton. The limbs are muscular, of medium length, slender, ending with rounded paws. Round head with a strong chin and pronounced pads. The nose is short with a slight indentation from the forehead. The neck is short. Small ears are directed down and forward and are firmly pressed to the head if the cat is Scottish fold, that is, a fold. Since 2004, some international philological associations recognized as a separate breed and a Scottish straight cat – Scottish Straight.
Then the ears of the cat should be straight, set wide with pointed tips. The tail is medium long or long, graceful with a twisted tip. The eyes are large, round, widely spaced. The hair of short-haired Scottish chinchillas is dense, soft, not adjacent to the body. The color is silver and gold – the tips of the white or apricot outer hair are darkened. Both silver and gold chinchillas have several more subspecies. Eye color is green or blue.
British chinchilla character
“The character of British chinchilla cats is different from their“ classic ”counterparts, it is not so independent,” says Elizaveta Lipovenko, owner of the Ermine Trace cattery (“Ermine Trail”). – Chinchillas – softer, affectionate, human-oriented. They even allow themselves to be stroked, although, like all British cats, they do not like to be picked up.
Chinchilla feels great near the owners, being interested in their life, but staying a little away, she does not feel sad alone, calmly transferring the absence of the owners. Can play out, running after the ball, and can sit quietly in an armchair or in his house. This is a self-sufficient animal with self-esteem. Chinchillas are completely non-aggressive, complaisant. And most importantly, they serve as a decoration for the lives of their owners.
All this is also true for Scottish chinchilla cats, which are more friendly and socialized than their brethren.
Caring for a British or Scottish chinchilla will not require much effort from its owners. Like any cat, it needs to be inspected regularly, paying attention to the condition of the eyes, ears and oral cavity. Small clumps of dirt that can accumulate in the corners of the eyes should be removed with a napkin or swab. If dirt accumulates in your ears, wipe with a cloth. Ideally, you should teach your cat to brush your teeth with special paste at least once every two weeks.
“The short-haired British and Scottish chinchillas do an excellent job of caring for their own hair,” says Elizaveta Lipovenko, owner of the Ermine Trace Kennel (Ermine Trail). – It can be combed out during molting, helping to get rid of dead hairs. For semi-long-haired British and Scottish chinchillas, care is a little more difficult – they need to be combed more often so that their fine coat shines and does not fall off, while a comb can be used during combing. In summer, chinchillas can even be trimmed. Animals should be washed as they become dirty, using shampoo for cats with white hair for silver chinchillas.
The food for British and Scottish chinchillas must be balanced, contain a minimum of grain, contain all the necessary trace elements and vitamins.
Health and Diseases of the British or Scottish chinchilla
British chinchillas are strong healthy cats, they are not peculiar to genetic diseases. But like any cat, they can catch an infection, so annual vaccinations and regular prevention of helminths are a necessity that owners should not ignore. Also, chinchillas of the British and Scottish breeds can not be overfed – they are prone to gain weight.
Scottish fold chinchillas, unfortunately, have genetic diseases. The gene that makes cats so adorable by bending their ears can do terminal damage to their joints. Osteochondrodysplasia is a hereditary disease of fold Scots and charming chinchillas can also suffer from it. Therefore, when choosing a kitten, you need to pay attention to the length of its legs – if they are very short, there is a high probability that the joints of the kitten are deformed. And also carefully examine the tail of the animal – short and inactive can be a sign of osteochondrodysplasia. The rest of the Scottish chinchillas are lop-eared and straight-eared – healthy, lively seals, with self-esteem and excellent appetite.