You may have heard about chinchilla cats and want want to know a little more about them. Whether you’re a seasoned cat parent, or it’s your first kitty, understanding your chosen breed is important. In this post you’ll learn all about chinchilla cats. From the history of the breed to temperament and health issues, you’ll find it’s all covered here.
Knowing how to care for your cat is important as certain breeds require special attention. For example, with grooming or diet.
What is a chinchilla cat?
Chinchilla cats are basically silver persians. The breed was first formed in the late 1800s when a blue persian mated with a stray tom. The story goes that the persian cat accidentally got out when she was in heat! The chance meeting with the stray was the very beginning of the chinchilla breed.
One of the kittens from the litter was sold to a lady who named her Chinnie. She mated Chinnie with a silver tabby, and the first chinchilla male was born. During the early 1900s further cross breeding created the pure white colour we’re familiar with today.
What does a chinchilla cat look like?
If you like big fluffy white cats you’re in for a treat! Chinchilla cats are a large breed with stocky body and short stubby legs. The paws are quite large in proportion and round in shape. Unlike other persians, the face isn’t flat, but more rounded. Chinchilla cats have a large round head with big expressive eyes. Once you see a chinchilla cat you’ll fall in love and won’t be able to resist!
The main coat colour is white with back tips on the end of each hair. This gives a beautiful silver shimmer. You can also get chinchilla cats with blue tipped fur, and even some with gold colour coats. This breed of cat has a thick undercoat giving a luxurious appearance. The only downside to this is the amount of grooming required.
Chinchilla cats have stunningly beautiful eyes lined with black. It looks just like they’re wearing kohl eyeliner! Eye colour is green or blue-green. The ears are quite small compared to other breeds, and have a rounded shape at the tips.
What is the chinchilla cats personality like?
If you’re thinking about getting a chinchilla cat you’ll be pleased to know they have a very gentle, loving personality. They often get attached to one person and follow them everywhere! Like many cats, this breed can be nervous around people they don’t know. Of course, this can be a good thing should your kitty be let outside.
They’re highly intelligent and love playing. My advice would be to get a few cat toys before you bring your chinchilla home. These will help keep her active and she’ll enjoy playing a game with you. Though not known for being energetic they still need daily exercise. If you decide to keep your chinchilla cat indoors make sure you provide plenty of stimulation to encourage activity.
If you have other pets in your household you should be ok. Chinchillas are known for getting on well with other cats, though you should always introduce a new cat gradually.
How to care for your chinchilla cat
If you’re getting a chinchilla kitty you’ll need to be prepared to do lots of grooming. These cats are high maintenance and will demand some of your time. You will need to spend a few minutes each day brushing her. This prevents a build up of knots and tangles. Neglecting to do this may lead to skin problems.
If you don’t get time every single day, try and brush your cat every few days. Missing a day day won’t matter too much, but remember, chinchilla cats need help. Knowing how to groom your cat the right way makes life much easier. You can get special brushes for long hair cats and I highly recommend a silicon brush. I use one on my short hair cat and he loves it! This type of brush doesn’t scratch the skin and is suitable for all long hair breeds.
Reward good behaviour!
You need to be very gentle and patient with your kitty. Gradually get her used to being brushed, and always reward good behaviour with a treat! Long hair cats such as persians and chinchillas are man made breeds. It’s not normal for cats to have such thick, long fur, and therefore up to us, the owners to look after them.
As well as brushing, you also need to check your cat’s ears for any sign of mites or discharge. Ear problems are not uncommon in any breed of cat, and most are easily treated. Persian cat breeds are prone to eye discharge, so do a quick check while grooming. It’s not usually a major issue, and you can gently wipe the eye area with a piece of cotton wool soaked in warm water.
Many prospective pedigree cat parents ask if they should keep their cat indoors. This very much depends on the area and type of property you live in. If you live in a safe area and have a garden you may want to let your cat roam freely. However, if you’re worried about theft you could always invest in a cat run. That way at least you’ll know your kitty is safe.
Do chinchilla cats have any health problems?
You can expect a healthy cat to live up to 15 years on average, though non pedigrees can often live into their twenties. As with many long haired cat breeds there are a few potential health problems you need to be aware of.
One of them is polycystic kidney disease. Multiple fluid filled cysts are formed at birth and grow larger as your cat ages. It can be treated in the early stages of the disease, but if left can cause kidney failure later in life. Nowadays breeders are able to test for the disease, so if you’re looking for a persian chinchilla breeder make sure you ask.
The other potential problem only applies to young kittens still being weaned. They have very sensitive digestive systems, easily upset by changing foods. Always ask your breeder’s advice on the type of food to give your kitten. On the whole, chinchilla cats are very healthy, and as long as you keep up with vaccinations and annual checks you should be ok.
How do you find a good breeder?
Once you’ve decided on your breed of cat, whether it’s a persian chinchilla or any other, you need to do some research. Start by finding a list of chinchilla cat breeders in your area. As you go them and decide who to contact first, you need to make a note of questions to ask.
As obvious at it may sound, make sure any kitten you’re buying is a pedigree and not just a long haired cat! This is why it’s important to know about the breed characteristics first. Never consider a breeder reluctant to let you see the kittens or where they’re kept. Always insist on seeing documentation such as certificates first before handing over any money.
All kittens whatever breed must be vaccinated before leaving their mother and appear in good health. You can often tell just by talking over the phone to a cat breeder if he’s really passionate about cats or is just doing it to make money. Take your time deciding on a chinchilla cat breeder. Visit several before choosing your fur baby or fur babies!
Is a chinchilla cat the right breed for you?
Now you know a bit more about chinchilla cats, do you feel this is the right breed for you? You’ve discovered that they’re not an energetic breed, but very affectionate. If you have time to spend grooming all that long luxurious fur each day, and want a loving companion, this could be the breed for you.
You’ll never feel lonely with a chinchilla cat as they’re known for following their special human everywhere! As previously mentioned, they tend to attach themselves to one person, so great if you live alone! They’re not known for being tolerant with small children, so if you’ve got young kids you may want to consider a different breed.
You’ve learned that chinchilla cats have few health problems and can live to a reasonably good age. Providing you keep up with all the regular checks and vaccinations your chinchilla should enjoy good health.
We also discussed finding a good breeder. There are many scammers and unscrupulous breeders who only care about money. Hopefully you’ll take on board the tips I shared and take your time. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post about chinchilla cats and that I’ve inspired you to think about owning one of these beautiful animals. Please feel free to share any experiences about chinchilla cats or any thoughts you have about them in the comment box below.
Wishing you a purrfect day 🙂