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Chinchilla

The Chinchilla is colour-type of Persian cat, with the same luxuriant long coat and large round eyes as the Persian. Although considered a Persian type, Chinchillas typically have a moderate construction, with a more prominent muzzle, and a lighter build than the Persian. Despite this, they are a cobby, compact cat of some substance, with large paws and a chunky body. 

The need-to-know
  • Benefits from an experienced owner
  • Quiet and sedate cat
  • Calm cat
  • Sociable and dependent cat
  • Quiet cat
  • Average build cat breed
  • Requires grooming every day
  • A bit of both indoor and outdoor space
  • Not ideal for family homes
  • Can be regularly left for a few hours
  • Needs a calm environment
This breed has a higher risk of health issues

The Chinchilla cat breed is classified as brachycephalic; problems associated with the condition include;
- Brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome: is a condition in brachycephalic (breeds with a short noses and squashed faces) breeds where breathing is obstructed and can lead to severe respiratory distress 
- Skin inflammation/infection: brachycephalic breeds have a short nose and a normal amount of facial tissue. This means there is often excess skin around their face which leads to skin folds- which is where soreness and infections are prone to develop 
- Eye ulcers: ulcers are painful erosions on the surface of the eye, they are more common in brachycephalic breeds due to their conformation, as their eyes tend to be more bulbous

The breed is also prone to:
- Polycystic kidney disease which is an inherited condition where cysts form in the kidneys. This affects kidney function and can eventually lead to kidney failure.
 
Testing available:
- DNA testing for polycystic kidney disease which tests whether or not a cat has the potential to be affected by this condition. 

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
Weight:  3 - 7.2kg
Colours:  Chinchillas only come in the one colour, a pure white with darker coloured tipping to the hairs. This tipped hair is typically black, but it can be golden or silver. 

Ratings

Family-friendly: 1/5
Playfulness: 2/5
Intelligence: 4/5
Tendency to Vocalise:  2/5
Likes Other Pets: 5/5
Grooming needs: 5/5
Shedding: 3/5
Chinchilla cat is lying on the floor

Personality

Quiet and peaceful, the Chinchilla is not a very active cat, nor a particularly demanding one. They are very loyal and affectionate with their owners, and do enjoy company. The Chinchilla doesn’t love cat exercise too much and can become lazy. They do need some motivating to play and move and, if you’re thinking about leaving your cat home alone, they don’t cope well – especially if it’s over long periods.  Although, they will get along well with other household pets if raised appropriately and socialised well when young. 

This is more of a cuddling, grooming, pampering cat than a boisterous companion, so don’t expect too much mayhem or intricate problem solving! 

Chinchilla cat with grey fur is watching at someone

History and Origins

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Selectively bred for their colour from Persian cats since the late 1800’s, the Chinchilla takes its name from the super soft furred Chinchilla rodent, which is known for its thick white fur tipped with black, giving the animal an attractive silvery appearance. 

Chinchilla cats are supposedly the first type of cat to be selectively bred for coat colour alone, however as with all ‘man-made’ breeds, they are now bred for type, temperament and health as well. 

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