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The Chinchilla Longhair, also known as Chinchilla Persian, is the oldest man-made breed of cat. There is a strong controversy as to whether the Chinchilla Longhair is a variety of the Persian breed or not. Some defend that the Chinchilla is not a separate breed, but rather a colour variant of the Persian, while others sustain that the existing differences, though subtle (such as less stout in body type and slightly longer nose) justify its classification as a unique breed.The origin of the breed is, however, well documented, and started in England, in 1882 through selective breeding of the offspring of a Persian female (Chinnie) mating to a male of unknown origin, suspected to be a tabby. In fact, althouth the appearance of modern Chinchillas have little resemblance with their ancestors, Chinchillas kittens are still born almost black with heavy tabby markings, which disappear, as they get older, making way for the pure white coat colour. One of the Chinnie’s descendants, the grandson Ch. Silver Lambkin, born in the late 1800’s, is generally regarded as the first Chinchilla. This cat became quite famous, winning most of the major awards at the Crystal Palace Show in London in 1888. This breed was named after the South American rodent known as the Chinchilla, which also has similar tipping to its fur. The Chinchilla Longhair is a striking breed, considered one of the most beautiful longhaired cats worldwide.
The Chinchilla Longhair is a gorgeous, elegant cat, with a long, thick, silky fur, a round face and large, piercing, emerald or blue-green eyes. Although the first impression is of a solid white cat, the black, silver or gold tipping on a pure-white undercoat makes them look as if they sparkle when they move. The body is medium in size, short and cobby (less sturdy than that of a Persian), with short, thick legs and large, round and tufted paws. The head, set on a short neck is persian in shape, round, broad, with a slight muzzle, a broad, firm and well developed chin and a nose medium in length, broad with a slight break in profile. The nose is slightly longer than that of a Persian.The expressive eyes are large, round in shape, set wide apart and emerald or blue-green in colour with black or dark brown eye rims which gives the impression of the cat wearing eyeliner. The round-tipped ears are medium in size, set well apart and well tufted inside.The tail is short, well furnished and with a rounded tip.The Coat is long, and dense, fine, soft and silky in texture, glossy in appearance and standing away from the body bushy on the hind legs giving a trousered appearance. The coat is lightly tipped with black on the back, flanks, head and ears evenly distributed on a pure-white undercoat, giving the breed its unique sparkling silver appearance.
The Chinchilla Longhair is a quiet cat, even-tempered and very affectionate to their owners. Generally tolerant with children, they are not recommend for toddlers or less considerate children, who may be tempted to pull the cat's hair and the Chinchilla does not suffer abuse. They are known for their quite melodious voices and most of them enjoy spending much of their day indoors which makes them ideally suited to townhouses and apartments. The long white coat sheds a lot of hair, especially during the warmer months, and requires daily brushing. The breed is best suited to cooler zones, and clipping may be advised in very hot areas. In every other respect Chinchillas have a great aptitude for adjusting to any new environment. They love attention, which they return with great devotion, and are the ideal companions for older people who have the time and enjoy to care for this particularly graceful and loving pet .
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