Chinchilla cat ideal weight and nutrition
The Chinchilla cat weighs 8 - 12 lbs (3.5 - 5.5 kg). For the suggested daily intake of dry food, consult the table below:
A balanced and rich in vitamins, protein and fiber nutrition will help prevent most health problems such as obesity and moreover develop a rich and shiny fur. In the market there is now available food specially designed for longhair cats that aid in the natural purging of hairballs, contribute to their oral health and help maintain skin integrity and combat hair loss and dandruff. You could even try formulas specially designed for Persian cats. These formulas contain Omega 6 to meet the nutritional demands of maintaining a shiny and beautiful long coat and soluble and insoluble fibers that increase digestive activity to eliminate hairballs naturally.
Chinchilla kittens care
When you introduce a kitten to your home let it find its own way out of the basket and allow it to explore one room at a time. Make sure that all doors and windows are shut, to prevent the kitten from escaping.
Kittens are very often frightened by children or other pets that are new to them. Children should therefore be recommended to be quiet and wait for the kitten to adopt to the new environment, while other animals should be introduced later, gradually and one at a time. Remember that adult cats might attack to the baby cat, since they confront it as a competitor and therefore as an enemy.
Talk to your kitten and encourage it to play with a toy but do not overwhelm it with extreme attention.
Kittens need warmth, since they miss their mother and litter mates. If there is not some form of heating in the room at all times, you' d better buy a heated bed from a pet shop.
During the first month of their life, kittens should be breastfeeding. This is why you shouldn't separate them from their mother before they are one month old.
At the age of one month they can start eating kitten food. In the market you will find a wide range of kitten meals, however we recommend dry kitten food. This comes in small kibbles that encourage kittens to crunch and help them develop stronger gum and teeth.
For the suggested daily intake of kitten dry food, consult the table below:
Table 1.1 - Chinchilla kittens daily food intake
Chinchilla cat grooming
The Chinchilla cat should be brushed daily to avoid the coat knotting and matting. Special attention needs to be paid to the underarms and under the tail and tummy, areas where the fur may rub and knots occur more commonly. Use a comb with metal bristles and an elastic grip and work through her fur from head to tail to remove dead and loose hair. Be extra-gentle near her chest and belly to avoid injuring your Chinie.
If cat grooming is neglected, even for a few days, the coat can become very tangled and unless the cat is extremely tolerant, it may not appreciate the discomfort involved in restoring the coat to a knot-free condition. Besides, if loose hair is not removed on a daily basis, it will be swallowed by the cat, creating hairballs in the stomach.
Tapeworms are parasites that live in the small intestine of cats. They will cause severe diarrhea, poor or extreme appetite, avitaminosis, lethargy, coughing and abdominal distention to your cat.
To find out more, check our tapeworm treatment guide.
When a cat grooms itself by licking its own fur, it will swallow some of its own hair. Most of the hair passes all the way through the digestive tract with no problems. But if some hair stays in the stomach, it can form a hairball.
To find out more, check our hairball treatment guide.
Even clean cats can pick up fleas, especially during the summer months. They get fleas through the contact with infested pets or through the contact with fleas in the environment (e.g. from an infected bedding).
To find out more, check our flea treatment guide.
Eyes can become runny and must be wiped with a soft, clean cloth or tissue to keep clear of debris. Tear ducts can become blocked while foreign bodies such as dust in the eyes can cause corneal ulcers. Both conditions need veterinary attention.
You should clean your cat's ears once a week to prevent infections. Consult your vet on choosing the proper cat ear cleaning solution and use it to remove the excess of wax, debris and dead tissues.
Their teeth should also be checked periodically and brushed with a special wipe to prevent teeth and gum diseases. In the market there are also a lot of cat toys, specially designed to remove food wastes and prevent teeth irritation.
A litter tray must be available at all times and kept in the same place. Solid matter and wet lumps should be removed from the tray frequently and the litter renewed when necessary. The tray should be washed and disinfected frequently. Rinse thoroughly after disinfecting and allow drying before use. The Chinchilla cat is very fussy and will not use a dirty tray.
Never give a cat any drugs that have not been prescribed for it; many human drugs are poisonous to cats. Seek veterinary advice immediately if you suspect any form of poisoning.
Make sure that toys or parts of them cannot be swallowed. Plastic bags and rubber bands can be extremely dangerous, since they do not show up on an X-ray.
Chinchilla cat health and lifespan
The Chinchilla cat lives 12-15 years. Their commonest health problems are cardiomyopathy, a heart condition which can develop early in life and is usually fatal and polycystic kidney disease that affects cats between 3-10 years and is also usually fatal.
Chinchilla cat history
Chinchilla cat is one of the first cat breeds that human ever developed. The idea was to create a Persian breed of a paler coat and this was carried out by patient, selective breeding over many years. Whereas the early Silver Tabbies and Smokes possessed the essential characteristics of the present day cats the earliest recognizable progenitors of the Chinchilla would hardly be recognized as ancestors of the cats that are currently to be seen on the show bench.
The origin of the cat breed was a female called Chinnie, born in 1882. It was uncertain whether the name "Chinnie" was given to this cat because the term "Chinchilla" was already in use or whether the later term was introduced as a variant of her vague resemblance of the Chinchilla rabbit or the rodent of that name.
Chinie’s parents were both prize winning cats. Unfortunately no photographs of her or her parents have survived. It seems likely that she was a mackerel striped Silver Tabby or even a long-haired spotted tabby. Weak markings in such patterns would give something vaguely resembling the product of a cross between today's Chinchilla and Blue.
Chinnie was bred by Mrs. Hurt of Sandal Mayner near Wakefield, UK. She was bought by Mrs. Vallance and was apparently regarded as sufficiently unusual by the standard of the day for her owner to try to perpetuate her coloring by mating her to a suitable male. Such a mate was found in Fluffy I a very pure Silver with undecided tabby markings, who won first prize and medals in the Silver Class at Maidstone, Cheltenham and Ealing, and second prize at Ryde. The record of the next few years is a catalogue of hopes raised only to be wrecked by fate that must be familiar to many who have ever laid plans for breeding.
The mating of Fluffy I and Chinnie in 1885 produced a male, Vezzoso and a female, Beauty, later to be known as Beauty of Bridgyate. Vezzoso became Best in Show at the Albert Palace in 1885, was first in the Silver class at Louth and Maidstone, second at Frome and third at Lincoln.
The mating between Chinnie and Fluffy in 1886 produced Fluffy II, who took first place at crystal Palace, Best in Show at Brighton and second place at the Albert Palace and Ealing shows.
Beauty, who had been bought as a kitten by Miss Howe of Bridgyate, after selective breeding had three litters of kittens.
The first litter did not meet the breeders expectations. However, from that time onwards, greater success attended these efforts and the next mating of Beauty, which was with a Smoke, Mrs. Shearman's Champion Perso, gave the legendary Ch Silver Lambkin, who is generally regarded as the first Chinchilla cat. Once this cat matured the breeding and perfection of the Chinchilla was undertaken with enthusiasm, with the result that the first class for this breed alone was instituted at the Crystal Palace Show in 1894.
Chinchilla cat personality
The Chinchilla cat shares almost the same personality with the Persian cats. It has a very sweet nature and would suit better to quiet and peaceful households. It is mostly a decorative cat and prefers to lie around all day.
As a matter of fact, Chinchillas are lap cats and prefer to spend most of their day inside. Their easygoing and gentle personality makes them ideal for city apartments. However, they don’t mind change and adjust quickly to any new environment in which they might be placed.
It is very affectionate and can become quite attached to their human family. Actually it enjoys spending time with its owners and participating in daily activities. It is a loyal partner and though it is not very demanding, it loves to be petted and would often want to sit on the lap of its owners.
Despite of its easy going demeanor, the Chinchilla cat hates to be left alone. As a matter of fact, Chinies hide an extrovert nature and enjoy attracting attention. They are social creatures and make great pets for people of all ages. However, some breeders do not recommend them as pets for very young children who may be tempted to pull the hair, which the cat is unlikely to tolerate.
Chinchilla cat breed standards
The Chinchilla cat possesses a round open head, with a broad firm and well developed chin. Its ears are medium sized with round tips, well tufted and set wide apart.
The eyes are large, round and wide open, set well apart. Their color can be either emerald or blue/green, which is highlighted by a black or dark brown contour.
The nose is medium in length and broad with a slight break in profile. There should be adequate nose leather and nasal apertures, however the nose should not be snub.
The Chinchilla cat possesses a short neck and a medium sized body, not as strong as the Persian cats', but with a better bone structure. Their legs are short and thick and their paws are round, firm and tufted.
The tail should be well furnished, while its length should be in proportion to the body.
As for the coat, this should be dense and long on body, with full ruff and brush. The hair should be shorter on the head and the forelegs. The texture should be fine, soft and silky, glossy in appearance and standing away from the body.
The undercoat's color, finally, should be pure white and the coat on the back, legs, flanks, head, ears and tail should be tipped with black. This tipping should be evenly distributed giving the characteristic sparkling silver appearance. The face and legs may be very slightly shaded with the tipping but the chin , ear tufts, stomach and chest must be pure white.