More delicate in appearance than the typical Longhair, the Chinchilla is nonetheless a robust, hardy, individual - as this typical playful pose illustrates.
Unlike the rodent Chinchilla, which has a dark undercoat tipped with white, this cat sports the reverse coloration, giving it a distinctly sparkling appearance. Its luxurious coat requires meticulous grooming to show it to best advantage.
The Chinchilla is one of the earliest man-made varieties, and was given its own class at Crystal Palace in 1894. It is thought to have evolved from crossbreeding a range of Longhairs, most notably Silver Tabbies, and was at first much darker, frequently lavender-tinted, and more heavily marked than the modern form. The pursuit of a paler coloration weakened the European stock, which was further depleted during World War II. American types were imported to improve the breed, which is now strong and healthy.
Chinchillas are sometimes said to be more temperamental than other Longhairs, but generally have the same affectionate, calm disposition.
There is one variety, the Shaded Silver, that has long been recognized in the US and is gaining recognition in Great Britain.
Round and broad with a snub nose outlined in black ot dark brown. Brick-red nose pad.
Small and round tipped. Ear tufts.
Large and round; colour should be emerald green or blue-green, outlined in black or dark brown.
A coat that has the sheen of precious metal has earned this breed the popular name of Silver Persian in the US
Less cobby than usual for a Longhair, with a finer bone structure.
The fur is dense and silky. The colour should be snow white, with black tipping.
Short and bushy, normally carried uncurved, below the line of the back.
Short, thick, and furry.
Large and round paws with paw pads that are either black or dark brown.
Shaded Silver Longhair
It is more difficult to breed this variety than the Chinchilla, because the standard requires heavier, darker tipping to form a mantle shading down the face, sides and tail.