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Chinchilla Persian Cat: Facts, Origin & History

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Chinchilla Persians are a unique type of Persian cat that have silvery coats and sparkling emerald eyes. Even though people have pushed for these cats to be recognized as their own breed for many years, they are still classified as a variant of the standard Persian.

Because these cats have such a unique appearance, it makes sense that the Chinchilla Persians we see today are a product of years of selective breeding. As a result, Chinchilla Persian cats have a fascinating origin and history to learn about.

Read on to learn key facts, origin, and history of Chinchilla Persian cats.

The Earliest Records of Chinchilla Persian Cats in History

Persian cats were first recorded in Persia, but they were imported to Europe pretty quickly. It is believed that Persians were imported to Italy in the 1600s. From there, they were imported throughout the rest of Europe.

Unsurprisingly, Persian cats became highly popular during the Victorian era in England, which lasted from about 1837 to 1901, the reign of Queen Victoria. It was during this era that you can find the earliest records of the Chinchilla Persian cat.

In 1882, there was a recognized silver Persian named Chinnie. This is where Chinchilla Persian cats originate. This cat did not have the same coloring as the Chinchilla Persians today. It wasn’t until selective breeding that the Chinchilla Persian coat was developed from Chinnie.

In 1894, the Chinchilla Persian cat got its first official recognition by the Cat Fancier Association. Since then, some lovers of the breed have tried to separate it from other Persians, but that effort has been unfruitful thus far.

How Chinchilla Persian Cats Gained Popularity

During the Victorian era, the middle class began to rise, and England saw a boom in industry and culture. Because more people had a sustainable income, pets became more popular purely based on their appearances, not their functionality.

It is for this reason that cats as a whole became highly popular pets in the household. General Persians became a favorite because of their unique and adorable look. The Chinchilla Persian gained popularity for the same reason.

Through selective breeding, the Chinchilla Persian became highly sought after because of its luxurious coat, stunning eyes, and unique face. By the 1900s, these cats were imported to America, and their popularity grew even more.

Formal Recognition of Chinchilla Persian Cats

Currently, Chinchilla Persian cats are not formally recognized. Instead, Chinchilla is viewed as a specific coat color of the general Persian. For this reason, you will not see any formal classifications of Chinchilla Persian cats that are separate from other Persians.

People have been pushing the Chinchilla Persian to be its own breed, but the Cat Fancier Association treats all Persians as the same breed, causing most other registries to follow in line. Some registries consider the Himalayan and Exotic Shorthair to be separate breeds from the Persian, but there are no registries that do the same for the Chinchilla Persian.

5 Unique Facts About Chinchilla Persian Cats

1. Chinchilla Persians have distinct appearances.

Because Chinchilla Persians are simply a variation of the traditional Persian, you might not think that they look that different. However, Chinchilla Persians look wildly different from their Persian counterparts.

Like other Persians, this cat has a bushy and luxurious coat, which includes a dense and soft undercoat. Its coat is different, however, in its color. This cat has a white coloration that is reminiscent of a chinchilla. The white is tipped with a bit of black, creating a silvery appearance.

Additionally, Chinchilla Persian cats have extremely unique eyes. When these cats are born, their eyes appear crystal blue. As Chinchilla Persians age, those blue kitten eyes transform into sparkling green eyes instead.

2. They are named after chinchillas.

When many people hear that the first Chinchilla Persian was named after a cat named Chinnie, they assume that the cats are named after their cat origin. However, this is not the case. Chinchilla Persians are named after chinchillas because their coat is reminiscent of these creatures.

3. Persians were the first show cat.

Persians as a whole were some of the first cats to be shown at a formal cat show. In 1871, the first organized cat show took place at the Crystal Palace in England. The Persian kitten won “Best in Show” as it competed against many other cats, such as Siamese cats, a Scottish Wild cat, minxes, and other exotic cats.

You might also be interested in: 10 Best Shampoos for Persian Cats

4. They are relatively low maintenance.

Even though Chinchilla Persians are super fluffy and beautiful, they are actually lower maintenance than other long-haired varieties. Aside from taking care of their eyes, these cats do a great job of taking care of themselves.

5. Their smooshed faces are a unique and modern trait.

Although Chinchilla Persians, and all Persians for that matter, are known for their squished faces, this trait is actually quite unique and modern. It wasn’t until the 1950s that a genetic mutation came about in a breed of standard Persians.

Since then, breeders have selectively bred nearly all forms of Persians to have this trait, but you can still find Persians with a regular face.

Do Chinchilla Persian Cats Make Good Pets?

Chinchilla Persian cats make good pets. They have sweet and gentle natures that fit into most households. They are not aggressive towards children, but they do prefer more stable atmospheres and gentle handling. However, Chinchilla Persians are much more outgoing and sociable than other Persian cats.

To care for your Chinchilla Persian properly, you mainly need to provide a somewhat standard and stable household. We do not recommend putting a Chinchilla Persian in your home if you have young, rambunctious children simply because they may stress the cat out.

For children who are slightly older and know how to behave around a cat, the Persian will get along perfectly in your household. Aside from that, just make sure that you provide a healthy diet for your cat, and make sure to wipe off its eyes if they get runny.

Related Read: How Much Does a Persian Cat Cost? (2021 Price Guide)


Even though Chinchilla Persians have a striking appearance, they are still considered a variant of the standard Persian. They stand apart from other Persians because of their white coat and emerald, green eyes. Plus, they are much more sociable than other Persians.

Because Chinchilla Persians are so unique and stunning, perhaps registries will classify them as a separate breed in the future. For now, they are a version of the Persian, despite the debate about their classification, much like Himalayan and Exotic Shorthair Persians.

Featured Image Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock

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