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rec.pets.cats: The Chantilly/Tiffany Breed-FAQ

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Archive-name: cats-faq/breeds/chantilly
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 12 Mar 1997

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                           The Chantilly/Tiffany
                       (formerly "Foreign Longhair")
         Author: T. Oraas, Opurrtune/Purrfecta Chantilly/Tiffanies
                    Co-Author: Jennie Robinson, Neotype
            Correspondent: D. Babyn //

    Copyright (c)1995 T, Oraas and Jennie Robinson, All Rights Reserved.

     * Physical Description
     * Temperament
     * Health and Care
     * History: USA and England
     * History: Canada
Physical Description

   The Chantilly/Tiffany is a semi-foreign medium-sized cat of striking
   appearance. Its rich colour and full, silky semi-long coat, plumed
   tail, contrasting neck ruff and ear streamers make it distinctive and
   showy. The medium-sized head has a gently sloped nose and short, broad
   muzzle that is softly squared with gentle contours and a break. The
   chin is firm. The cheekbones are broad and high.
   The preferred eye colour is gold-yellow-amber. The eyes are a modified
   oval shape, with an expressive look. The ears are broad at the base
   and medium sized, with rounded tips tilting forward and outward.
   Breeders responsible for the wide re-acceptance of this breed have
   placed emphasis on retention of traditional conformation, free of
   health and maintenance concerns, as the breed was during its American
   breeding of 1967-1987. The body is of medium size and length, neither
   cobby nor svelte, (semi-foreign). The breed is of medium musculature
   and boning - females are 6-8 pounds, males are 8-10 pounds. The breed
   standard requires rich and lustrous colouration in blue, chocolate
   (which is the most well-known), cinnamon, lilac, and fawn, in both
   solid and tabby patterns. This, and a silky coat texture of
   appropriate length, make it a special cat.
   Slight variations exist between associations for patterns/colours
   accepted, but conformation and coat-quality and texture requirements
   are unilateral. Full beauty develops with maturity; shedding is
   minimal. White spotting is not allowed.

   The Chantilly/Tiffany is a breed of loyalty, and easily becomes a
   close, affectionate companion that is not overly demanding or
   mischievous. They are not as placid as Persians, nor as active as
   Orientals, and are best described as moderate. Usually, they develop
   particular affinity to one person in the home, with whom they bond,
   conversing in quiet "chirps" or trills characteristic of the Tiffany.
   It does not thrive in endless hours of solitude, and may become quite
   lonely. Persons working full time should plan on a companion pet.
   Tiffanies integrate well with children and other pets and require
   little maintenance.
   The breed is gentle and easily managed. It will prefer the company of
   its special person to any other amusement. Some individuals forsake
   the "four-on-the-floor" reputation of their peers. They are usually
   friendly, but conservative with strangers. They leave no doubt as to
   their affection if you are their "person," follow you constantly and
   respond well to their name. They are devotion in a silky chocolate (or
   other-coloured) robe.
Health and Care

   The breed is very healthy, not given to any particular problems. Some
   manifest "finicky" digestion; they do not tolerate food adjustment or
   high corn-content foods well. Mothers are prolonged in labour, and not
   too anxious to wean. Kittens are quite slow to accept solids.
   The Chantilly/Tiffany is a breed of minimal care. Its silky
   little-shedding coat is often well tolerated by the allergic and needs
   only occasional combing, paying particular attention to the modified
   ruff and hindquarters. The coat is not given to matting. Ears seem
   inclined to waxiness and should be swabbed regularly.
History: USA and England

   The history of this breed is intriguing. It began in 1967 when Jennie
   Robinson (Neotype Cattery) of New York purchased "Thomas" and
   "Shirley," a pair of semi-foreign longhaired chocolate cats with gold
   eyes and unknown background, which were being sold as part of an
   estate sale. Ms. Robinson judged Thomas to be a little over a year old
   and Shirley about six months; they might have come from the same
   parents, but they were not litter-mates. Nature took its course, and
   Shirley's first litter was born in early 1969. Six kittens, all
   identical, all a beautiful chocolate color, amazed Robinson and her
   veterinarian. Intrigued, Robinson undertook a breeding program. In the
   early '70s, the ACA registered Thomas, Shirley, and many of their
   progeny as "Foreign-Longhairs."
   Early breeders hypothesized that the cats might be of Burmese descent.
   However, when the first litter was born in May 1969, kittens were dark
   self-colours with no points and pinkish paw pads, the opposite of
   traits that identify Burmese. All the USA cats of this breed descended
   from Thomas and Shirley; none arose from nor were bred to Burmese.
   Some of Ms. Robinson's kittens were sold to Sigyn Lund (Sig Tim Hil
   Cattery), a Florida Burmese breeder who assumed the breeding program.
   The public thought the chocolate cats came from her Burmese, since
   their unknown New York origin was not publicized. Ms. Lund coined the
   breed-name "Tiffany," a name synonymous with elegance and class, after
   a Los Angeles theatre. She promoted the breed with the "Tiffany" name
   because judges felt the "Foreign-Longhair" name was too general. They
   suggested the name "Mahogany" would be more descriptive.
   Unfortunately, none were ever registered under the Lund name; ACA had
   dropped the breed from recognition as it was so rare. All breed
   representatives became unregistered as a result. It continued to be
   advertised as "Burmese."
   At one point, the Sig Tim Hil cattery informally supplied information
   (in a phone interview) to "Harper's Illustrated Handbook of Cats"
   researcher Joan Bernstein regarding these chocolate cats. This
   interview led to publication of information continuing to suggest the
   possibility they were Burmese longhairs, the product of UK crosses
   between Burmese and Himalayans. No such breedings were done in
   England. However, there had been crosses between Foreign
   Longhair/Angora, Havana, and Abyssinian. Later this lineage was used
   in England in an attempt to re-create a cat like an Angora. The
   American Tiffany/Chantilly is more likely an offshoot of one of these
History: Canada

   During the same time Robinson and Lund were developing the breed in
   the USA, a Canadian acreage owner was surprised when, in 1973, a
   long-haired semi-foreign chocolate, gold-eyed cat with unknown
   ancestry appeared at his home and gave birth to a litter of kittens
   with the same appearance as the mother. Offspring of these were
   rescued by Canadian breeders in order to re-establish the Tiffany
   breed in North America in a cooperative effort with Robinson and Lund.
   Thus, the breed that developed primarily in the '70s that seemed lost,
   re-emerged in the late '80s in a greater colour and pattern range and,
   though still rare, is enjoying ever-increasing popularity.
   Canadian breeders were called upon to rename it in 1992, because a
   different breed in England (Burmilla, 1983) began using the Tiffany
   name with altered spelling: "Tiffanie." The former "Foreign-Longhair"
   is registered in North America as "Chantilly," "Tiffany," or
   "Chantilly/Tiffany," depending on the association; some registries
   felt the breed was entitled to use the original "Tiffany" name, so the
   breed has a dual designation.
   If you wish to own one of these lovely cats, consult "Cats" magazine
   for breeders' ads; be sure to make a reservation as there is usually a
   waiting list. For more information, see "Your Purebred Kitten: A
   Buyer's Guide" (USA) by Michelle Lowell.
   Yes, the Chantilly/Tiffany is the "Chocoholics Delight."
    Chantilly FAQ
    D. Babyn,
    Updated 20 June 1995

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