Video: Chinchilla Persian Cats
2023 Author: Molly Page | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-31 03:34
In 1880, in America, a cat was obtained from a smoky cat with a silver tabby, which later gave the first known cat - the chinchilla. This cat was the most famous winner of the exhibitions and his stuffed animal can still be seen at the National History Museum in London. Cats with such a funny name "chinchilla" can be attributed to the most beautiful representatives of the feline world. Their fur is as if enveloped in the finest muslin, which gives the cat some kind of extraordinary glow. A characteristic feature of the color (tipping or speck) is that with the undercoat of the same color, the guard hair in its upper part is colored in a different, contrasting color. Chinchillas are thought to have evolved from silvery tabbies with a subtle or almost nonexistent pattern., when crossed with blue or smoky Persians. In the course of selection, the eyes of cats acquired a very beautiful color, which later entered the standard: emerald green or blue-green.
Persian silver chinchilla
After World War II, American chinchillas were introduced to Europe. European chinchillas are thinner and more graceful in comparison with other Persian cats. However, despite their fragile appearance, they are hardy, sturdy cats that quickly gained popularity due to their cute capricious faces and calm nature. The golden color has been especially popular recently. Cats of this color seem to bathe in the sun, they give off radiance even in rainy weather. And the thing is that in the presence of a thick warm-creamy undercoat of the guard hair on the back, sides, head, tail, about 1/8 of its length is colored black. These cats are called shaded cats. If the black color occupies 1/3 of the hair length, then the animal is considered shaded. There may also be mild tipping on the legs. The chin, ear tassels, belly and chest are cream, nose and eyes are outlined in black. The tip of the nose is dark pink, the eyes are green or bluish green.
Caring for such a cat is simple. Chinchillas, unlike other Persian cats, do not have to be combed daily, their hair does not fall into tangles. It is quite enough to keep fit twice a week. It is necessary to redeem the animal before the exhibition. There are different ways to prepare wool. Some owners prefer to powder the cat with baby powder for three to four days, others - to rinse the fur with a weak solution of vinegar. The day before the show, the cat must be thoroughly combed. When each hair is laid separately, the cat will be enveloped in a lush golden halo.
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If I may say so, chinchillas were hostages of their beauty. This color turned out to be so effective and so unstable in crosses that for many decades the chinchilla group of colors was bred mainly "in itself", without any infusion of blood from otherwise colored siblings. Selection by color and quality of wool often led to the consolidation of such shortcomings as a lightweight bone, a stretched body, a narrow muzzle, and high set ears. The emergence of new spectacular color variations - golden chinchillas and tabbies, "chipped" from under the silvery ones, did not alleviate the situation at all. The genetic nature of golds is even more complex than silvers.
The first and seemingly simplest solution to the problem is to improve the type of chinchilla by mating this group with smoky or monochromatic top-class Persians. Such attempts have been made repeatedly. However, this easy path for most breeders often ended in a dead end. Mating of silver or gold chinchillas with solid and smoky Persians or even black tabbies leads to the loss of quality, even tipping. Basically, such couples have silver shaded offspring or silver and black tabbies, but the quality of any of these colors leaves much to be desired. The silvery variations show all degrees of transition between drawing and tipping. Tabby patterns are usually blurry, indistinct, and uneven tipping (or shading) of shaded cats often turns into "shadow" stripes, especially on the legs. Descendants from mixed mating of golden chinchillas with plain and black tabbies lose their "gold" and acquire a gray undercoat, and their pattern is also not happy with the clarity of the lines.
Persian golden chinchilla
However, combinations of even known genes do not rule out unexpected surprises. The main contribution is made by the so-called modifiers - genes that have not been studied to date that affect the degree of manifestation of traits, the presence of which is controlled by genes of a completely different locus. Coloristics and recombined regulatory elements of parental genomes can present such, far from pleasant surprises. For example, it is known that all variations of offspring from mixed mating chinchillas with other colors often “sin” with excessive ticking - the presence of striped, white-black-yellow hairs.
Sometimes in the offspring from such mating there are such colors that seem to copy those existing in other breeds, which further complicates the picture. As an example of such "unexplored" colors can be cited as a result of mating chinchillas and shaded with monochromatic individuals (sometimes after several generations) silver and black "pseudo-ticked tabby", showing the phenotype of ticked tabby.
The second problem found when trying to improve the type of chinchilla through mating with monochromatic cats is eye color. It is known that for silver and gold chinchillas, green eyes of a specific, turquoise shade are preferable, for monochromatic ones - copper or orange … Of course, a decrease in the amount of pigment under the influence of genes-inhibitors of melanin affects eye color, but there is no strict correlation between eye color and chinchilla color. In feline associations, silver (but not gold) variations with pure yellow and orange eyes are recognized, standardized under the name "pewter". However, offspring from mixed pairs (green-eyed and orange-eyed parents) usually have yellow-green or green-brown, uneven eye color. In addition, most silver-colored cats obtained from mixed mating always have a risk of age-related changes (greening) in eye color. In general, we can say that most of the descendants from the first generation of such breeding work on the “extremalization” of chinchillas are not show specimens, this is a real breed class, that is, cats,intended solely for breeding.
The restoration of chinchilla color and eye color due to complex inheritance is quite difficult. Mating of animals of the first generation is necessary with individuals having a high-quality color, better, of course, related ones, for two or three generations. But this is the third difficulty, chinchillas are generally less susceptible to type improvement than cats of other colors. The first generation, obtained from a chinchilla and an extreme cat of a different color, is usually not much better in type than its mother, and sometimes does not differ from her at all in appearance. It is extremely rare that there is a noticeable progress of the type. The improvement in type in the first generation is rather potential than obvious - it is represented primarily by the carriage of the desired genes. In order for the type of animals to really improve, it is necessary to re-mate with kittens of the modern type, or at least similar individuals among themselves.
And here the breeder is faced with a difficult choice: following one path, he will lose quality color in his cattery for several years, choosing another - he will lose the opportunity to improve the type of animals. As already mentioned, the return to a high-quality, complexly inherited color will require not one, but two or three generations. During this time, the introduced genes of morphological traits of the type may, due to combinative processes, disappear from the breeding population (if it is not large enough) or turn out to be "blurred" among its constituent individuals so that the probability of selecting a pair of carriers of the desired traits becomes extremely low.
Most of the successful breeders adhered to the tactic of one-time introduction of monochromatic breeders into the chinchilla breeding group, introducing the necessary genes into their population, so that in the future - after two or more generations - to get the optimal combination of type and colors. Of course, it is not necessary to count on a large yield of high-quality animals with such a strategy, but if such an individual appears, it immediately ensures the establishment of a breeding line.
Much less common are the pedigrees of chinchillas, "saturated" with monochromatic producers. With this method of breeding work (periodically repeated use of monochromatic individuals), the type of animals progresses faster, the color quality lowers most cats to the level of the breed class, and the actual yield of individuals suitable for an exhibition career is very low in such catteries.
Persian silver chinchilla
By the way, if you use mating of chinchillas with monochromatic individuals, it is better to limit yourself to black color. Sometimes to improve silver cats in breeding programs were introduced producers of blue color or color-point. This contributed to the appearance of such colors as blue and bronze (silver-chocolate) chinchillas, not as spectacular as their black relatives. In the following positions there are also "new" colors. As an example, we can cite such curious colors as chinchilla point and clarified (blue) golden tabby or chinchilla. The appearance of such "blue gold" is explained by the use of plain blue or smoky blue individuals to improve the ancestors of this cat. It was from them that the recessive gene of the Maltesian clarification (genetic symbol d) passed to the descendants, which in subsequent generations was split into a homozygous form, coloring the golden chinchilla in bluish-beige tones.
Most chinchilla nurseries - both silver and gold - still limit the breeding work within the color group. But this does not mean that it is enough to mate any good chinchilla cat with any cat of the same color, regardless of their origin and phenotypic characteristics. Such breeding not only will not ensure the progress of the morphological type, but also threatens to deteriorate the quality of the color. Competent use and combination of classic breeding methods is the key to the success of well-known nurseries.
Let the type of chinchillas improve more slowly with such methods of work than with the blood of monochromatic "extremals", but in no generation is the already acquired characteristics lost: the quality of the coat, the uniformity of tipping, the color of the eyes, the compact build. Before embarking on a program to improve chinchillas "in themselves", it is necessary to determine the potential of the existing animals in the nursery. You should focus not only on external qualities, but also on the pedigree of the alleged producers.
A very common mistake breeders make is that when they try to improve the herd with an unrelated quality producer, they become disillusioned with the first generation. The situation in this case is the same as when trying to improve the quality of chinchillas with monochromatic Persians: the phenotype of the resulting offspring is often no better than the maternal one. But breeding is not limited to one generation! In the genotype of such individuals, the necessary genes are already embedded, the question is how to achieve their manifestation in future generations. This will require inbreeding and line breeding, individual and family selection, carefully selected periodic interline crosses, and the combination of these methods is specific for each nursery.
1. Inna Shustrova, candidate of biological sciences, magazine "Friend" (cats)
2. Daria Kotova
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