CHANTILLY/TIFFANY: THE CAT THAT CHIRPS
THE CAT THAT CHIRPS
The Chantilly has a disposition that is not as quiet as the Persian, yet not as active as the Oriental long-haired types. This cat is still a rare breed, with a distinguishing characteristic being that it chirps. The Chantilly will communicate its happiness with a chirp that is said to sound like a "pigeon cooing," according to Bruce Fogle, DVM, (Catalog). Fogle insists that people find the chirp pleasurable, and that it can become addictive to cat lovers. The Chantilly comes in a whole range of colors and tabby patterns today; however, the first examples of the breed were deep chocolate in color. Chantilly cats do not mature quickly, and do not attain their fully mature coats until around two or three years of age. Their eye color can also take years before obtaining its full intensity.
Although this breed is usually described as being a self, tabbies are also bred. Its ears are medium-sized, wide at the base, and have rounded tips. Self colors include Chocolate, Cinnamon, Blue, Lilac, and Fawn, with tabby (Mackerel, Spotted, and Ticked) cats of the same colors. Coats are semi-long, fine and silky, on a body that is medium length, slender, and elegant. Its legs are medium length, well muscled, but not stocky. Chantilly cats weigh from 6 to 12 pounds (2.5-5.5kg).
While the Chantilly/Tiffany has only recently acquired fame in the world of cats, it is still rare, and has a confusing history. Jennie Robinson purchased a pair of cats of unknown background, in New York, around 1967. She believed the color implied a Birman parentage. Signe Lund, a Florida breeder of Burmese, brought the cats, and coined the name Tiffany. Due to her Burmese breeding program, the cats became associated with the Burmese. In 1988, Tracy Oraas, a Canadian from Alberta, reestablished the breed, asserting that they were probably an offshoot of the Angora.
The Chantilly/Tiffany is an out-cross of the Angora, Havana Brown, Nebelung, and Somali, and is sometimes called a Tiffany, or Foreign Longhair. Its temperament is gentle and conservative, somewhere between that of a Persian and Oriental Longhair. It is self contained, but active, and requires a moderate amount of grooming.