In 1967, Jennie Robinson (Neotype Cattery) of New York purchased "Thomas" and "Shirley," a pair of semi-foreign longhaired chocolate cats with golden eyes and an 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. Possibly the cats had the same parents but were not litter-mates.
Shirley's first litter was born in early 1969, containing six kittens, all similar in appearance and of a chocolate color, which surprised Robinson and her veterinarian. Robinson then undertook a breeding program to emphasise these traits. In the early 1970s, 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, the kittens were dark colors with no points and pinkish paw pads, the opposite of traits that identify Burmese. All the cats in the United States of this breed descended from Thomas and Shirley. None were produced or bred to Burmese.
Some of Ms. Robinson's kittens were sold to Sigyn Lund (Sig Tim Hil Cattery), a Florida Burmese breeder who also took on the breeding program. The public thought the chocolate cats came from her Burmese, since their New York origin had not been publicized. Ms. Lund chose the breed-name "Tiffany," a name associated with elegance and class. 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. None were ever registered under the Lund name from the Sig Tim Hil Cattery. When ACA dropped the breed from recognition because it was so rare, all breed representatives became unregistered as a result; therefore the breed continued to be advertised as "Burmese."
The chantilly/tiffany, a dipped-in-chocolate brown feline breed with a confusing name, is prized for a beautiful semi-long coat, long, semi-foreign body style, and gently pleasing personality. While currently rare, the breed has a small but devoted group of cat fanciers with a taste for chocolate. In fact, this breed is billed as the chocoholics delight.
Despite rumors to the contrary, the chantilly/tiffany is not, never was, and never will be a longhaired Burmese. The body, head and coat types of the two breeds are entirely different, and Burmese have never been used in the chantilly/tiffany breeding program.
The head should be a broad, modified wedge with gentle curves. It should have a medium length nose and a strong, broad, short, softly squared muzzle
Eye color tends to be a very bright and clear yellow while the cat is young. As the cat becomes older, the color will become more golden.
The chin is firm.
The cheekbones are broad and high.
Body is medium sized with a moderate musculature and bone structure.
Legs are long and slender, ending to small and round paws.
The tail bears a glorious plume.
The coat is silky, soft and smooth; the lack of undercoat usually makes grooming simpler than that of cats with an undercoat.
The Chantilly-Tiffany originated in a chocolate color, but now is accepted in a range of colors including chocolate, blue, cinnamon, lilac, and fawn. Accepted patterns are solid, mackerel, ticked, and spotted tabby. The color is rich; shading in solids may occur toward the underside. The overall impression of an ideal Chantilly would be a semi-foreign cat of striking appearance resulting from the combination of its rich color and full, silky semi-longhair coat, plumed tail, contrasting neck ruff, and ear furnishings.
Weight — 3-6 kg.
Chantilly cats are characterized by moderateness. They are neither too gentle or lazy, nor too active. This is one trait that has mostly appealed to the cat fanciers and owners. However, the CT kittens are very playful and mischievous.
These cats are good with children and all other pets. They would also take part in games and activities with their family members. Being a human-oriented breed, they would follow their favorite family members from room to room and vocally interact with them in a low mewling voice. However, they are reserved when they have strangers around.
Chantillies love playing with toys and would steal those play items that they find exciting. They are affectionate and do not enjoy being alone, or if ignored.
The Chantilly should have her nutrition controlled to be certain she does not get too heavy or out of condition. The semi-longhair coat can easily conceal the beginnings of a pot belly.
The Chantilly should be provided with running and playing room. Interactive exercise should also be made part of her daily routine. These cats are very oriented toward people and enjoy playing with them.
Although the Chantilly has little or no undercoat, she should still be groomed daily to keep the loose fur out of her coat. Even this kind of fur can quickly knot and tangle if neglected.
Lifespan — 15-18 years.
Good with other animals and children.
It's quite difficult to train these cats.
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.