Chantilly Tiffany: Low-Maintenance Cat Breed for Beginner Pet Parents

Black Chantilly Cat lying on the grass
Martha Harvey
Written by Martha Harvey

Are you currently in the market for your very first cat? If you’ve never kept a cat as a pet before, thinking about how you’re supposed to care for one could be nerve-wracking. After all, for all that they are considered independent, cats can be quite demanding when they want to be. Not to mention they are quite sensitive and prone to developing health issues if not cared for meticulously. Luckily, some cat breeds are easier to maintain than others, and the Chantilly Tiffany is one of them

Looking for a cat that can handle being left alone for certain periods of time yet is affectionate enough to give you the companionship you’re looking for in a pet? After making various considerations, weighing the pros and cons and all that, we believe the Chantilly Tiffany will offer you just what you’re looking for. Taking care of them won’t break the bank, as they are reasonably healthy and sturdy. They also have no problem socializing and smart enough that they may even end up giving you pointers on the proper ways of kitty training.

Picture of a Chantilly Tiffany Cat

In this article, you will find information on the reasons why we find this cat great, the qualities they have, and how they can fit perfectly into your lifestyle. At the end of the piece, you will be better equipped with information that will help you learn the answers to questions about how perfect of a match you are for each other, how best to take care of your cat, and all the background information necessary for a peaceful co-existence and understanding between you and the Chantilly Tiffany cat.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: High

  • Grooming: Above Average Needs

  • Health: Good

  • All Around Friendliness: Good

  • Exercise Needs: Average

Cat Breed GroupSemi Long-Haired, Crossbreed
WeightMale: 8 – 12 lbs.

Female: 7 – 10 lbs.
Lifespan10 – 14 years

The Chantilly Tiffany is known by a number of other names in different places, although with less to no variations in most instances. In some areas, the cat is known as just the Chantilly, or Tiffany—whereas in other places, it is not uncommon to hear the same breed referred to as just the Foreign Longhair.

The cat breed was obtained as a product of the crossbreeding between long-haired Asian and Burmese cats. However, they are not to be confused with their British sister, the Asian Semi-longhair, even though they might seem to share many similar characteristics.

This is a breed that has its origins rooted in North America. They were bred not intentionally in a controlled environment, but by accident. For those who like to pet their cats, the Chantilly has quite the mass of fur. The coat is also characterized by a silky smoothness, probably as a result of the traits they got from their Asian parents. They are moderate-sized cats with a medium build. They won’t achieve their full stature until they are about two years of age.

Picture of a Chantilly Tiffany Cat sitting in the snow

Originally, the Chantilly Tiffany were regarded as strictly chocolate-coated cats, as they came in that color first. Today, they can be seen in a variety of other colors such as fawn, lilac, blue, black, and cinnamon, to mention but a few. As is common with many cats with long hair, the coat will have to be taken good care of to ensure their fur doesn’t knot and mat too badly.

On the other hand, the cat tends to help themselves out when it comes to grooming. That does not mean the parent should leave them to their own devices though. It is not uncommon for Chantilly Tiffanys to groom aggressively, causing them to yank off their own hair and resulting in noticeable patches of baldness around affected spots—that is, not to mention the increased risk of hairball formation in their stomach.

One of the standout traits of the breed—making it a darling of cat fanciers around the world—is their moderate attitude and temperament. The Chantilly cats are generally not too active and not too lazy either. They have a calm and soothing demeanor—which makes them a perfect choice for beginner cat owners. Although, their kittens can turn out to be quite a handful. In their defense though, kittens—no matter their breed or genetic makeup—tend to be mischievous.

Picture of a Chantilly Tiffany -cat sitting on the floor with her head up

The non-aggressive nature of Chantilly cats makes them a great addition to households with other pets, and/or children. They are also fun to be with; they won’t hesitate to take part in games with other animals and family members.

Personally, we love that these cats are very interactive with humans—going as far as to follow you around as a dog would. However, you should take great care not to ignore them when they want to spend some quality time with you, as they could get quite touchy at times.

Main Highlights

  • Chantilly Tiffany cats have their origins in North America and are believed to be the product of accidental crossbreeding between the long-haired Asian and Burmese cats

  • Chantilly cats are naturally healthy. They are ideal for cat parents who don’t want to worry about long-term health problems and medical costs

  • While they don’t really have much need for social activities, Chantilly cats are known to be very responsive to strangers

  • The cat breed is known to be very vocal. Frequent meowing and crying might not mean anything but could be enough to get you worried

  • Chantilly cats are rather high maintenance, grooming-wise. Their coat and fur need to be brushed at least twice to thrice a week to keep it in great condition

  • They are very interactive, loyal, and affectionate cats

  • Chantilly cats get along with kids of more than six years of age, as well as other pets that may be in the family

  • Since this breed combines a moderate amount of docility with activity, they are considered a great fit for senior citizens

  • The lack of an undercoat makes Chantilly cats easier to groom since tangling is reduced

Breed History

What is today known as the Chantilly Tiffany cat breed started in the year 1969 when two chocolate brown cats of unknown origins (but believed to be Asian and Burmese long-haired cats) were bought by a breeder and kept in the same cage. After a while, they mated and produced a litter of six kittens. What amazed the breeder was that all of the kittens had fur of the same color—a solid chocolate brown hue.

Picture of a Chantilly Tiffany kitten sitting on the floor with her head up

After this successful crossbreeding, their breeder arranged for other breeders to replicate the same process to produce even more desirable traits in the offspring. By the first half of the next year (1970), the cats were registered with the ACA under the name ‘Foreign Longhairs.’ That was soon deemed to be an inappropriate name for a breed. Hence, the name was changed to ‘Tiffany’ on the ACA records.

Failing to catch on as well, mainly due to the fact that there already was a British family of cats called the ‘Tiffanie,’ the word ‘Chantilly’ was later adopted.  Although they have their history firmly set in North America, the Chantilly is often confused with the Burmese semi-longhaired cat.


Chantilly Tiffany cats do not get very big in size, but they are not small cats either. Generally maintaining a medium build throughout their lives, they can also be referred to as slow maturing cats. It can take a total of two years before they reach their full sizes. Males are usually bigger than the females, tipping the scales at 8 to 12 pounds whereas the females clock in at between 7 and 10 pounds.

Personality and Character

Chantilly cats, as we’ve mentioned earlier, are very moderate in their dealings. They are a perfect blend of docility and attention-loving. That gives them just the right set of characteristics to be the perfect companion for working-class owners and senior citizens who might not have as much time to spend with an otherwise needy cat.

Chantilly Tiffany cat lying on the floor and looking a his owner

While they tend to become conservative as they grow older, the same cat breed is known to be rather full of mischief while growing upTheir level of activity is such that they will play games with their owners and interact happily with energetic children. If you ever get a Chantilly Tiffany, know that they fancy playing with a lot of toys. They might even steal the ones they love the most to play with alone.

Health and Potential Problems

Having a lifespan of between 10 and 14 years, the Chantilly Tiffany cats are generally very healthy. They have no breed-specific problems that you need to worry about. However, they are very prone to digestive tract issues.

This can be prevented with regular visits to the vet and following a recommended diet. They should likewise be vaccinated frequently for common cat problems such as the flu, feline leukemia, and enteritis. All of the above should especially be taken into consideration if the cat lives an outdoor lifestyle.

Grey Chantilly Tiffany cat lying on the bed

Due to their semi-long hair, the Chantilly cats are also very prone to issues caused by excessive hairball formation in their stomach. That can be prevented by following a strict grooming regimen to ensure you get most of the shed hair out before they groom themselves and take the hair into their mouth.

Care Features

Chantilly cats are avid talkers, so don’t worry too much if you find the cat meowing and crying for a long time. You would, however, want to check with the vet if you feel that something is off. Likewise, they usually form a great relationship with humans—so much so that they follow you around the house most of the time, sticking their nose into whatever you’re doing.

Close-up of a beautiful black Chantilly Tiffany cat lying on the bed

Although, unlike other clingy cats, the Chantilly are usually fine with being left alone as long as you make sure they have plenty of food, water, and entertainment in your absence. Don’t do this too often, though, as they might learn to ignore you the same way you ignored them.

Chantilly cats don’t usually require extensive training before they conform with the house rules. Just run them through the basics of cat training, and they are good to go. It may even surprise you that they take to these trainings faster than you could have ever expected.

Feeding Schedule

Chantilly Tiffany cats don’t need any special schedule for their feeding. The kind of diet to be given to them, and in what quantity, will, of course, be dependent on a number of factors. One is age, and another is size. Make sure you watch the weight of your cat to prevent them from getting obese, although that is not a common health issue associated with this breed.

Image showing a black domestic longhair tiffany chantilly

One thing that’s worthy of note though, is the delicate digestive system of the cat. Products that contain dairy and corn should be left out of the cat’s diet for fear of stomach problems. During the time when the cat is moving from breastfeeding to solid foods, don’t be surprised if they are slower than expected to take to the solids. Over time, they will. Generally, working with a vet or a pet nutritionist to get the best food balance for the Chantilly will go a long way in increasing their chances at a longer life.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

Originally being bred with only a chocolate-colored coat in mind, the Chantilly cats can now be seen in any color ranging from blue to cinnamon and fawn. The Tiffany cats’ coat is always long, smooth, and silky. The downside of this is that the coat will be prone to knotting and matting. The upside is that the fur does not have an undercoat—reducing both the severity and frequency of matting as compared to other long-haired cats.

Close-up image of a chantilly tiffany

Shedding among the Chantilly is moderate to low. That is, of course, relative to the amount of hair they have in their body in the first place. Still, it is recommended that you brush their coat at least twice a week. As we’ve mentioned, the Chantilly often develop health issues that can be attributed to excessive hairball formation in their system, which is why your help in removing loose hair goes a long way in ensuring the cat’s continued health.

Their hair is particularly concentrated around their hindquarters. These parts require special attention from you to remove the dead hairs and prevent risks of infection. You should also pay attention to the ears as they tend to get too hairy. Without proper maintenance, that can lead to rashes, infections, and a build-up of wax.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

Chantilly Tiffany cats are great with kids around six years and older. They will also perform well in houses where there are other pets. If you already have a resident cat or dog and you’re bringing in a Chantilly kitten, be sure to introduce them to each other step by step, in a controlled environment. Once you’ve gotten through the initial stages, they should get along like the best of friends.

Wrap Up

No cat is perfect, but the Chantilly Tiffany ticks many of the right boxes. These cats are not too active, but neither are they exceedingly docile. They are not too high maintenance, and they have a long life expectancy.

Close-up image of a chantilly tiffany

In that long life, we should note that they will burden you with medical expenses very little, considering they are well managed. Very easy to train and able to get along with children, other pets, and strangers, this is one breed you just can’t go wrong with.

Are you thinking about adopting your very first cat, so you’re looking for a breed that’s perfect for beginners like the Chantilly? Or are you a veteran cat parent that knows what you’re doing, and you’re confident you can give even the most high-maintenance cats a loving home? Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments section below!

About the author
Martha Harvey
Martha Harvey

Martha Harvey is a skilled veterinarian and a member of American Veterinary Medical Association from Greeley, Colorado. She has 20 years experience of working in Animal Hospital. Martha loves all of her patients, but her favorite one is the Russian Blue cat Stitch, who lives with her.