As mainly a Ragdoll cat blog, it's fun to compare Ragdolls to other breeds - in this article, the Ragdoll cat vs Chantilly.
The Chantilly-Tiffany cat (sometimes referred to as a Foreign Longhair) is a really fascinating breed when you look into its history – which makes it even sadder that this breed is now considered to be extinct. It isn’t recognized by any of the major cat breed associations in the US, nor are there any registered breeders.
Yet, you might still see some Chantilly-Tiffany kittens for sale if you look hard enough. Whether they are genuinely of the Chantilly-Tiffany breed is questionable, but we’ll get to that.
As semi-long haired cats with a calm and friendly personality, the Chantilly-Tiffany often draws comparisons with Ragdoll cats, so let’s take a look at the two felines side-by-side so you can understand where they’re similar, and where they’re different.
Ragdoll Cat Vs Chantilly Comparison
The most obvious starting point when comparing the Ragdoll and Chantilly-Tiffany cat breeds is that only one of them is currently a recognized breed. Ragdolls are widely accepted by international cat associations, while the Chantilly is considered to be extinct by those same associations.
It did used to be recognized by some organizations, including the American Cat Fanciers Association, although they’ve long-since taken the breed out of their lists. You can’t see it on their website, but you can find it if you use the internet archive – here’s what the breeding standards of the Chantilly-Tiffany were.
Both breeds originated in North America, bred from other domestic cats, but while the origins of the Ragdoll are clearly recorded there is some confusion over the details for Chantilly-Tiffany cats, especially as they disappeared for a few years after they were first bred, before they emerged again as part of a new breeding program.
Here’s what we do know – the breed is believed to have started in New York with a breeder named Jennie Robinson, who bred two chocolate-colored cats named Thomas and Shirley. These kittens would be registered with the ACA under the name Foreign Longhair.
She stopped breeding later in the 1970s, selling her remaining kittens to Sigyn Lund, a breeder in Florida who dealt with Burmese cats. The cats were rechristened, and classified under the Burmese section, until it was revealed that Lund never cross-bred the Longhairs with the Burmese.
The chain ends around here and is then picked up again on a farm in Canada, where a cat that looks just like a Chantilly-Tiffany gives birth to a litter of fluffy chocolate kittens, which then go on to become the Chantilly-Tiffany breed that survived until around 2010 or so.
So, not as clear a path as the Ragdoll breed.
Ragdoll Vs Chantilly Price
There’s also the cost to compare – though it’s hard to draw a direct comparison since Chantilly-Tiffany cats are no longer bred. Prices used to be quoted at around $400 to $600 for a pet-quality Chantilly-Tiffany, around half of what the Ragdoll cat price is.
Because the Chantilly-Tiffany breed wasn’t recognized by every association and was a controversial breed, you didn’t really tend to get show-quality cats, and very little information exists about the breed so finding the cost for breed-quality cats isn’t really possible now.
Of course, now that the Chantilly-Tiffany is a rare cat, you could in theory expect to pay a lot more if you did find one. Finding one in a shelter for adoption would be exceptionally lucky, considering how rare they are.
Their Coat Appearance and Feel
There are a lot of similarities in the appearance and feel of the coat on both the Ragdoll and Chantilly breeds. They both have semi-long fur with a fluffy ruff around the neck, which has a super soft and silky feel to it.
Neither breed has an undercoat too – in terms of actual type of coat, the cats are quite alike. But when you start comparing the colors – or specifically the pattern of color – you can see the differences in the coats.
The Chantilly-Tiffany’s coat is a little higher maintenance than a Ragdoll and would require more frequent grooming, although you’ll still want to give your Ragdoll an occasional brushing to remove any matting from their thick fur.
Differences in Appearance
Pattern-wise the breeds are different, but I’ll cover that in a moment. There are a couple of other key differences between Ragdoll and Chantilly cats. Firstly, the eye color – the vast majority of Ragdoll cats have blue eyes, while Chantilly-Tiffany cats primarily have golden eyes.
Secondly, the tail looks quite different in each breed – Ragdolls have a fluffy tail, while Chantilly-Tiffany tails are plumed.
Ragdoll vs Chantilly Colors and Patterns
Ragdolls are usually a pointed cat, which means colors primarily appear in the points – mainly the face, paws and ears. In terms of color, they are usually one of six – red, seal, chocolate, blue, lilac and cream. Other colors are possible and debated as to whether they are considered purebred Ragdolls.
With Chantilly cats, the pattern is generally solid although tabby patterns are also accepted. They were primarily a chocolate brown breed but other variations that were accepted in the breed standards were blue, cinnamon, lilac and fawn. They are certainly more well known as brown cats though.
And similar to Ragdolls, there were other colors that were considered, and with both species, black cats are particularly controversial, though cats with a black coat were outright rejected for Chantilly-Tiffany standards.
Ragdoll vs Chantilly Personality
Ragdoll cats share a lot of personality traits with the Chantilly-Tiffany breed, with both having a very relaxed and friendly temperament.
They are both affectionate breeds, enjoying the company of their owner. Ragdolls tend to have characteristics similar to a puppy, in that they will follow their owner around, but Chantilly-Tiffany cats are just as happy being placed in their owner’s lap and make for a good companion around the home.
Chantilly-Tiffany cats were renowned for how easygoing they were, even around new people. Both breeds can mix well with other pets including dogs. And both breeds enjoy playing with toys.
Of course, these are generalizations of the breed – every individual cat has their own personality, strengths and anxieties.
Ragdoll vs Chantilly Lifespan
Ragdoll cats tend to have a slightly longer lifespan than Chantilly-Tiffany cats.
A Ragdoll can reasonably live into their mid- to high teens, according to the TICA standards for Ragdoll cats. Meanwhile, the typical average for a Chantilly-Tiffany cat was 7 to 12 years.
Again, every cat is an individual and these are averages, not guarantees.
How do I know if my cat is a Chantilly-Tiffany cat?
Because the Chantilly-Tiffany cat breed is considered extinct, confirming that a cat is of this breed is difficult. Registered breeding programs have all closed down, but you can look for the tell-tale signs – silky semi-longhaired coat with a neck ruff, quite vocal, and weighing 8-12 lbs when fully grown.
Are Chantilly-Tiffany cats nice?
Chantilly-Tiffany cats are known to be very affectionate, enjoying sitting on their owner’s lap, and they tend to do quite well with strangers and other pets. Of course, every cat is an individual, so bear in mind that not all Chantilly-Tiffany cats will be confident around everybody they meet.
How big do Chantilly-Tiffany cats get?
In terms of weight, male Chantilly-Tiffany cats can range from 8lbs to 12lbs, while females are a little smaller, averaging 8-10lbs. In terms of height, most recorded measurements put them at around 8-10 inches, but these aren’t recorded in any of the breeding standards you can still find. They’re considered to be medium-sized.
Are Chantilly-Tiffany cats rare?
Chantilly-Tiffany cats are very rare – officially the breed is extinct, and so finding an actual Chantilly kitten is extremely difficult, although they do occasionally become available. But because the breed is no longer recognized, you’ll struggle to find a Chantilly-Tiffany with the proper documentation to prove they are that breed.
How long do Chantilly-Tiffany cats live?
Chantilly-Tiffany cats generally have a life expectancy of between 7 and 12 years. The life span wasn’t negatively impacted by any serious genetic diseases, and so most cats would lead a relatively healthy life. As with any breed, there are always exceptions, and some Chantilly-Tiffany cats may have even lived a lot longer.
Working out whether you have a Chantilly-Tiffany isn’t an exact science, since you’ll be unlikely to find a kitten with a documented family history since the breeding program ended. DNA testing isn’t likely to help either since many services rely only on official purebred information.
There are a couple of key differences between Ragdoll cats and Foreign Longhairs, but they share a lot of similarities too, and if you find a Chantilly-Tiffany for sale that you fall in love with, and the seller is definitely reputable, then you may get just as much affection as a Ragdoll would offer.