Traditional Longhair (Chinchilla Longhair)

Cherie-Finesse Dear Nikki
Original Longhair
Black Silver Shaded
At age 9 months he was
the "hero cat"
in a Nestle Purina Gourmet
TV commercial.

Original Longhair
Black Silver Tipped
SACC National Qualifier
SACC Regional Qualifier
WCF International Champion
CASA Tripple Supreme Champion
Comment by J Vermeulen on 10-08-2014:
"Breath taking!" 

L'Dearheart Dionysus
of Misty,s
Persian Chinchilla
Black Silver Tipped
(Resident at Misty's Cattery with Stuart Seaton)
Used to breed silver tipped colour and aqua marine eyes back into the breed. 

Original Longhair
Black Silver Tipped
WCF Champion
CASA SA Triple Grand Champion

Catanova King Solomon
 of Christypaws (USA)
Original Longhair
Black Silver Shaded
Golden & blue carrier
Now in USA on 
Golden Exchange Program

Original Silver Shaded
29 August 1999 - 9 June 2014
(nearly 15 years old)
King Arthur played a pivotal roll in preserving the Original Longhair breed

Burmilla & Asian

Cherie-Shelldon Snowey
of Cherie-Finesse
  • Burmilla Black Silver Tipped
  • F2 in Burmilla ZA program
  • SA Junior Champion
  • WCF Champion
    SA Triple Supreme Champion

Cherie-Finesse Moon Shadow
Burmilla Black Silver Shaded
  • F1 in Burmilla ZA program
WCF Junior Champion
WCF Champion
CASA SA Supreme Champion
(Dam at back)

Cherie-Finesse Sparkie
Burmilla Blue Silver Shaded
F1 in Burmilla ZA program
SA Double Junior Champion
WCF Champion

Stud History

  • In May 1971, Stella Slabber imported the first colour-bred Chinchilla male form Mrs Jean Ramsdale of the Dearheart Cattery in the USA.  The cat was Dearheart Alexander (at front on photo). He produced Cherie Alexis. Alexis in turn sired Supreme Champion Cherie Dear Niki who made history to become the first ever longhair cat to obtain supreme status in South Africa. Niki was SA Cat of the Year in 1980.

  • Other Dearheart studs imported were:
    • Dearheart Daniel
    • Supreme Champion Dearheart Merlin
    • Champion Dearheart Nicholas.
  • Because the Cherie cattery under Stella Slabber practiced pure colour breeding (this means mate only Chinchilla to Chinchilla), the Cherie cats escaped the Persian modernization who bred Persians towards shorter noses and rounder heads. When South Africa upgraded their Persian Standard to lean toward the American snub-nosed specification, the colourbred Chinchillas started to win less and less at shows, to such an extent that the breed became unpopular among the breeding community and the numbers of the breed dwindled.

  • When Stella Slabber eventually managed to get the colourbred Chinchillas separated from the modern Persian standard in 1996, only a handful breeders were still pursuing the breed in South Africa. 

  • This small gene pool soon hit a serious crisis. Older, established catteries like Lovebug, Silvermist, Gardenia and Brickhill all stopped breeding - and The Cherie-Finesse cattery was in serious trouble with only two studs left in Cape Town: Tosca Alexander and one of his sons.

  • After a huge country-wide search, Lovebug King Arthur, born in 1999, was found as the last entire male from the Lovebug line: a chance mating between Lovebug Joshua (at age 6 months) who mated his half-sister Lovebug Tina Marie just before he was neutered!  Tina Marie was a descendant of Supreme Champion Dearheart Merlin. For many years the late Lovebug King Arthur played a dominant role in preserving the breed, but the future looked bleak because the gene pool became dangerously small.

  • We were fortunate to find Catanova King Solomon, bred by Vicky Jacob, to join our stud pool early 2006. He was a Golden carrier, but we only found that out many years later! He was exported to the USA in 2014 in a Golden exchange program.

  • Fortunately, the wheel turned when the L'Dearheart cattery in the USA and the Cherie-Finesse cattery in Cape Town started an exchange program in 2006, resulting in three new studs coming to SA.

  • There are currently a fair number of other studs country-wide.