Do you love long-haired cats?
The Persian cat breed is one of the beautiful, long-furred, and elegant cat breeds with a sweet face and calm personality. They are commonly known as “Persian Longhair” in American countries.
Persians require high maintenance and extra care for some specific health issues. However, the beautiful looks and calm personality overcome these drawbacks.
Learn everything about this glamor puss of the cat world in this blog.
Persian Cat Overview
Persian is a long-haired cat breed with a docile and dignified personality. The calm nature, sweet face, beautiful flowing coat have combined to make this breed the most popular. They tend to be relaxed and easygoing but command an air of royalty.
Here is a quick overview of Persian cats.
Persian Cat Origin and History
Persian cats originated from Iran -historically known as Persia- around 1620. The name “Persian Cat” is also taken from the country name “Persia.” Their delicate features, calm and cool personality attracted Pietro Della Valle’s attention. He imported these cats into Italy and other European countries.
Nicholas Claude Fabri de Peiresc brought them into France from the Ottoman Empire, Turkey, and Angora around the same time. The Iranian cats were grey-coated, and the cats from Angora were white-coated. However, recent research indicates that present-day Persian cats are more related to cats from Western Europe than Near East. Although they originated from Persia, modern-day cats have lost their phylogeographical signature.
The Persian cats were then imported to the United States in the late 19th century, and they were favorites of Queen Victoria. Since then, they became popular pets in animal mad Victorian Britain and presented in one of the world's first cat shows. Moreover, they started to be recognized by the cat fancy.
These cats were first developed by the English and then by American breeders after World War II. Exotic Shorthair and Himalayan cats are subsumed as variants of Persian cats by some cat fancier organizations. However, most organizations consider them as separate breeds.
Persians have been bred to have a short cobby body, chubby cheeks, snub nose, short face, and round head. Over time, these features have become exaggerated, which resulted in two different types, show and traditional. Show Persians look more like the earlier examples, whereas the traditional ones don’t have a short face as show cats. However, both have the same calm and sweet personality.
Selective breeding has allowed the development of a wide variety of coat colors, ranging from grey to white Persians. However, it also leads to creating more flat-faced Persians, which comes with several health problems. Therefore, some breeders attempted to preserve the traditional Persian breed, having a more pronounced muzzle.
Today, the Persian cat is one of the most famous cats registered by the Cat Fancier Association (CFA). In 2015, CFA ranked the Persian cat the second most popular breed in the United States.
Development of Persian Cat
The development of Persian has allowed three different categories of breed standards. Selective breeding developed a huge range of coat colors and head structures.
Persian and Angoras
The first breed standard called a point of excellence was issued by Weir, the cat show promoter, in 1889. That first Persian breed was closely related to the angora. However, Weir stated that Persian differs from angora, having less pointed ears, larger heads, full and coarse hair, and longer tails. But, many cat fanciers disagreed with the distinction of the two types.
The Traditional Persian, also known as Doll-face Persian, was the original breed without extreme features. The breeders in Italy, Germany, the United States, and other parts of the world begin to consider the standard differently. They started to develop “ultra-type” or “peke-face” flat-nosed over time due to two genetic mutations.
The CFA considered this peke-face type as a modern standard of the Persian breed. Therefore, to refer to the original style, the Retronym Traditional Persian was created. However, many cat fancier organizations do not recognize the Traditional Persian or specify a flattened face Persian.
Peke-face and Ultra-typing
A spontaneous mutation in red and red tabby Persians began developing “peke-faced” Persian in the 1950s. They are named after flat-faced Pekingese dogs and got registered as a distinct breed in the CFA. However, they fell out of favor due to serious health issues by the mid-1990s.
Despite this, many breeders continued the development of peke-face style due to liking the look. The term “peke-face” usually refers to the “ultra-typed” and mostly the red and red tabby Persians bearing the mutation. The CFA and many other fanciers considered the change in look “a contribution to the breed.”
Persian Cat Classification by Registratries
The CFA treats the Himalayan and Exotic Shorthair as a color pattern class of both the Exotic and the Persian because of their identical standards. The International Cat Association (TICA) also treats them as variants of the Persian cats. The Federation Internationale Feline (FIFe) allowed the Himalayan as coloration patterns for the Exotic and Persian. The Australian Cat Federation (ACF) follows the same practice.
However, the World Cat Federation (WCF) treats Exotic and Persian as separate breeds. While subsuming Himalayan coloration as color varieties under each. On the other hand, Feline Federation Europe, among other regional and national organizations, treats all three as separate breeds.
The American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) also treats them all as separate breeds. The Canadian Cat Federation (CCF-AFC) treats the three separately and considers the Non-pointed Himalayan sub-breed of the Himalayan and Exotic Longhair sub-breed of the Exotic.
Persian Cat Physical Attributes
A Persian cat is usually characterized by its short muzzle, round face, and calm personality. This cat is an elegant long haired breed that comes with a beautiful flowing coat in various colors. Check out the physical attributes of this elegant breed given below.
- Short but proportion to the body
- Two inches minimum or maximum length to the hock with leg extended.
- Gooseberry green
- Medium to large
- Substantial and rangy
- Deep flan, broad chest
- Hind legs slightly longer
- Muscular with heavy boning
- Thick and Strong
- Fleshy toes
- Soft and semi-dense
- Small round ears
- Deep base
- Medium height
- Tilt slightly outward
- Medium to large
- Broad muzzle
- Rounded whisker pads and break
- Convex and wide nose
- Rounded forehead
- Bushy brow
- Heavily hooded soft triangle
Persian Cat Personality
The docile and dignified Persian is known for being sweet and quiet. These cats enjoy a calm and relaxing environment and love sitting in a human’s lap and being pet. They also love to sit around and enjoy watching people coming and going from afar. These cats are very independent and selective in who they show affection to.
Persians are kind, gentle, lazy cats who like a serene environment and people who treat them with kindness. They are affectionate but discriminating and reserve their attention for family members and other known people. Unalike athletic cats, Persians prefer relaxing on a couch while scaling the heights of fireplace mantel or bookcase. They also do not like loud environments and quiet and serene homes.
Perian let their needs clearly known with a musical, gentle, and soft voice and big expressive eyes. The needs may include attention, a little playtime, regular meals, and a petting session. When you are working or out of the house, they would love to adorn a chair, bed, or sofa until you get home or free to admire them. They’ll crave your attention and willingly wait to receive love but never demands.
Persian Cat Temperament
The Persian cat breed is a playful cat but prefers to drape itself over an armchair instead of climbing atop a shelf. She will be delighted to rule her domain from the floor or more accessible pieces of furniture. Hence, If you love cats bouncing around like hyperactive popcorns, do not adopt a Persian.
These cats do well with children as long as they simply pet them and not drag them around. They also do well with laid-back dogs and welcome guests at home. You just need to make sure that you and your children treat them with gentle respect.
Persian cats may greet you with a quiet meow, but they do the talking with their eyes in most cases. They love spending time alone, but the presence of their owner always makes them happy. They are perfect companions and sweet-tempered cats. They are intelligent, however, not as active and inquisitive as other cat breeds.
Persian Cat Appearance
Persian are medium-sized cats, best known for their long luxurious coat, big eyes, and flat faces. When you picture a Persian cat, you’ll probably think of an iconic Persian with bright blue and copper eyes and long, silky white fur.
Despite their appearance in the fancy commercials, they come in a wide range of color variations. Approximately, there are 80 colors and variations of Persian cat breeds ranging from white to silver. They can have black, orange, grey, tri-color, tuxedo, tortoiseshell, or even calico coats.
What Health Issues Persian Cats are Prone to?
Both mixed-breed and pedigree cats have varying health problems that may be due to genetics. This beautiful breed tends to develop some potential health problems, mostly related to their facial structure. The following health issues are common in Persian cats:
- Heat sensitivity.
- Excessive tearing.
- Fungal infections like a predisposition to ringworm.
- Polycystic kidney disease.
- Noisy and difficult breathing due to constricted nostrils.
- Eye conditions like entropion, excessive watering, and cherry eyes.
- Dental malocclusions -misaligned teeth- teeth do not mesh well together.
- A skin problem -Seborrhea Oleosa- can cause hair loss, redness, and itchiness.
These health problems Persian cats are specifically prone to. However, responsible breeders dedicate themselves to breeding healthy Persian cats who aren’t prone to more disease than other cat breeds.
Choosing the Best Food for Persian Cats
The flat face structure and short jaw make it difficult for a Persian kitten or cat to eat dry kibble and drink enough water. Choosing the best cat food for your kitty is essential to provide her with sufficient nutrition. Providing your pets high-quality wet or dry food helps you ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need.
Moreover, keep the chewing problems in mind while selecting the cat food. In addition to including all essential nutrients, make sure the food is easy to eat and supports hydration. When choosing a feeding bowl, select a shallow and wide litter box or saucer with low sides.
Persian Cats Care and Grooming Needs
The most important thing you need to understand about Persian cats is that they are high maintenance cats. They need daily grooming because of their thick and long-haired coat and a high amount of shedding. The coat does not untangle on its own, so you need to gently comb it regularly. Bathing at least once a month is also a good idea.
Clean and wipe the corners of the eyes daily to prevent the excessive tearing problem. Maintain a routine of regular teeth brushing and dental hygiene to avoid any kind of dental disease. As far as the litter box is concerned, make sure to clean it frequently. If you do not give your Persian a clean litter, she’ll just stop using the box.
As Persians are sensitive cats, it is better to keep them indoors. These cats are not a scrapper and would fare poorly against coyotes, dogs, and cats. They can also tangle stickers and leaves in their coat and get dirty. Letting your Persian go out mean you need to spend much more time on her grooming.
These beautiful and adorable cats also make a great emotional support cat. They are not just intelligent but love to be around their owners. The best thing about these cats is that even if they want your attention, they don't specifically ask for it. They’ll wait for you to get free and give them proper attention.
So, if you want a pet that does not disturb you for their needs while you are busy, get a Persian cat.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Persian cat a good pet?
Although Persian cats need high maintenance, they do make a good pet. They are smart, friendly, super sociable, and great to be around.
Why do Persian cats cry?
Persians are not very vocal, but they have a habit of meowing at night or early in the morning. This could mean that they need some food, but they just want attention if the bowl is full.
Should I get a male Persian or a female Persian?
Male Persians are more friendly than female ones. Females tend to be more reserved than males and also less likely to spray. Keep these things in mind while getting the cat for you.
What is the rarest color of the Persian cat?
The following colors are the rarest colors of Persian cats:
At what age Persian cats reach maturity?
Persian cats reach sexual maturity at the age of around 15 to 18 months. Both female and male Persian cats mature around the same period, even though males do not experience any heat cycle.