Persian

About The Persian Cat

The Persian is a long haired cat characterized by its round face and shortened muzzle. Its name refers to Persia, the former name of Iran, where similar cats are found.

Recognized by the cat fancy since the late 19th century, it was developed first by the English, and then mainly by American breeders after the Second World War.

Colours, coats and health issues

The selective breeding carried out by breeders has allowed the development of a wide variety of coat colours, but has also led to the creation of increasingly flat-faced Persians.

A show-quality Persian has an extremely long and thick coat, short legs, a wide head with the ears set far apart, large eyes, and an extremely shortened muzzle.

The breed was originally established with a short muzzle, but over time, this characteristic has become extremely exaggerated, particularly in North America. Persian cats can have any colour or markings including pointed, golden, tortoiseshell, blue, and tabby.

Favoured by fanciers, this head structure can bring with it a number of health problems.

As is the case with the Siamese breed, there have been efforts by some breeders to preserve the older type of cat with a more pronounced muzzle, which is more popular with the general public.

Character

The placid and unpretentious nature of the Persian confers a propensity for apartment living. It has been the most popular breed in the United States for many years but its popularity has seen a decline in Britain and France.

The Persian is generally described as a quiet cat. Typically placid in nature, it adapts well to apartment life. One study compared cat owners' perception of their cats and Persians rated higher than non-pedigree cats on closeness and affection to owners, friendliness towards strangers, cleanliness, predictability, vocalization and fussiness over food.