Persian cat breed

Persian breed of cats

Massive and imposing, with very long hair in an incredible variety of colors, the Persian is the breed of cat that has received the heritage of long haired cats brought to Europe from the Middle East, in the 17th Century. Selected at the end of the last century, the Persian has become the most famous breed in the world.

Cat type: cobby

Origin: Great Britain

Origin date: 19th century

Nationality: Great Britain

Official recognition: Officially recognized in 1889

Cat's temperament: Low need for attention, not very active, lonely, low aggression cat

Lifespan: approximately 15 years

Varieties of Persian: Exotic Shorthair

Color patterns: bicolor tabby chinchilla colorpoint self

Breed's standard

Persian breed of cat

Persians have a stocky and robust look, with massive body supported by short and strong legs.

The head is large, round, solid, with full cheeks and wide skull. The nose is short and wide. The chin is well developed and provides a good closing of the jaws. The Persian cat's eyes are large, round, well opened and distanced, the ears are small, pointed forward, following the line of the head.
The neck is short and strong, followed by the body which has harmonious proportions.

Legs are short, with round large extremities, and black or dark brown cushions.
Tail relatively short, covered with thick hair, with a sort of plumage at the tip, is worn slightly bent relative to the line of the back, but is never dragged down while the cat is moving.

Hair can reach a length of 15-20 cm, with fluff reaching down the same length as the hair, tousled and protective. Each of the three layers of the cat's fur is fully developed, thick, rich and robust in all body areas.

Breed's character

Persian breed of cat

The Persian is an ideal house cat, due to its calm and independent temperament. Its owners must assure a safe and peaceful environment, a discrete presence, daily care and caresses.

Persians handle being alone well and, despite their habit of dozing for hours, are not lap cats, for their abundant hair makes them suffer from excessive heat. This cat breed has an affectionate and devoid of aggressiveness nature, is quiet and hasa reduced need for attention from humans.

Persians don't make a mess if left alone. Its quiet behaviour sometimes hides a sensitive temperament, which is expressed by hiding whenever it's bothered by noisy children or guests. Chinchilla, silver, golden and colorpoint Persians are slightly more active.

Persian cat breed's colors

Persian breed of cat

Persian selection activity during the 20th century was very effective, as demonstrated by the change from the initial few colors, to over 180 current colors, that are generally grouped into five groups.

The first one is made of coats that are uniform in color, the hair having a single color, from root to tip, cats having orange eyes.

The second group of Persians includes cats of multiple colors: bicolored/tricolored etc.

The third group of cats includes tabby furs, in three designs: tabby blotched, mackerel and spotted.

The forth group includes Persians that have a hair gene which partially depigments hair: chinchilla, shaded silver, golden, with green eyes, and smoke and beige, with orange eyes.

The fifth group is the colorpoint cats, Persians with the Siamese gene, that concentrates color on extremities. They have blue eyes.

Grooming the Persian

Persian breed of cat

Persians are exclusively apartment cats, because their long and delicate hair can be easily damaged by the dirt outside. Cats of this breed can wonder, of course, in the garden of a house, but in this case, their coat needs extra care.

Their long coat has some drawbacks even when living indoors, such as the hair getting tangled, thus it requires daily brushing. Bathing should only be done after the cat's hair has been brushed in depth; specimens which participate in exhibitions will need the service of a professional.

Grooming should be done with great care to emphasize the colored areas; a talc spray is good to highlight the contrast between white and colored areas of the cat's fur.

In addition to the coat, it's good to pay attention to eye care, especially if tears trails are found over the muzzle, and to the folds of skin, where dermatitis can occur.

Persian pictures

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Persian's old history

The first long-haired specimens of the Persian cat breed where brought to the British shores from the Middle East and France. Originating in Turkey and known as Angora cats, they were mostly white, had a long body, long nose, large ears, and tail adorned with thick hair. The so-called "French cats" were, however, more robust, with short feet, round head, round eyes and short nose, with long, soft hair. Probably this is the variety of cats that the British breeders began selecting more spectacular specimens from, which had longer hair and massive rounded bodies.

Persian's modern history

In the world of emerging catophilia, the Persian has an immediate and resounding success. In 1889 the first standard is drafted, which provides a less pronounced conformation, with less hair, longer nose and a look that is no loger so compact. Today, the tendency is to keep within the ethical limits necessary for a proper state of health of the cat, avoiding to award specimens of cats exceeding the standard.