One of the oldest and most popular cat breeds, Persian cat first came into trend during the Victorian era, but they existed long before then. They are the parent breed for the Persian Breed Group composed of Persian, Exotic Shorthair and Himalayan breeds. These cat breeds share similar body type; however, the Exotic Shorthair's hair is different from the Himalayan and Persian's long hair. Persian cats are known for their sweet flat face, large and round eyes and cute fat cheeks. All adore them because they get along with everyone.
Known as a gentle and docile breed, Persian cats appreciate being in a serene environment. Families prefer this cat breed because of their easygoing personality. They love to lounge on sofas and beds with their owners and families. They communicate using their expressive eyes and their calm, soft, and sweet voices. While they may be calm most of the time, they can explode into action like running from room to room and rolling around the living area. Due to this fact, invest in interactive toys like catnip mice and chase balls. Not only they will be kept entertained, but it is a form of exercise for them too.
Persian cats have extremely sweet and gentle characters. They have amazingly expressive eyes, which a lot of cat lovers find endearing. Furthermore, this is one of the many reasons why Persian cats consistently remained one of the favourite choices in the United Kingdom and across the world.
Persian cats come in two types: show and traditional. The show Persian cat has a round head embellished with a thick ruff, small ears, a flat nose, and a pair of big round copper eyes. They also have a wide, short body with heavy boning and short legs, and a thick, flowing tail. On the other hand, the traditional Persian cat, also known as the Doll Face, does not have the show Persian cats' features and characteristics. Their nose is of standard length, which gives them a sweet expression. However, both types have a long, glamorous, and magnificent coat that comes in many colours and patterns. Moreover, they both share the same charming personality that many loves.
- Grooming: Everyday 10/10
- Shedding: High 2/10
- Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
- Activity Level: Low 2/10
- Playfulness: Low 2/10
- Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
- Friendliness to children: High 10/10
- Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
- Vocality: Low 2/10
- Intelligence: Medium 6/10
- Independence: Medium 6/10
The history of the Persian cat remains unclear just because earlier records were not kept until recent times. What is recognized is that in 1871, at Crystal Palace in the UK, the Persian cats were exhibited at the first cat ever. It was the same time that early cat enthusiasts came up with the breed standard for Persian cats we see today.
One of the popular theories of the history of Persian cats was when they were introduced to Italy by Pierto della Valle in 1620 as he sold imported jewels, silks, and spices from Persia. At the same time, Nicholas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc brought longhaired cats to France that he had found in Turkey. These cats were called Angoras initially, after the capital of Turkey, which is now Ankara. Some believe that these two cats were the same breed.
Another popular theory is that these longhaired cats were the result of crossbreeding cats of Egyptian origin. This theory is supported by early Egyptian hieroglyphics found on the walls of ancient tombs. And because of their long coats, they were well-suited to both Persia and Turkey's colder climates. Today, the Persian is one of the most popular cat breeds worldwide, including in the United Kingdom, because of their kind, sweet natures and delightful appearance.
Persian cats are medium to large size cats. They have a well-developed, muscular, cobby-type body. They also have relatively short legs, but this does not diminish their robust appearance. They have nicely rounded, huge heads and large eyes that always have a friendly and gentle expression. In between their large eyes, they have snubbed noses with a beautiful central beak. Generally, this cat breed's rounded head should be high above their snubbed noses. Below it is their chin. Their rounded ears are small and are set wide apart on their head and follow its contour.
Persian cats have beautiful full cheeks with a well-rounded forehead. They have strong chins, muzzles and powerful, broad jaws. Necks are thick and short. They can have a medium or large body that is rather cobby looking with cats having deep, full chests, broad shoulders, and well-muscled backside. Their legs are short but powerful and thick, with round-shaped tufted paws and firm pads. Their front paws have five toes while their paws at the back have four. Persian cats' short tail are incredibly bushy, which they like to flick from side to side, to show their emotions.
This cat breed comes from a wide array of colours such as white, cream, red, blue, black, lilac, chocolate, golden, silver, blue-cream, tortoiseshell, sable, and tricolour. They also come from a variety of patterns such as, bi-colour, tortoiseshell, tabby, tricolour, shaded, smoke, and Himalayan – which is a light-coloured body with darker points, and blue eyes.
When it comes to their beautiful coat, Persian cats boast having a lush, long, and thick coat that is fine when touched. This cat breed has full frills covering their shoulders and then continuing down between their front legs.
Persian cats are gentle, dignified, and they prefer a calm and peaceful environment and people who treat them kindheartedly. This cat breed is like an ornament to a house, because they enjoy sitting on someone's lap and having all the pets they can get. Unlike athletic cats, they favour lounging on a sofa to climbing the heights of a bookcase or fireplace mantel. Children are acceptable to the Persian cats if they are happy to simply pet them and not drag them around or dress them up. They can play house and tea parties with kind children who can gently pet them. Make sure that children will treat this cat breed with the gentle respect they deserve. Persian cats are very affectionate; however, they can also be discriminating as they reserve their attention for family members whom they fully trust.
Persian cats may greet you with a quiet and gentle meow. But in most cases, they let their eyes do the talking for them. They do not mind spending time alone, but your company will always make them happy and relaxed. When you go out for long periods, it may be best to have a pet sitter to accompany and care for the Persian cat in their natural surroundings than to board them in an unfamiliar place.
Persian cats do not like loud environments. They prefer quiet homes and only little changes that happen from time to time. They let their simple needs known through their large, expressive eyes and soft, musical, and pleasant voice. Persian cats are unlikely to climb up curtains, perch on top of refrigerators or jump on kitchen counters because they are happy to stay at the floor or a more accessible location. Lastly, this cat breed is perfect for those who work in the day or busy around the house as they can sit contented in a chair, sofa, or bed until you arrive or have time to give attention. They are the type of cat breed that loves attention but never demands.
Few felines can be trained to do tricks, but for the most part with Persian cats, there are two types of training: first is litter training, and second, is training good behaviour. Like most cat breeds, Persian cats can be trained to have a good pleasant demeanour. . When a Persian is properly socialised and trained during their kitten-hood, they will thrive on being a well-rounded and well-mannered feline companion.
Persian cats are known to be high maintenance. Their luscious coat must be groomed daily using a stainless-steel comb to reduce loose hair, tangles, and mats. Keep in mind that mats and tangles can be painful and uncomfortable for any cat breed. It is crucial to practice a good grooming routine when you have a Persian cat.
In addition to daily combing routine, it is advisable to bath the Persian cat every few months. It is best to start this routine as soon as you get your Persian kitten to get used to this. The Persian's eyes tend to tear because of his pushed-in face. To avoid unpleasant staining, wash or wipe their face daily, focusing on the area below their eyes. Trim their nails more frequently when they are kittens and less often when they are adults. Clean their ears once a week, or as advised by your vet, to avoid the risk of having ear mites. If left untreated, it may be challenging to treat. For their teeth, regular brushing is recommended using a vet-approved toothpaste to avoid gingivitis.
As for their nutrition, Persian cats need proper nutrients and protein. This comes with a high-quality diet recommended and advised by your vet. If you alter your Persian cat, make sure to watch their weight as they tend to become overweight. Moreover, fresh and clean water should always be provided to encourage them to drink more. A lot of Persian cats can drink better using water fountains as it keeps the hair on their chin and chest dry.
Lastly, make sure to keep their litter boxes clean at all times. Not only they are particular about their bathroom hygiene, but it will help their coat and paws clean as well. Litter can be lodged in their fur or paws, and if not managed, they may just stop using the box.
Persian cats' lifespan ranges from eight to twelve years. Persian cats are prone to several potential health issues; most are related to their facial structure:
- Heat sensitivity
- Excessive tearing
- A tendency to have difficulty or noisy breathing caused by constricted nostrils
- Dental malocclusions – which means the teeth don't mesh well together
- Cherry eye and entropion
- Seborrhea oleosa – is a skin condition that causes itchiness, redness and hair loss.
- Polycystic kidney disease – is a disease that forms small fluid pockets called cysts in their kidneys. It is commonly present from birth and may grow slowly or rapidly.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy – is a genetic eye disease in cats where the retinal cells deteriorate over time and lead to blindness.
The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy Persian Registration Policy includes mandatory testing for Polycystic kidney disease for breeding Persian cats from 2016.
Persian cats are laid-back, affectionate, and gentle. This makes them a perfect choice for families with children. They are very lenient around children. This is just one of the reasons why they have remained one of the most popular family pets in the United Kingdom. However, it is still advisable to oversee any interaction between a Persian cat and a child.
Persian cats also get on well with other dogs, especially if early socialization was done at an early stage and have grown up together. They are very friendly and calm by nature and have been known to get on with smaller animals and pets. Although just to be sure that everything would go well, it is always best to supervise any cat when they are around small pets.