The Persian cat is a long-haired breed of cat characterized by its round face and short muzzle. In Britain, it is sometimes called the Longhair or Persian Longhair. It is also known as the Shirazi cat or Iranian cat, particularly in the Middle East. The first documented ancestors of the Persian were imported into Europe from Iran (Persia) around 1620. 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. Some cat fancier organizations' breed standars subsume the Himalayan and Exotic shorthair as variants of this breed, while others treat them as separate breeds.
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 virtually any color or markings.
The Persian is generally described as a quiet cat. Typically placid in nature, it adapts quite well to apartment life. Himalayans tend to be more active due to the influence of Siamese traits. In a study comparing cat owner perceptions of their cats, Persians rated higher than non-pedigree cats on closeness and affection to owners, friendliness towards strangers, cleanliness, predictability, vocalization, and fussiness over food
There is variants of Persian cat :
In 1950, the Siamese was crossed with the Persian to create a breed with the body type of the Persian but colorpoint pattern of the Siamese. It was named Himalayan, after other colorpoint animals such as the Himalayan rabbit. In the UK, the breed was recognized as the Colorpoint Longhair. The Himalayan stood as a separate breed in the US until 1984, when the CFA merged it with the Persian, to the objection of the breed councils of both breeds. Some Persian breeders were unhappy with the introduction of this crossbreed into their "pure" Persian lines.
The Persian was used as an outcross secretly by some American Shorthair (ASH) breeders in the late 1950s to "improve" their breed. The crossbreed look gained recognition in the show ring but other breeders unhappy with the changes successfully pushed for new breed standards that would disqualify ASH that showed signs of crossbreeding.
Toy and teacup sizes
A number of breeders produce small-statured Persians under a variety of names. The generic terms are "toy" and "teacup" Persians (terms borrowed from the dog fancy), but the individual lines are often called "palm-sized", "pocket", "mini" and "pixie". Currently, they are not recognized as a separate breed by major registries and each breeder sets their own standards for size.
Chinchilla Longhair and Sterling
(SACC) registers cats with five generations of purebred Chinchilla as a Chinchilla Longhair. The Chinchilla Longhair has a slightly longer nose than the Persian, resulting in healthy breathing and less eye tearing. Its hair is translucent with only the tips carrying black pigment, a feature that gets lost when out-crossed to other colored Persians. Out-crossing also may result in losing nose and lip liner, which is a fault in the Chinchilla Longhair breed standard. One of the distinctions of this breed is the blue-green or green eye color only with kittens having blue or blue-purple eye color.
Few interesting facts:
- As any Persian cat owner can attest, owning one of these cats doesn’t come easily. Grooming is a major requirement for a Persian, and requires daily attention to keep them looking fresh and tangle-free. To manage all that fur, some Persian owners opt to keep their cat’s hair short for less routine maintenance.
- Due to their ability to be inactive for long periods of time, the Persian breed rightfully owned the nickname “furniture with fur” due to their inherent laziness. Although many Persians can be lovable and playful at times, they are not a hyperactive breed by any means. Looking that good must require lots of beauty sleep. The plus side is that this breed makes the ultimate lap kitty companion.
- A Persian is the perfect cat breed for anyone that might be worried about their cat running amuck and destroying their home while they are away. Not overly curious or adventurous by nature, the Persian is trustworthy in that it won’t be caught shredding your curtains or sabotaging other things inside your home. This breed is calm and quiet and if it wasn’t for all that fur, you might not even notice they are there half the time with their kitty manners always intact.
- Persians tend to be a bit shy and this breed does not do well with loud noises or lots of disruption in the home. Kids have a tendency for being unpredictable at times and a home with small children may not be the ideal environment for this cat breed that is a bit reclusive and shy.
- The Persian has a sweet, gentle personality and is a quiet companion.
- The Persian has a long, flowing coat that must be groomed daily.
- The Persian is an old breed, but little is known of its history.