Persian Cat History
The Persian cat roots can be traced back as far 1620, originally from Iran (then Persia). The exact history of the Persian cat does seem to be a bit of a mystery but many of these long-haired cats were seen in hieroglyphics. The story has it that these long-haired cats were then imported into Europe as their popularity grew and breeding took place in Italy and France.
The Persian cat was first presented at the world’s first organised cat show in 1871 in London, England, before making it’s way to the United States of America in the early 1900’s. The Persian cat breeding standards have always called for a cat with a short face, but it’s important to note that the Persian cat originally had a much longer nose than the flat-faced Persians of today.
Persian Cat Characteristics
The Persian cat is instantly recognisable with its long dense coat, flat round head and relatively short legs. Persians are a stocky, solid cat with small ears in comparison to its face and big expressive eyes. The Persian is a glamorous cat and just a happy ball of fur in general.
Persians are a medium to large breed of cat, males should weigh between 9 -13 lbs (4 kg-6 kg) and females should weigh 7-10 lbs (3.2 kg- 4.5 kg).
Persians come in slightly different looks, with the more traditional “doll face” Persian having a longer nose than the peke-face Persians with an ultra flat face.
The Persian cat comes in many different colours but some of the most popular colours are white, black, blue, chocolate, lilac, red and cream. Persians predominately have orange eyes but you will also see blue-eyed and some green-eyed Persians.
Persian Cat Temperament and Personality
The Persian cat is a sweet, calm cat with a gentle nature and settles well into home life but they tend to be a creature of habit and like structure in their life, e.g being fed at a similar time each day and sleeping in the same place. You will find that the Persian doesn’t adapt too well to disruption or moving their furniture about. These cats adore their people and tend to become attached to their owners and develop a loving bond.
Persian cats get along well with children and other cats and dogs in their household, if introduced from a young age. It’s worth noting that they can become quite territorial so if you’re thinking of having multiple cats then it’s always best to introduce them at an early age and take things very slowly indeed.
These cats are not massively talkative but when they do talk it’s a mellow non-abrasive meow, but they’re mostly quiet in general. They like to communicate with their expressive eyes, more often than not they will just look at you and you will get to know what your cat wants!
The Persian is a laid-back cat and won’t be around your ankles at every given minute unlike some breeds, however, they will often wait for you to arrive from work and greet you at the door or just come and sit next to you. In my experience, Persians don’t tend to be lap cats and they don’t mind to be picked up if accustomed from an early age. They like to play with interactive toys and will often play “fetch” similar to a dog! It really depends on what you want from a cat but I think in terms of activity level, kindness, noise the Persian is a great all round house cat.
Persian Cat Grooming
There’s no getting around the fact that the Persian cat is high maintenance and does require daily grooming to stop it’s coat from matting and knotting. This needs to be done with a stainless steel comb for best results and can often be painful for the cat if mats and tangles occur. As with any long haired cat you need to be able to dedicate the time needed to maintain it’s coat and be prepared for lots of shedding and hairs around your house and on clothes.
To keep the long luscious coat of the Persian in tip top condition I recommend bathing them once every 2 weeks if possible, this allows you to comb through the fur a little easier and remove any loose hair. Drying can be done with an hairdryer on a low-speed setting whilst combing through the fur with a brush. It’s paramount in my experience that you begin grooming as a kitten to get the cat used to the daily grooming they’re going to require for the rest of their lives. Some Persian cats like to be groomed and will sit or stand and let you comb them all day long and others (like my cat Milo) hate the whole experience and do everything they can to run away which makes this a difficult experience for both you and your cat.
Excessive tearing is a very common trait of the Persian and they will need their eyes wiping frequently to avoid staining of the fur and crusting that builds up.
In my opinion the Persian cat is best kept as an indoor cat, that’s not to say the Persian isn’t a capable hunter because it is but these cats get twigs, dirty, dust in their fur so it’s very difficult to keep a Persian cat’s coat in good condition if it’s frequently outside. In fact, this is a hard enough job to do with an indoor cat nevermind having a Persian as an outside cat.
As you can see below, Milo sometimes decides he wants to sit in the sink and relax!
Persian Cat Health
The life expectancy for a Persian cat is 15-20 years if kept as indoor pets and you feed them good quality foods. Overall the Persian cat is known to be a healthy cat but being a brachycephalic cat they do suffer from some breathing difficulties and the facial structure does make them suspectable eye and skin conditions. They don’t tend to suffer many hereditary health conditions as most of these have been bred out over the years.
The health issues that most commonly affect Persian’s tend to be:
- Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
- Breathing difficulties
- Excessive tearing and other eye related issues
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)