Persian cats are one of the oldest and most sought after breeds thanks to their adorable faces, fluffy build and easy-going personality. But what else makes them one of the most popular cat breeds? We shall delve into this stunning feline companion to discover why they are so desirable.
This gorgeous longhair breed originated in Persia (Iran) in the 1500s but are originally believed to be or often referred to as “Sand Cat”. This is due to the fact that, at one point, they lived in the desert. The Persian cat made their way to Europe in the 17th century, thanks to Pietro Della Valle, a world-renowned traveler and nobleman from Italy.
In the 1800s, Persians became popular in Great Britain as Queen Victoria had a fondness for these sweet-tempered beauties with baby-doll faces. Not long after, they found their way to America, where they quickly became one of the most popular purebreds.
Persians are medium to large in size with prominent shoulder blades and a broad chest. They have a broad, full muzzle and well-developed chin with smaller than average ears. Their face is relatively flat and their most prominent facial feature is their big, round eyes. Their legs are muscular and long, with slightly shorter hind legs. Their tail is short and often very fluffy.
Common Color Patterns
- Solid Color
- Males: 12+ lbs (5 – 6 kg)
- Females: 8-12 lbs (3.6 – 5kg)
While they are known for their sweet and subdued temperament, Persian cats are not recommended for homes with rambunctious or young children, or energetic dogs. They prefer quiet, older and well-behaved children, and calm, cat-friendly dogs who will not chase or play with them in a rough manner.
Persians do not tend to hide from strangers and they form a very strong bond with their owners. They are loyal to a fault. They will be cordial to a calm and reserved house-guest, but they prefer to stay close to their human family members and a few well-chosen friends of their beloved family.
Even though they seem to adapt well to change, Persian cats prefer a quiet household without a great deal of noise and activity. They are not known to be jumpers so you will not find them climbing your curtains, or hopping up on counters. They tend to prefer a soft bed on the floor or easily accessible furniture.
Persians love to curl up next to their human companions while they read or watch television. They do have a playful side so expect them to go from zero to sixty in a matter of minutes. They enjoy interactive toys and supervised playtime with their humans.
Some Persians are more independent than others and may even have a bit of a sassy side. However, they are generally not a destructive breed. They do not like to be left alone for long periods of time, as they crave attention and affection. They are either right next to you or at least in the same room at the same time. They enjoy sleeping on soft beds, cushions and blankets, and soaking up the sun.
Persians communicate with soft, quiet meows. They can be vocal as they let you know when they are hungry, thirsty, or craving affection.
Health and Lifespan
Persian cats have a lifespan of 12 to 17 years, with an average of 14 years. As with any cat (or household pet), they can at any time develop illnesses (such as cancer). Purebred cat breeds are more prone to health issues, which is why proper care and regular checkups with a qualified veterinarian are ideal.
Some of the most common (potential) health problems that may arise with Persian cats are as follows:
- Dental malocclusion (teeth do not mesh together as they should)
- Difficulty or noisy breathing (due to constricted nostrils)
- Sensitivity to heat and humidity
- Skin issues such as redness, itchiness and hair loss (Seborrhoea oleosa)
- Predisposition to Polycystic kidney disease (can be identified by genetic testing)
- Eye issues
- Excessive tearing
- Cherry Eye
As with any long-haired cat breed, Persian cats will need a great deal of grooming. When it comes to personal care, Persian cats are not a low-maintenance breed. You should brush them daily to keep their coats healthy and shiny. They should be combed with a wide-tooth metal comb several times a week as well to prevent knots from forming.
Pay extra attention to certain areas such as behind the ears and under the legs. Even though they are normally good at grooming and bathing themselves, it is also recommended to bathe your furry Persian once a month to keep them squeaky clean.
Care and Nutrition
Not known for their hunting skills, Persian cats should be indoor-only cats. Additionally, Persian cats are not notoriously known for their scrapping abilities, so they would not fare well against wildlife such as coyotes, dogs and the like. Their long coats were not designed for leaves, and other debris commonly found in urban areas. As they are an extremely sought-after breed, they are also susceptible to being stolen and sold for a profit.
Persians cats have no issues with litter box training. However, as litter tends to get stuck in their long coat, they should be brushed daily and their litter boxes should be cleaned regularly.
Prone to excessive tearing, their eyes will need to be cleaned daily by wiping them gently with a soft, damp cloth. You should brush their teeth several times a week to prevent dental issues.
Persian cats should be fed both dry and wet food. They tend to have dental issues later in life due to the spacing of their teeth, hence they prefer dry food that is smaller in size. Wet food will prevent dehydration and urinary tract infections. Always leave out fresh water for your Persian beauty as they prefer cool, clean and crisp water.
Where to Find Persian Cats
Of course, you can purchase a purebred Persian from a reputable breeder. However, be prepared to pay a hefty price. It is always a good idea to check your local pet shelter or humane society for Persians or seek out a Persian cat interest group. Saving a life by rescuing a pet is always a good way to welcome a new beloved pet into your household.
Fun Facts About Persian Cats
- Florence Nightingale, who was known have owned over 60 cats in her lifetime, favoured her Persian, Mr. Bismark.
- Marilyn Monroe had a white Persia called Mitsou.
- Raymond Chandler was rumoured to have written his first novel in the presence of a black Persian cat named Taki.
- A Persian cat won “first in show” at the first ever cat show in 1871.
- The Fancy Feast cat is a Chinchilla Persian Cat.