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Persian Cat Breed

by Long Nguyễn
Persian Cat

Coat

Extra-Care Longhair

Environment

Apartment

Disposition

Affectionate, Tranquil, Quiet

Best With

One-Person

Colors

Standard Solid, Standard, Shaded

Notes

The Persian, a large cat with a short cobby body, short legs, medium tail, and a round head with a very short muzzle and small round ears, has an exceptionally long, thick, and silky coat with a definite ruff. Originally referred to as Asiatic cats as recently as 1876, the Persian-type cat was introduced to Europe from Asia Minor about 400 years ago. By the early 1900’s, the Asiatic cat had commenced to be bred away from the lithe, graceful body of the Turkish Angora (the original long-haired cat) and towards the more massive and cobby body of the British Shorthair. Early cat clubs referred to the new breed as simply Longhairs. Eventually the breed has achieved a body style far more cobby than the British Shorthair and come unto its own as the Persian of today, bearing little resemblance to the Persians of a century ago.

Persian Kittens
Persian Kittens

It has become one of the largest breeds, running typically 20-25 pounds for an adult male, with some individuals even larger: only the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat are larger. The current Persian is somewhat aloof, as though it knows it’s the showiest of show cats (perhaps it does). It is strictly a one-person cat, requiring lots of love and care, especially in the maintenance of its long, silky Coat; daily brushings are definitely required. Curiously, though the Persian has been bred in a wide range of colors and patterns, those with Siamese coloring have been classed as separate breeds, the Himalayans and the Colorpoint Longhairs. Even more curiously, solid chocolate and lavender (lilac) Persians have also been classed separately as the Kashmirs, sometimes called Solid- Color Himalayans.

There are no real differences in the breeds other than coloring. A short-haired version, the Exotic Shorthair, is also found. When overbred (which happens all too often), the Persian can become nervous and temperamental. This usually shows in erratic behavior and misplaced toilet activities (like the middle of your bed). In this event, all that can be done is to love the cat, but neuter it to terminate the overbreeding. It is a common practice for the uneducated to claim that their long- haired cat is part Persian. Most long-haired Heinz are just that, long-haired Heinz and nothing else. When a persian undergoes a random mating, the kittens are far more likely to be shorthaired than long-haired. Such is the way of genetics. The Persian is a quiet, tranquil cat and does best in a quiet home free of noise, children, and other pets.

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