Persian Cat History
Persians are one of the oldest known cat breeds throughout Europe and America, recognised by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) for over 100 years. The fancy began in 1871 at the very first Crystal Palace cat show in London and today the Persian is the most popular cat breed worldwide.
During the 1500's, longhaired cats were present throughout Europe thanks to Roman's who brought them back from countries such as Turkey and Iran (formerly Persia). Many believe the cats originated from the colder, mountainous areas of Persia and developed their long warm coats as a way of adapting to their environment. However, cross breeding with domestic cats during the 1800's made the Persian history unclear and the true origin of the modern Persian cat will never be known for sure.
The first Persians brought to Europe were thought to be during the 1600's with the Italian traveller Pietro della Valle, he also brought over Angora cats. At the time these cats were favoured over the Persian breed because of their pure white silky fur and slimmer appearance. However British fanciers soon came to prefer the Persian and Queen Victoria even bought two blue ones! It wasn't until the late 1800's that Persian's were imported to the United States, but the breed almost immediately became the number one cat and everybody wanted to own one.
Both Persians and Angora cats are now known simply as 'Longhairs' and the colour of the coat defines the breed. The long coat is their most desired characteristic and sought after by many cat fanciers, their popularity and unique appearance makes them extremely valuable cats.
Persians are quite large cats and are heavier than many other breeds. Their legs are rather short, made to look shorter due to their long hair and they are heavily boned. They do however have the sweetest little expressions on their faces, making them appear innocent and lovable. Persians have large rounded heads, tiny pointed ears and wide eyes; the colour of their eyes depends highly on the colour of their fur. Their fur is long and thick and comes in a variety of colours. Because of this and because they are so popular to show, there are now seven colour categories to follow.
Colours include brown, red, peke-face red, cream, silver, blue, blue silver, chocolate and lilac (majority of cat colours) and the pattern can be either mackerel, patched or classic. Many have copper eyes but some silvers may have hazel or green.
Persian Personality and Temperament
Persian cats are extremely docile and quiet tempered. They make great additions to the household and will be your friend for life if you treat them kindly and give them the affection they need. If you are looking for an active cat to chase leaves in the garden and run around in a mad lap, don't get a Persian; these cats have one of the lowest activity levels in the breed world and a much happier sitting on the sofa with a member of the family admiring its beautiful coat! Although docile, they do still like to play, especially as kittens and they enjoy a game of chase the string! Persians are sweet caring cats who enjoy the company of other domestic pets or children, a perfect new member to the family.
Cat and Kitten CarePersians require a great deal of grooming due to their long thick coats, this involves a daily comb with a metal brush and a bath on a monthly basis. The coat will tangle if not brushed properly or thoroughly, if you don't have time to do this then a Persian probably isn't for you! The main ailment affecting Persians is a renal disease called Polycystic Kidney Disease.
Average WeightPersians are usually heavier that other breeds due to their stocky shape so between 8 and 12 lbs is about average.
15 - 20 years, sometimes even longer!