Comparing Indian and Dutch Persian Cats

This is a comparison between two examples of traditional, purebred, Persian cat. I think it is interesting as it shows the difference in attitude towards breeding.

The female Dutch Persian is Cristalline. She is white with orange eyes. The red solid, male, Dutch Persian is Yeri Shaes’ Faolán Edan. Both photos are copyright Dani.

The Indian Persians are Matata (male) and Matahari (female white cat). They live with Rudolph in Mumbai. He took the photograph.

Comparison Dutch and Indian Persian cats

As I said before, the Indian Persians appear to have a stronger, more masculine face. They have more of a muzzle than the Western traditional Persian. Although both the male Persians look quite similar. Of course, the flat-faced Persian has no muzzle at all.

The CFA Persian breed standard of North America says that, in general, this cat should have a “sweet expression with soft round lines”. That appears not to apply to the Indian Persian. We should remind ourselves though that there is no breed standard for Indian Persians as there is no cat fancy in India. The Persian cat’s appearance is simply handed down from year to year. However, the way the cat looks may in fact be more faithful to the original Persian cat than the North American and European Persians.

Breed standards are only loosely based on historical appearances. They are drawn up based on the preferences of the people who run the cat association.

Other than the facial appearance, I think you will find that the coats of the American and European Persians are longer than the coats of the Indian Persian. If this is true, it must be due to selective breeding over many years, probably the latter half of the last century (1950-2000).

Extra long coats are not necessarily better. I hope it is fair to say that some North American Persians can have unnaturally long coats which require quite a lot of maintenance from the cat’s owner. A extra long coat is less practical.

Does anyone know the origin of the first Persian cats in India? There are two possible sources:

  1. They first came from the area of Iran, formerly Persia. These would be the true Persian cats or…
  2. They were imported with the British when they ruled India (the British Raj – between 1858 and 1947).
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Comparing Indian and Dutch Persian Cats — 2 Comments

  1. Absolutely – I see the difference and I agree with the article. People who work in the CFA obviously prefer cats to be like teddy bears. I think the simple fact that western persians have hair so long they can’t manage it without human intervention is totally not right and a serious line has been crossed. Furthermore the example of these Netherland persians is not even the most extreme kind. I have seen persians that are so extreme in their physical aspects that it makes these look like regular moggies by comparism.

    How can we preserve or keep track of what we here on POC generally feel to be the more real and healthy version of the breed. Sooner or later we will lose the perspective of where these beautiful cats came from. It seems so wrong. Humans are always chasing things in questionable directions and they apparently don’t stop to look back until it’s too late. IF you walk into a forest where there is no path you must constantly look at the view behind you if you are ever to find your way back to where you started. I’m sorry I always harp on the stupidity of humanity – but it always rears it’s ugly head no matter where you look – at least for me it does, recently.

    • People who work in the CFA obviously prefer cats to be like teddy bears

      This is modern development – the cat fancy is a reflection on the attitudes of modern society. The Indian Persian is more natural and less commercial.

      How can we preserve or keep track of what we here on POC generally feel to be the more real and healthy version of the breed.

      Genetically, and in appearance, the real, original Persian is far removed from the modern N. American Persian and to a lesser degree the European Persian. One day we will accept the modern Persian cat as the real one. The original will be an historical curiosity.

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