The breeders of what is called the flat-faced Persian, ultra Persian, punch face Persian (India), smushed Persian etc. got a bit mixed up way back in the 1950s when they decided to transform the face of the sweet traditional Persian, called the doll-face Persian to something more appropriate for the modern age, something less normal and more “exotic”.
They had to decide on a new breed standard. What would look more interesting, more refined? How can we make the Persian cat more attractive, they asked themselves? They decided to model the new cat on the owl. The owl is a very popular bird. It has a sweet face and they can be very amusing.
The owl has large copper/orange colored and round eyes. The face is nice and flat with all the facial elements in a vertical line, like a cliff-face. The subspecies of owl they chose had a tabby coat and small ears. Sure, the beak was a bit of a problem but they found a way of moulding the mouth and nose of the New Persian to give the appearance of a beak.
To be honest, I think they did a wonderful job. It took them about 50 years of intensive selective breeding but they achieved their goal:
What do you think? The trouble is they got a bit confused about what a cat should look like. You see, a cat should look like a cat!
Note: my thanks to Elena for finding the picture which I presume and hope is in the public domain. If not please tell me.