Shirazi Cats

There is precious little information about these cats. I am not even sure that they are a distinct cat breed (but please read on). The best books on the cat breeds don’t refer to them. The top website on this cat as found by Google says almost nothing solid about Shirazi kittens or cats except to mention a health problem associated with this cat, namely PKD (PKD1 Polycystic Kidney Disease). The Persian, both traditional and extreme bred, is associated with PKD. Accordingly the Shirazi is associated with the Persian it seems to me as it looks like a Persian as well.

The Messybeast author Sarah Hartwell does not refer to them either. I have 104 cat breeds on this site and I have not referred to them. So what is going on?

They are for sale, online, for purchase in Dubai, the Middle East:

Shirazi Kitten For Sale Dubai

Shirazi Kitten For Sale Dubai

The kitten above costs 1,500 AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham) and looks like a traditional Persian. This is 331 Euros and $408 (USD).

Sabine Harding, in an article on the Shiraz Cat, writes that this cat is an Egyptian Mau – Persian mix. They are seen as semi-domestic, stray and feral cats in Egypt. Although these street cats won’t look like the selectively breed cats for sale in Dubai.

The Egyptian Mau is famous for its spotted tabby coat. However, the Shirazi has a wide range of coat types and patterns including the tabby coat.

The Shirazi is not a registered cat breed, Sabine writes. That actually confirms my original impression. However, in Dubai they are advertised as purebred. This does not mean they are a registered cat breed. The formal registration of cat breeds is something that takes place mainly in the West – Europe and North America. This is because there are no cat associations in the Middle East (wrong?) or for example TICA are not present in the Middle East. TICA are an international cat association and would probably have registered or accepted this breed if representations had been made to them. I would have thought that it would be beneficial to breeders and buyers to register this cat and make it a cat breed.

However, it may be that it is not distinct enough from the traditional Persian and in any case TICA recognise the extreme Persian (“forehead, nose and chin in straight line”) and not the doll face.

To summarize the Shirazi cat is:

  • a long haired or semi-longhaired cat;
  • not formally a cat breed but;
  • is bred in the Middle East (and elsewhere?) and is therefore possibly or probably purebred but you can’t be sure;
  • looks like a traditional doll face Persian and;
  • has a wide range of coat types including tabbies. This is due to breeding as the native Shirazi is a tabby after the Egyptian Mau.
  • a cat that is probably not available in Europe or North America but I am open to correction on that.

Here is another picture from a Dubai seller of a tabby Shirazi kitten for the same price as the grey kitten above:

Tabby Shirazi Kitten

Tabby Shirazi Kitten

Some other selected information about the appearance of the Shirazi from Sabine, who seems to know what she is talking about:

  • Most Shirazi cats have the classic M tabby mark on their forehead.
  • They are laid back – hints of Persian cat character and in contrast to the Egyptian Mau.
  • Claimed to have a belly flap. This hints at the Egyptian Mau which is famous for a belly flap is said to help make the Mau the world’s fastest domestic cat.

Comments

Shirazi Cats — 20 Comments

  1. Shirazi cat:

    ”Their origin likely goes back to the Persian reign in Egypt when Persian cats got introduced to the local Mau population.
    Shirazis are truly ancient, unique souls that compare the godlike traits of the Egyptian Maus with the royal look of the Perisan (Persian)cats”(Sabine Harding).

    It’s a good example of lack of research- result is wrong hypothesis. Not even hypothesis, they state this without doubts!

    Persian cat – longhair Anatolian-Middle East cat, which is known as Angora. There is NO particular Persian cat. 2008 genetic study clearly says that Persian is a western cat; incredible similarity of early Persian and Angora is seen in many old paintings and photos ta least 300-400 years old; it seems cat trade also existed; ”Persian” and Angora were probably imported by foreigners: French Nicolas Claude Fabri de Peiresc and Italian Pietro Della Valle at the same time. Because of Pietro della Valle a longhair Middle Eastern cat was named ”Persian”(From Della Valle letters we know he hated Ottomans, so Angora or Anatolian name for a cat that may originated in these areas, could not be an option for him), while Peiresc mentioned Ancyra/Angora name:

    http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cat-ii-persian-cat

    Before stating that Shirazi is mix of Persian, they have to collect credible evidence that there once was a breed called the Persian which is distinct from the Angora. They don’t have such an evidence.

    We are very disappointed. We expected far more from EMRO. It seems they are turning to fanciers and using same old ”conclusions” that require little thinking and no research, decorating them with exotic ”Persian” name.

    • Fantastic contribution. Thank you so much for a great comment. I owe you something. Can PoC help the Turkish Angoras in Turkey in some way?

  2. Michael, you can definitely help for the real Turkish Angora and you are already doing this: you are writing about them! We think education is very important in order to fight all those falsehoods and spread well researched, accurate information instead…

    Kind Regards,

    Angora Cat Association, TURKEY

  3. I am totally confused. I have these cat’s which are supposed to be shirazi.. would you help me identify them?

  4. I know that you can get shirazi in the US. I breed them and sell them. I went to Egypt to buy my cats. They are quite popular in the area where I live. My litters sometimes sell out the day they are born and I frequently have people waiting for my next litter to be born in or to lay their claim to the kitten of their choice.

    • Hi Ashley. Fantastic. Thanks for sharing that information. If you have a picture feel free to upload on to another comment. If you write a bit about your cats and the breed I’ll turn the comment into an article.

  5. This is a picture of my queen, Bella, behind her is my boy, baby.

    I have had these cats going on 5 years an do have to say that these area probably the most affectionate cats I have ever owned. They actually worry after me when I don’t come home on time. They also hear my car door shutting and will run to the window in order to greet me. They are also extremely intelligent but they do have a goofy streak. They are generally quiet unless they need something then they can let you know it. They are very very tolerant of my 18 month old when she pulls on their fur or ears. They have never taken a swipe at her despite her harassment. I sell my kittens for 300 USD. Even though they do not have papers both are purebred and I got them from Egypt. I am waiting for three new kittens to arrive from Egypt and I will also be breeding them as well. Both of my cats are PKD neg. These two are wonderful wonderful cats. Bella does have two different color eyes but is not blind or deaf. Both are fluffy white. Baby has so silver tips on the top of his head between his ears. I would be happy to answer any questions or give more information to anyone who needs it.

    • Hey cud u help me identify my cat , is she an angora or a Shirazi , what is the differnce . She is 1 year 3 months , got her from a pet store in jeddah when she was 2 m . ☺️Any info wud b much appreciated

      • Fatma we don’t enough about the Shirazi to know how it compares with the Turkish Angora. Also which Angora are you referring to? The one in the USA or the one in Turkey. They are very different.

        Cat breeds are very complicated especially the ones we are discussing because the American TA is a creation of American breeders while the Turkish TA is the real thing.

        I suppose the people who sold you the cat (beautiful cat by the way) did not provide you with any information. That would indicate non-purebred which means neither TA or Shirazi. Ask the store what breed she is!

        Even if the store said she was a TA, how can they prove it? You can’t really identify cat breeds by photos.

        Thanks for visiting and asking and apologies for delay in responding.

        • Thank you for replying ☺️ the pet store claimed her to be a Turk . Doesn’t matter anyway . Wont make me love her any less .she is a wonderful cat . It got important for me to kno what breed she is so that i could take care of her needs better and find out what her normal weight should be .
          Once again ! Really appreciate your time ☺️

  6. “We are very disappointed. We expected far more from EMRO. It seems they are turning to fanciers and using same old ”conclusions” that require little thinking and no research, decorating them with exotic ”Persian” name.”

    Hello, Mr. Broad,

    In reference to your above statement regarding your disappointment with EMRO, please be advised that Ms. Harding is a friend, supporter, and admirer of EMRO, and not an employee, volunteers, etc. She was kind enough to contribute her piece on Shirazi’s as she saw fit, which I then posted to the web site (without my reading it) at the request of the EMRO Founder, Ms. Gloria Lauris.

    Please do not believe that since Ms. Harding made a quick assumption regarding the Shirazi cats and, apparently, she did not go into great depth into her research, that this is EMRO’s position regarding the Shirazi “breed”.

    My main reason for contacting you is that I have been asked by a gentleman, named Fabio Bense, who works for a pet magazine in Brazil called “Cães & Cia” (Dogs And Co., in English – http://www.caes-e-cia.com.br)to provide him with any and all information regarding the Shirazi cat. This is how I came across your web site.

    At the moment, I am in my second day of research because in accumulating this information, I have come across contradictory data (just as you stated), misinformation, and unconfirmed assumptions. It will probably take me until this afternoon to finalize, compile the “accurate” data, and structure it cohesively in order to submit it to the EMRO Founder for approval.

    If you have any additional information which you, yourself, have compiled since August 22, 2012 regarding the Shirazi cat, I would very much appreciate it if you can send me a copy of whatever (confirmed) information you may have on the Shirazi – if you wish to do so.

    Thank you for the “tap on the shoulder” regarding the incorrect information on our web site, and, in future, do not hesitate to contact me if you come across any additional misinformation posted on the EMRO web pages.

    Yours truly,

    Aida Marina, WebMauster / Sponsorship Manager
    EMRO – Egyptian Mau Rescue Organization
    http://www.emaurescue.org
    Webmauster@emaurescue.org

  7. Mr. Broad,

    My apologies! I clicked on the wrong “Reply” and assumed the response was from you and not “Ankara Kedisi Derneği”.

    In my haste to obtain as much information about the Shirazi in order to submit it to Mr. Fabio in Brazil, I mistook the “Reply” and down arrow (pointing to your smiling face) to mean the article was yours and not Mr./Ms. Derneği.

    Please accept my sincerest and heart-felt apologies.

    Sincerely,

    Aida Marina, WebMauster
    EMRO

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