Punch Face Persians of India and Pakistan
Punch face Persian cat advertised online from Pakistan. This cat is not that extreme despite being described as extreme.
Why are there so many "punch face" Persian cats in India? The preferred color is white. The term "punch face" is a version of the western term, "flat faced" or "flat face". The origin of the term obviously comes from the flat appearance of the modern Persian cat, which has a face that looks like someone punched it. Not a great way to describe a cat really. Sorry.
So why are there lots of Persians for sale in India, Pakistan and perhaps Bangladesh? There are very few other popular cat breeds for sale in India it appears to me. The Siamese could and should be popular in India but you don't see them in online adverts. Or perhaps the Oriental Shorthair or Balinese (long haired Siamese).
The Persian is not well suited to the Indian climate. I would have thought that the most common sort of native feral or non-purebred cat in India would be slender and short haired. Siamese cats are both slender and short haired; an ideal sort of cat for hot conditions.
I am wondering if the Persian cat's dominance of the purebred cat market place in India is a throwback to the British Raj. By "throwback" I mean a legacy of what was happening in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh during the period of British rule. It started in 1858 and ended in 1947.
Another theory is that the Persian cat came from Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Afghanistan there were cats called "Burak" which were Persian cats. There weren't many Persian cats in Persia though! Persia is Iran today.
Above: the text comes from a book dated 1842. The country referred to is Afghanistan. Perhaps the Persian cat was exported from this region to the UK and India at the same time.
There were obviously many British people in India at that time. The Persian cat is one of the longest running cat breeds of the cat fancy. It is one of the first breeds of the cat fancy.
At the time of the end of British rule in India the Persian had been around for more than 50 years. It is an exotic cat breed. I think it is a reasonable assumption that some (perhaps many) British people brought their cats with them to India from Britain. Were these cats the beginning of the Persian cat breed in India?
If they are the founding cats in India then perhaps the punch face Persians of India are more purebred than the Persians of Europe or the United States. I don't know. But there has probably been little "selective breeding" in India because there is no cat fancy there. This may have preserved the purity of the original British Persians, although they are not formally purebred cats by western cat fancy standards. This is pure speculation and I would love to be criticized! The Persians in the west (American and Europe) have no genetic connection to the original Persians due to selective breeding.
There are also doll face or traditional Persians in India but the punch face appears to be more popular. Cream or white is the preferred colour as I have mentioned. They are probably considered more exotic than other colors.
The picture heading the page is described as "extreme punch face Persian…" The person advertising this breeding cat chosen at random, lives in Karachi, Pakistan. It is interesting because despite the use of the word, "extreme" this cat is not extreme by USA standards. You would almost describe this cat as a doll face Persian under USA standards. That is probably to be expected because the US breeders bred the most extreme Persian cats and other purebred cats.
I would welcome some comments from people living in India. I respect the views of others and this article is simply a discussion point.