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.
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:
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- They first came from the area of Iran, formerly Persia. These would be the true Persian cats or…
- They were imported with the British when they ruled India (the British Raj – between 1858 and 1947).