Categories: Persian cat

Are Persian cats lazy?

I think it is unfair to ask whether Persian cats are lazy! It’s a bit insulting. It is kinder to describe this popular cat breed as laid back or happy being decorative. You might describe them as passive and charming. These are all great qualities for a lot of cat owners. But yes, they are lazy!

I have a persian cat as well. Boy oh boy is she lazy! She is eight years old and she will lay on the same part of the bed all day long, get up for about two hours, and then lay back down by my feet while I sleep through the night. – Quora contributor: Lindsey Simpson.

Flat-faced Persian. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick

Are they genetically lazy? Are they born to be lazy? Yes, is the answer. It’s in their genes. They are not trained to be lazy. The cats in the breeding lines of Persian cat breeders in America are laid-back cats. That is part of the breeding programme as I understand it.

I’m sure that breeders deliberately create Persian cats who are “lazy” because that is part of their personality and it is what people expect of a Persian cat. It is a marketing point and a lot of people want to keep their cats indoors all the time. The Persian cat is suited to that environment.

It is not often that breeders think about fixing a cat’s character as well as their appearance. This applies to the Persian and it also applies to the Ragdoll. Fixed into the Ragdoll’s character is this charmingly floppy and passive personality. They are bred that way and are therefore also indoor cats. Although, shock horror, the first Ragdolls were drugged!

Shakira Persian cat with great tail. Photo copyright Helmi Flick

We have to be careful, though, because not all Persian cats are a mirror image of all the other Persian cats. They are all individuals with a tendency to be passive and lazy but amongst the cohort of Persian cats in America there will be many who are relatively active I suspect.

Just as breeders can breed a certain character into a cat they can also breed a certain appearance and the Persian has perhaps the longest fur of all domestic gas and the flattest face if you are referencing the modern or contemporary Persian cat which has a brachycephalic head. See also the history of Persian cats.

The completeness, I will describe the Persian cat’s temperament as referred to by Gloria Stephens, an expert on the cat breeds and the author of Legacy of the Cat.

I’ll quote verbatim if I may in a short passage:

Persians are, for the most part, laid back cats. Although some Persians may have sudden bursts of energy and will romp and frolic just like other breeds, most are happiest when lounging and being decorative. Playful but never demanding, they love to pose and will drape themselves in a favourite window or to share, enhancing the decor, as would a treasured work of art.

You can include the Exotic Shorthair in any discussion about Persians as they are the same cat except for the length of their fur. Although I confess that I don’t know if breeders have fixed their laid back character as firmly as in the Persian.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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