Some time ago the CFA Persian breed standard described this breed as having a “pansy-like” face. I don’t see it in the breed standard today but it was a phrase that contributed to an unhealthy cat.
Today, the breed standard still demands that breeders create an unhealthy cat against the CFA’s own ethics and policies. Not only is the Persian breed standard in conflict with the CFA’s policy of not allowing breeders to breed unhealthy cats, the wording of the breed standard itself is conflicted.
The opening sentence is, “Balance and refinement are the essence of the breed…” The word “balance” indicates that the various parts of the cat’s anatomy are in harmony. “Harmony” points to naturalness. And yet, further down the page the standard for the Persian’s head demands unnaturalness on a grand scale, “When viewed in profile…the forehead, nose and chin appear to be in vertical alignment”. In other words the Cat Fanciers’ Association demands that the faces of Persian cats are flat. You could place a pane of glass over the face and it would fit perfectly. It’s why Indians call them “punch face Persians”.
This removes the cat’s muzzle which alters the jaw dramatically and squashes the nose to the point where it becomes a button in the middle of the face. Forty millions of years of meticulous natural evolution to the point where the planet has the cat, is destroyed at a stroke. Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that “the smallest feline is a masterpiece”. They all are in terms of their fine anatomy built to be a top predator and a wonderful animal.
The CFA Persian is not a masterpiece. It is as if someone had walked up to the Mona Lisa and slashed it with a scalpel. The Persian is the crude daubings of a child sloshing paint over a canvas. The breed standard is the pinnacle of human arrogance. It expresses a belief that humans are better than nature when humans have been reminded by the coronavirus pandemic that they are a part of nature and subject to it.
The CFA’s breed standard indicates that humans don’t accept the natural world because the think they can do better. They think they can abuse it and get away with it. Pure arrogance. They can’t. The pandemic reminds them of that simple fact.
The Persian breed standard forces the cat to be unhealthy. Nature’s way has been destroyed by some idiotic breeders working for the association who think that they have “refined” the breed. What have you refined? How can creating a grossly abnormal cat face be a refinement? It’s playing God to think that you can do better than nature. I suspect that some of the organisers at the CFA think the Earth is flat.
Message to the ladies of the CFA: the world has changed. The Persian breed standard is an anachronism rooted in the ignorant past. Sharpen up and change it please so that all future Persian cats are, before anything else, healthy. You’ll be respected for it.
P.S. The Germans call it “torture breeding” (Qualzucht). They are correct because the cat has to live a life tortured by poor breathing.