Traditional Persian Cat

Meet the Persian cat up close and purrsonal. Have you been looking for a purebred cat with a sweet, affectionate and captivating personality? The magnificent Persian might just be what the doctor ordered.

But be forewarned! It’s easy to be immediately smitten! A Persian cat is capable of casting a spell and it’s love at first sight. These cats have an amazing capability of weaving their way into your heart. These cats are demonstratively affectionate toward their guardians, and frequently speak to them in soft, dulcet tones. Since they don’t hide their feelings, you will always know what is on their minds.

Persians are not only extremely intelligent; they are highly social animals and live to please their humans. They thrive on interaction with people and get along famously with children and other pets. There is nothing “obnoxious” about this extraordinary breed. Although they do enjoy interactive play, they are not at all hyperactive. In fact, Persians are often affectionately referred to as “furry speed bumps”.

To keep this breed stimulated and happy, moderate exercise is all that’s required. Since Persians have heavily boned legs to support their broad short bodies, they prefer to have their feet planted firmly on the ground. Climbing onto high places is not their forte. But, like all cats, Persians are predatory in nature, so giving them “prey” toys to chase, such as interactive feathers on a poll, feather teasers and laser lights will stimulate and bring out their inner “wild” kitty. With laser light toys great care must be used to ensure the beam doesn’t make direct contact with their eyes.

Persians are highly adaptable; when their guardian is not home they can easily sleep throughout the day. Since they are highly social, it’s preferable to have another cat or a dog to keep them company.

For ages, the Persian cat has won the hearts of feline lovers around the world. With its magnificent long, flowing coat, these kitties top the charts in popularity. Loving and intelligent, this cat makes an ideal family pet. Depending on which of the three coat textures your prospective Persian is wearing will determine the amount of time needed to keep them in top condition.

Appearance and Grooming Needs

The Persian is a solidly built, short, cobby cat with a sturdy bone structure. Their muzzles are foreshortened and their faces are divided into two categories, “Doll Face” and “Pekey“. In profile, the Doll Face has a little short nose, while the Pekey face’s profile is flat. In spite of their large appearance, it’s their long flowing coats that give them the appearance of a much larger cat than they actually are. See breed standard.

Persian Coat Types:

Requiring only weekly combing to remove excess hair, the” Silky coated” Persian is considered a rather “low maintenance” cat. They do not shed excessively and do not require frequent bathing. The “Cotton Candy” coat tangles easily requiring regular combing to prevent it from matting. Although only occasional bathing is necessary, they do require frequent combing. As its name suggests, the “Greasy coat” is one which needs frequent bathing and careful combing to keep their coat radiant and healthy. Some people prefer to have these cats cared for by professional groomers but know your groomer.

Coat Colors:

Persians grace us with a wide assortment of coat colors from which to choose. They range from solid to tabby, shaded, silver, smokes and bi-color. The pointed Persian (or Himalayan) with their sparkling blue eyes, dark face, ears, paws and tail contrasted with their body color is another color included in the Persian division. When fully mature, the average male weighs between 8-10 pounds, while the female weighs in between 5-7 pounds.

Health Concerns:

While the Cat Fancier’s Association describes Persians as cats who are robust in health, there are several genetic issues inherent in the breed. These include poly-cystic kidney disease, (PKD) hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart disease), progressive retinal atrophy, cystitis and bladder stones.

However, with prudent DNA testing and selective breeding, Persian breeders have worked hard to eliminate many of these genetic issues that at one time were common.


Photo credit: Flickr User: Magnus Brath

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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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  • Ruth and Michael:)

    You have inspired me to try to get an interview with one of the most outstanding Maine Coon breeders in the country, here in the USA. Your questions are terrific, and I will be asking her for more information. It has been over 40 years since I was involved in breeding and showing cats.. but do have friends that are breeding really healthy, beautiful kitties.

    What we must stop are the mills- they are responsible for most of the horrors.

    To answer your question about careful breeders, yes, they test both parents and kittens. But I will get more information from my Maine Coon breeder friend, to more specifically address your concerns.

  • Mother son ,father daughter, mating, sorry it just seems wrong to me, do the cats concerned have to be put through careful testing? Or do the resulting kittens?
    I don't like the thought of any cat being used this way, messing with Nature just upsets me.
    So, ARE there any statistics on how many pedigree kittens are miscarried, born dead, die young, or are born deformed because of incestuous breeding?

    • Signs of cat inbreeding. I agree. Breeders "have to" inbreed to fix traits and many breeders are careful about this but some are not. There are lots of examples of breeders going too far. It is worse in dogs because there are more dog breeds.

  • Jo, can you tell us how responsible breeders go about carefully testing their breeding programmes? How are these tests carried out and does this include "test" kittens, I'd like to understand how testing in certain breeds is done to assure the health and well being of kittens.

  • How many pedigree kittens are miscarried, born dead, die young, or are born deformed because of incestuous breeding?
    Does any breeder know or care?
    No wonder many pedigree cats have health problems!

    • Ruth- Reputatble and responsible breeders are very careful about their breeding programs, and do a lot of testing in certain breeds to assure the health and well being of their kittens.

      It's the kitten mills that are responsible for most of these sickly kittens, since they just throw two cats together- brother and sister often which makes for a genetic mess.

      But once a mother-son- father daughter breeding is done-after careful testing and consideration, the kittens resulting from that breeding are then outcrossed to a cat that is not related or very distantly related- and I mean distant.

      The initial breeders of Orientals actually imported cats from Great Britain that were not related at all to their studs. If I recall correctly there were cats imported from France as well.

      It is the kitten and puppy mills that are creating the majority of these horrible problems. Fortunately the majority of pet stores here in the USA are no longer selling these kittens, reducing the market. However you can buy them now on the internet. Very dangerous... very stupid.

      • I think (for this comment) you used a different email address which is why it was not recognized by the software and published immediately. Nice comment, Jo. Thanks.

  • My comments were never meant to offend anyone here.
    I'm well aware that things may be different in other places.
    We all do what we have to do for the love and welfare of cats.
    We all have a mission, a "calling", so to speak.
    We will never shut up. Ruth AKA and Babz will fight declawing, and I will fight to close kill shelters to the death!
    There are so many obstacles in the way that just have to be "kicked to the curb" in order to achieve the goals..

    • Well said Dee, we maybe fight for one main cat cause but we really fight for all causes because each one affects the others. Breeders selling kittens deprive ordinary cats of homes and many of those unwanted cats and kittens end up in Shelters and many are killed. Declawing costs cats homes, despite what the declaw vets say, it doesn't keep them in their homes because people who will only have an adapted cat are not cat lovers. When the problems start from declawing those people 'get rid' of the cat ...more unwanted cats in Shelters, many more cats killed.
      It's a vicious circle! We can't fight one battle without fighting them all,
      Breeding, surely we have enough breeds of cats to satisfy those who think ordinary beautiful cats are not good enough for them. Cats deliberately bred with deformities leading to health problems. Declawing, lack of education about neutering, treating cats as possessions not as living creatures....the list is endless and is truly upsetting to those of us who love ALL cats no matter what they look like.
      My heart goes out to you in your cause Dee, like declawing it must seem as if it will never change, but to keep on trying is all we can do.

  • Forgive me for "hogging" up the comment spaces but I really need to get my feelings off my chest.

    First off, let me make it purrfectly clear that I love ALL cats. I just happen to enjoy the Siamese and Oriental breeds, not only for their appearance- but for their remarkable, outstanding and mostly predictable purrsonalities.

    Throughout my lifetime I have had an assortment of amazing mixed-breed kitties. In fact, I was given a delightful male black kitten as a wedding present when I married my first husband.

    The kitten's mom was a Siamese that was allowed outdoors without supervision- even when she was in estrus. Therefore the kitten's daddy was a traveling salesman- and after a short but passionate love affair, she became preggers . . . and my kitten- Nemesis- was born.

    Since Nemesis' mom was Siamese and his daddy a mixed-breed tabby cat- he would be considered somewhat of an Ebony Oriental. He had an extremely strong personality, was always on my shoulder, extremely bonded to me- and very very different than many of the other mixed breed kitties who owned me. And he was a non-stop talker.

    There are plenty of pure-breed rescue groups for folks who want a particular breed-such as the Meezer Express- an organization that does great work and one that I highly respect.

    So why get a Persian, or a Siamese or even a Sphynx? Because we love the look, we love the temperament, but we don't have to buy them- we can rescue and adopt them. I adopted both of my Orientals and I am so in love with them as most of you already know.

    ::::Stepping off my soapbox::::: Thanks for listening.

  • Ankara, what are you thoughts about not getting a Persian cat? That sounds interesting to me. I am really curious about your request:) Thanks for enlightening us.

  • Perfect advertisement for Persians! Well done! Why not to encourage people buying more cats from breeders instead of adopting natural cats, which are not only more beautiful or healthier but also have superior intelligence to man made mutants like that one in the photo?

    Jo Singer, there is a lot of endorsements of Persians just about everywhere why and why we need THİS breeder's type of crap here too?

    • Hi, I missed you! The reason why Jo wrote this is because I asked her to do some page on the cat breeds. The thing is this: a wide range of people visit PoC. I have to provide a service to the widest range of people possible to ensure that PoC gets the hits and survives. PoC cannot be marginalised. It would die. So there has to be some mainstream articles which will get some critical comments like yours and mine. This sort of page serves the wider cat community and gives people who don't like the extreme breeding a chance to voice their opinion in a comment.

      Sorry to upset you. The PoC philosophy will always be the same - cat welfare, respect the cat - but the internet is highly competitive and the message has to be sold within the mainstream. I hope you are OK with that. I hope too that you and your gorgeous cats are OK.

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