Picture of a concave-faced Persian cat

This is a picture of a concave-faced Persian cat. I have juxtaposed the picture against one of a standard, traditional doll-faced Persian cat to show the difference. The purpose of this short post is to discuss what we see in these pictures.

Picture of a concave-faced Persian cat
Picture of a concave-faced Persian cat. Concave: having an outline or surface that curves inwards like the interior of a circle or sphere. Image: PoC based on images in the public domain.
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The first point to make is that the contemporary Persian should have a flat-face. It should not be concave because that would be extreme breeding. The truth is that the flat-face is already extreme breeding and therefore to create a face that is concave i.e. pointing inwards as you can see in the picture is beyond extreme breeding in my opinion and will clearly create health problems such as breathing difficulties and tear duct overflow.

The second point worth making is that the breed standard for the Persian under the Cat Fanciers’ Association states that the forehead, nose and chin are in alignment. That means that the face should be flat. So this cat has been over-bred even per the breed standard.

The traditional, doll-faced Persian is more like the original Persian cat but even this one, the one we see in the picture below, is still bred slightly beyond the normal for the Persian cat. The original person cats were like long haired versions of today’s moggies, more or less. They were prettier and more interesting looking than a standard random read cat but in terms of their facial features and profile, the original Persian going back to the turn of the 20th century had a fairly regular face as you can see the photograph below.

Genuine original show cat Persian in the West

Mrs Simpson and an old fashioned Persian
Mrs Simpson and an old fashioned Persian. Picture in the public domain.

Some further points to make

The CFA breed standard says that in general terms the breed should demonstrate “balance and refinement” as they are “the essence of the breed, where all parts come together in a harmonious whole, with neither too much nor too little consideration given to anyone feature.”

If that is the guiding statement in the breed standard we have to come to conclusion, reluctantly, that the breeders have gone off on an expedition of their own because you cannot say that a Persian cat with a concave face is balanced and refined. Neither is it harmonious. It is unhealthy. And I hate to say that but it is time, I feel, to stop this sort of breeding and go back to what we see at the turn of the 20th century.

Even in the general description of this breed it says that the cat should be “well-balanced”. Well-balanced means that the cat’s anatomy is aesthetically pleasing. Anatomy can only be aesthetically pleasing when it does not disrespect nature. I don’t mind cat breeding but let’s try and stick to some basic principles which is at least to breed healthy cats.

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