Shirazi Cats

As at around 2008, there is precious little information about these cats (things do change however). I am not even sure that they are a distinct cat breed (but please read on). The best books on the cat breeds don’t refer to them. The top website on this cat as found by Google says almost nothing solid about Shirazi kittens or cats except to mention a health problem associated with this cat, namely PKD (PKD1 Polycystic Kidney Disease). The Persian, both traditional and extreme bred, is associated with PKD. Accordingly the Shirazi is associated with the Persian it seems to me as it looks like a Persian as well.

The Messybeast author Sarah Hartwell does not refer to them either. I have 104 cat breeds on this site and I have not referred to them. So what is going on?

They are for sale, online, for purchase in Dubai, the Middle East:

Shirazi Kitten For Sale Dubai
Shirazi Kitten For Sale Dubai
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The kitten above costs 1,500 AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham) and looks like a traditional Persian. This is 331 Euros and $408 (USD).

Sabine Harding, in an article on the Shiraz Cat, writes that this cat is an Egyptian Mau – Persian mix. They are seen as semi-domestic, stray and feral cats in Egypt. Although these street cats won’t look like the selectively breed cats for sale in Dubai.

The Egyptian Mau is famous for its spotted tabby coat. However, the Shirazi has a wide range of coat types and patterns including the tabby coat.

The Shirazi is not a registered cat breed, Sabine writes. That actually confirms my original impression. However, in Dubai they are advertised as purebred. This does not mean they are a registered cat breed. The formal registration of cat breeds is something that takes place mainly in the West – Europe and North America. This is because there are no cat associations in the Middle East (wrong?) or for example TICA are not present in the Middle East. TICA are an international cat association and would probably have registered or accepted this breed if representations had been made to them. I would have thought that it would be beneficial to breeders and buyers to register this cat and make it a cat breed.

However, it may be that it is not distinct enough from the traditional Persian and in any case TICA recognise the extreme Persian (“forehead, nose and chin in straight line”) and not the doll face.

To summarize the Shirazi cat is:

  • a long haired or semi-longhaired cat;
  • not formally a cat breed but;
  • is bred in the Middle East (and elsewhere?) and is therefore possibly or probably purebred but you can’t be sure;
  • looks like a traditional doll face Persian and;
  • has a wide range of coat types including tabbies. This is due to breeding as the native Shirazi is a tabby after the Egyptian Mau.
  • a cat that is probably not available in Europe or North America but I am open to correction on that.

Here is another picture from a Dubai seller of a tabby Shirazi kitten for the same price as the grey kitten above:

Tabby Shirazi Kitten
Tabby Shirazi Kitten

Some other selected information about the appearance of the Shirazi from Sabine, who seems to know what she is talking about:

  • Most Shirazi cats have the classic M tabby mark on their forehead.
  • They are laid back – hints of Persian cat character and in contrast to the Egyptian Mau.
  • Claimed to have a belly flap. This hints at the Egyptian Mau which is famous for a belly flap is said to help make the Mau the world’s fastest domestic cat.

43 thoughts on “Shirazi Cats”

  1. I have a Shirazi cat[a gift] who is older now. Didn’t know I could get one in the U.S.A. I’m interested in buying another at some point. I live in New Hampshire. Where are you located?
    Thank you,

  2. They look like traditional persians because this is why they prety much are: UAE being very close to Iran and having very long history of trade with Iran, there are people here who brought some of these cats from there. “Shiraz” is a region from Iran from where the classic persian breed is believed to come from. When you say “Shirazi” in arabic it litterarly means “belonging to Shiraz”. There are cats like these as feral cats in Iran still, while in Dubai they only exist on the streets as dumped cats. I guess you can search their history in Iran also, althrow i am not sure they are called “Shirazi” there as well.

  3. Hello,
    I live in Dubai and i know the concept of “Shirazi” cat. They call here “Shirazi” the “Domestic Long Hair”.
    I bought kittens, from the animal market, byb if you want to call it, and when i went to the vet to make their health card the doctor refussed to write for them “Persian” as a breed because they don’t have the flat face. But the doctor accepted to write in arabic “Shirazi”. In short this is just the arabic name given for a doll-face type of domestic long hair, bassically a cat for which no pedigree is availible will be called “Shirazi”, and in here, these are medium long hair cats, sometimes just fluffy tail, that are a mix between angora and persians cats of unknown origins. I don’t think the egyptian mau has anything to do with the “breed”, not even the arabian mau, present here as street cat, because short hair is dominant and any mix with such cat will produce first generation shorthair kittens carriers of the longhair gene, but of course if these shorthair kittens would be bred back to “Shirazi” they could produce some long hair kittens again.
    If you go to the animal market anywhere in UAE they will give a cheaper price for the cats/kittens which have longer ears and face and shorter hair than other long hair cats and they will reffer to them as “Shirazi”, if they are very little fluffy with motly tail only fluffy and longer fur arround the neck and longer face they will call them “Turkish” or “Turkish Angora” cats, if they have a flat face they would be called “Peke Face Persian”, if they are round face but not flat they would be called “Moon Face Persian” but all these are unregistered cats of unknown history, hobby or “back yard” bred.
    In breef, there is no certified or registered breed called “Shirazi”, but this is the most popular cat “breed” as home pet in UAE, and because it is a mixed breed doesn’t have many health issues, except for ringworm and earmites, comes in all colors, but the most popular are the Himalayan colors and it even suffered some interesting “mutation” on eyes color of the white and himalayan colors where the himalayan cats were bred with himalayans over many generations: the eyes are no longer blue but white color. There are still white and himalayan “Shirazi” cat with blue eyes, just some of them have it white.
    Needles to say that these cats, coming from a mix of breeds, are a good business here, because they are cheap and prices start at 200dhs and toping 2000dhs, they reach to breed at 8-9 months old, unlike breed cats and they ussually enter back on heat after one month after birth, they make an average of 5 kittens per litter and don’t need medical assistance for delivery.
    I will attach here some pictures of “Shirazi” kittens.

    • Omar, thanks for a super comment. Full of interesting information. I love to see how you refer to these cats in the UAE. I may rework your comment and turn it into an article. Thanks once again.

      • Welcome. If you need more info for the article let me know. I can give you more photos as well. As an addittion the the things said previouselly, people here also call, on the internet some cats “miky face”, this is due to some1 having misunderstood the word “peke face” at some point and other people having copied it blindly. If you google “miky face” kittens you will finds ads from UAE with long hair sort or round face kittens, which other sellers could have reffered also as “Shirazi”.

        • Thanks Omar. I hope you like the page I created. I like it. Thanks for the additional photograph. Very nice. Looks like a traditional Persian cat to me!


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