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.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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”.

        1. 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!

  4. Hi mr Broad
    Im an iranian and i live in shiraz. its a city at the sout of iran and in persian language shirazi means “sth or sb from shiraz city”.do you think that shirazi cats are from shiraz city? or its just a name for this breed?

    1. Hi Elham. Thanks for visiting and asking. Although I am not sure, I don’t think that Shirazi cats are from the city of Shiraz. The word ‘shirazi’ is quite popular and cat breeders like to find exotic and fancy words to name their cats. It makes the cat more popular.

  5. Michael: I hadn’t heard of “punch face” Persians of India. At least they’re honest in their description of these unfortunate creatures.

  6. hi..i have read your comments and replies… been wondering if you can also help me if my cat is also a shirazi…some says she’s one. i just adopted her and the owner told me that she’s a ragdoll crossbreed of is her picture ..hoping that you can help me also with her..thanks in advance…

      1. hi..i have read your comments and replies… been wondering if you can also help me if my cat is also a shirazi…some says she’s one. i just adopted her and the owner told me that she’s a ragdoll crossbreed of is her picture ..hoping that you can help me also with her..thanks in advance…

        i am here in saudi arabia..we just adopted much thanks for reply

        1. Hi Bambina, to be honest is is impossible to say what breed your cat is because there is no cat fancy in SA and no registration of cat breeds or if there is a cat fancy and a cat association it is in its infancy.

          Without a registered pedigree (a recorded pedigree) you can only guess and the Shirazi looks like a doll face Persian so it all becomes hit and miss.

          The Shirazi is not an accepted cat breed as I understand it so once again it is impossible to tell and you can’t tell a breed solely on appearance.

          Your cat looks like a traditional Persian and looks to have interesting pointing. That would make her Himalayan. There may be some Ragdoll but I doubt it because Ragdolls are rare in that part of the world while Persians are not that rare as far as I know.

          Sorry to be so vague. She is a very beautiful and unusual looking cat. She seems to be pointed and my bet is that if she is a cat breed she is a traditional Himalayan.

          1. thank you so much Mr. Michael Broad for your info..this will surely help us in taking care of her…my children are very fond of her and i too because to be honest i dont know anything about cats and am a dog person but when we moved here i found out that hey…i like cats too.. 🙂 and now reads about infos regarding them, aside from that i am happy because Nutella is so meticulous when it comes to grooming herself and i really like clean place/environment….so we are compatible and i hope that she will grow old with me andf family…so happy to have her…please do keep us posted for more interesting facts and new infos…again my appreaciation for your reply…

            1. In countries where the cat fancy is fairly new, breeders are often registered with the World Cat Federation. However, both TICA and CFA from the USA are beginning to establish themselves in these countries. Sceptical me thinks this is to ensure that “their” breed standards are the one adhered to worldwide.

              The Persian Cat Club of Middle East’s FB page features some very extreme looking Persians. Some of them look like Peke faced Persians to me 🙁


              Bambina, your cat is very pretty. What eye colour does she have?

              1. You have probably heard of the “punch face” Persians of India. The Persian is the most established purebred cat in the East. The Siamese is there too. The best known cat breeds.

                It’s probably similar in the Middle East.

  7. Mr. Broad,

    My apologies! I clicked on the wrong “Reply” and assumed the response was from you and not “Ankara Kedisi Derneği”.

    In my haste to obtain as much information about the Shirazi in order to submit it to Mr. Fabio in Brazil, I mistook the “Reply” and down arrow (pointing to your smiling face) to mean the article was yours and not Mr./Ms. Derneği.

    Please accept my sincerest and heart-felt apologies.


    Aida Marina, WebMauster

  8. “We are very disappointed. We expected far more from EMRO. It seems they are turning to fanciers and using same old ”conclusions” that require little thinking and no research, decorating them with exotic ”Persian” name.”

    Hello, Mr. Broad,

    In reference to your above statement regarding your disappointment with EMRO, please be advised that Ms. Harding is a friend, supporter, and admirer of EMRO, and not an employee, volunteers, etc. She was kind enough to contribute her piece on Shirazi’s as she saw fit, which I then posted to the web site (without my reading it) at the request of the EMRO Founder, Ms. Gloria Lauris.

    Please do not believe that since Ms. Harding made a quick assumption regarding the Shirazi cats and, apparently, she did not go into great depth into her research, that this is EMRO’s position regarding the Shirazi “breed”.

    My main reason for contacting you is that I have been asked by a gentleman, named Fabio Bense, who works for a pet magazine in Brazil called “Cães & Cia” (Dogs And Co., in English – provide him with any and all information regarding the Shirazi cat. This is how I came across your web site.

    At the moment, I am in my second day of research because in accumulating this information, I have come across contradictory data (just as you stated), misinformation, and unconfirmed assumptions. It will probably take me until this afternoon to finalize, compile the “accurate” data, and structure it cohesively in order to submit it to the EMRO Founder for approval.

    If you have any additional information which you, yourself, have compiled since August 22, 2012 regarding the Shirazi cat, I would very much appreciate it if you can send me a copy of whatever (confirmed) information you may have on the Shirazi – if you wish to do so.

    Thank you for the “tap on the shoulder” regarding the incorrect information on our web site, and, in future, do not hesitate to contact me if you come across any additional misinformation posted on the EMRO web pages.

    Yours truly,

    Aida Marina, WebMauster / Sponsorship Manager
    EMRO – Egyptian Mau Rescue Organization

  9. This is a picture of my queen, Bella, behind her is my boy, baby.

    I have had these cats going on 5 years an do have to say that these area probably the most affectionate cats I have ever owned. They actually worry after me when I don’t come home on time. They also hear my car door shutting and will run to the window in order to greet me. They are also extremely intelligent but they do have a goofy streak. They are generally quiet unless they need something then they can let you know it. They are very very tolerant of my 18 month old when she pulls on their fur or ears. They have never taken a swipe at her despite her harassment. I sell my kittens for 300 USD. Even though they do not have papers both are purebred and I got them from Egypt. I am waiting for three new kittens to arrive from Egypt and I will also be breeding them as well. Both of my cats are PKD neg. These two are wonderful wonderful cats. Bella does have two different color eyes but is not blind or deaf. Both are fluffy white. Baby has so silver tips on the top of his head between his ears. I would be happy to answer any questions or give more information to anyone who needs it.

    1. Hey cud u help me identify my cat , is she an angora or a Shirazi , what is the differnce . She is 1 year 3 months , got her from a pet store in jeddah when she was 2 m . ☺️Any info wud b much appreciated

      1. Fatima we don’t know enough about the Shirazi to understand how it compares with the Turkish Angora. Also which Angora are you referring to? The one in the USA or the one in Turkey. They are very different.

        Cat breeds are very complicated especially the ones we are discussing because the American TA is a creation of American breeders while the Turkish TA is the real thing.

        I suppose the people who sold you the cat (beautiful cat by the way) did not provide you with any information. That would indicate non-purebred which means neither TA or Shirazi. Ask the store what breed she is!

        Even if the store said she was a TA, how can they prove it? You can’t really identify cat breeds by photos.

        Thanks for visiting and asking and apologies for delay in responding.

        1. Thank you for replying ☺️ the pet store claimed her to be a Turk . Doesn’t matter anyway . Wont make me love her any less .she is a wonderful cat . It got important for me to kno what breed she is so that i could take care of her needs better and find out what her normal weight should be .
          Once again ! Really appreciate your time ☺️

  10. I know that you can get shirazi in the US. I breed them and sell them. I went to Egypt to buy my cats. They are quite popular in the area where I live. My litters sometimes sell out the day they are born and I frequently have people waiting for my next litter to be born in or to lay their claim to the kitten of their choice.

    1. Hi Ashley. Fantastic. Thanks for sharing that information. If you have a picture feel free to upload on to another comment. If you write a bit about your cats and the breed I’ll turn the comment into an article.

        1. I have a Shirazi [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,

  11. I am totally confused. I have these cat’s which are supposed to be shirazi.. would you help me identify them?

  12. Ankara Kedisi Derneği

    Michael, you can definitely help for the real Turkish Angora and you are already doing this: you are writing about them! We think education is very important in order to fight all those falsehoods and spread well researched, accurate information instead…

    Kind Regards,

    Angora Cat Association, TURKEY

  13. Ankara Kedisi Derneği

    Shirazi cat:

    ”Their origin likely goes back to the Persian reign in Egypt when Persian cats got introduced to the local Mau population.
    Shirazis are truly ancient, unique souls that compare the godlike traits of the Egyptian Maus with the royal look of the Perisan (Persian)cats”(Sabine Harding).

    It’s a good example of lack of research- result is wrong hypothesis. Not even hypothesis, they state this without doubts!

    Persian cat – longhair Anatolian-Middle East cat, which is known as Angora. There is NO particular Persian cat. 2008 genetic study clearly says that Persian is a western cat; incredible similarity of early Persian and Angora is seen in many old paintings and photos ta least 300-400 years old; it seems cat trade also existed; ”Persian” and Angora were probably imported by foreigners: French Nicolas Claude Fabri de Peiresc and Italian Pietro Della Valle at the same time. Because of Pietro della Valle a longhair Middle Eastern cat was named ”Persian”(From Della Valle letters we know he hated Ottomans, so Angora or Anatolian name for a cat that may originated in these areas, could not be an option for him), while Peiresc mentioned Ancyra/Angora name:

    Before stating that Shirazi is mix of Persian, they have to collect credible evidence that there once was a breed called the Persian which is distinct from the Angora. They don’t have such an evidence.

    We are very disappointed. We expected far more from EMRO. It seems they are turning to fanciers and using same old ”conclusions” that require little thinking and no research, decorating them with exotic ”Persian” name.

    1. Fantastic contribution. Thank you so much for a great comment. I owe you something. Can PoC help the Turkish Angoras in Turkey in some way?

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