Traditional Doll Face Persian Cat

The Traditional Doll Face Persian Cat is discussed with reference to a lot of fine photographs in a bumper slide show of large format images and the various cat association breed standards, focusing on the face. There is also a page on the website in memory of a fine Doll Face Persian called Yeri, which can been seen if you click on this link: Traditional Persian cat Slide show loading 2-3 seconds……
Some time ago I did some research on the changing appearance of the Persian cat, particularly the face. Basically it changed from a fairly normal but rounded face to one in which the face is described as flat (eveything in line from top to bottom) under the CFA breed standard. If you want to see that page click here: Persian cats or read an illustrated version of the Persian Cat Breed Standard for the flat faced Persian.

I’m not going to revisit the same territory and talk about the transformation again but I think it would be useful to make a comparison of some breed standards to see if an association accepts the Traditional Doll Face Persian cat currently or is this cat still barred from competition. And if so, is it because of the breed standards or the judges’ interpretation of it. In other words do the various breed standards technically allow the traditional to win shows but the judges don’t? It also gives me the excuse to show a number the traditional Pesian cat photos that are on the website at various places.

Lets start at the top, the CFA breed standard in relation to the head, which as I see it is the center of attention. As expected it asks for a massive skull with plenty of roundness. The vertical alignment in profile of the forehead, nose and chin is demanded. As I have previously suggested this forces the creation of cats with a facial anatomy that causes health problems. This goes against the underlying CFA breed standard that states, as I understand it, that no breed standard should do this.

The Si-o-Seh Pol bridge in Isfahan Persia (now Iran) and built in 1602 – photograph by rezavoody
TICA are immediately more moderate. Their standard asks for a head that is medium to large in size and in proportion to the rest of the cat. The cat should have a sweet expression. The “General Description” section reinforces a moderate approach by saying that the cat should be “well balanced physically”. There is absolutely no reason why a Traditional Doll Face Persian cat cannot win a TICA cat show it seems to me. However, my research on the internet indicates that TICA champions are similar to CFA champions (if I’m wrong please tell me).

As to the GCCF it is hard to find the breed standard (Standard of Points) on the internet so I haven’t seen it but the pictures of Persian cats that I have seen on their website are definitely more moderate and some are near the Traditional Doll Face Persian cat (perhaps they are, as there is no black and white test as far as I know).

The ACFA (American Cat Fanciers Association) follow the CFA almost to the letter (who copied who?) in relation to that most important of definitions; the appearance of the face and, yes, everything should be in vertical alignment (i.e. flat face Ultra typed Persians only, please). So, there is no doubt that a traditional Persian will not succeed.

WCF (World Cat Federation) leave the choice open as to whether a judge leans towards the flat faced or more moderate faced Persian. They seem to put a restriction on the development of an extreme look by saying that the upper edge of the nose leather should not be above the lower edge of the eye (i.e. the nose should be below the eyes! – not always the case with Ultra Persians)

Moving on – FIFe follow the moderate route and it seems make a point of it. They state that the head should be well balanced and the nose should not be a snub nose. The nose bridge and leather (end of nose) should be wide and the nostrils should do their job, namely allow a free passage of air. I can’t see a problem with the Traditional Doll Face Persian cat competing in competition but does this happen and if so does she win? Well, I don’t think they do, so it seems the judges are leaning towards CFA standards. If I am wrong that’s fine, just tell everyone and correct it. You can do that on this page: Have a Say.

Conclusion: Some breed standards support the extreme flat faced appearance and some do not. If not, the judging across the board favors the Ultra Persian appearance.

From Traditional Doll Face Persian cat to Pictures of Persian cats

Traditional Doll Face Persian cat – Sources:
  1. CFA
  2. TICA
  3. FIFe
  4. ACFA
  5. Breeder sites
  6. WCF

Traditional Doll Face Persian cat – Photographs in the slide show: these are by three sources (a) Helmi Flick with her express permission (b) Daniëlle Rozeboom with her express permission and (c) under creative commons licenses granted by Flickr photographers.

Photograph in middle of page: pubished under a creative commons license = Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License allowing for modification. This is a cropped version to fit the pages layout.


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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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  • Yes we as a group call ourselves Dollface breeders unite have contacted CFA asking to propose for a separate division within the current standard for the dollface type Persian. We were told CFA does not want the old type affiliated with the new standard type that we would have better luck to change the name to apply for a name change and NEW breed name. We were told if we like the look of the old type Persian we should breed the British long haired or Ragamuffin cats with the same desired look we like.

  • As a child I grew up with the chinchilla and sivershaded persians. The often used the male as a stud. . .for a fee.or pick of yhe litter. We always stayed with the dollface. From my view point these standards in show have ruined many breeds by Inbreeding for various traits or equivalent for some particular characteristic of a judge. That being said and you might not agree! They are just plain ugly! I dont know about the temperment but if a human child was born with their nose in line with their eyes . .it would be called fetal alchol syndrome!! For gods sake its cruel to do that to an animal. Enough said, now that is off my chest..Ill curl up to my 20 year old female silvershaded sweetheart. ..and wish you all a good night. Just sumptin to think about.

    • Totally agree. It is crazy to breed cats that look that distorted. The doll face looks normal and it is more healthy. The flat-faced Persian is one of the biggest mistakes the cat fancy has made. The Persian has become less popular because of it, in my opinion.

  • I have a beautiful white doll face Persian. She was not allowed to enter in the Persian category at the St Paul Cat Show in MN. I do not understand this! The doll face Persians are much prettier and my vet tells me I will have much less trouble with her.

    I entered her in the kitten division (newbee eaten alive by longtime showers) and walked away with three ribbons. How rewarding is that! I still am totally confused by this ruling.

    • Hi Christy. I guess you are referring to the CFA and other organisations running shows who only recognise the flat-faced Persian. For me and for other people, this is madness because the traditional Persian is so much better in appearance and health. But that is the cat fancy for you. I have campaigned for years to try and get the associations to revert back to the better cat. I am pleased your cat got some recognition in a different class. She must be gorgeous looking. Cristalline in Holland is a superb traditional white Persian.

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