There are five types of Persian cat (1) the flat-faced or ultra-faced modern Persian (2) the original doll-based Persian (3) the short haired variant of the Persian, namely the Exotic Shorthair and (4) the pointed Persian namely the Himalayan with a flat face (Colorpoint Persian – the UK name) and (5) the Himalayan with a normal face.
The modern flat-faced Persian heads the list above because it is the most well-known. It is the Persian that people recognize as a Persian cat. However, this variant of the Persian is a relatively modern development. Breeders, for some reason, think that it looks better than the original with a more normal face. A lot of people disagree with them. This cobby, extremely long-haired cat with an unnaturally flat face was achieved through a long process of selective breeding over many years.
Exotic Shorthairs cats are exactly the same as the flat-based Persian except their fur is shorter. The Himalayan cat is, as mentioned, a pointed variant of the Persian. This breed also can be seen with a flat face or with the more natural face.
Copious amounts of information on these types of Persian cat preclude the need to describe them here (on mobiles please scroll down for a list of links or search). Suffice to say that the flat-faced or peke-faced Persian was at one time the most popular breed. That distinction has probably been lost because the unnaturally flat face generates health issues and selective breeding has also given this breed the gift of rampant PKD1 Polycystic Kidney Disease. Perhaps I am being a bit fierce in its condemnation but you only have to ask around to discover the health issues of this variant of a popular breed.
Persian cats are described as ‘abnormal‘ by the great zoologist Dr Desmond Morris. He refers to the abnormally flat face. Persian cats can be nervous. They can have litter usage problems. Persian cat breeding failures occur. Of the two Exotic Shorthairs owned by celeb Ella Eyre, one has his tongue permanently out. Exotics like Persians suffer from breathing problems. I won’t go on as it’ll sound like I am against these types of Persian cats (except the doll-faced variants). I am.
Selecting The Best
If you are here to try and make up your mind which of these types of Persian cat you’d like to adopt, I’d choose a doll-faced Persian or Himmie as the Himalayan is affectionately called. They are attractive cats. Congenital health issues may be present. The mantra is that random bred rescue cats are the best.