The Persian’s exceptionally beautiful and graceful coat, chubby cheeks and affectionate personality make it one of the world’s most popular feline breeds of all time. While there are over 200 different types of cats out there, each special and fabulous in its own way, the Persian is the one to enjoy the role of being the glamor puss of the cat world. So, without further ado, please meet your darling Persian kitty!
The Persian cat, also known as Persian Longhair, Shiraz and Shirazi, has been bred for centuries to have a round head, flat face, large copper eyes, snub nose and chubby cheeks. The ears are set wide apart, and the muzzle is particularly short. Today, this breed comes in two types: show and traditional. The show Persian is characterized by overly exaggerated features of the breed. The traditional Persian, or the “Doll Face”, is essentially the original breed without the development of extreme features. Both types have a rich, long and flowing coat that comes in various colors and patterns. Their glorious coat is often described to have a cotton-like texture. The exceptional coat is high maintenance, however, and in order to remain tangle and mat free, Persians must be combed daily and bathed regularly. One of the Persian’s prized accessories is, of course, its flowing plume of a tail. The breed comes in different variants, some of which may be considered separate breeds by certain standards: Himalayan, Exotic Shorthair, Toy size, Chinchilla Longhair and Sterling.
Little is known about the history of this very old breed. The exact origin of this beloved kitty is mysterious, but the most commonly accepted story is that it was first brought to Europe in the 1620s by an Italian named Pietro Della Valle as a souvenir from Persia (Iran). As their popularity grew, they gradually became luxurious and precious cargos on merchants’ dusty caravans from Persia. Initially, their breeding took place in Italy and France, but they soon took all of Europe by storm. They finally made their way to the United States of America in the early 1900s.
Health and care
Just like with any other highly bred cats, there are some genetic health issues that can be a concern when it comes to Persian felines. These kitties are prone to polycystic kidney disease (PKD), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), bladder stones, cystitis (bladder infections), and liver shunts.
Persians are calm, restful and cuddly, and they prefer serene environments. Surprisingly, these delightful creatures are not as athletic as you’d expect from a cat. They enjoy lounging on a sofa much more. Persians communicate with their expressive, gorgeous eyes, but they will sometimes cheer you up with a quiet meow. These kitties will adore the presence of their favorite humans, as long as they treat them kindly and gently.
Quick fun facts about the luxurious cat
1. In 2015, Persian cats were ranked as the 2nd most popular breed in the US according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association!
2. In 1871, Persians were presented at the world’s very first cat show in London, alongside other exotic breeds such as Siamese, Scottish Wild and Manx cats. They won “Best in Show”.
3. Florence Nightingale had a large Persian named Mr. Bismarck. Marilyn Monroe owned a white Persian cat named Mitsou. And Raymond Chandler was a proud owner of a black Persian named Taki.
4. The art world has long embraced its love for Persian cats. The world’s largest cat painting sold for more than $820,000 and it was entitled “My Wife’s Lovers”.
5. Persian cats are stars. They have all the elite qualities: they are luxurious, their demeanor is unmatchable and they walk with a pompous bearing. Two of our favorite Persian celebrities have to be Duchess from Disney’s “The Aristocrats” and Snowbell from “Stuart little.” In “The Aristocrats”, Duchess is a classy, white Persian who lives in a mansion with her owner, a butler and her tiny kittens. She is voiced by Eva Gabor. Snowbell is a white Persian voiced by Nathan Lane. Critics widely claim that Snowbell stole every scene of these movies.
“You spit Stuart out this instant, Snowbell! Spit him right out!” © “Stuart Little” movie
After all that, it is no wonder there are so many Persian enthusiasts out there, including us! Persians make delightful and divine companions who win hearts over with a single, deep, copper gaze. Do you have a bit of Persian glamor in your kitty? Share your photos with us!