The Persian Cat
As Basepaws gears up for the release of our first breed-related results (Yay!), let’s take some time to talk about cat breeds and feline ancestry. It is estimated there are somewhere between 60 to over 200 different types of felines out there, and each possesses something special - each fabulous feline has a unique set of features, traits and markings that sets them apart. Ladies and gents, please meet the glamor puss of the cat world – the Persian cat!
Persian’s exceptionally beautiful and graceful coat, chubby cheeks, expressive eyes and affectionate personality make them one of the world’s most popular feline breeds of all time.
The main features
The Persian cat, also known as Persian Longhair, Shiraz and Shirazi, has been bred to have a round head, flat face, large copper eyes, snub nose and chubby cheeks for centuries. 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 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, and in order to remain tangle and mats free, Persians must be combed daily and bathed regularly.
The lovely, chubby face of a Persian is marked with expressive, beautiful copper eyes. The ears on their wide head are set far apart and they are characterized by a specific, shortened muzzle. The legs are rather short as well. And to top this beauty off, they are accessorized with a flowing plume of a tail. The Persian cat comes in different variants: 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 story has it 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 entire Europe by storm. They finally made their way to the United States of America in the early 1900s.
I am chubby and adorable (photo by Tetsu Yamazaki, Animal Photography)
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, adorable meow. These kitties will adore the presence of their favorite humans, as long as they treat them kindly and gently.
Just like with any other highly bred cats, there are some genetic health issues that can be a concern when it comes to the 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 cats are stars. They are luxurious, their demeanor can’t be matched and they walk with a pompous bearing. Their elite qualities earned them a celebrity status in the feline world. These are some of the Persian celebrities:
1. Duchess from Disney’s "The Aristocrats". In the movie, 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.
2. Sassy from Disney’s "Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco". Sassy is, well, sassy, elegant and beautiful. Sassy was played by six different Himalayans.
3. Mr. Jinx from "Meet the Parents" and "Meet the Fockers". Mr. Jinx is Jack’s (Robert De Niro) Persian played by a male seal-point Himalayan originally named Catzboutique Panda Bear, bred by Lavonne Zuver.
4. Snowbell from "Stuart little" and "Stuart little 2". 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
Quick fun facts:
1. In 2015 the Persian cats were ranked as the 2nd most popular breed in the US according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
2. In 1871 Persians was 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 the Persian cats. The world’s largest cat painting sold for more than 820,000$ and it was entitled "My Wife’s Lovers".
"My Wife’s Lovers" © Carl Kahler
After everything said, it is no wonder there are so many Persian enthusiasts out there, including us! Persians make up for delightful and divine companions who win hearts over with a single, deep, copper gaze. We hope you enjoyed reading about this luxurious star. Next time we continue with an introduction to another gorgeous cat breed! Have a wonderful and cuddly day