The Persian cat is one of the oldest breeds of cat, and it is also one of the most common. Documentation of the breed dates back to the 1500s. Although many people can name very few if any cat breeds, most can name the Persian. Oftentimes in a show hall there will be so many Persians that depending on the association, color classes can be judged as different breeds. Sometimes Persians of a particular color will outnumber an entire other breed of cat in the competition.
Persians can have almost any color or markings including pointed, tortoiseshell, and tabby. They have short legs, an extremely thick long coat, large eyes, a wide head with far apart ears and an exaggeratedly short muzzle. Persians with extremely short muzzles are susceptible to a number of health problems, specifically sinus problems. Photographs indicate that during the period between the 1960s and 80s, the muzzle tended to get shorter and shorter. In the 1980s the Breed’s Council changed the standard to limit the extremely short muzzle’s development. In 2007, the Breed standard was finally altered to reflect the flat face and it states that the chin, nose and forehead should be vertically aligned.
Persians need regular grooming because their fur is too dense and long for self-maintenance. They should be brushed daily for at least 10 to 15 minutes, and bathed regularly as well. Persians are also susceptible to eye problems and kidney disease. They generally live between 10 and 18 years.
Longevity is usually between 10 and 18 years on average.
Persians are gentle, affectionate, and typically fairly placid. They can however be playful in their own way.