The Persian Cat is a muscly, heavy-boned, medium- to large-sized cat with short, thick legs, big paws, large shoulders, a short neck, broad chest, and relatively short tail. They have large heads with animated, wide-set eyes and a short nose.
There are quite a number of sub-breed variations possible in the Persian Cat, including Traditional (which aims to replicate the appearance of the original Persian Cats), the “peke-face” Persian (named after the flat-faced Pekingese breed of dog), Himalayan (a colourpoint, longhaired varation resulting from a Siamese/Persian cross), Exotic Shorthair (which has been come to be known by many associations as a separate breed), toy/teacup Persians and the Chinchilla.
Persians have long, thick coats and come in a wide array of colours in a wide array of patterns. Solid Persians come in white, black, blue, red, cream and lilac; shaded and smoke Persians come in black, blue, cream, red and tortoiseshell; Chinchillas come in silver and gold; Tabby, Himalayan, bi-colour and parti-colour variations are also available. Their eye colours vary depending on their coat colour – solid-colour cats have dark blue or copper eyes, while Chinchilla Persians have green or blue eyes.
Persians can weigh between 4 and 8 kg and stand around 25 – 38 cm tall. Their lifespan is 15 years and over.
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Persian Cats are known for their gentle, quiet, docile nature. They are very sweet cats, but can be discriminating in their affection, only giving their attention to people they trust. As they are quiet cats, they enjoy quiet environments, and for this reason aren’t recommended for noisy households, though they can make great companions for older people or singles and don’t mind being left alone from time to time.
Persians thrive on consistency – regular meals and a little playtime is enough to satisfy them. They’re happy to relax on the couch or bed and watch you as you go about your day.
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The Persian Cat is one of the oldest cat breeds in existence today. Their early history remains largely unknown, though most agree that the cat (or at least its ancestors) came from Persia (now Iran) and Turkey.
Italian explorer Pietro della Valle is credited with introducing the breed to Europe in 1620, and within the next two centuries the Persian cat had established itself as a popular breed across Europe. They were first brought to the US in the late 19th century and quickly established themselves as one of the most popular breeds.
As of 2013, the Cat Fanciers Association ranked the Persian Cat and its cousin the Exotic Shorthair as the 1st and 2nd most popular cat breeds in the USA, respectively.
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