The Persian brings to mind a soft, fluff ball. Well, yes, but underneath all that hair is a muscular, sturdy, cobby bodied cat. Persians are heavy boned, medium to large cats with short, thick legs and look rounded. The neck is large and round set atop a short, thick neck. The ears are small and rounded, set far apart and low on the head. Large, round eyes are also set far apart. The nose is short and stubby. The Persian tail is thick and short. Males weigh 9 to 14 pounds, females tip the scales at 7 to 11 pounds.
There are two distinct head shapes: Extreme and Dollface. The Extreme tend to be show cats, Dollface is said to be the original shape before selective breeding changed the Persian’s look. The Dollface Persian has a round head, but the nose is placed lower on the face. Both head shapes have upturned mouths which add to the adorable appearance. (Breeders also claim that Dollface Persians lack a lot of the health problems that Extreme Persians tend to suffer from.)
Otherwise, both Persian types have a long, flowing, dense coat that comes in a multitude of colors and patterns. The patterns are separated into silver and golden, smoke and shaded, calico and bicolor, solid, tabby, particolor and Himalayan (pointed patterns). Eye color depends on the color of the coat.
The exact date of origin has been lost; the Persian has literally existed for hundreds of years. Persians were featured prominently in the first modern cat show, held at London’s Crystal Palace in 1871! Persians have remained an extremely popular breed ever since! Historical evidence of the Persian date back to 1626 when Italian writer and ethnographer Pietro della Valle (1586-1652) imported the first known Persian cat to Italy during his expeditions to Persia and Turkey. According to him, Persians originated in the province of Khorasan in Persia (now Iran). Persians crossed the oceans into the New World in the late 1800s. Their popularity caught on like wildfire. It wasn’t long at all before they outpaced the homegrown Maine Coon breed. Today, the Persian remains so popular that it accounts for almost 80% of the pedigreed cat population! It’s taken 100 years of breeding to get the look of today’s Persian.
What will first attract you to a Persian? That sweet little face! What will keep you in love with him? His sweet personality. A Persian is a delightful companion to share your life with indeed. Persians are loving, laidback and the perfect mix of devotion to you and being a pampered prince/princess. A Persian is not a partyer; no swinging from the chandelier for them! That doesn’t stop them from pouncing onto a catnip mouse on occasion though. When awake, they prefer to play, cuddle and to be pampered (they do have a lot of hair that needs attention…) You will rarely hear a Persian speak. This doesn’t mean they don’t crave your attention or affection, simply they aren’t demanding.
A Persian is a cat who is devoted, but discriminating in showing it. They will only display their full trust and loyalty to you if you give it back. You get what you give with these kitties! It is well worth it though; fanciers say bonding with a Persian is like living with a soul mate.
It’s best to keep your Persian indoors only. His temperament is too docile to survive in the wild and his hair will ensure burs, leaves or other debris will follow him around. He is also susceptible to getting caught or snagged in bushes, trees or fences.