Personality and Temperament
A thick, luxurious coat is only one of the wonderful qualities of the Persian cat. Persian cats bring joy to their families because of their loving personalities and gentle yet playful antics.
If you're looking for a cat that isn't into impressive displays of athleticism, the Persian might be the perfect breed for you. These cats love to lounge, particularly after they reach adulthood. Perhaps that's why some people call them furniture with fur. Don't be fooled by this reputation, though. These cats do exhibit a playful streak, particularly when their people are interested in joining the fun.
Not prone to excessive mischief, Persians are quiet and well-behaved pets. They aren't into opening drawers and cupboards like their Oriental cousins, and unlike some other breeds such as Siamese and Savannahs, Persians usually don't like walking on leashes and playing fetch. However, they are intelligent cats, capable of learning your routine, greeting you, and of course, curling up for snuggles as part of a daily routine.
Even though Persians are expert-level cuddlers, they are not terribly demanding. If you're looking for a cat that is happy to nap while you're gone, and will cheerfully accompany you through your evening routine, you'll definitely want to give thePersian a second look.
Last but not least, despite having something of a frou-frou reputation, Persians make excellent family pets. They have the ability to get along well with children, other cats, and even dogs.
Because Persian cats have a tendency to suffer from obesity, it's vital to offer them a high-protein, low carbohydrate diet that relies on real meat or fish as the main ingredient. Consider choosing a food that contains added Omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health.
The Persian cat requires daily grooming sessions to prevent tangles that could eventually form painful mats in its ultra-fine undercoat. Brushing and combing a Persian cat is no simple task. It's vital to comb down to the skin and not just brush along the top of the coat or you might miss tangles. This process is time-consuming, so some Persian cat owners opt to have their cat's bellies shaved or clip the entire coat into a lion trim for easier maintenance.
Persian cats also have facial folds that require cleaning once or twice per day, depending on whether the cat is prone to a lot of eye discharge. In addition, brush your Persian cat’s teeth daily, and trim the nails every few weeks.
Persian cats need exercise, but take care not to overdo it, especially in warm weather. Have fun playing with feather wands and lasers, but watch the pace of play and take a break if your Persian cat doesn’t starts panting or suffering from shortness of breath.
Persians appreciate cat towers and window shelves that offer them a good view of everything that's happening in the household and neighborhood, and they like to sink their claws into scratchers, too. Just like other cats, Persians love to play with toys including catnip mice, interesting balls, and little stuffed animals.
The Persian is a brachycephalic cat breed, which means it has a push-in face. With the Persian's flattened face come some known health issues, including shortness of breath and overheating during exercise or in warm temperatures. Other health issues associated with flat-faced breeds are an elongated soft palate, narrow trachea, stenotic nares, and everted laryngeal saccules. Persian cats are also prone to allergies, which is a common issue for all brachycephalic cat breeds.
Other known Persian health issues include frequent eye injuries, dental disease and malocclusion (crowded and misaligned teeth), cancer, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and polycystic kidney disease (PKD). PKD is an inherited disorder that is highly prevalent in the Persian breed as well as related breeds like the Himalayan and Exotic Shorthair. Luckily, a genetic test is available so breeders can avoid passing this devastating disease on to future generations of kittens.
The Persian is an ancient breed, with a history that spans thousands of years. These cats—or cats with a similar appearance—can be seen on hieroglyphics that date back to approximately 1684 BC. However, the exact origins of the breed are unknown since we have no written history this far back.
Sometime during the 1600s, an Italian composer and adventurer named Pietro della Valle described Persian cats from the Khorazan region of Persia, noting that most had long, silky, gray coats. His manuscript, known as Voyages de Pietro della Valle, mentions that the cats made their way to Persia from India with Portuguese travelers.
With frequent travel came additional imports: both Persian and Angora cats made their way to France and England. In England, they were called French cats and they quickly gained popularity for their unique appearance and friendly personalities.
By the 1900s, Persian cats—then known as Persian Longhairs or simply as Longhairs—outpaced Angoras in terms of popularity, perhaps because Queen Victoria had two blue Persians and people of the day were heavily influenced by the Queen's personal tastes.
Today, Persians are renowned as North America’s most popular cat breed. The Persian is recognized by cat breed registries worldwide.
Did You Know?
The Persian is one of the oldest cat breeds, tracing its modern roots as far back as the 1600s.
The Persian was once Britain's most popular cat, however it has been outpaced by the British Shorthair.
A Persian cat with a longer nose is called a doll face Persian, and more closely resembles the traditional or old-fashioned Persian cat breed.
The Breed Standard
Legs & Paws
Where To Find a Persian Cat or Kitten
Some cat breeds are hard to find, but this is not the case with the Persian. In fact, the Persian is the most popular cat breed in North America, which means there are a lot of them around. If you are hoping to rescue your next cat, you are very likely to find an adult Persian cat at your local animal shelter or through a cat rescue group. You can also search for a Persian cat through an adoption site like Petfinder.
If you have your heart set on bringing home a Persian kitten, you are also in luck as there are many Persian breeders who have kittens for sale. Before choosing a Persian cat breeder, do your research to ensure they are reputable. Responsible breeders test their adult Persian cats for genetic diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and polycystic kidney disease (PKD) before breeding to reduce the chances of passing on these genetically linked health issues to kittens. Responsible breeders also provide excellent care and living conditions for their adult breeding cats and kittens. To get started, visit the breeder referral pages of the Cat Fanciers’ Association and The International Cat Association.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a Persian cat cost?
Pet-quality Persian kittens usually cost between $1,000 and $2,000.
How big do Persian cats get?
Adult Persian cats are medium to large in size. According to the Persian cat breed standard, the body type is cobby, which means they are low on the legs, broad and deep though the chest, and massive across the shoulders and rump.
A full-grown female Persian cat might weigh between 8 and 12 pounds, and male Persians usually weigh more than 12 pounds. They range in height anywhere from about 10 inches to 15 inches tall.
How long do Persian cats live?
The average life span for Persian cat is 12 to 20 years.
Do Persian cats shed?
Persian cats have very thick, profuse, long coats that can shed quite a bit. The daily brushing and combing that’s required to keep the coat free from mats and tangles can help cut down on how much hair a Persian sheds, but still expect a lot of shed hair in the house.