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With its smooshy face and big eyes, some argue that the Persian is one of the most visually striking and downright adorable cat breeds. Due to their appearance and sweet, docile nature, this fancy cat is a popular choice for commercials and kitty food packaging, so we wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve seen them around! Here’s more about those beautiful Persian cats we see so often – including personality, history, health vulnerabilities, and more.
Breed Personality and Physical Description
Consider the Persian cat the Marie Antoinette of the cat world. It’s an elegant, noble breed that prefers the finer things in life, like lounging around without noisy kiddos or other animals nearby. That said, we recommend them for adults who live in quiet spaces and are eager to please and pamper their feline friend.
Persians can certainly be playful — when they feel like it, of course — and love to be on the receiving end of gentle petting and light grooming. Speaking of grooming, this is a long-haired breed that sheds quite a bit. They require regular brushing to prevent matting and to remain as comfortable, and prim, as possible. Though typically we see them portrayed as a pristine white hue in the media, Persians can be many colors, including gray, orange, tortoiseshell, brown, and calico. A typical weight is between seven and 12 pounds, and their average lifespan is 10 to 15 years.
As is the case with some breeds, the exact history of the Persian cat remains a bit of a mystery. What we do know is that they have been around for a long time. In fact, their existence can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where historians have discovered hieroglyphs depicting this long-haired, regal breed.
At some point, they made their way into Mesopotamia, which later became Persia and has since become Iran. There, a 17th century Italian nobleman named Pietro Della Valle came across this striking breed and was instantly enamored with its beauty. He took it upon himself to import the cats into Italy in the early 1600s.
Through selective breeding, their appearance was refined into the modern-day Persian cat we know today. They quickly gained popularity throughout Europe — even Queen Victoria was a fan — and eventually made their way to the United States in the late 1800s. Today, Persian cats are one of the most popular and recognizable breeds in the world.
Common Health Issues
Persians have several genetic health issues of which all owners should be aware. According to VetStreet.com, common issues include “polycystic kidney disease (PKD), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), bladder stones, cystitis (bladder infections), and liver shunts.”
They are also prone to some issues due to their flat muzzle, including difficulty breathing, heat sensitivity and a harder time cooling down, dental issues, and excessively watery eyes. Like all cats, Persians require routine health care, exercise, mental stimulation, and a healthy diet. All the above will help them live a longer, happier, healthier life.
- They have longer hair than almost every other cat breed, including the Maine Coon, Siberian, and Birman.
- Persians have lovingly been nicknamed “furniture with fur” due to their ability to lounge around for many hours at a time!
- Some very famous people have owned and adored Persian cats, including Marilyn Monroe and Florence Nightingale.
- The cat food brand, Fancy Feast, uses a white and glorious Persian as their cover model.
Are you the proud parent of a very perfect Persian? Share a pic of your fluffy fur baby with us on Instagram by tagging @gohealthypaws. And if you aren’t already a pet parent with us, look into getting a free quote to help safeguard not just your special cat, but your wallet too.