The Persian breed is one of the most recognizable cats that exist today. The Persian has topped the charts as the most popular breed in the United States for more than 30 years. Whether you love them for their squishy face or their glorious manes, the Persian is pretty darn adorable. Here’s some facts about Persians and why we love them…
History and Facts About the Persian Cat Breed
Persian Cats are a Breed Rich in History
The Persian has been around a very long time. Originating in Persia (modern-day Iran), they were first recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) in 1871. However, records of the Persian cat go back even as far as the 1500s. The breed was then developed and popularized by England and the U.S. after WWII. To this day, the Persian is on the top 10 most popular breeds list in both countries.
Persian Breed Offshoots
Back in the 1950s, some breeders began crossing Persians with Siamese, resulting in Persians with pointed coloring. This cross became a separate breed called the Himalayan. While some cat judging associations still maintain this separation, the CFA merged the two back together in the mid-80s. Himalayans or “Himmies” are now known as “colorpoint Persian” for judging purposes in cat shows.
In the mid-1960s, a second offshoot of the Persian emerged when some American Shorthair breeders started crossing Persians into their lines. The resulting cats were “typey” like a Persian, with squishy faces and big round eyes, but shorthaired. This offshoot is called the Exotic Shorthair, and it remains its own breed to this day. In fact, everyone’s favorite orange comic book cat, Garfield, is purportedly an Exotic Shorthair.
The Persian Cat Look and Personality
The face of a Persian is easy to recognize. Persians are known for their flat, tiny noses and huge round eyes. Top that off with the biggest, most plush mane of fur you’ve ever seen in your life, and you’ve got a Persian.
There are actually two different types of Persian shape: show type and traditional type. Show type Persians have an exceptional flatness to the face. Traditional Persians still have flat faces, but the flatness is not as extreme. All Persians appear in a total of over 80 colors (talk about a variety to choose from).
Owning a Persian is not for the faint of heart. Persians’ coats require daily grooming to avoid the fur matting. If you don’t see yourself brushing your Persian every day, perhaps an Exotic Shorthair would be a better choice! Both Persians and Exotics also require daily cleaning of their noses and eyes. Exercise also doesn’t exactly come naturally to Persians. They are more than content to snuggle up on a bed or couch and remain there most of the day. Persian owners must feed their kitties a high-quality food and engage them in play to keep them from becoming overweight.
It is the Persian’s love of lounging that also makes them such wonderful cuddling companions. Persians make great snuggle buddies. Who wouldn’t want to snuggle up to something so fluffy and adorable?
Super cute faces? Check. Cuddly personality? Double check. Amazing hair for days? You got it. When you combine that with their long-running history, you’ve got one loveable cat.