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January 16, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0

The Persian

By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Feline 101 Blog Series

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Cat of the Week: The Persian

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persian cats

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Fun Facts About Persian Cats

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  • The Persian is the number one most popular purebred cat in the US.
  • Persian cats are named for the origin of their first documented ancestor – who dates back to 1620!
  • Queen Victoria famously owned two Blue Persians which helped to popularize the breed.
  • Persians were once so indistinguishable from their cousins the Angoras that in Francis Simpson’s 1903 book “The Book of Cat” he said "the distinctions, apparently with hardly any difference, between Angoras and Persians are of so fine a nature that I must be pardoned if I ignore the class of cat commonly called Angora"
  • There are actually two recognized types of Persian cats in the US – the Peke-Faced (so named for their resemblance to a Pekinese dog) has the more extreme flat face that has come about through selective breeding, while the Traditional or “Doll-Faced” Persian has a bit more of a muzzle. However, only the Peke-Faced is accepted as breed standard by the CFA.
  • With their dramatic looks and easy going nature, it’s no wonder Persians are so prevalent throughout popular culture. There’s Sassy from Homeward Bound, Duchess from Babe, Snowbell in Stuart Little, Crookshanks, Hermoine’s cat in the Harry Potter series, and the ORIGINAL Mr. Bigglesworth in Austin Powers (not to be confused with the post cryogenic freezing Mr. Bigglesworth played by a Sphynx).


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How To Spot A Persian Cat

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They’ve got a funny, flat face.  “Smoosh-face” is the way some people less appreciative of the Persian cat’s distinctive looks might describe it. Breed standard for Persians calls for a head that is “round and massive with great breadth of skull.”

They’ve got big, owl-like eyes.  On their great breadth of flat face, Persians have large, wide-set almost owl-like round eyes accentuated by their full cheeks and chin.

They’ve got a long, thick coat. Before facial features of the Persian were exaggerated through selective breeding, their coat was the main way to tell them apart from Angoras. While both cats are known for their beautiful long coats, Angoras have silky fur that lays smoother on their body, and Persians have fur that is much thicker making their body appear much rounder. (I’m not fat! I’m FLUFFY!)

Medium to large size body, proportionally small legs, ears and tail.

Persian Kittens

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What To Expect From A Persian

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A couch potato. Yeah, if you’re looking for a hyper kitty that will go jumping over furniture for a toy, you’ve picked the wrong cat. Persians are the epitome of “lap cat,” perfectly happy to lounge around with you watching a show or reading a book.

A quiet kitty. These cats prefer touse their large, expressive faces do the talking. Persians are known to be exceptionally quiet cats, reserving meows for special or dire (Where’s my dinner??!!) kitty situations.

A regal attitude. This may be partly due to their exotic looks and laid back nature, but owners often describe their Persian cat as having a regal attitude.  Posing beautifully around the house, wanting things when they want them, how they want them, where they want them.  They love and desire a lot of attention from their owners, but it’s got to be their idea.

Loyalty. You’ve got to impress your regal Persian kitty and prove your trust-worthiness as their loyal subject, but once you do, they are YOURS. While the breed is known to be particularly affectionate,  Persians tend to have a favorite person in the house and if you’re it, you’ll know.

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More Persians !!!

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Persian Cat

SOURCES

Animal Planet: Cat Breed Directory: Persian Cat

Simpson, Frances. (1903) The Book of the Cat

VetStreet: Persian

PHOTO CREDITS

Belal Khan@flickr

Niklas Pivic@flickr

Karl Kyhl@flickr

boughtbooks@flickr

Kables@flickr

shinzui@flickr

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miamorminamor@flickr

akk_rus@flickr

tobym@flickr

Scott*@flickr

Anne-Sophie Ofrim@flickr

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Mr.B@flickr

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1 Comment

  • Persians are high maintenance, but are sweet cats. Health wise, are not good.

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