Persian Cat

Persian cat: the perfect domestic cat, suitable for children, seniors and cuddling. It is the result of a selection work done by breeders who have “built” the Persian cat using Angora cat which might seems as a total opposite: lightweight, slim, long and elegant legged predator. 

Persian cat: origins and history

The Persian is an old breed. To those who love this elegant cat, it will come as no surprise that the longhaired beauty originated in the cradle of civilization: Mesopotamia, which was later known as Persia and is now modern-day Iran. The breed’s long hair was probably the result of a natural mutation, and its striking appearance attracted the attention of 17th-century italian nobleman and world traveler Pietro Della Valle, who is credited with bringing the first longhaired cats to Europe in 1626. Initially the Persian cat was called a French cat and it was quite different from the pet we know now. Then, there were a variety of smaller and cudlier cats with longer fur imported from Iran. From then on the cats were selective breeded which resulted in the appearance of todays Persian cat. 

This breed was highly appreciated during the Victorian Age because the Queen Victory, of course, had some blue-colored specimens so all royals and wealthy merchants wanted the same. After the grey Persian era, the white blue-eyed cats, felines with white mantle and orange or light colour were also popular.

After the white, came the black Persian cat, rather well-liked and widespread, while the Persian Red Cat has experienced a problem in getting the uniform tint over the years. Other colors as chocolate, silver and lilac, are recent.

Persian cat: character

The character of the Persian cat can not be perceived by his behavior that appears aristocratic and phlegmatic. To a person seeing the cat from far it might look like it is only a sweet peaceful pet with nothing more than a stench under its nose, yet indeed, it is an eternal child. The Persian cat is one of the best cats to keep a company to older people and children. The people who desires typical independence of feline mixed with a sense of attachment.

Affectionate, balanced and quiet, the Persian cat is hardly a prey to stress or anxiety. It does not require larger space than sofa, armchair and bed if you let your pet to “occupy” it. Most of the time you will find your ball off fluff cuddeled on one of the soft surfaces in your house, but, from time to time, the inner child emerges in this cat and it starts to look for a game. Persians are qiute a compelled but discriminating cats so usually they look for their master to play with. Otherwise it will find some toys of its own, but no danger in that. Though they are lively players, there is no Persian cat that creates huge disasters. It usually does not pose a threat to your precious ornaments in the living room or shred your armchair in pieces: it does play but is not a domestic hurricane.

Persian cat: physical appearance

Flowy and long hair, up to 20 cm, thick tail, big eyes, a wide variety of colors from monochromic to bi-color (a color plus white). Grown up Persian cat weights approximately 3.5 – 5.5 kg as a female and more than 5.5 kg as a male. As it was intended in its historical evolution, the Persian cat has come to appear as short and massive feline with a powerful skeleton and a solid musculature.

Its ears are small and round, it has short and thick legs, round and wide feet, with flocks of hair between its fingers. Its snout is soft, slightly crushed, as does the nose, so the eyes look even bigger, briliant copper, deep blue, green or hazel. What makes this cat to stand out of other felines it is its coat. The Persian cats fur is very long compared to medium lenght of felines. It is even longer on the neck and shoulders, forming a leonine mane.

The color of a Persian cats coat has about two hundred combinations, but the most common ones are white, cream, black, blue, chocolate and then also lilac and red. In addition to the “classic” Persian cat, there are two other types: Himalayan Persian cat, with a colorpoint pattern of Siamese and Exotic Shorthair cat which is a result of Persian and American Shorthair (ASH) cross in order to improve ASH cat. Unfortunately this mix was eventually denied as a ASH so new breed was created, which inherited the temperament and health problems of Persian and thick short fur from ASH.

Persian cat: helth and care

The biggest issue when it comes to grooming a Persian cat is its fur. The coat of Persian has to be brushed every day to keep it shiny, vibrant and to avoid it getting tangelled in nasty fur dreads. The cat has other issue when it comes to long fur. Wgen a cat grooms itself, it ingests some of the hair which leads to the furball formation in the stomach. It is difficult for cats digestion system to get rid of all the fur so it is quite common that Persians suffer from intestinal occlusion. To help your cats organism to deal with furballs you should use special pasta once a week which dissolves fur in digestion system.

Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. Although they are beautiful and sweet, Persians are prone to a number of potential health problems, most commonly related to their facial structure:

  • Breathing difficulty or noisy breathing caused by constricted nostrils
  • Dental malocclusions, meaning the teeth don’t mesh well together
  • Excessive tearing
  • Eye conditions such as cherry eye and entropion
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Polycystic kidney disease,  for which a genetic test is available
  • Predisposition toringworm, a fungal infection
  • Seborrhea oleosa, a skin condition that causes itchiness, redness and hair loss

If well maintained a Persian cat can reach 15 years in average lifespan. However there are some which can live close to 20 years.

Persian cat: feeding

Does not matter what age your Persian is trying to live up to, it is necessary to feed it well. As it come to food  the Persian cat proves to be a whimsical and choosy. You do not have to spoil it or give it a rope too much but you have to have a wrist on menu choices, otherwise if given wast corse the Persian cat becomes sophisticated more than necessary and runs the risk of forcing the master to change food continually.

The Persian cat can eat both home-made and industrial food. In the second case it is almost certain that the food is complete and already in correct doses. If we cook for our Persian cat then here are the most recommended ingredients: cooked white or red meat, fresh offal, rice and vegetables, natural tuna with no oil or spices, freshly cooked fish without thorns, lean cheeses and occasionally an egg yolk that makes the hair soft and shiny. Avoid using the Persian cat as a crumb-picker, floor cleaner or leftower disposal. This breed is prone to a lot of health problems and incorect feeding might lead to overweigh and fatal heart problems.

Persian cat: price

The price of a Persian kitten is related to its aesthetics, not so much on color itself, but as a whole. Before you even shoot figures you need to decide whether you are looking for, or selling, a show quality or pet quality Persian cat. The first must meet the recognised breed standarts, with the good geneology and parents which have won prices in cat shows. The pet quality cat, however, is not necesseraly “standart”, but with floes price falls and you get the cat which still posses most of the Persian qalities, so if you are not planning to breed or participate in cat shows this might be the better option.

Currently the price ranges from 500 euros to 3.000 euros for a pure breed Persian kitten with pedigree documents. Then it is up to each breeder how much they want for a kitten. It is also true that within the same litter of kittens there are the ones which meets the standard and the ones which are considered as a pet quality cats so price might change even from kitten to kitten of the same breeder.

However if you want to avoid cats with health problems make sure to do a research about the breeder before buying a pet. Avoid puppy mill products which are bred under horrible conditions and are usually cheaper and might have psychological problems. Have in mind that most of the kittens and puppies sold in pet store chains are from puppy mills. The breeder has to allow you to see the conditions kittens were bred in. There has to be a possibility to see at least the mother of the litter. The breeder has to have some references from previous buyers, has to know the standarts of the cats, has to have a refund or exchange policy if you get a cat with psichological or health problems even if it is a pet quality Persian.

The price of the kitten is just the beginning, of a responsible ownership of the Persian cat, which is not at all “discounted”. If you decide to buy a kitten, together with it you commit to keep it up with the vet visits, birth declarations, pedigree recognition, vaccinations, possible wiping-ups and last but not least overall life of your new companion for at least 15 years.

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