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Persian Breed Description

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Breed Organization

TICA Executive Office

The Cat Fanciers' Association

Native Country
Great Britain

Other Names

Coat Length

Life Expectancy
Approximately 15-20 Years

General Description

The Persian is a long-haired breed of cat characterized by its round face and shortened muzzle. Its long, luxuriant, flowing coat comes in a myriad of colors reminiscent and its pansy-like face with big round copper eyes is open and sweet. Persians have short heavilyboned legs to support their broad, short bodies.

  • Persians and Angoras
  • Traditional Persian
  • Peke-face
  • Himalayan
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Toy and teacup sizes
  • Chinchilla Longhair and Sterling

  • Breed Standard

    Head: Round, massive, domed. Very broad, round skull. Rounded forehead. Round, full cheeks. Strong, prominent cheekbones. Short, broad nose, sometimes slightly turned up. Marked break between the eyes. Short, broad muzzle. Strong, full, well-developed chin. Broad, powerful jaws.
    Eyes: Large, round, wide open, well-spaced. The intense, deep color corresponds to that of the coat (gold to copper for all colors; green in the chinchilla, silver, and golden; blue in the colorpoint; heterochromatic in some white-coated Persians, etc.).
    Neck: Short, strong, very muscular.
    Body: Medium to large, massive (cobby), powerful. Broad, deep chest; shoulders and hips of equal width. Broad, short back. Short abdomen. Short, massive bones. Firm, well-developed muscles.
    Paw: Short, strong, straight. Powerful bones, well-developed muscles. Broad, round, strong paws. Long tufts of hair between the toes.
    Tail: Short, in proportion to the body, well-furnished with very long hairs forming a plume. Carried fairly low.
    Coat: Very fine fur with long hair in the topcoat and undercoat. Dense, silky, long hair on the entire body (10 cm on average and up to 20 cm on the frill). All colors are recognized.
    Fault: Long or narrow head. Long nose, narrow muzzle, obvious underbite. Large, pointed ears that are too close together. Small, slanted eyes too pale in color. Narrow, slender, long, high-standing body. Tail too long. Oval paws, long toes. Disqualify: lockets or buttons; kink in the tail, serious jaw deformity.


    The world's most famous breed of Persianed cats were unknown in Europe until around the mid-16th century. The Persian's first ancestors were imported from Persia (now Iran) to Italy in the 17th century by Pietro della Valle. Later, Nicholas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, an advisor to the Parliament of Aix-en-Provence, brought two cats to France from Turkey (perhaps they were Angora in type). These cats were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Louis XV had a white angora Persian. In the first half of the 19th century, some "Persians" bred in Italy and brought to France and England were crossed with "Persians" of Turkish origin. The first specimens were shown in London's Crystal Palace in 1871. At that time, British breeders organized a selective breeding program. Crosses were made with Angoras to improve the coat. In addition, a systematic effort aimed at increasing the range of colors and patterns was begun, leading to over 200 varieties today. Thus, the smoke Persian, the product of black, white, and blue Persians, was shown in Brighton in 1872. A cat named Silver was the first chinchilla Persian shown in London in 1888. Colorpoint Persians, called Himalayans in the United States and considered a separate breed by T.I.C.A. and Kmehr (or Kmer) in Germany, appeared around 1920. Tabby Persians, which appeared over a century ago, were shown in Paris in 1927 as "tigers". Also in the 19th century, British breeders selected the roundest, most massive cats. Around 1930, American breeders obtained an extremely short-limbed type called the "Peke face" (after the Pekingese dog). Possibly the world's most famous feline breed, the Persian was probably used to create the Birman and the British Shorthair.


    The placid, calm, phlegmatic, sedentary Persian is perfectly suited to apartment life. Sociable, peaceful, never aggressive, gentle, and very affectionate, he is very attached to his owner. Persians get along well with other cats, dogs, and children. They are more distant toward strangers. For their well-being, they need a tranquil life. They can tolerate solitude. They rarely use their soft voice. Persians reach maturity at the age of two. They enter puberty late (at approximately 12 months). The breed is not very prolific, and birthing is difficult. Grooming (brushing, combing, and cleaning) is a considerable undertaking. The Persian's long hair is prone to the rapid formation of knots and tufts. It is therefore essential to untangle the coat every day. Persians shed in spring and summer. Their eyes, which produce tears constantly, must be cleaned regularly. the Persian will guard its territory and catch prey with surprising ease, given its shortened face.


    Entropion, Epiphora (Excessive Tearing), Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome, Heart Disease, Skin Sensitivities, Retinal Degeneration, Stenosis (Blockage) Of Nasolacrimal Ducts Upper And Lower Teeth That Don't Meet (Peke-Faced Variation Only)

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