Country of origin:
Iranian plateau ("Persia")
The Persian is one of the oldest breeds of cat. In Britain, it is called the Longhair or Persian Longhair. A Persian without an established and registered pedigree is classed as a domestic longhair cat.
Origin of breed
Persian cats have been first brought to Europe in the XVI century from Iran. They are beautiful cats that are often used in cat shows around the world. Their appearance then differed greatly from today's standard. Hundreds of years of selective breeding made Persians cobbier cats with drastically shorter muzzle. It's not clear when longhair cats (in general) first appeared, as there are no African Wildcats (believed to be ancestors of domesticated cats) with that kind of fur. There have been claims that the gene responsible for long hair was introduced through hybridization with Pallas cat. Recent research however refute this theory.
A show-quality Persian has an extremely long thick coat, short legs, a wide head with the ears set far apart, large eyes, and an extremely foreshortened muzzle. Their eyes are often gooey, and the owner should clean their eyes at least once every day. The breed was originally established with a short (but not non-existent) muzzle, but over time this feature has become extremely exaggerated, particularly in North America, and Persians with the more extreme brachycephalic head type are susceptible to a number of health problems (specifically affecting their sinuses and breathing) caused by it. Their short muzzle also causes then to have dust and debris cover the inside of their nostrils more often, which makes it very difficult for them to breathe.
Persian cats can have any color or
markings including pointed, golden, tortoiseshell, blue, and tabby.
Tipped varieties are known as Chinchilla. Point varieties are called
Himalayan in the United States and Colorpoint Persian in Europe.
Because their fur is too long and dense for them to maintain themselves, Persian cats need regular grooming. To keep their fur in its best condition, they must be bathed regularly, dried carefully afterwards, and brushed thoroughly every day. Their eyes need to be checked for problems on a regular basis because some animals have trouble keeping them clean. As they grow older, Persians tend to develop a crusty-like object under the eyes. Likewise, Persians are particularly susceptible to a genetic disease which causes kidney failure, PKD, Polycystic kidney disease, among other diseases. However, cats can now be DNA screened for the gene that causes PKD, so these affected cats are gradually being removed from the Persian gene pool by responsible breeders.
Longevity is usually between 10 and 19 years on average. The White persians eye-color can be orange-eyed, blue-eyed, or odd-eyed. The blue-eyed type is prone to deafness.
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