The Persian cat is one of the oldest and most popular cat breeds known to man. Often referred to as a ‘luxury' breed, the Persian is a breed of pedigree cat that has quite a loyal following.
Like many cat breeds, there is some different opinions on the exact history and origin of the Persian cat. The most widely accepted version says in the 1600's, that the Persian cat decended from the Angora cats of Turkey, coming from merchants that brought their ships back from the Persian region of the Middle East, which is now the country of Iran.
From day one, the Persian cat was very adored by the noble class, especially in France. The early Persian cats found their way to England, where they were selectively bred and developed into the various types that we know and love today.
Persian cats are stocky and round with short limbs. Their fur is very thick and long with an undercoat. The face, often described as a ‘pansy face' is flat, and has become flatter over time through selective breeding. They have small pointy ears that sit on a wide and rounded head.
The CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) , classifies the Persian into these groups or color divisions:
- Solid Color Division
- Silver and Golden Division
- Shaded and Smoke Division
- Tabby Division
- Particolor Division
- Bicolor Division
- Himalayan Division
The Persian comes in many different color combinations including:
- Solid colors: (white, blue, black, red, cream, chocolate, and lilac)
In Britain, the different color variations on the Persian have been classified as different breeds for some time. The GCCF, (The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy) classifies persian color groups as follows:
- Self: (black, white, blue, red, self, cream, chocolate, lilac)
- Tortie Tabby
- Tortie and White
- Tortie Tabby and White
- Bicolor Solid
- Bicolor Tabby
- Van Bicolor
- Van Tricolor
As you can see there are many different types of Persian cats available!
Persian cats are known to have a quiet, gentle, and easygoing personality, which according to history is not the way they have always been. Breeding over time has transformed the cat into a docile creature. They enjoy spending time with their owners and participating in daily activities. Unlike a typical ‘cat' that most people refer to, the Persian craves and demands your attention. They are social creatures that make great pets for people of all ages.
Most cats do a good job of grooming themselves, but the Persian needs special attention because of its thick fur and long coat. Daily brushing is recommended and occasional baths may be in order when their coat becomes excessively dirty or matted. Knots are always a problem, so preventive maintenance on the coat is very important.
Is the Persian cat right for you? If you have researched the breed and decided that it would be a great addition to your family, then the next step would be to select a reputable breeder in your area to visit with. Expect to pay in the range of $300-$600 dollars, depending on your location, for a healthy and registered Persian kitten with papers.