Persian cat breed: the dignified, calm-loving aristocrat

László Enikő

2022. February 15 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

The Persian cat is one of the best known cat breeds in the world. His beautiful coat and matching temperament captivates the hearts of many.


Persian cats are generally calm, easy to handle and have a kind of aristocratic air around them. He’s not one to be naughty (climbing on top of the fridge, tearing curtains), but rather a sophisticated, elegant cat who likes to be calm and pampered.


The Persian cat a very old breed whose ancestors are thought to have originated in Mesopotamia. (Present-day Iran, formerly called Persia). Although the early Persian cat did originate in ancient Persia, the researchers believe, the modern Persian cat is more closely related to its Western European roots. The long hair of the breed are probably the result of natural mutation. Its striking appearance attracted the attention of the Italian nobleman and world traveller, Pietro Della Valle who brought the first long-haired cats to Europe (1626). They used to have a shiny grey coat, but thanks to selective breeding, Persians now come in a wide range of colours.

Until the end of the 19th century, when cat breeding became popular, long-haired cats from Persia, Turkey, Afghanistan and other exotic places were simply called “Asian” cats and were often bred with other breeds. Persian cats were among the breeds exhibited at the 1871 Crystal Palace Cat Show. They were popular pets at the time, and Queen Victoria was a fan of the breed. This has made the variety even more popular.

Through selective breeding, cat breeders have begun to shape the Persian into the appearance it has today. They are bred to be round-headed, short, slightly chubby-faced, puss-nosed, small, rounded-eared, large-eyed and stocky-bodied cats. Their fur was longer than the angora cat’s and their legs were shorter. Soon the Persians surpassed the popularity of the Angora.

They were imported to the United States in the 19th century, where they were also very popular. In just over a century since then, the Persian has become the world’s most popular cat breed. She is loved by most people for her beautiful looks and personality.

Breed standard

The Persian cat is a medium to large cat with good proportions and a somewhat robust build. The head is round, massive and proportionate, the skull is broad. Its eyes are big and round. Depending on the colour of the coat, the eye colour can be copper or dark orange, green, blue and sometimes half-orange. The nose is short, wide and small. The colour depends on the colour of the coat. A too short nose can cause health problems. Their ears are small, spaced apart and have full ear hairs. Body compact, chest broad, neck short and strong. The length of the tail is in proportion to the body, covered with soft, dense fur. Its limbs are stout, its paws large, short and thick. The coat is soft, long and dense, with a soft and silky feel. At the neck, the fur forms a mane. In spring and early summer, it sheds its coat, which is beautiful again in autumn. The colours can be very varied, from white to blue, red, cream and black. Can be solid, variegated, bicolor, tortoiseshell, tabby, chinchilla. In the USA, colourpoint (Himalayan) is considered a separate breed, while in Europe it is considered as a same breed as the Persian. It weighs about 3-6 kg. Life expectancy 13-17 years.


A dignified and obedient Persian, he is known for his quiet and gentle personality. Elegant looks are matched by an elegant character. He is not demanding, but expects to be cared for gently. He is clingy and always keeps an eye on family members. With her big, expressive eyes and her voice, which is said to be soft, pleasant and musical, she communicates her simple needs: a regular meal, a little play and lots of love, which she returns tenfold to her owner. A Persian is a cat that is unlikely to climb curtains, jump on the kitchen counter or sit on top of the fridge. He is perfectly happy to view his area from the floor or more accessible furniture.

Ideal environment

A noisy environment is not the Persian style. This is a calm cat who prefers a peaceful, quiet home. So it’s the perfect companion for the elderly. He gets on well with children, but it is important not to be noisy, jump around and be gentle with him. The situation is similar with other pets. Even a lower energy dog will do well if provided with its own quiet space.


If you choose a Persian cat as your companion, care for its coat requires special attention. Daily combing is essential, otherwise the hair may become matted and scissors may be the only solution. Because of his pressed face, it is important to clean his eyes and nose regularly to avoid problems.

Common health problems

Persians may be prone to some health problems, most often related to their facial structure. For example, they may have difficulty breathing because of their short noses and they often have tears. Their teeth may not fit together well and they are more likely to be affected by tooth wear. Eye diseases (e.g. cherry eye, progressive retinal atrophy), urinary tract problems may also develop. They can be sensitive to high temperatures, so they need special attention in summer. They may develop polycystic kidney disease, which can be screened by genetic testing. If their fur is not properly cared for, they can develop a fungal infection. An inherited disease of Persian cats is idiopathic seborrhea. This skin condition leads to an overproduction of a fatty, waxy substance in the skin glands, which clumps together in the hair and gives off an unpleasant odour. Because of their long fur, grooming can easily cause hairballs, which can cause serious problems in the digestive tract.

cat breeds long-haired cat Persian cat

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