Persian Breed at A Glance
One of the oldest and most recognizable cat breeds, the Persian cat is the parent breed for the Persian Breed Group, which includes the Persian, Himalayan and Exotic Shorthair breeds. They share the same body type, but the Exotic Shorthair’s short coarse hair differs from the long hair of the Persian and Himalayan. Known for their sweet, flat face, large, round eyes and fat cheeks, they get along with everyone. Find out more about this breed and if a Persian is right for you and your family.
- Temperament: Quiet, Gentle, Sweet
- Size: As with all cats in the Persian Group, Persians are medium sized, but appear larger than they really are due to their massive fur. Males are larger than females.
- Colors: White, red, cream, black, blue, chocolate, lilac, silver, golden, tortoiseshell, blue-cream, tri-color, and sable. Persians also come in a variety of patterns, including tortoiseshell, bicolor, tricolor, tabby, smoke, shaded, and Himalayan (a light colored body with darker points, and blue eyes).
- Life Expectancy: The Persian is a very healthy breed and can be expected to live between 8-11 years.
About the Persian
Gentle and quiet, Persian cats prefer being in a calm environment. They are very easygoing and prefer lounging on a sofa with their families. Persians communicate with their expressive eyes and soft, harmonious voices. They are an adaptable breed and will enjoy living with any family as long as they are loved and treated gently.
Cats in the Persian Breed Group are placid and exhibit bursts of kitten-like activity. They can be sleeping in the sun one minute and suddenly explode into action, running through the room and rolling around the next. Persians like to play with interactive toys, chase balls, and catnip mice, but you might have to keep after them to exercise on a daily basis.
Persians will stretch out next to you, sleep in your bed, and sit on your lap when they are in the mood. They do not mind changes in routine and are generally friendly with everyone.
TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues
Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
Find a Kitten: TICA Breeders
The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
The Persian coat requires daily attention. Cats must be brushed and combed in order to keep the coat from tangling. In addition, the flat face must be cleaned regularly and carefully as tearstains can be deposited on the face.
Nails should be trimmed more frequently (once a week) when they are kittens and less frequently (every 2-3 weeks) as an adult. As with any cat, regularly brushing of teeth is recommended. Talk to your vet for instructions and suggestions.
Similar to any cat, the Persians and those in the Persian Breed Group need proper protein and nutrients. A high-quality diet is recommended. After altering (spaying/neutering), they have a greater tendency to become overweight, as with any cat. Owners should be aware of both the quality and quantity of foods being fed.
Fresh water should be available at all times. Water bowls should be washed and refilled with fresh water daily. As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily so they don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from some cat behaviorists: place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less. Many Persians do better with water fountains. It helps keep the hair on their chin and chest drier.
Owners of Persians, Himalayans and Exotic Shorthair breeds should check with their breeder and veterinarian to ensure their cat has been checked for the following: Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), respiratory problems, eye problems, such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.
The Persian cat is an ancient breed of cat and, as with other ancient breeds, their history is a bit clouded. Longhaired cats were in Italy in the 1500s. These cats were imported from Asia. In the 17th century, Pietro del la Valle brought a cat from Persia to Italy to add to the breeding program. This cat may well have been a cat known in Persia as the Sand Cat, a cat who lived in the desert. This Sand Cat had a woolly coat, much like a steel soap pad, to protect her from the environment and permit her to live in the sand.
About a hundred years later, Nicolas de Pereisc acquired some longhaired cats. These cats came from Turkey, which is also the home to the Turkish angora, a different breed of longhaired cat. In the 19th century, the descendants of these Turkish cats were bred with some of the cats from Italy, and that was the beginning of the modern Persian. Although this breed is ancient, it is also man made.
The popularity of the Persian was enhanced when Queen Victoria and other royals fell in love with this stunning breed. They were introduced into the United States at the end of the 19th century, where they soon became popular.
Did You Know?
The Persian cat is one of the oldest cat breeds and can been seen depicted in hieroglyphics as early as 1684 B.C.
Persians made their American debut in the early 19th century.
Himalayan and Exotic Shorthair cats
Siamese, Balinese, Oriental Longhair, Oriental Shorthair
From the Breed Standard
The ideal Persian breed is a strong cat with excellent boning and musculature, a well-balanced cat, giving the impression of robust power. The face should be round with a sweet, pleasant expression and large, round expressive eyes. The cat should be well-balanced physically and temperamentally, gentle and amenable to handling.
Click here to read the full TICA Persian Breed Standard.
Additional information and an introduction to the Thai breed can be found in the links below:
Accepted For Championship in TICA in 1979
- Persian Breed At A Glance
- Breed Introduction
- Printable Breed Introduction
- Persian Breeders
- Breed Standards
- Breed Committee
- Breed Seminar
Photos used courtesy of © Helmi Flick Cat Photography.