Let’s discuss all things Persian — from their history to their loveable personality and how to care for this regal breed.
Looking for the perfect cat to add to your family? The Persian might be exactly the breed you’re looking for. Calm and collected, sweet and dignified, this long-haired beauty is a popular choice the world over. Let’s explore everything you need to know about the Persian cat before deciding to adopt one into your home — where do they come from, what is the temperament of a Persian cat and how much maintenance do they need?
Looking for something a little different? We have you covered — take a read of our beginner’s guide to the Sphinx.
What Is a Persian Cat?
A Persian cat is an affectionate, sought-after long-haired cat made famous by its short muzzle and round face. With its sweet nature and chubby cheeks, this elegant breed is one of the most popular cat breeds in the UK today. This well-known breed has been around for a while, and they are firm favourites for movie roles, with examples being Mr Bigglesworth from Austin Powers and Crookshanks from the Harry Potter series.
Speaking of Harry Potter, did you know that the cat Mrs Norris was portrayed by a Maine Coon? Check out our beginner’s guide to the Maine Coon!
History of the Persian
This loveable moggie is shrouded in mystery. We’re not entirely sure where this long-haired cat first appeared and we might never have the answer. What we do know is that the first documented ancestors of the Persian cat were imported from Iran and Turkey into Europe around the 17th century. The Persian cat quickly became a favourite among nobility, including Queen Victoria.
Appearance of the Persian Cat
This is an old cat breed, and as such there are a lot of variants of the Persian cat, including Himalayan (who have the body type of the Persian with the colouring of a Siamese), the Exotic Shorthair, Toy and teacup Persians and the Chinchilla Longhair.
Most Persian cats, however, can be identified with their short, snubbed muzzles, long, silky, thick coats and broad heads with rounded ears set far apart. This breed has large eyes in many colours, including copper, blue, green and hazel. Persian’s come in any variety of colours, markings and variations.
Average Weight of a Persian
Persians are a medium-sized cat but their fluffy coat can make them look larger. They are usually between 10-15 inches tall, averaging around 5kg when fully-grown.
Be careful with this loveable cat! They’re so affectionate, and we’re so eager to spoil them that vets often see Persians for health problems related to weight gain. Encourage your Persian to run around and get some exercise — play with them and buy them a cat climbing frame to get them moving.
Persian Cat Personality
This dignified, docile creature is generally quiet, sweet and good-natured. They love to lounge, enjoy attention and they’re very affectionate, but not needy. They won’t yowl at their owners for fuss or companionship. And with relative strangers, a Persian can be a little bit stand-offish. It’s nothing personal — they just take their time getting to know you.
Your Persian will usually be found stretching out next to you, sleeping in your bed or sitting on your lap. But that doesn’t mean she’s lost her kitten-like nature. Now and then, this typically chilled-out cat will let out a burst of activity — she’s just trying to get all that energy out in time for her next big nap.
Read more about why cats have a mad half hour!
Do Persians Shed Fur?
Shedding will be a regular occurrence for most pets. But Persians take it to the next level. Their long, luscious hair means they shed often and everywhere, so unless it’s kept under control, no item of clothing is safe.
Your Persian’s fur might be gorgeous, but you probably prefer it on them. There are a couple of things you can do to minimise shedding:
- Brush your cat’s hair every day — if you start this when they’re tiny, they’ll grow to get used to it and maybe even enjoy it! Think of it as a bonding activity. No doubt your Persian will love being the centre of attention.
- Get your Persian trimmed regularly — A professional groomer might be the key to your Persian’s hair shedding. Some Persian owners prefer to have their cat’s body hair trimmed short while keeping the head and tip of the tail a normal length. It’s known as a ‘lion-cut’.
Persian Care and Grooming
Besides daily grooming, there are other things you should do to keep your Persian healthy and well. Some Persians have stubby snouts, while others have more pointed faces. If your Persian has a shorter, flatter face, you will need to gently wipe their eyes every day with moist cotton wool and warm water.
As well as this, most Persians will require professional grooming at least once a year, to ensure their long fur isn’t starting to matt. Your groomer will also be able to keep an eye on their claws, which can become overgrown if they’re not monitored and clipped from time to time.
Just remember to keep on top of their flea and worm treatments as well as their vaccinations. Taking your Persian to the vets for a checkup once a year will ensure they stay in optimal health.
How Long Do Persian Cats Live?
Your gorgeous Persian cat will likely stick around for a long time, as long as they’re kept in good health, fed well and able to exercise daily. Persian cat life expectancy ranges from around 12 to 17 years, with most Persians living to around 14 years. Fortunately, Persian cats tend to be happy as either indoor or outdoor cats but keep an eye out for areas outside your home that may cause accidents for your animal friends.
Want to keep your kitty indoors? Here are our tips on how to keep indoor cats happy and healthy.
Do Persian Cats Have Health Problems?
Unfortunately, these beautiful cats are quite prone to health problems. One UK study found that nearly two-thirds of Persian cats suffer from at least one health condition. Researchers discovered that haircoat disorders, overgrown nails, eye discharge and dental disease were the most common culprits. It can be helpful to get Persian cats on a regular feeding schedule to prevent digestion issues and make sure they get quality nutrition as they age.
Most of the health issues are preventable, though — so if you take every reasonable measure to keep your cat healthy and looked after, along with regular trips to the vet, there’s no reason why your Persian can’t live a long, happy life.
Can Persian Cats Be Left Alone?
Some cats, like the Ragdoll, are so people-centric that they don’t like to be left alone for any significant period. The Persian, however, is pretty laid-back, so if you have to leave the house to go to work then don’t worry — your cat will be just fine, waiting happily for you to come home.
Are Persians Good Family Cats?
Due to their calm, tranquil nature, Persians are a great family pet. They’re good with children, very patient and tolerant of loud, active kids. They will make efforts to move away and seclude themselves if everything gets too much, but remember, every cat has its limits.
If your toddler is getting too grabby or intimidating and the cat can’t find an escape route, the Persian might go against their better nature — so always keep an eye on your Persian around young kids. We recommend our Climbers as the perfect solution for your cat to get out of the way of kids, dogs or other things who may cause them stress. Persians are so good-natured, they often don’t know when to say no.